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How-to determine bra size

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Measurement

1. The band size is based on this measurement.
2. The cup size is based on this measurement in proportion to the first measurement.

How-to determine bra size is fundamental in getting a correctly fitting bra. This guide about proper bra size measurement will help a bra-wearer find the right size range for their body and spot whether or not a bra fits correctly, thereby allowing anyone to shop for a bra more knowledgeably and avoid poor fitting advice offered by unscrupulous or unknowing fitters. This guide will detail the tools needed, dos and don'ts, the step-by-step measuring process, size calculation, the process of trying on a bra correctly, and ways to both recognize and fix problems with fit.

MaterialsEdit

  • Soft measuring tape (or a string, which you can measure against another measuring device)
  • Paper
  • Writing utensil

MeasureEdit

Measure band sizeEdit

  1. Remove all articles of clothing from the waist up, including your bra.
  2. Wrap the tape around your torso, directly under the root of your breast. Wherever your breast tissue terminates into the torso is where the band should be sitting, even if it seems high.
  3. After exhaling, pull the tape tight enough that it feels really snug (because bras are stretchy), but not so tight as to leave a red mark in your skin.
  4. Write down this number.

Note: If you have an underbust measurement of 36 inches or more, record the measurement when pulling the tape as tight as possible.

Measure cup sizeEdit

Relative-d-cups

All of these bras (32D, 34D, 36D) are D-cups. Cup size is like a ratio of breast to band size, not an absolute number.[1]

  1. Lean forward, so that your back is parallel with the floor, so that gravity pulls all your breast tissue forward, even the migrated breast tissue that former ill-fitting bra squished back under your arms and around onto your back.
  2. Reach back, and massage your sides, pushing the breast tissue forward with a sweeping motion.
  3. Loosely measure around your bust, with the tape passing over the fullest part of your hanging breasts. Don't bend the tape into your cleavage; keep it running straight, touching your breasts in a straight line, perpendicular to the floor. Tighten the tape just enough so that it doesn't easily slide off the skin if nudged, but not tight enough to begin to deform the breast tissue.
  4. Write down this number.

Note: If you have extremely pendulous breasts, you may wish to take the average of two bust measurements (one bending over and one standing), but your best bet is still leaning toward the larger bust measurement, then working down to a snug cup.

Measuring for trans womenEdit

Due to the differences in body shape, the traditional bra-fitting method can overestimate cup size for trans women. Because trans women tend to have shallow breasts and a V-shaped ribcage, the bust measurement includes more ribcage rather than breasts.[2]
A bra that fits 5 measurements for bra size

Measurements #1 and #5 work best for trans women.[3]

  1. Measure your band the same as the traditional method, by removing all clothing from the waist up and pulling the measuring tape so it's snug against the body underneath the breasts.
  2. Write down this number.
  3. To measure for the cup size, lay down on a flat surface, and wrap the measuring tape around the body at breast level. Do not move or manipulate the breasts while measuring; measure them where they naturally rest. Also make sure you do not let the tape fall in between the breasts, but let it lay across them like a bridge.
  4. Write down this number.

CalculateEdit

Since most bra calculators are absolute garbage, we recommend calculating manually.

Calculate band sizeEdit

  1. Round your underbust measurement (the first number) to the nearest whole number.
  2. If it is odd, subtract 1.
  3. That number is your band size.

Calculate cup sizeEdit

  1. Subtract the band measurement (the first number) from the bust measurement (the second number).
  2. Round up the difference to the next whole number.
  3. Look up that number on the chart below.
  4. That letter is your cup size.
Most common cup-size standards used by bra manufacturers
0" 1" 2" 3" 4" 5" 6" 7" 8" 9" 10" 11" 12" 13" 14" 15" 16" 17" 18" 19" 20" 21" 22" 23" 24" 25" 26"
UK AA A B C D DD E F FF G GG H HH J JJ K KK L LL M MM N NN O OO P PP
US AA A B C D DD/E DDD/F DDDD/G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Good Housekeeping: "How to Buy a Bra"
  2. 'reddit: Looking for feedback on the Trans* Guide (Warning: Super Long Post)
  3. A Bra That Fits: Breast Shapes & Fitting Guide: Thank You & You're Welcome! by chromecoat

External linksEdit

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