Shopping for the Perfect Bra: A Guide to Fit

June 15, 2009 by C L Eckles  
Published in Women

80% of women wear the wrong bra size. This guide tells you how to fit yourself and also gives suggestions for shopping.

Shopping for the perfect bra can be a bit challenging – even for the experienced lady. Getting the facts is important for perfect fit.

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The most important aspect of buying a bra is correct sizing. It’s a well known fact that eight out of ten women wear the wrong bra size. This has lead to many misconceptions about what the “average” size is. In fact, the average cup size is several sizes bigger than what most might think. Going along with that, the average band size is much smaller than what is generally regarded as average. Most women buy a cup size that is far too small and a band size that is far too big, resulting in an ill-fitting garment, which makes you look frumpy.

The band of a bra is the part of the bra which goes around your body. To find your band size, place a tape measure around your rib cage (just under your breasts). Keep the tape measure firm and snug – but not tight. Mark the size in inches. Add four if the number is even (28 inches or 32 inches would become band size 32 and 36, respectively) and add five if the number is odd (if you measure 27 inches around, you would be a 32 band size).

To calculate your cup size, place the tape measure over the fullest part of your bust. The tape should be firm about you, but do not make it any tighter than your body will allow. Doing so will lead to inaccurate measurements. The difference between your bust and your ribcage (your band measurement) is what determines your cup size. A one inch difference is an A cup. Each additional inch signifies an additional cup size. So, if there is a five inch difference between your bust and your ribcage, your cup size is a DD.

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3 Responses to “Shopping for the Perfect Bra: A Guide to Fit”
  1. Jene Luciani Says:

    Hi CL, thanks for tackling such an important topic, this is great advice! Although I learned through my research that the adding 5 inches to the underbust measurement doesn’t work for most women. My book, The Bra Book, comes out this fall. I’d love to send it to you to review. I give lots of bra advice in it after 3 years of research! :) Many women are finding that getting the right bra can be life changing. Keep up the good work! Best, Jene’ Luciani (www.thebrabook.com)

  2. C L Eckles Says:

    Jene, thank you so much for commenting my article! I admit, I only started researching bras izing when I was nineteen (little over a year ago) when my bust size grew to a 32E and bras became difficult to find. Now I’m a 34H and they are even more difficult. I would LOVE to read and review your book!

  3. CA Johnson Says:

    What great research, C L! You’re right! A lot of us buy the wrong bra and you gave such good advice on how to buy the right one. Thank you so much for sharing this info with us.


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