A final fit for a bra can only be achieved by actually trying out different bras. Bra fitting is best done at home. A good way to do this at home is to buy bras online on a store with a “no questions asked” return policy like Amazon.
There is a lot of misinformation out there and finding the correct way to measure bra size can be daunting. Before we get into how to measure yourself for the right bra fit, the one tip that no one will ever give you is; you should wear the TIGHTEST but most comfortable band. This will prevent the band from riding up and give your breasts a firm look.
How to Measure Bra Band Size
Measuring the Band is an art, not an exact science. Therefore, using a bra size chart, bra size calculator or bra size app usually does not work. Bra measurers, measure the band two ways. The first is to measure above the breasts and the second is to measure just below the breasts. In the first method the measurement you get is your band size. In the second method, when measuring below the breasts for sizes up to 38 add 2 inches (for some manufacturers this may be 4 inches) if your measurement is an even number and 3 inches for some manufacturers this may be 5 inches) if your measurement is an odd number. For sizes 38 and above the band size is the even number closest to the actual measurement.
Let me explain this with an example; if your top measurement is 32 then your band size is 32. If the Under Bust measurement is 29 then your band size is 32 (29+3). If the Under Bust measurement is 30 then also your band size is 32 (30+2). These two measuring systems will not always give you the same size. The right band size is a little difficult to get right since you can go up or down 2 inches at a time, so try to get this right first. Once you have the measurement try a few bra styles and sizes. The band should fit when set on the outer most hooks. Different styles and brands will fit differently so try a few bra styles to find one that fits your body shape best.
You should try to find the correct band to start with. This can be done by trying on a significantly larger cup size for any particular style of bra. Choose the tightest band that you can comfortably wear. The tightness of the band will also depend on how long you will wear the particular bra at a stretch. The band firmness you wear to work will be different from the one you will wear with an evening dress. The band should feel firm around the ribs. The choice of band will depend on the firmness, size and tissue distribution of your breasts, back and chest area. Try different manufacturers and styles to find the best one for your body shape, fat distribution and sensitivity.
How to Measure Breast Size
Breasts can vary significantly in volume, bulk, shape, proportion, position, firmness, spacing, and sagging. If you are a size B, 18 year old model, you could do well with one measurement. Otherwise you need to measure twice around the fullest part of your breasts, once while standing up and again while bending with the torso parallel to the floor. The average of the two measurements should be taken as the bust size. Here we are actually trying to get the volume of breast tissue. If you measure 36 standing and 40 while bending your second measurement is 38 >> (36+40 =76 and 76/2=38). This gives you a better measure of your cup size. Don’t measure too tight. Wear a thin full cup bra to give proper support to the tissue. Subtract the band measurement form this number to get your cup size. Say the bust measurement is 36 and the band is 30 inches, your cup size is 6 or DDD. DDD is the same as F. Different styles will fit differently. So, try one size up and one size down also. In other words if your cup size is DDD then try out DD (E), DDD (F) and G cups when trying out bras. With a smaller cup you will need a bigger band and with a larger cup you will need to select a smaller band. The breasts should fill the cups and not bulge at the top, around the sides and should not stick out under the cup. The band should rest against the chest and should support most of the weight of the breasts and should stay in place even with the straps off the shoulders. Remember that for two women measuring exactly the same the breast tissue volume can differ significantly. More tissue volume means a larger cup size for the same tape measurement. Different bras such as, a sports bra, backless bra, padded or deep plunge bra will fit differently and you will need to rethink the band and cup size.