How to Measure Bra Size

BY: Editors |Oct 8, 2018

You’ve probably heard it before: most women (as many as 85%, according to some statistics) wear the wrong bra size. And wearing an ill-fitting bra is more than just uncomfortable. It can potentially pose problems ranging from poor posture to painful breasts and tingling hands. Luckily, anyone can learn how to measure bra size.

Woman taking measument over bra

In fact, we can teach you how to measure your bra size at home using a simple three-step process. Here's how to measure, regardless of which bra style you're looking for.

How to Measure Bra Size

Step 1: Measure your band size

  1. Put on your best-fitting nonpadded bra.
  2. Wrap a soft measuring tape snugly around your ribcage, directly beneath your bust.
  3. Straighten the tape so that it’s parallel to the floor.
  4. Exhale deeply, as you’re aiming to get the smallest size possible. This ensures a snug, supportive band.
  5. Round the measurement up to the nearest even number. This is your band size.

Step 2: Measure your cup size

  1. Still wearing the bra, wrap the measuring tape around the fullest part of your bust.
  2. Straighten the tape so that it’s parallel to the floor.
  3. Round the measurement to the nearest whole number.

Step 3: Determine your size

Subtract your band size from your bust measurement, then use this number to pinpoint your cup size in the chart below.

Bra Size Chart
Bra Size - Bust Size = Cup Size
<1" AA
1" A
2" B
3" C
4" D
5" DD
6" DDD
7" G / 4D
8" H / 5D
9" I / 6D
10" J / 7D
11" K / 8D
12" L / 9D
13" M / 10D
14" N / 11D
15" O / 12D

Pay Attention to the Hooks

Bra bands expand the more you wear them, even as much as three inches. Pick a band size that fits comfortably on its loosest setting so that you have room to tighten it later.

The Cup-Size Myth 

Cup size doesn't refer to volume. It actually refers to the ratio of breast size to ribcage circumference. So, breasts that fit a 28D bra are much smaller than those that fit a 40D bra, despite the fact that they are both D cups.

Does My Bra Fit?

When you’re wearing the correct bra size, your bra should sit snugly against your skin. The tops of the cups should lie flat and smooth against your breasts, and the band should sit low and even on your back without digging in. With new bras, you should be able to fit no more than two fingers between the band and your back on the loosest setting.

Your bra measurements might be too small if:

  • Your breasts spill over the tops or sides
  • The center section doesn’t lie flat against your breastbone
  • The straps dig into your shoulders, even after adjustment
  • The underwires poke you or start to ride up

Your bra measurements might be too large if:

  • Your breasts don’t fill out the cups, causing gapping or wrinkling
  • The straps slide off your shoulders, even after adjustment
  • The band rides up
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