Learning your accurate bra size should be the first step when shopping for a bra or piece of lingerie. Unfortunately, about 80 percent of women don’t know their accurate bra size. In most cases, they just don’t know how to correctly measure it. So, if your bra size seems to always be a little off — either the underwire is too big or the straps are too tight — read below to help give your “ladies” the kind of comfort and support they deserve. Remember, just like your body weight, your chest size fluctuates, so if you haven’t been measured in a while, now’s the time to do it!
You can measure your chest size with a bra on or off: Just make sure the bra you’re wearing doesn’t have any extra padding. You’ll need a tape measurer (or a string and ruler) and maybe a trusty friend or confidant that can help you with the process:
1) To find your band size, place the measuring tape directly beneath your breasts and measure around your rib cage. Make sure it’s snug, tight enough that you get an accurate measurement, but you don’t want to suffocate yourself. Remember this measurement correlates with the elastic band that goes around your chest, so there’s a little room for stretching, but not much! If the number you get contains a fraction, you can discard the fraction: So, a 32.5 would be a 32.
2) Take that number and add five to it. If your number ends up being an odd number, then round up. For example, you add five to 32 and you get 37, so you’re most likely a 38. Now you know your accurate band size.
3) Next measure around your bustline (the point where your chest is the largest). This is a more loose measurement. You want the measuring tape to fit loosely around your chest without applying any pressure at all. This is your bust size; let’s say it’s a 41 (for demonstration purposes).
4) Then, subtract the band size from the bust size. For example, the difference between 41 and 38 is three (41-38=3). This number determines your cup size. Generally, with each inch, the cup size goes up a letter:
- 1 inch = A cup - 2 inches = B cup - 3 inches = C cup - 4 inches = D cup - 5 inches = DD cup - And so on…
According to the above chart, a bust size of 41 and a band size of 38 would make a 38C bra size. It’s that easy!
Now that you know your size, all you have to figure out is what color, material or style you want — and that’s the hard part. Good luck shopping!