This Bra Isn’t Working For Me!
Bra fitting experts estimate that 80% (or more) women are wearing the wrong size bra. Are you one of them? Here are some clues that might indicate you may be buying the wrong bra size:
- Bra is uncomfortable.
- Straps are always falling off your shoulders or digging into them.
- Underwires are poking into you or you are finding them annoying or bothersome.
- Breasts are overflowing out of the top of the cups or at the sides near your arms.
- You are having discomfort in the neck and shoulder area.
- Bra leaves red marks in the skin after you’ve been wearing it for a long period of time.
- Cups are gaping or wrinkling, or have puckers in them.
- Breasts appear to be sagging and are not lifted and supported.
Ahhhh, now we’re talking!
A great bra that fits properly will meet the following criteria. Try on the ones you have now and be honest with yourself--does your bra meet these standards?
- Breast tissue is FULLY contained within the cups. No overflow or spilling over of breast tissue.
- There should be no gaps, spaces, wrinkles, and puckers in the cups themselves.
- The center section that is between the bra cups should lie flat against your chest.
- Underwires should lie flat against the chest, wrap around the breast and NOT touch the breast tissue itself.
- The back band of the bra should anchor low right at or below the shoulder blades.
- Looking from a side view, the breasts in a bra should sit in the middle to upper half of the arm between the elbow and the shoulder.
- Bra should remain stable and anchored in position. It should not move or shift when you move, raise your arms, or sit in a chair.
- Bra is comfortable.
But, I’ve always been this size!
Don’t make the assumption that your bra size is never going to change even if your weight has remained stable. There are many factors that can change your bra size that you may not even have considered and may be the reason why your bra is absolutely driving you nuts! Obviously, a weight gain or loss of more than 5 pounds can affect your bra size but there are some other things you may want to consider.
- An exercise program that you’ve started or stopped since the last time you measured yourself.
- Pregnancy or childbirth.
- If it has been more than one year since you last were measured.
- You are going through menopause or having other hormonal changes.
How to Measure Yourself to Determine Your Bra Size:
First get the band size:
- Put on a bra that you think fits and supports you well, but make sure it’s not padded.
- While looking in the mirror, wrap a tape measure around your rib cage immediately below the bra band. Exhale, and then pull the tape fairly tightly around your ribcage. Make sure the tape measure is held straight across and is not angled. This measurement should be a snug measurement so pull the tape in as tightly as possible.
- If the measurement is an odd number, add 5”. If the measurement is an even number add 4”. If the measurement is 40” or above only add 3-4 inches. This is your Band Size. Use the following chart as a guideline.
- Select the Band Size according to your ribcage measurement as follows:
Next get your cup size:
- Wearing that same good fitting, non-padded bra, wrap a tape measure around the fullest part of your bust line. Make sure the tape is straight and not angled.
- Unlike the band measurement, this should be a loose measurement, so don’t squish or compress your breasts, but just measure loosely around the fullest part. A rule of thumb is that you should theoretically be able to insert 2 fingers in between the tape and your breasts. This should give you an idea of how loose to hold the tape measure. This is your Bust Measurement.
- The difference in inches between the Band Size and the Bust Measurement will determine the cup size. Use the following chart as a guide to determine your cup size: