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Bra self fitting tips - share yours!

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Post Tue, May 28 2024, 9:58 am

You may have seen my posts on some other threads where I mentioned some common issues with bra fitting, and how the sizes in which bras are manufactured and retailed don't reflect the sizes of the typical/average women and girls who wear them. For example, it's very common for bra band size to start at 34 and for cup sizes end at D or DD. This makes women who are, for example, a 28F feel like they're disproportionate (when that's a perfectly normal size in reality), and they might end up wearing a different size like a 32D instead, which doesn't provide adequate support.

Is this the greatest problem facing our generation? Probably not. But a bad bra can subtly mess with your confidence. It can turn a good figure into a burden, both physically and mentally.

This is far from a complete guide, just a little information:

  • Measurement: lf you're a very simple fit, your band size is the measurement you get when you measure your underbust with a snug measuring tape (to the nearest even number), and your cup size corresponds to your bust measurement (at the widest area) minus your band size.

    A letter size up in the chart = 1 inch. So, for example, an A cup=bust measurement 1 inch bigger than the band. C cup=3 inch difference. (In the US size system, some companies have different letter sizes progressions than others. So this part can get confusing. For example, it can go D-DD-DDD-F, or D-DD-F, meaning your letter size can be different in different brands. Many brands (and customers) prefer UK sizing, which is much more consistent (D-DD-E-F-FF-G-GG and so on). Make sure to check your size system!

  • Band should be snug but not overly tight. If it feels like it can slip out of place easily, it's way too loose. If it feels like it's digging, it's too tight. However, sometimes they can stretch a little as they break in, so a brand new bra band can be a little tight and then fit correctly after a couple of wears.

  • The backwards band test: To find the right band size, you can try a bra on backwards/upside down. That way you know the snugness is coming from the band and not the cups. If your band feels loose backwards and snug normally, you likely need to go up a cup size* and down a band size.

  • Gore (center of bra) should be flush against your chest. If it's pushed forward, it usually means your bra cups are too small or the wrong shape for you. If it feels like it's pressing extremely hard against your chest, your bra may be too tight or the wrong style.

  • Straps should be sitting on your shoulders and staying in place without digging. If they're digging, it usually means they're taking on the weight that the bra band is supposed to be supporting, usually because the band is too loose or cups are too small, but sometimes because the bra is being worn wrong or because it's poorly made and can't provide adequate support.

  • Cups should fully contain the breast without compressing. If it's too big, it'll gape or wrinkle. It should be fitted to the larger side (most women are at least slightly asymmetrical).

  • The entire breast, including the sides, belongs in the cup. When putting on a bra, you should lean forward and place all the breast tissue into the cup. Otherwise, you don't get good support, the bra won't fit right, and if your band is the right size, the sides will get pinched and the band will feel too tight.

*Going up a cup size in this case means going up a true cup size, not a letter size, because the letter corresponds to a number of inches above the band. For example, if you wear a 36C and want to go up a cup size and down a band size, you're going up to a 34DD, not a 34D.

If anyone has more tips to share, bra brand or store recommendations, etc., please do!
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Post Wed, May 29 2024, 6:51 pm
Don't add 4 to your underbust measurement! That's the biggest thing I can think of.
Here's a bra size calculator that has no pictures on the page (there are illustrations of where to measure yourself)
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