Do You Know Your Bra Size?
Are you sure you're wearing the correct bra size? At Forever Yours Lingerie our goal is to show our clients how a properly fitted bra can improve their posture, their comfort and their lives!
The First Measurement
Let's measure and determine your bra size.
The first step involves measuring around your body and underneath your bust. The measuring tape should fit snugly at the base of your breasts, where your breast tissue starts to leave your body. Make sure that you are not holding your breath while you do this, as it can distort the measurement. It’s important to keep your arms relaxed at your side. The tape measure should be parallel to the floor and it should be held firmly, but not so tight that it cuts in, or so loose that it drapes around your body.
Take your measurement in inches.
The Second Measurement and "Calculating" your bra size
The second step involves measuring around your back and the fullest part of your bust.
The fullest part of your bust is usually around the areola, but it can be different depending on your unique shape. This time you want to be measuring over your breasts. Again, you want to make sure that you aren’t holding your breath and your arms should be relaxed at your side. Keep the measuring tape level and parallel with the floor, and make sure you’re not pulling it too tight or holding it too loose.
Take note of the measurement, in inches.
Next, we'll calculate your bra size! Your measurement in Step 1 is your Band Size. If you measured under your bust at 38 inches, you will be a 38 band size. If you measured in between or at an odd number like 35 or 37 inches round up to the nearest even number. Bra sizes are even numbers.
Now for the Cup Size! The difference between the measurement of the fullest part of your bust and your band measurement will denote your the cup part of your bra size.
For every one inch difference between these numbers, your cup size goes up by one letter (starting at "A"). For example, if you measured 38 inches under your bust and 44 inches around your breasts (a difference of 6 inches), your bra size will be a 38F (the 6th letter in the alphabet). If your second measurement had been 45 inches your bra size would be a 38G. If you’re second measurement had been 46 inches your bra size would be a 38H, and so on.
Putting your Bra on
Putting your bra on should be piece of cake, right? You’ve done it a million times! What if you’ve been putting your bra on incorrectly all of these years? Take our word for it, it’s not uncommon for women to be putting their bra on in a way that can damage their bra, or worse, their own body! First of all, we need to clear something up. You may have been told before that you should bend or lean over when putting on your bra, so your breasts fall into place in the cups… please don’t do it! As if the risk of back injury were not enough, if you have soft breast tissue then doing this can also significantly distort the initial fit of your bra; once your breasts settle in the cups, the bra no longer fits!
So how do you put on your bra, then? If we’re dealing with a regular hook-and-eye back closure bra, there are two recommended ways to put it on:
Method 1: The Reacher
Standing or sitting with your bra facing away from you, place your arms through the straps and gently position the cups around your breasts. Once the straps are resting on your shoulders, reach back to fasten the hooks.
Method 2: The Twister
Standing or sitting with your bra facing away from your body, gently place the bra behind you so that the inner cups are resting against your lower back. You should have both ends of the bra band in your hands at your front or side. Now that the hooks are easy to see and maneuver, do them up. Gently twist the bra around to the front until the cups are at your front. Then, shimmy the bra up until your breasts are in the cups and put your arms through the straps.Voila! Your bra is on, but don’t forget to adjust!
Adjusting your Breasts
After your bra is on, adjusting the ‘girls’ can make or break the level of fit and comfort you experience. The first thing you need to do once your bra is on, is take a little more of a hands-on approach!
Reach into the cup diagonally with the hand on your opposite side and "scoop" your breasts up and in. You should reach towards the bottom outer portion of your breast, near your underarm, and pull all of your breast tissue above the wire and towards the center of your chest. Generally, your areola should be resting at the center of the cup (or the center seam, in a cut-and-sewn bra), but this may not be the case for everyone. After you have done this, take one finger and gently sweep any excess breast tissue away from the top of the cup and center wires. These important adjustment needs to be made every time you put on a bra. They ensure:
- That you are Wearing the Right Bra Size. Once you’ve adjusted your breasts in your bra, you may find that you need a different bra size.
- That the Underwire is Not Sitting on your Breast Tissue and causing discomfort.
- That your Bra is Giving You Maximum Support.
- That you are not Damaging your Bra. If your breasts are not in your bra properly, they can put pressure on the underwires, causing them to bend, break, or poke through the fabric.
Adjusting your Bra and checking the fit
Now that your bra is on and your breasts are positioned properly, there’s just a couple of little tweaks that need to be made to your bra. First of all, ensure that the straps are comfortable. You should be able to fit two stacked fingers underneath the strap, without having them so tight that they dig in, or so loose that they feel as though they’re slipping. Second, you should ensure that the band is snug enough. You should be able to fit a whole fist between your back and the bra band, without being able to pull the fabric away from your fist too much. After all this, there are a few tell-tale signs you can look for to check if your bra is fitting correctly:
- The Band Should be Level and Parallel to the Floor If the band is too loose, it will ride up in the back and cause your breasts to slide down. As mentioned earlier, there should be a space about the size of a fist between your back and the bra band.
- The Transition from Cup to Breast Should be Smooth If the cup is cutting into your breast, it is too small. If there is puckering or wrinkling in the fabric, the cup is too large.
- The Center Wires Should be Resting Flat Against your Chest (not your breasts) and they should separate the breasts.
- You Should be Able to Fit Two Fingers Comfortably Underneath the Straps without too much space.
- Your Bra Should be Comfortable! If you were wearing a band size that was too large before, your new bra will feel very snug to start off with; this is normal. Your bra will relax with wash and wear and as you become accustomed to the feeling, but your bra should never hurt you. But even if you're in the correct bra size, the style just may not be right for you. If wearing bras tighter in the band is new to you, there’s nothing wrong with easing your way into it. Try your new bra with an extender until it stretches. Never let anyone talk you into buying a bra that is uncomfortable for you.