Choosing the right bra size can be more an art than a science. Anyone who has ever bought the wrong size knows how uncomfortable a poorly fitted bra can be. The best way to choose a bra that fits well is to take proper measurements.
While there are different systems for measuring, the best one takes into account the body’s movements so that you have the right amount of support no matter what activities you choose. These tips help take the guesswork out of bra sizing so you can focus on comfort and style.
- A Basic Measurement
A basic measurement uses a soft tape measure to get numbers for the underbust and the fullest part of the bust. This is the method most store fittings will offer, and it suffices to get close to the right fit.
However, this simple way of calculating size doesn’t always lead to the best fit. Nobody stands up straight in the same position all day long, and that method of sizing does not account for movements.
- A More Comprehensive Measurement
To get a more comprehensive size calculation, measure the under bust at different tension levels. You can do this by taking three under bust measurements at various levels of tension using a soft tape measure. Take a loose measurement, a snug one, and then pull the tape as tight as you can for a tight measurement. Keep track of each measurement. By having more than one measurement, you get an average.
Next, take bust measurements in three different positions: standing, leaning over, and lying down. Plug your numbers into a sizing calculator to get a recommendation. Many people who use this system for the first time find that it recommends a larger cup and smaller band than what they’re used to wearing. That’s not a bad thing.
Many people spend years wearing the wrong size, and notice a drastic difference when they put on a correctly sized bra for the first time.
- A Method to Check Band Comfort
To check for band fit only, try on a bra with the cups at the back. This makes it easier to tell whether the band itself is comfortable. If it digs into your skin, try the next size up. It should fit snugly without being too loose or too tight.
A comfortable fitting band is absolutely crucial. If it’s too tight or loose, it is not the right size. Because band sizes only come in whole sizes, it may be necessary to choose a size larger or a size smaller. Be aware that choosing a smaller band may require going with a larger cup.
Also, be aware that when you’re buying different brands, you might need to get familiar with sister sizing in order to get the size you want in a brand that doesn’t carry your size. At its most basic, this means going up a cup size if you go down a band size and vice versa.
- Sports Bra Band Sizing
Always choose the smallest fitting band size when purchasing a sports bra. Choosing a looser band for highly physical activities can lead to injuries. For larger breasts, underwire offers additional support and is generally recommended. People with less volume can generally do without it.
- Consider the Straps
Most bras have straps that can be adjusted to fit any size shoulders. They need to be set so that they are neither loose nor so tight that they dig into the skin. If the bra does not have adjustable straps, it is important that it fits well initially.
Sports bras come in as many different styles as other types of bras, so if you have a hard time getting a good fit in one that does not have adjustable straps, you may need to find one you can adjust.
Finding your correct bra size can be done at home using a soft tape measure and a calculating tool. While it may be tempting to just buy the size you’ve always gotten, it’s never a bad idea to check again. Bodies change over time, and having a good fit means being comfortable, supported, and uplifted.