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An I'm-confused-about-bra-sizing thread.

(11 Posts)
FeuDeRussie Thu 15-Nov-12 14:50:53

When you measure under your bust in inches, is the actual measurement you get the size that you should buy? Or do you need to add a certain amount to it?

Should a bra feel very tight and rather like an instrument of torture if it's supporting you properly?

FeuDeRussie Thu 15-Nov-12 14:51:17

*bra-sizing, not b ra-sizing! Sorry.

SorrelForbes Thu 15-Nov-12 14:56:05

OK, the measurement under your bust (holding the tape measure tightly) is the band size that you should try first when fitting yourself. So, if you measure 30" underneath, then try on a 30 back. It should feel tight but not tortuous!

I've cut and paste this guide from other threads:

Measure under your bust (hold the tape tight) to get your band measurement. Do not add on any inches to this measurement. Then measure across the fullest part of your bust. Each 1" of difference between the two measurements equals a cup size.

So, let’s say you measure 30" underneath and 35" across? That would give you a starting point of 30DD.

The best way I've found to test the band size is to put the bra (in the example above, a 30 back) on back to front. If you can breathe but if feels tight and you can only fit two fingers underneath the wire at the front, then that's the correct back size for you. If it's so tight it's unbearable then go up a size.

Once you've got the back sorted, it's time to get the cup right. The cup will differ much more between brands and styles than the back (IMHO). Turn the bra round the correct way, lean forward and using your hands, scoop all your breast tissue into the cups (make sure you get all the flesh from round your back and under your arms in). The put the shoulder straps up and adjust as necessary (not too tight as it's the back that should be doing most of the supporting work). If for example, you've started with a 30DD, you will probably find that after scooping, you have some bulging over the cup and quadraboob going on! This means you need to go up one or more cup sizes. Keep going up through the cup sizes until all your breast tissue is firmly in place.

Here's Statiscally's Guide:

Here are a few things to look for in a well fitting bra:

Firstly, when you but the bra on, lean forward then take your right hand and put it inside your left cup. Reach right round under your armpit/towards your back and hoik all the backfat/escapage forward in to the cup of the bra. Repeat at the other side.

If your bra is a good fit after doing this it should:
- Be worn on the loosest hook (when new). If you can fasten it on the tightest hook then try a back size lower.
- The band should be completely horizontal
- You should only be able to fit a couple of fingers under the front of the bra. If you can get more than that, or you can pull it more than an inch or so away from your body at the back, it is TOO BIG!
- If you raise your arms, the back should not really move - no riding up
- The wires should be entirely encasing your breast tissue - breast tissue goes suprisingly far back and a lot of people don't realise this. If you feel where the wire is sitting under your arm then it should be sitting on a fairly firm surface.
- The central gore (where the wires meet) should sit flat between your boobs. if it is being pushed away, then the cup is probably too small (and the back possibly too big as well)
- There should be absolutely no lumps over the top of the cup. Take a fitted t shirt with you to put over the top of the bra and stand side on to a mirror and watch as you breathe in. If you have a bit of a bulge only when you breathe in, you probably need to go up 1 cup. If it is visible when breathing out then IME it's probably more like two cups or more.
- The cup shouldn't gape. If it does, it may be too big or it may be the wrong shape of bra for you. Moulded cups are particularly bad for this as they don't adapt to your shape.
- The shoulder straps shouldn't be painful and digging in. Most of the support should come from the back. If you find that you can't get enough support without the straps being so short they hurt the bra isn't for you. Most likely it's too big in the back but it may also just be a bra that doesn't suit you.
- and on that note; not every brand works for every person. There are quite distinct differences in shape between brands which mean a particular brand may just not suit the shape of your breasts.

Generally (although size charts will say otherwise) your back size in inches is your band size. It should feel firm but not torturous. However, before you try a bigger back size make sure the cup is definitely big enough- if the cup is too tight it makes the back feel too small.

And we've done it again sorrel!

marriednotdead Thu 15-Nov-12 15:03:17

grin I'll never keep up with you two!

FeuDeRussie Thu 15-Nov-12 15:05:06

Ha, "quadraboob", I love it. I always get an extra boob on one side but not the other - I think I am probably half to a whole cup size bigger on my right side sad

Thanks for the very thorough info! Sorry for not going through all the other bra threads, but I have a rare chance to go shopping after work so am in a hurry.

I measure 27 inches under my bust, so I should try a 28 I guess, unless there is such a thing as a 26? And 33 round the fullest part. I do have one bra that's a 28DD but it's fricking uncomfortable and the underwires feel like they're digging into my ribs. That's why I wondered whether I was trying too small a back.

Thank you though, will go to the shops armed with these tips.

FeuDeRussie Thu 15-Nov-12 15:06:13

I will try some Es and Fs - sounds crazy to me as I don't look busty at all!

I'd guess the 28dd is about the right size but it might be the wrong shape/ brand for you. In general if you have asymmetry buy for the bigger side and pad the smaller.

SorrelForbes Thu 15-Nov-12 15:20:06

I doubt if you'll find a 26 in store but you can get them on-line if you hunt around. Try a 28DD and a 28E in a variety of styles. Some brands have wires that come up higher than others.

SC We did indeed! I should have sounded the biscuit biscuit klaxon

FeuDeRussie Thu 15-Nov-12 15:27:39

Cheers you two smile I didn't think of looking for differently positioned underwires - thinking about it they do sit quite low on my rib cage compared to some bras.

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