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How to Measure Yourself to Find Your Actual Bra Size - According to a Bra Expert

  • 4 min read

How to Measure Yourself to Find Your Actual Bra Size - According to a Bra Expert

When I first found out, I was shocked.

My sister-in-law and I were out to lunch one afternoon when I noticed something was off. Looking at her chest, I saw the problem immediately.

That’s when I asked what her bra size was. Halfway into her salad bite, she replied, “Um... 32DD. Why?”

I’ve been in the lingerie industry for over 20 years. I’ve measured thousands of busts, been to countless fittings, and have designed hundreds of bras.

I knew she was wrong.

Turns out, she’d been wearing the wrong bra size for 7 years. Right after lunch, I took her into my office. I grabbed the tape measure, threw her a bralette to put on, and took her size.

I couldn’t believe it. For 7 years, my sister-in-law wholeheartedly believed she was a 32DD, when all this time, she’s a 34C.

We’re thinking about bra sizes all wrong

For decades, many of the lingerie brands we know and love have been getting our sizes all wrong. And many shoppers don’t realize they may be part of the problem. Most women only go for a bra fitting once in their whole life.

I don’t blame them. Bra shopping went from something you’d look forward to in puberty, to a menial and mundane task in adulthood. Women got used to digging and pinching. They thought dealing with it was the only way; that if they wanted to feel fully comfortable, they’d have to wait until they got home to snap off their bras.

Nowadays, lingerie brands are promising a better-fitting and more comfortable range of bras. Somehow, though, fit “experts” are still getting sizes wrong, leaving many shoppers more confused than before.

How to tell if you’re wearing the wrong bra size

For almost 10 years, my own family member was living with the consequences of someone else’s silly mistake — a silly mistake that millions of other women continue to make every single day. In fact, women only have a 20% chance of walking out of a lingerie retailer with the right size.

There are some tell-tale signs you might be wearing the wrong bra size. Cup gaps or a too-tight band are the most obvious, but here are some other signs to look for:

  • Breasts bulging out of the cups
  • An empty space at the bottom of the cups
  • Cups not covering the whole breast — commonly known as side boob
  • The back of your bra keeps riding up
  • Breasts slipping out of the bottoms of the cups
  • Slipping shoulder straps, or straps digging into your shoulders

If you know how to measure your bust the right way, though, you can beat the odds and finally start wearing bras in your true size.

How to measure your bust the right way

If you were to get your bust measured by a lingerie store associate, chances are, they’d measure you with your padded bra on. This is the first mistake.

The right way to measure your bust is with a tape measure, yes, but where and how you measure yourself is what makes all the difference.

First things first: do not wear a padded bra. To find your true size, you need to wear an unpadded bra, ideally with a wire, too. You want a bra with enough support that levels your breasts so they’re in the right place.

Step-by-step: measuring your band and cup size

First, grab your tape measure and wrap it directly underneath your bust. This is how you’ll find your band size. You’ll want the tape measure to be snug around your torso.

Sketch of female silhouette measuring below the breast around the top of the torso with pink measuring tape.

 

If the number is even, take note of that number and add 4 inches. If it’s an odd number, add 5 inches. Your band measurement is the sum of this calculation. Don’t forget this number!

Double-check this number by measuring under your armpits and across the top of your bust. This number should be the same as your band measurement.

Sketch of female silhouette measuring just below the underarms with pink measuring tape.

Next, to find your cup size, wrap the tape measure around the fuller part of your bust. It doesn’t need to be tight, but it does need to be level to the ground. Write down the inches.

Sketch of female silhouette measuring bust across the nipple line with pink measuring tape.

Now it’s time for some simple math. Subtract your band size from your cup size. Based on the difference between your band and cup measurements, this is your true size.

Here’s an example broken down: 36 inches (bust) - 34 inches (band) = 2 inches of difference. This means you’re a 34B.

0 inches AA cup
1 inch A cup
2 inches B cup
3 inches C cup
4 inches D cup
5 inches E cup

 

Want to make bra shopping easier?

The key to finding bras that fit and support you comfortably is to find your true size. Something as essential as a bra should never dig, pinch, or scratch. It’s not what they were designed for, and it’s not what you deserve to wear.

And sure, you could whip out the tape measure each time you shop for bras. Or, you can make bra shopping easier by choosing soft, stretchy, and flexible bras, like our Flex-Sizing® intimates.

At LoveSuze, our bras, panties, and slips are designed in our signature Flex-Sizing® fabric for a flawless, always comfortable fit. Our fabric stretches and moves with your body, supporting your most important assets with zero digging, pinching, or scratching.

With Flex-Sizing®, shopping for your most essential staples is easy. There’s no long list of sizes to filter through, and no second-guessing what will fit. Our styles are a safe bet:

Flex-Sizing®
 Cup Size
XS/S
32A - C, 34A, 34B
M/L
32D, 34C, 34D, 36A - 36C
XL/1X
36D, 38B, 38C, 40B, 40C
2X/3X
36DD, 38D, 38DD, 40D

 

If you’re ready to start wearing bras that always fit and flatter your unique shape, make the switch to Flex-Sizing® from LoveSuze. Explore our catalog now.

Want to learn more about Flex-Sizing®?

Check out our Fit Guide to find the right size for you.

Still not sure of how to find your size? Our team of experts is here to support you. For any questions or concerns, send us an email at info@lovesuze.com.