This Bra-Size Calculator Is a Thing of Genius
I have an embarrassing confession to make: I've worn the same-size bra for 18 years. According to Marks & Spencer, 82% of women who get measured are wearing the wrong size, and after learning that, I had a firm talking to myself and vowed to go get measured. Initially, I went to M&S, as it's quite often the first place I go for underwear. Here, the bra fitter measured my band (the bit just under your bust) and then went around the top of my bust (the bit you'd get the widest measurement from). While I was wearing a 32C, she came back with a 34D. Oh dear.
I then headed to Rigby & Peller. This old-school underwear shop works very differently from other stores. Instead of measuring you, the bra fitters work by sight. They just look at your chest and work out which size you are. Again, they came back with a 34D. Now, while just knowing a woman's bra size from looking at her chest does seem like a sort of superpower every woman should have, alas, it's not something we can all possess, which is why I got thinking about a bra-size calculator. Surely, there must be an easy way for every woman to work out their own bra size without having to always go get it fitted, especially when we're all so busy. Keep scrolling for our guide on how to find out your correct bra size.
Step 1: Band
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To measure around the band part of your bust, which is directly underneath your breasts, make sure you have a soft tape measure to hand, and place it flat against your skin and draw it around your torso. Keep as close to under your bust as possible. Once you've done that, note down the number in inches.
Step 2: Bust
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Once you've done the band, then you want to measure the fullest part of your bust. Gently take the tape measure and measure it in inches as well.
Then comes the slightly tricky bit: To work out what your cup size is, you want to subtract your band size from your bust size. From the difference between the two sizes, you can work out your cup. If the difference is less than 1, then it's AA, 1=A, 2=B, 3=C, 4=D, 5=DD, and so on.
You'll still need your band measurement to give you the number preceding the letter. For example, if your band size is 34 but your bust size is 37, then your bra size is 34C (difference of 3 means it's a C cup). Of course, it's worth mentioning that bras can fit differently according to different brands, but now you have the basic tools to work out your correct size.
If you need more guidance, however, I also spoke to bra-fit expert Julia Mercer from M&S, who gave me some further insights so that if you ever want to know how to find the right size, you'll be in no doubt. First off, Julia said that as the average bust size of women in the UK is growing (34B to a 36D/36DD in the last decade), "it's become more important than ever to wear a bra for both comfort and support."
Julia also said, reassuringly, that you should "never be alarmed if you have to go up a cup size," as this will not only help you look smaller but will also help your posture. And the best way to check if your bra is fitting correctly? "Lift up your arms twist your body, and the bra will fit perfectly in place," she advises. For more help, keep scrolling for a bra-fitting check list.
5 key checks to the perfect bra fit
- Underband: This should be parallel to the floor and secure enough that only two fingers can fit under the elastic.
- Centre front: Should sit completely flat against the sternum.
- Side wire: Make sure this is flat against the rib cage and never digging into breast tissue.
- Cup capacity: Breasts should sit fully into the cup without any spillage.
- Straps: These should be adjusted to just fit two fingers on top of each other, which will give the right pressure for your shoulder.
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