You already know how a bra should fit, you have knowledge about different bra sizing systems. Now, at last, it’s time to learn how to calculate your bra size.
- Take a measuring tape into your hand
- Measure your frame under-bust, horizontally – attention, the tape has to be tight – exhale and squeeze it a bit. (don’t worry, your bra band is much more elastic than the tape)
- Measure yourself around breast – loosely, don’t squeeze this time. You can take the measurement in a bra and without it. Then consider the bigger number.
Ok. What did you get? For example: under- bust:70cm, around breasts – 95cm…
If you have 70cm under-bust, most probably you will need a 65(30) underband.
Why so small number? Remember that the bra band will stretch, all of them do, some more some less. Remember rule number one for bra fitting??? 85% support of the bra comes from the horizontal underband… This is why it’s necessary to go down on it. Sometimes it’s only 5cm – if a bra underband is quite tight, sometimes you need to deduct more – up to 10cm if a bra underband is stretchy.
Now cup size is a difference between measurement around breast and the band. Take a look into the British size chart (it’s in the links). You look for the row with 65 – British 30 and then you look for a column with number that corresponds to your measurement around breasts, for 95cm it will be something between cups FF and G –so 30FF/30G is what you should try. If you look for a continental size, then it would be 65I or 65J.
Surprised with the letter you got? You are probably thinking: “What will I put into this huge G? I havent’t got so big tits!” Or I have no tits at all” Well, you’re not the first nor the last to react like that;) Remember what I said about cups – they are NOT the same with different underbands. Compare for example cups in 70B, 75B, 80B, 85B etc – you will see the difference between them. In the same way 30FF or 30G are NOT big. I hope you read kasica’s articles from Stanikomania – you can clearly see it there. Moreover, if you put on the bra correctly it may even turn out that the cups are too small…
The 65FF or 65F should be fitting you snugly when you fasten it on first loosest hooks, you will use the middle ones and the tightest ones after some time when the bra streatches.
What else should I mention here? Well, for a start we recommend soft bras, forget about padding. Padded bras are much more difficult to fit than soft ones, when you try on a soft bra it’s easier for you to see if everything is ok with the cup, if you like the shape it gives your breast, padded cups somehow force your breasts into certain shape…
Ok, this is the theory which seems simple enough. Unfortunately practice is not so easy – “applied bralogy” is not an exact science. It’s mainly due to the fact that all of us are differently built. Two women with the same measurements can end up with two completely different bra sizes and vice versa, the same size can be worn by women with different measurements.
Why? First of all, our bodies have different compliance to “squeezing”. Those of us who have thicker “thermo-isolation” 😉 usually can be “squeezed” more than those who are very thin or muscular. Bear in mind that choosing a fitting size is not a competition in fastening “the tightest band possible” – if you try you won’t be able to breathe and do everyday stuff. A bra isn’t supposed to be a torture device, but a comfortable piece of clothing for your boobs. Also, if you take a too tight band it can simply stretch on you and pull the underwires to the back and you’ll end up with your boobs under your armpits again…
The second reason why the size chart may not give you 100% fitting size can be your wider back – those with it will need a smaller cup. Another group of women that will need smaller cups are the ones with soft and limp breasts. Finally, all bras are different. Some are more stretchy, some are like “boa constrictors”. Some have cups that are slightly bigger that the size implies, some have smaller ones… Unfortunately this can happen even with the same model, brand and size but – different color. For example, Freya Arabella is very famous for its stretchiness and also has bigger cups than the actual size implies – in this case you can even downsize more on the band but consider slightly smaller cups…
At the moment you can only check out what is best for you by trying on several models in neighboring sizes. So, the hypothetical 30FF and 30G, but you can also try 30F and 30GG – then you simply send back the ones that don’t fit.
This is also why I wrote articles about how a bra should fit you – you just have to know these rules, because the size you get from here is just a starting point. You may end up with different size for every brand and model you try on… I wear sizes from 30GG to 32G or 32GG or 32H depending on properties of a given model.
An important thing – if you calculate your right size and you get a bra that fits you well, don’t buy too many of them. Your dimensions will change… All this flesh that used to be pushed out under your armpits will simply come back to where it belongs – it means you end up with bigger boobs and sometimes smaller measurement under-bust… Ladies, it’s true… A lot of women from our Polish bra fitting communities confirm this, and even if nothing changes in actual dimensions, your boobs get much nicer shape.
So for a start, buy one or two bras just to cover your every day needs. Time for a shopping spree will come later.