How to Measure Your Bra Size, Plus a Chart & Calculator
If you’re reading this, you probably know as well as any other woman that finding your bra size (and we mean real bra size) isn’t as clear-cut as you once thought. Your bra size has likely changed throughout your life which can happen for a number of reasons including fluctuating weight and having children.
Helping other women learn how to measure bra size is part of what got us here. By learning the different shapes, sizes, and measurements of millions women, we created bras with unmatched comfort and support, and put that community data to use in The Original Fit Quiz for women everywhere to find bras in their right size — no fitting rooms, no measuring tape, no sifting through store racks for a bra you might fit into.
In this article, we’re going to break down how to measure your bra size in three, easy-peasy steps so that the next time you go bra shopping, you’ll have a better idea of what to look for when trying to find your best-fitting bra.
How to Measure Bra Size in 3 Steps
There’s much more to measuring your bra size than just grabbing a measuring tape and marking down a band size (if only it were that simple!). In the next three steps, we’ll go into measuring your band size, then your bust size, and lastly, your cup size.
Determining the correct – and most current – measurements for your band, bust, and cup will make it SO much easier for you to find bras that fit right, and fit you, no matter where you get your bras. Plus, with those measurements you’ll finally get confirmation to toss out or donate those bras in your drawer that you’ve been keeping just to keep (bra, bye!).
Step 1: Find Your Band Size
Make sure to wear a lightly-lined or unpadded bra before measuring your band size. Now is where your handy measuring tape comes in. Wrap the measuring tape across your back, just so it sits snugly under the arms and at the band level, and keep it parallel to the ground. Measure just above the bust where the straps meet the top of the cups. Round down to the nearest even number and note your band size.
Step 2: Measure Your Bust Size
Keep the measuring tape around your back at band level and measure across the fullest part of your chest, making sure to hold the measuring tape snugly against you and parallel to the ground. Do a few deep breaths to let the tape rest on its most comfortable position (not too loose, now!). If it falls on the half-inch, just round up. Easy, right?
Step 3: Determine Your Cup Size
Determining cup size is where things can get tricky because cup sizes can vary depending on the maker. The most common way to calculate your cup size is by subtracting your band size from your bust size and using the difference to find your cup size according to a bra size chart.
Do You Have the Right Bra Size?
The only way to tell whether the bra size given to you by a bra size calculator and chart is right is to put it to the test. Try on bras from different brands and see whether the same bra size fits you with the right comfort and support.
What right feels like:
- The straps stay put on your shoulders and don’t dig in.
- The band sits snugly against your back on any hook, ideally the loosest one. There should only be enough room to slide one finger underneath.
- The cups properly cover your breasts, no overflow or gaps.
- The underwire sits comfortably under your breasts.
Or, conversely, you can look at it the other way and determine whether you have the wrong bra size based on the tell-tale signs of a bad bra size: cup gaps, straps and bands that are either too loose or tight, band riding up, etc.
What wrong feels like:
- The straps dig into your shoulders leaving painful marks, or slide off, especially if they’re adjusted to the tightest fit.
- The band feels too tight or loose. A big no-no if it squeezes or rides up on the loosest hook or slides around on the tightest hook.
- Your breasts overflow out of the cups or the cups have gaps.
- The underwire sits on top of your breasts (not only uncomfortable, but defeats the whole purpose of an underwire!).
Either way, it won’t take you long to know whether you’ve got the right or wrong bra size. Good bras are comfortable and supportive. Sure, there are plenty of good bras out there, but on top of comfort and support, the best bras are also available in a wide range of sizes, styles, and designed for versatility – which these days is hard to come by if you don’t know where to look.
If you’re still unsure, our Fit Quiz is here 24/7 to help you find your best-fitting bras with personalized results for your top three bras. You’re just a few clicks away to discovering bra bliss and the community of women who helped create it.