Bra Fitting - How to Measure Bra Size
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Tomima Edmark - Lingerie ExpertTomima's Bra Fitting Tip: "You're a smart person. Since you'll be wearing the bras, you're better off taking a few minutes to understand what a perfect fitting bra should look and feel like, and recognize the signs if your bra is the wrong size for you."

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How to measure for a Bra?

Bra Fitting Infographic

A handy reference guide to measuring and fitting for the proper bra size. See the bra fitting infographic.

Finding the right bra size is an often asked question. Welcome to the HerRoom Bra Size Calculator. An easy, quick way to make the calculations necessary to find your true Bra size. First, we need to tell you up front, that any bra sizing system where a tape measure is involved will not be totally accurate. The reason? A lot of factors can affect your measurements – the bra you’re wearing, the firmness of your breasts, the broadness of your back, the narrowness of your shoulders. These factors and more can give you a false bra size once you’ve measured yourself.

For women who wear a bra size 38D and larger, using this measuring system as a bra size calculator is frankly a mistake. Instead you should be bra sizing starting with your base bra size and tweaking this size based on what you don’t like about your current bra size (check out our Poor-fitting Bra Examples.)

How to Fit a Bra?

Fitting a bra is much more than just getting the right measurements. Once you have your size, see our Bra Fitting Checklist for the top 10 things to look for when deciding on the bra that's perfect for you.

How to Choose a Bra?

With thousands of bras to choose from it can be a daunting task to select the bra that fits your body AND your style. We've put together a list of The Pros & Cons of Bra Styles that describes the various features of many popular bra styles.

So, here’s the bra size calculation using a measuring tape. But, be aware that it is not always accurate. And, HerRoom encourages you to watch our “Bra Sizing Video” for tips on accurate measuring.

Video: How to Fit a Bra

A video tutorial on how to measure for the proper bra fit.


Knowing your right bra size can be life changing.

The tape measuring system is just one of many ways to calculate your best fit.

This method isn't always completely accurate but it will give you a great starting point.

Keep in mind if your bust is larger this measuring system will give you the right band size but not the right cup size.

Lets get started, first grab your measuring tape and put on your newest, best fitting bra that has an underwire, is not padded or a minimizer bra.

If your breasts look like they are sagging, tighten the straps until your center breast is halfway between your shoulder and elbow.

Finding your band size.

You can do this part yourself in front of a mirror or grab a friend to help.

Wrap the measuring tape directly under your bust, making sure its parallel to the floor.

This is critical because if the tape measure isnt straight you will get an incorrect measurement.

Let out all the air from your lungs, making sure you get the smallest measurement possible.

Our model measures 29 and a 1/4. If your band measurement isnt an exact number, round to the nearest inch.

Using this number go to our band size chart and find your measurement and your estimated band size.

If your measurement is 39 inches or more round to the nearest even number to find your band size.

Adding inches to your band measurement came about just after World War II when the ideal hour glass figure measured 36, 24, 36.

Women wanted to think their measurements were close to this ideal.

However a 36 inch bust measurement doesn't translate to a 36 inch underbust measurement.

So bra makers added several inches to make a womans bra size sound more desirable.

But with todays stretch fabric technology few more inches need to be added to your underbust measurement in order to find your band size.

Finding your cup size.

Standing straight with your arms at your sides and breathing normally, wrap the tape measure around your body at the fullest part of your bust.

The tape measure should just touch you and not feel binding.

Again the tape measure should be parallel to the floor.

Our model measures 35.

If your bust measurement isnt an exact number round to the nearest inch.

So now you have two measurements, our models band size is 32 and her bust measurement is 35.

We subtract our band size from our bust measurement to get a difference of 3.

A three on our chart translates to a C cup.

So according to the tape measuring system our models bra size is a 32C.

Now lets show you examples where the result is incorrect.

We know our next model is a 34D4. After exhaling, her underbust measurement is a 32 and a 1/2.

Referring to our chart, her band size is a 34.

There's an alternate measuring method to find your band size. measure above your bust, under your arms and around your back.

This measurement doesn't need any additional numbers added but presents problems.

Where exactly should the tape measure land?

On our model this measurement is 35 and a 1/2 but you can see that the tape is not parallel to the floor.

We get 38 and a 1/4 when we put the tape measure lower.

For these reasons we dont recommend this method to find your band size.

Moving to cup sizing our model is wearing a 34D4, so her measurement should be a 41 but its a 39, which is incorrect.

We measured our model again in a less supportive bra, this time she measured 37 and a 1/4.

As you can see, results can vary based on the type and fit of the bra you wear. The tape measuring system isnt always perfect.

If your not happy with the results, check how your bra fits using some basic techniques at HerRoom.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and select bra fitting, from there click on our perfect bra fit checklist.

Here you'll see a long list of bra fit problems, the reason for these and suggestions to give you the correct size.

Happy Bra Fitting!

Already Know Your Bra Size?

See what other women in the same size are buying. Enter your bra size below to find out! (ie: 32C, 36DD, etc.)

How to measure and fit a bra in three easy steps

Warning! After a 38 band size, the band size should be the closest higher even number to your actual measurement.  So 41.5" is a 42 band. A 41" measurement is a 42 band.

STEP 1: Measure for band size:

Keeping the measuring tape parallel with the ground, measure around your bra directly under your bust after expelling all air from your lungs - you want this measurement to be as small as possible. Round all fractional measurements to the nearest whole number.

Band Size Chart
If Your Measurement is:
Your Band Size is:
After a 38 band size, the band size should be the closest higher even number to your actual measurement So, 41.5" is a 42 band. A 41" measurement is a 42 band.

STEP 2: Measure for cup size:

Standing straight, with your arms at your side, measure at the fullest part of your bust (while wearing a non-padded bra) making sure the measuring tape is parallel with the ground and not binding. Round all fractional measurements to the nearest whole number.


STEP 3: *Calculate your bra size:

Subtract your band measurement (step 1) from your cup measurement (step 2). Generally, for each inch in difference, the cup goes up by one size. See the cup size conversion chart below.

Step 1: 34" under measurement = 36" band size
Step 2: 39" over measurement
Step 3: 39" - 36" = 3" or C Cup Size
Your Size is probably a 36C

The cup size calculation starts falling apart at 4 inches larger than your band size, and if you have droopy or pendulous breasts, your measurement will not be accurate.

If The Difference Is: Your Standard US Cup Size Is: Your UK Cup Size Is: Your European Cup Size Is: Your French Cup Size Is: Your Italian Cup Size Is: Your Australian Cup Size Is: Your Japanese Cup Size Is: Your *Universal Cup Size™ Is:
0" to 1/2"
0 - 1.3 cm
1/2"- 1"
1.3 - 2.6 cm
5.1 cm
7.6 cm
10.2 cm
D D D D D D E D1
12.7 cm
DD * or E * DD E E DD DD F D2
15.2 cm
DDD * or F * E F F E E G D3
17.8 cm
G * F G G F F H D4
20.3 cm
22.9 cm
I * G J J G G J D6
25.4 cm
27.9 cm
K * H L L H H L D8
30.5 cm
L * HH M M HH H M D9
35.5 cm
M * J N N J J N D10
38.1 cm
N * JJ O O JJ JJ O D11
40.6 cm
O * K P P K K P D12

Universal Cup Sizing™* Cup sizes larger than a D are called different letters by different brands (a DDD cup size in one brand can be called an E or F in other brands). So know your UCS™ bra size and you can find your correct fit in any brand at HerRoom. Learn how to find your UCS™ bra size™

Important Note: this measuring system tends to become less accurate as the cup sizes go above a D. Additionally, some manufacturers name larger cup sizes differently. See "The Proper Bra Measuring Techniques for Plus-Size Women".


© 2014 Andra Group, LP - Monday, September 22, 2014 (A2).