It is really important that you regularly check your bra size, as it will not remain the same throughout your life - surveys suggest that up to 70% of women are wearing the wrong size bra! Here at Close Essentials we provide a free, fully qualified bra fitting service.
Wearing the incorrect bra size can cause neck, shoulder and back ache as well as reduced support.
Some or all of the list below are signs that the bra is the incorrect size.
• Back of the bra is riding up
• Shoulder straps dig in
• Bulging out of the cup
• Wrinkling in the cup
• Wires standing away at the front of the bra in between your boobs
• Bra moves when arms are raised
• Old bra
It's also worth remembering that you could be one size in one style and a slightly different size in another because bras vary both from make to make and style to style. For that reason we would always advise you to spend a few moments checking each new bra you buy fits you correctly, just like you would do if you were buying a new pair of shoes.
Below, you will find details of how to measure yourself - Please remember that measuring is only a guide and bra sizing can differ between manufacturers and styles.
You will need a tape measure. You may find standing in front of a mirror helpful, or enlist the help of a friend. In this guide, we will be measuring in inches, simply because bras are still sold with back sizes that refer to inches.
First, you need to find out your back size. Stand up straight wearing a regular unpadded bra and wrap the tape measure around your chest, just underneath your breasts. The tape should be snug, but not tight or pinching. Make sure that tape is straight across your back.
Now take your measurement and round it to the nearest even number in inches, That’s your back size.
Example: Your measurement is 33” round it up to 34 and that is your back size
Next, you need to measure for your cup size. Still standing straight and wearing a regular unpadded bra, wrap the tape measure over the fullest part of your breasts. Make sure the tape is snug, but not pinching or digging into your breasts. If you are in between inches on this measurement, round to the nearest inch.
No difference =A Cup
1” Difference = B Cup
2” difference = C Cup
3” difference = D Cup
4” difference = DD Cup
5” difference = E Cup
6” difference = F Cup
7” difference = FF Cup
8” difference = G Cup
9” difference = GG Cup
Example: Your cup measurement is 37”, so subtract your back size calculated above (34), this is a difference of 3”, so your cup size is D, and your estimated bra size is 34D.
Here are some check points to ensure you have a good fitting bra:-
1. Ideally the bra should feel fairly firm on the loosest hook when new, this is because with wear and washing, the back of the bra can stretch.
2. The centre section between the cups should be flat to your body.
3. Your breasts should not spill out over the top of the cups, or bulge at the sides.
4. After wearing a bra for a few hours, it should not leave any deep marks on your body.
5. The back of the bra should be straight across your back, and if you are wearing the right size, it will not ride up, and it will provide good support.
6. The straps should not be too tight. If your straps are tight and leave red marks on your shoulders, you are possibly wearing a bra with too big a back size, and you have tightened the straps to compensate.
7. And most importantly, if you are wearing an underwired bra, the wire should rest on your rib cage, not on the breast tissue, not even at the sides. It needs to be against hard bone, not soft tissue.