6 Tips for choosing Properly Fitting Bras

Nov 05 2016

A properly fitting bra is more than just a combination of letters and numbers, It affects posture, your breast health, confidence and even how you look in your clothes.

Symptoms of a bad bra:

  • A bra that doesn't lift -- it simply sits on top of your breasts and pushes them down
  • A band that rides up
  • Straps that curve away from your body in the back (band is too big)
  • Strapless bras that slip down constantly
  • Straps that fall down
  • Gaps in the top of the cups
  • "Quad-boobing" or excess breast tissue that has nowhere to go in the cups
  • Breast tenderness when you take off your bra that has nothing to do with your time of the month
  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Straps that dig into your shoulders
  • Breasts that fall out of the center of the bra
  • Breasts that fall out of the bottom of the bra
  • Excess "armpit fat" 



 Put on a comfortable, well-fitting, non-padded bra. Choose the bra you feel most comfortable in--it should be snug but not dig into your sides.Your nipples should be about halfway between your elbow and shoulder. If they are lower, tighten the straps to lift.

  • You can also measure without a bra, but it may be slightly more challenging when things can move around.

Find your bust size. Wrap the measuring tape around your back and measure your breasts at their fullest point, usually at the nipple. Write down this measurement.

  • Because your cup size can fluctuate based on hormones and bloating, try to measure on a day when your breasts feel relatively normal.
  • If you are concerned about your posture (maybe you slouch), try bending forward at the hips to a 90 degree angle, or until your body forms an L shape. Then measure your bust from that position.
  • Don't pull the tape tight like you did with your band measurement.
  • As with the band measurement, round up to the nearest whole number if your measurement is a fraction.
  • Again, be certain the tape is straight across your back. The measuring tape should not angle up from your back toward your nipples.
  • All women have one breast that is larger than the other, so be sure you are measuring to the fuller breast.

Subtract your band size from your bust size. The difference between these two numbers is your key to finding your cup size. A 1 inch difference = A cup. 2 inch = B cup. 3 inch = C cup. 4 inch = D cup. 5 inch = DD cup.

  • Once you go above 5 inches (12.7 cm), cup sizes will differ with each company. There should be a sizing chart on the company's website and you can use your band and bust measurement to find which cup you want.

Combine the cup size with your band measurement, and you have your final bra size. So, a 34C means you have a 34 inch band and a C cup.

Remember that the cup size is not the same for each band size. A 34B cup will be smaller than a 36B cup. When trying on bras, if you change band sizes you, will also have to change cup sizes.

  • If you need a larger band size, go down a cup size. So instead of 34B, you'll want 36A.
  • If you need a smaller band size, go up a cup size. Instead of 34B, go for 32C.
  • It is more important to have an accurate band measurement than cup measurement. Going up or down a band size is a more significant change than going up or down a cup size. Get a comfortable band first and then fine tune with the cup size.


  • First, measure yourself at home:  Always try going into the store already having a starting point (that's what a bra measurement at home is -- a starting point!).
  • From there, be fitted by the fitter and try on the bras they recommend.
  • Once you know the cup sizes, go up one cup size, go down a band size. Go down a cup size, go up a band size.

 This is especially important for women in mid-underbust measurements -- 29, 31, 33, etc. Please note that a band WILL feel overly tight in the larger band size if your cup is too small, since your tissue moves into the band area! 


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