Boobs and bras certainly fall under the ‘learn as you go’ category. I grew up with my mom taking me and my sister to Kohl’s guessing our size with 12+ bras in hand as we tried on each one in the fitting room. I settled on a 34C and remained that size until my first proper fitting took place at Nordstroms.
Grab your measuring tape we have the first fitting
In the fitting room (no bras yet to try on), a lingerie employee pulled the yellow measuring tape draping from her shoulders and guided me through my first awkward fitting. Why did it feel as awkward as a gyno apt? You got me, my guess is this was the first time my boobs were up for size. The employee states some numbers out loud and asked for me to wait there. She arrives back with two no frills or thrills bra and has me slip them on checking the band on my back and “spill over” in the cup area, also flexibility under the arm, we now had a winner. I went from a 34C to a 32DD with no plastic surgery (that should really be my post title). So why such a variation in size? Below I break it down on from the meaning being the numbers and letters, how you can accurately measure at home thanks to the charts provided, and tips and tricks for making this contraption as comfortable and durable as possible.
Begins with the band: The numbers in a bra size, from 32 to 52, is the size of the ribcage. For example, my bra size being 32 means my ribcage ranges from 27-29″ (see band chart below).
Cup volume: The lettering associated with your bras size is the measurement of the center of your breast, so a DD measures between 32 1/2″ – 33 1/2″ (see cup size chart reference below).
Measure yourself at home with these easy steps below
- Start off by wearing either a soft cup bra or fitted tank/tee.
- To determine the band size take a soft measuring tape and place the tape just below the bust, then wrap the tape around your ribs to meet back at the starting point (just below the bust). Jot down the number so you can refer to the chart when the fitting is complete.
- For cup volume place the measuring tape across the center of your chest/peak of your nipples, Bring the tape around your chest meeting back at the starting point. Write the number down to refer to the chart provided.
Chart reference for band size:
Chart reference for cup size:
Tips to determine if the bra is fitting how it should
- The center of your bra (that little triangle in between your twins) should be laying flat against your chest. A gap between your chest and the bra means the bra is too small
- Wire digging into the side of your breast is a sign that the bra cup is too small
- The band should be a horizontal line from the front of your chest to the back. If the band is rising up then the band size is too big. Refer to the image below, see how the band is rising up the back instead of aligning with the placement in the front.
- A new bra should be on the first band hook and fit snug/tight on that setting. Bands stretch over time, so buying a bra fitting the above description (although there will be a few days of discomfort) allows wear and wash adjustments without the need to buy a new bra too soon
- It is suggested women buy a new bra after 6 months. As much as I would like to follow that rule my bank account doesn’t support the girls like it should.
- Properly caring for your delicates increases durability and keeps them looking sexy, lacy, cute, comfortable longer. Hand washing bras are the best way to keep shape and appearance in the garment. If you have a ‘hand wash’ setting on your washing machine it is best to place the delicates in a lingerie bag, this reduces the impact of being rolled around.
- Do not dry your bras! This is a sure way to deteriorate cup support and the majority of bras are made with delicate fabrics (hint lingerie and undergarments being referred to as delicates) mesh, lace, nylon, spandex etc., do not handle heat like a cotton t-shirt does.
Below are my choices for lingerie brands, my favorite is Chantelle.
(favorite t-shirt bra)
Natori ‘Pure Luxe’ Underwire T-Shirt Bra • $72
Chantelle Merci Demi Cup Bra • $78 (All time fav)
Natori Feathers Contour Plunge Bra • $68 (My favorite plunge bra)