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ARGH! How do I work out my bra size?

(58 Posts)
DitaVonCheese Thu 06-Dec-12 15:35:32

I cannot find a reliable answer to this on the net. Under my bust is about 35 inches, over it is approx 38 inches. Apparently I should be in a size 40AA??? This seems laughably unlikely. Any suggestions?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 06-Dec-12 15:37:10

34D would be a good starting point.

Although I measure 36.5 under bust and wear a 34 band so it isn't an exact science.

BOFingSanta Thu 06-Dec-12 15:37:13

No, you are a 34E, more than likely. Or 36D. Try a few on in that sort of ballpark.

wannabedomesticgoddess Thu 06-Dec-12 15:38:27

What formula did you two use?

So I can check mine later.

SorrelForbes Thu 06-Dec-12 15:41:44

OK, you measure 35 underbust which means you could be need a 34 or a 36 back. However, most people who measure inbetween sizes usually need the smaller band.

So, start with a 34D but also try a 34C.

To test the band size, put the bra (in this example a 34 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.

The cup will differ much more between brands and styles than the back. Turn the bra round the correct way, lean forward then take your right hand and put it inside your left cup. Reach right round under your armpit/towards your back and scoop all the backfat/escapage forward in to the cup of the bra. Repeat at the other side.

Then 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 34C, you will probably find that after scooping, you have some bulging over the cup and four-boobage 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

Terrywoganstrousers Thu 06-Dec-12 15:42:03

The underbust measurement should be your band size so if i was you I would be trying a 34 C and a 36 C, then taking it from there- it should fit snugly on the loosest setting (as the band normally stretches with wear so enabling you to tighten it when this happens)
If the band fits, check out how the cups fit- make sure you lean forward and sort of 'tip' your boobs into the cups and make sure its all in there! Then you should be able to see if the cups are loose/tight. Sometimes putting a plain top over the bra helps you see the line more easily.
Also- not all brands or styles of cup fit the same so it probably depends on the shape of your boobs so be prepared to try on lots!

SorrelForbes Thu 06-Dec-12 15:42:30

Oh yes, ignore any on-line calculators as, with very few exceptions, they are all completely bonkers!

Terrywoganstrousers Thu 06-Dec-12 15:43:21

Sorrel- you have explained it much better than me! smile

SorrelForbes Thu 06-Dec-12 15:48:42

Don't tell anyone, but I have that all saved on a word doc blush. Bra bore, me?

DitaVonCheese Thu 06-Dec-12 15:50:04

Thank you so much. I was 36B/C pre-DC so 40AA sounded utterly wrong. Bit blush I don't actually know my current size but have been wearing all-encompassing Bravado! pull-on ones (SO COMFY!) for years ... reckon it's probably about time I got some actual proper bras, was planning on ordering by post but sounds as though I might need to go to an actual shop <sigh>

DitaVonCheese Thu 06-Dec-12 15:50:32

Sorrel grin

SorrelForbes Thu 06-Dec-12 15:54:43

Pop along to Bravissimo if you can. JL and Debenhams often carry a good range but their fitting service can be a bit hit and miss. If you are a 34D (ish)then it should be fairly easy to find decent bras at reasonable prices as the supermarkets and most highstreet stock that size.

Avoid any fitters in M&S, La Senza or Victoria's Secret like the plague. The bras in those shops can be quite good (not impressed by the quality of M&S at the moment though) but you'll have to fit yourself as, on the whole, their fitters really don't have a clue and use an outdated measuring method (and in the case of VS use an equally mad method of their own).

Good online shops are brastop and figleaves.

Happy shopping.

Desichick Thu 06-Dec-12 20:54:20

help me please Sorrel, I wear 36d at the mo but do find the back rides up on some of them, measured myself and am 34 under the bust and 39 across the bust? what would you advice?

dishwashervodkaanddietirnbru Thu 06-Dec-12 20:57:18

I'd try 34DD first

DitaVonCheese Thu 06-Dec-12 21:05:09

Thanks again grin

This thread has reminded me of a friend of mine. We always wore the same size (or she wore 36C and I did sometimes depending on the bra) but her jugs were about ten times the size of mine. I've heard that 80% (or whatever it is) of women wear the wrong size and always assumed it was her (she presumably always assumed it was me!) but maybe I should have been in a size 34-something or other all these years after all ... Friend once went to get fitted at Debenhams, which was done via an appraising glance rather than measuring her confused and was alarmed to be told she was a [I forget the number]-M (she wasn't at all, fitter was just insane).

SorrelForbes Fri 07-Dec-12 00:41:52

Yep, try a 34DD and sizes around that.

AgathaHoHoHo Fri 07-Dec-12 09:19:16

Does anyone know how the sizing of Bravissimo sports bras comes up? Do you buy your normal size?

SorrelForbes Fri 07-Dec-12 09:21:55

I'm afraid I don't, sorry. I think most sports bras come up small though. Apparently the Freya underwired active is small in the back.

AgathaHoHoHo Fri 07-Dec-12 09:25:13

Thanks. I'll try to get in to try one on, but failing that will order a bigger back size.

Desichick Sat 08-Dec-12 14:58:29

Thanks dishwasher and sorrel, can't wait to start the hunt for a decent bra x

KristinaM Sat 08-Dec-12 15:13:30

I'm a 30F in normal bras and a 32E in most sports bras. So go up a back size but keep cup size the same ( so go down a letter). I'm 31 under bust

StatisticallyChallenged Sat 08-Dec-12 19:17:45

I would agree with Kristina re most sports bras - definitely up a back, and sometimes down a cup to balance. They seem to be way smaller in the back!

lljkk Sat 08-Dec-12 19:27:50

Why do folk say "DD" instead of "E" cup? Is there a difference?
(Ditto with HH instead of I, or FF instead of G, etc.) confused

dishwashervodkaanddietirnbru Sat 08-Dec-12 19:34:25

DD is smaller than an E cup

dishwashervodkaanddietirnbru Sat 08-Dec-12 19:41:00

as far as I know the bra sizes (in the UK) go like this:

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