How To Measure Your Bra Size

Fed up of bras that don’t fit, are uncomfortable and pinch in all the wrong places? It’s not uncommon for women to be wearing the wrong bra size. We all do it – find a bra we love and wear it for years, without ever noticing that it no longer fits. Read on and learn all there is to know about how to measure your bra size.

As your bra will mould to your body shape over time, it makes it a little more difficult to know if your current bras fit correctly. We recommend getting fitted or measuring yourself every time your body undergoes a change. This includes:

  1. After any weight gain or loss
  2. Before, during and after pregnancy
  3. During and after menopause

This will make sure you are wearing the correct bra size, ensuring maximum support and comfort for your breasts. It is also important to remember that there are hundreds of bra styles to choose from, and there are also many different body shapes and breast shapes out there too. Similar to clothes, different styles and shapes will suit everybody and every body differently. Below we have put together a guide to show you how to measure your bra size and how to tell if a bra size doesn’t fit you, helping you find the perfect fit.

Bra Sizes

Bra sizes can be very confusing; all these numbers and letters, but what do they actually mean? There are two measurements that make up a bra size – the band size followed by the cup size. For example, 32F: 32 is your band size (the measurement beneath your breasts) while F is your cup size. It is also good to note that different brands will have different sizing charts, so you may be slightly different sizes across various brands. This is very normal and great to keep in mind when bra shopping.

There is also a large spectrum of fabrics available from lace to strong power mesh, which may also have an impact on how your bra fits. For example, if a lightweight fabric is used for the supportive side wing, it will often have a lot of stretch and give. However, if a firmer fabric is used, it will have less give which sometimes may result in having to go up a band size – this is also very normal and good to keep in mind when trying on bras.

How to measure your bra band size

This is best measured without wearing a bra. Using a soft measuring tape, stand upright and measure all the way round under your bust – this is where your bra band would usually sit. Making sure the tape is parallel, pull the tape firmly to take an accurate measurement. The tape should feel firm but not restrictive; this is because your bra underbust fabric will be stretchier than the tape measure.

Make sure to measure in inches, if it is an odd number, round it up to the nearest whole number. If it is an even number, that is your band size.

How to measure your bra cup size

To obtain your bust measurement, measure around your back and over the fullest part of your bust, keeping the tape parallel all the way around the body. Keep the tape measure firm but do not pull tightly. For best results, it is suggested not to wear a bra, or if you prefer, a non-padded style (for example a soft cup bralette). This will ensure the measurement to be as accurate as possible.

Now take your band measurement and subtract it from your bust measurement. Use the difference between these to check the size chart below for a great starting point on your cup size. Remember, you may be different cup sizes in different brands, or even in the same brand but different style.

How can I tell if I’m wearing the wrong bra size?

Even if you have measured your bra size correctly, you may still find there are some issues with your fit. Below we have listed the tell-tale signs for an ill-fitting bra and how to resolve them.

1. Is your band firm and fitted correctly?

The band of the bra provides you with 80% of your support, so it is crucial that this is fitted correctly. If it is too loose, then it won’t hold those ladies in place, and nobody wants their boobs spilling out while doing the shopping!

Your bra should fit firmly to the body, but not dig in or leave red marks. If it leaves an imprint on the skin, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is too tight, however if you want to avoid this, then try going up a back size.

Remember: if you are going up a back size, then you need to go down a cup size and vice versa. For example, if your size is a 34E, and the band is too small, but the cup is well fitting, then try a 36DD.

You should be able to fit three fingers under the band comfortably at the back and two fingers all the way around. The bra should sit horizontally all the way around your body and shouldn’t ride up or slip down – if this is the case, try tightening the straps or, if you can, adjust it to the next tighter hook at the back. If this doesn’t work, then you may need to try a smaller band size. It is recommended that when you purchase your bra, you are wearing it on the loosest hook. The bra will stretch over time and to keep your bra fitting correctly; you can tighten your band size by moving the hook and eye to the tighter setting.

If you have been wearing a very loose-fitting bra for some time, then you may find that a new bra measured correctly seems a little too tight. There is no need to be alarmed by this – your body just needs a bit of time to adjust to the firmer feel.

2. Your boobs are spilling out of the cups, what do you do?

This usually occurs when you reduce the back size but keep the cup size the same, or if the style of the bra is not suited to your breast shape. Increasing the cup size can help with this, or choosing a bra with a wider wire shape like a full cup bra can help to contain your breasts better.

3. The cups are gaping, how can you stop this?

If the cups are gaping, firstly try ‘scooping and swooping’ your breasts to manoeuvre your whole boob into the cup to ensure the perfect fit. To do this, scoop your hands under your breasts and gently bring them up and inwards. If this doesn’t solve the problem, you can try tightening the band at the hook and eye fastening. This will help to draw the cups closer to your body. You can also tighten the straps a little which will help to lift the cups.

4. What about the bridge? Should that sit flat against your skin?

The bridge, or gore, is the piece at the centre front between the cups. It can be quite tall on certain styles like balcony bras, or very small, when on plunge bras. Ideally, it should sit flat against your chest without digging in. However, ladies with larger boobs may find that it sits away slightly. If you find it moves quite a bit, then try going down a back size to help it sit in place. If you find it is digging in, you may find a more plunging style bra with a shorter bridge will help to reduce this.

5. Your straps keep slipping down, how can you stop this from happening?

Firstly, ensure that you can fit one finger underneath the strap without being able to lift it up. If there is extra room, you can tighten your straps. You should re-check the straps after every three to four wears, as they can start to loosen during wear. You should always check the straps after washing your bra. If you find that your straps are consistently falling or slipping, it may be because you have narrow shoulders which slope downwards, and you may find a bra with a racerback would be more comfortable.

Another way to stop your straps from slipping is by investing in some comfy straps or strap pads to hold them in place. They’re most popular for women with narrow shoulders, however, if you do find your straps slip, both comfy straps and strap pads are a great investment, regardless of your shoulder width.

How do you find a bra that suits you?

Not all bra types fit everyone. We are all unique and have different shaped boobs. It’s difficult to know which style suits you shape, so below we have put together our recommendations to help you choose a bra that will suit you best.

Top Heavy:

If your boobs are top heavy, then you may find they spill out of your bras. The best style to help you with this is a balcony bra with a slightly higher gore to help contain them. You could also try a full cup bra which will come up higher at the top.

Bottom Heavy:

When you have bottom heavy breasts, they will often need a little up-lift to give you volume to the top of the breasts. A balcony/balconette style bra will help to lift your boobs.

Side Heavy:

If your boobs are heading out east and west, then you have side heavy boobs. They may be slightly further apart in the middle. To counteract this a plunge bra will bring them back into the centre. If you have larger breasts, you may find that a side support bra will help to bring your boobs centre and front, giving you great forward projection.

Cleavage Heavy:

Your boobs are inseparable and always meeting in the middle. Give them a little room with a balcony bra with a high gore. This will help to separate them while giving great shape.


You are very lucky! Your boobs are full and equal all over. Most styles will suit you.

Small Bust:

Soft cup bralettes are perfect for smaller busted ladies, which come in a large range of fabrics and styles to suit every need. If you’re looking for a bra which provides you with more cleavage, then opting for a push-up bra will give you that added shapely boost.

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