How to measure for a bra or bustier
-Put on your favorite unlined bra. To get the most accurate measurements, do not use a strapless, push-up, wire-free, minimizing, or sports bra. It's best to choose a bra that is free of padding.
-A mirror is very helpful for measuring properly. Being able to see what you're measuring helps with accuracy!
-Remember that your bra size is a guide. Bra sizes can vary from brand to brand and style to style. You may wear a different band or cup size depending on the style or brand.
-Your underbust and overbust (measured across the fullest part of the bust) measurements will help to determine your bra size. The chest size (above armhole) can help if you are in between sizes; it can determine whether you should go up or down a band size.
3 Simple Steps
Wrap the measuring tape right underneath your bra, all the way around, along the bra band. The tape should be at the same level from front to back and the bra band should be parallel to the floor. (This is where a mirror comes in handy!) Relax and pull the tape snug, but not too tight or too loose. This is your underbust measurement. It will help determine your band size.
Wrap the measuring tape over the fullest part of your bust making sure the tape is lined up with the top of the band in the back. If you're wearing a bra that sits lower in the back (so you're not able to line up the top of the band with the tape measure), pull the tape as straight around as possible at the fullest part of the bust, all the way around. Make sure to leave a little room- the tape shouldn't feel too tight or too loose. This is your overbust measurement. It will help determine your cup size.
Wrap the measuring tape all the way around, lining up the tape with the top of the bra's hook and eye closure. Have the tape follow the top of the bra to the front underneath where the strap attaches. This is your chest measurement. It can help determine if the band size is a good fit for you.
Bra Fitting - Things to Remember
The band provides the majority of a bra's support. To ensure the band fits you properly, look for a snug but not uncomfortable fit when trying on bras. You should be able to fit two fingers between your skin and the bra band. Anything tighter could be uncomfortable!
Make sure your breast tissue is completely in the cup. Pull breast tissue from the outer side of each cup and scoop it into the cup. Sometimes it's easier to lean forward while doing this. This simple trick can completely change the fit of a bra and help you determine if it's the right size. Don't be afraid to scoop and swoop!
Seek a second opinion. Determining the correct bra size is no easy feat. If you're feeling uncertain about your bra size, let a bra fitter help. Many specialty boutiques and some department stores offer complimentary bra fittings. Bra fitters in these specialty stores often go through extensive fit training and have a wealth of product knowledge. Bonus: That product knowledge can save you time - most bra fitters know if a particular bra runs small and can help you find the best style for your shape.
If you're unsure about seeking an expert opinion: It's ok to scope out the store beforehand. Allow yourself some time to check out the store to make sure you feel comfortable before scheduling an appointment. Most stores are happy to fit customers without appointments, but you can always make a future appointment or stop in at another time!
Bonus: Appointments are great if you're looking for something specific (like a bra for a special occasion). The one-on-one aspect of an appointment can help you get the most out of your shopping experience!
If you're shopping online, read the reviews and look at the size chart for each style. Since bras can vary from style to style, it's important to know if a particular style is running small in the band or large in the cup. It's also helpful to read what the brand and other customers are saying about the fit!
Remember to be kind to yourself. Bra shopping is a lot of trial and error! You may have to try on a few bras before you find the right one. Don't forget that a bra size is just a number. No one will know the bra size but you. If you don't enjoy bra shopping, plan something you do enjoy for after you're done!