Bra Size: Getting It Right

Bra Size

What can go wrong in selecting the right bra, isn’t it? After all, it is such a simple process: Choose something sensuous or practical (depending on your mood) you like in the size you wear and the colour that appeals.

Right? Well, as it turns out, most women are incapable of selecting the right bra size. In fact, there are studies to suggest that most of you wear the wrong size! If your bra strap leaves a red mark on your shoulder, your bra goes up from the back, the bra cup is too loose or too tight and does not give you proper support – in short, you are uncomfortable – then the size of the bra is to blame.

Here’s how not to make the same mistake again. Learn how to pick the right size of bra that fits you well. You could go to a high-end lingerie store which has trained sales personnel; they will help you get your measurements and exact bra size. Alternatively, you could do it yourself.

The first step in identifying the bra that’s right for you is to understand the composition of a bra. Your bra has two components: the cup and the band.

The band size. The circumference of your chest just below your breast (the ribcage) is the band size. A pubescent girl just beginning to wear a bra will likely be a size 28 though an adult woman can be 30, 32, 34, 36 and so on (the band size is available only in even numbers). A thin woman will have a smaller band size and a plumper woman will, obviously, have a bigger band size. Band size is represented in figures.

The cup. Your bra cup is represented in alphabets beginning with ‘AA’. The cup size is directly proportional to the breast size. If you have big breasts, the cup size will be bigger.

Determining the cup and band sizes: Take a measuring tape and measure the area just under your breasts. Some advise that you should add a few inches to this measurement (varying from 2 to 5 inches) to get your band size. However, you are the best judge. If the bra feels just right without adding any inches, go for it. If it feels tight, try another that is a size bigger.

The one that fits best is the right band size. Computing the cup size is a tad tougher. Measure the circumference around your chest, this time from over the fullest parts of your breasts.

Now deduct your band size from this figure (say, it is 32 and 34 respectively, which means the figure you are left with is 2). The smaller this figure, the smaller your cup size so you could try a B or a C. If B feels perfect, your bra size is a 32B.

Always try on a bra before buying it. If it feels comfortable, go for it. If it doesn’t, change the size. Also remember that it is important to let your breasts breathe freely. Avoid wearing the bra for a few hours every day (you don’t have to go out bra-less; just avoid wearing it at night).