In the world of fashion and clothing there is a mysterious designations like “medium,” which you usually have to try cloths on before you have any clue if they fit or not. Bra sizing is even worse, they are mysterious as the woman who wears it. Many numbers needs to be considered, such as the strap, cups and bands. There is no such thing as Your One True Bra Size.
Do you even know how to measure yourself?
There is some Math involve; You just measure your ribcage and your bust, and then use a simple formula to convert those measurements to a bra size consisting of a number and a letter (for example, “34B”). Here’s the typical formula, but as we will see, it varies:
- Your band size (the number) comes from a measurement of your chest that does not include your breasts. Some instructions have you measure under your breasts; some ask you to measure above, basically right under your armpits.
- Your cup size (the letter) comes from the difference between the band size and your bust measurement. In some versions of the formula, you simply subtract. In others, you add a few inches (often four) to your band size before comparing the two numbers.
The formula would actually work if they give you about the same size, but they don’t. We tried some measurements and tried them on variety of bra fitting calculators. For example a 34D size, came up different from other calculators.
- Calculator.net: 34F.
- Motherhood Maternity: 34C.
- Victoria’s Secret: 32DD.
- HerRoom: 32DD
- Sophisticated Pair: 30G.
- Linda the Bra Lady: 30G.
- A Bra That Fits: 30DDD or 30F
The bottom line here: following a brand’s instructions may help you find the right size bra in that brand, but don’t expect that size to help you find the right bra in another brand. Probably, It depends on how the material was cut that matters.
Does Cup Size Matters?
Everyone assumes that a cup size means the size of the cup. Like for example, if you are a D cup, you will always think that any bra with a D cup will always fit your breast. But it turns out that a 32D and a 40D does not have anywhere near the same volume of space in the cup. People who sew bras need to buy the right size underwire for each cup, and this chart comparing underwire size to bra size reveals the relationship. A 32D uses the same size wire as a 38A.
Your Best Bet: Just Try Them On
It will be hard for you to solve the mystery of your bra size just by poring over charts and calculators, unless you stick to one brand and hope they have the same cup size measurements. Your best bet is to try it on and look for something where:
- The band sits horizontal (not pulling up or down at your back).
- Your breasts fill out the cups without leaving gaps or spilling over.
- The straps don’t slide off your shoulders, or dig in.
- The wire (if there is one) doesn’t poke you; that could mean the cup is too small.
Besides the cup size, band size, fit also depends on the shape of the bra. Some bras are cut for rounder breast, and others are for a more teardrop shape breast. The right bra size does not really rely more on the tag, but when you try it on and it fits, it fits no matter what the tag is.
You can also opt to a less complicated bra, that provides you with the same support and lift with your regular bra.
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