How to Find the Best Fitting Bra

silk bra

Sometimes it feels like bras are our enemies. They pinch, they pull, they sag, they pucker, they fall. Bras are supposed to be our allies, not pranksters that reveal to everyone our back fat and how our breasts never quite recovered from pregnancy number 3.

You don’t have to put up with this. Take back your body and outfit yourself with the best fitting bra.

The most important thing you can do to get the best fitting bra is to determine your actual bra size. Many women have been using the same bra size for 10 years. Many women are wearing bras with bands and cups that don’t provide the coverage and support their bodies need. You need to get measured every year to take into account weight fluctuations. To do this, you’ll need a soft tape measure and a bra that has little or no lining.

To determine your band size, take the tape measure and measure around your rib cage just under the bust. Keep the tape measure firm, not allowing it to sag anywhere. Add 5 to this number if it’s odd, 4 if it’s even. For example, if you measured 30″, add 4, which equals 34″ — this is your band size.

To determine your cup size, take the tape measure and measure around the fullest part of your bustline (don’t forget to stand up straight). Again, keep the tape measure firm (but not too tight), not allowing it to sag anywhere. Make note of the measurement and round to the nearest whole number.

Next, subtract your band measurement (measurement #1) from your cup measurement (measurement #2). For example if your band measurement is 34″ and your cup measurement is 36″, then 36″-34″ = 2″, which translates into a B cup size. Use the converter below to determine your cup size.

0-1/2″ = AA

1/2″-1″ = A

2″ = B

3″ = C

4″ = D

5″ = DD / E

6″ = DDD / F

7″ = G

8″ = H

If you’re currently experiencing any of the following problems with your current bra, you need to get a new bra:

Bra Rides Up Your Back

When the band on your bra rides up your back it could be an indication of several problems. For one, your straps may be too tight. After you have washed and dried your bra, always readjust the straps to ensure a proper fit. Another problem might be attributed to the fact that your bra is too big. You want your bra to fit securely, but comfortably around your breasts and ribcage. Your bra band may ride up also if your bra is too old. After repeated washings and use, the fabric in your bra wears down.

Sagging Breasts

Bras are meant to support your breasts. In a perfect fitting bra, your breasts should look perky.

Bra Cups that Pucker

If your bra cups don’t fit smoothly around your breasts and tend to pucker, this is an indication that your bra and cup size is too big. Try going down one cup size.

Falling Bra Straps

Always adjust your bra straps after washing and drying. This will prevent from  your straps from falling. If you’ve adjusted the straps and they still fall, your bra may be too old. You can also try a convertible, racerback, or strapless bra to avoid this problem.

Take care of your bras. If you can, hand wash them with a delicate detergent specifically for use with lingerie. Never wring your bra and always hand dry. If you can’t hand wash it, hook your bra together to avoid getting it snagged, then throw it into a lingerie wash bag and wash in the washing machine. Avoid putting your bra in the dryer, as this will wear down the fabric and your bra life will decrease significantly.

If you’re experiencing difficulties measuring yourself or finding a comfortable and supportive bra, get help from an expert. Most lingerie departments in department stores have bra experts who can easily determine and measure you for the right bra size and provide you several choices for your bra size, type, and occasion. Many specialty lingerie boutiques also have bra experts.

Bras are only meant to last nine months to one year. If they are starting to wear or not fit properly, get rid of them, measure yourself to ensure your proper bra size and get a new bra. Your body will thank you.

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