By: Vered DeLeeuw
The nagging sales associate at the department store’s lingerie department was right: it really is best if you allow her to measure you and fit you for a bra in the correct size. Better yet, go to a store that specializes in bras and get measured there. A few minutes of discomfort, and you finally know what your bra size is!
Statistically speaking, most women wear the wrong size bra. The most common mistake: wearing a bra with a too-large band and too-small cups. So, if you’re wearing a 34B bra, it’s quite possible that you would feel much more comfortable, and your breasts would be better supported, in a 32C bra.
If you keep tagging at your bra and adjusting it throughout the day, or if the bra leaves red marks on your skin or rides up your back, it’s almost certain you are wearing the wrong size.
Of course, if you don’t have access to a specialty store for bra fitting, you can find out your right bra size all by yourself.
How to determine your right bra size in three simple steps:
1. Get a tape measure. Put on your best-fitting unpadded bra and stand in front of a mirror.
2. To determine your band size (remember, most women need a smaller band size than they actually wear), measure yourself directly under your bust. If the number is even, add 4 inches. If it’s odd, add 5 inches. Your band size is the sum of this calculation. For example, if you measured 28 inches, your band size is (28+4=32). If you measured 29 inches, your band size is (29+5=34).
3. Now you need to figure out your cup size. To do that, place the tape measure around the fullest part of your bust. Tape should be snug but not so tight that it digs into your skin. Now calculate the difference in inches between this number and your band size. A difference of 1 inch means you need an A cup, 2 inches means you need a B cup, 3 inches means you’re a C cup, and a 4 inch difference means you’re a D cup.
For example, if you need a 32 band and your bust measurement is 34, your cup size is B, and your correct bra size is 32B.
Wearing the right bra size can make a huge difference in how you feel and look. Take a few minutes to measure yourself, then go and buy a couple of new bras in the correct size. Wash them by hand in cold water with mild detergent and lay flat to dry. Replace your bras every six months – they gradually lose their shape and elasticity overtime and with repeated washings. Don’t forget to measure yourself periodically, especially after gaining or losing weight and after pregnancy.