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Video: How To Measure and Fit A Bra

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How To Measure and Fit A Bra transcript


Hello, I am Tomima, the President of HerRoom.com. In this video I will be sharing with you how to measure to find your correct bra size, AND some of the issues with this method that can lead to giving you the wrong results.

Right up front, let me share that this tape measuring system was created by bra manufacturers back in the 1930’s to help women find their bra size up to a 38D. That’s right… it was never intended to be used for the larger sizes. So, if your bra size is larger than a 38D, this measuring system has an increased probability of giving you the wrong bra size. You can also get inaccurate results if your bra size falls within a 38D too.

The first step is to find your best fitting bra and put it on. Be sure that it is unpadded, not a minimizer, and preferably an underwire. If your breasts look like they are sagging, tighten the straps until the crest of your breasts are half way between your shoulder and elbow.

Let’s start by finding your band size. You should have someone else do the measuring for you for better accuracy. Wrap a measuring tape around you directly under your bust. The tape measure should also be parallel with the floor. This is a critical point because if the tape measure isn’t parallel, your measurement could be different and thus give you the wrong band size. Now before measuring, expel all your air from your lungs to make sure you get the smallest measurement possible. Our model measures 30 inches. Now, with this number of 30, you add 4 inches to find your band size. This model has a 34 band size. If your number is odd, such as 29 inches, you need to add 5 inches to get to an even number band size. You should round to the closest even number if in-between inches.

Now, why do we add these inches to our measurement to find our band size? Well, it’s actually a fun story about early marketing. Just after WWII when this system was created, the ideal hourglass figure of the day measured 36,24,36. Women wanted to think their measurements were close to this ideal. The manufacturers needed the under bust measurement to make the bra fit correctly since the actual bust measurement of say 36 wasn’t helpful. Thus they hatched the idea of adding the additional inches to make a woman’s bra size sound more desirable. A 36B certainly sounded more desirable than a 31B. So, this is why the inches are added, and we continue with it still today.

There is another way to determine your band size. You measure above your bust under your arms and around your back. This measurement doesn’t need any numbers added. But I feel there are problems with this. Where exactly should the tape measure land? On our model, this measurement is 34, but you can see that the tape is not parallel to the ground. We also get 32 when we put the tape measure here. When she raises her arms, the measurement is 31.

It’s my opinion that the measurement of choice is the underbust measurement. After all, this is where the bra is designed to fit. However, it’s not a bad idea to take both measurements and then compare the two.

Next, let’s find 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 and not bind, and again, should be parallel to the floor. Our model measures a 36.

Again, mistakes can be made with taking this measurement. For example, if our model takes in a big breath of air, the measurement goes to 38.

So, now you have your two measurements. Our model’s band measurement is 34 and her bust measurement is 36. We subtract her bust measurement from her band size to get a difference of 2”. 2” on our chart translates into a B cup. So, according to this system, our model is a 34B bra size.

For women with one breast larger than the other, and women with implants wanting to find their correct bra size, I have more information on how to find your correct bras size at HerRoom.com. Simply scroll to the bottom of our home page and click on “How to Fit a Bra” for more information.

Now, let me show you the challenges with using this measuring system to find the bra size on larger cup size women.

Let’s begin with our model who we know is a size 36DD. After exhaling, her underbust measurement is a 30 ½” or 32”. We add 4 inches and find her band size is 36.

Using the alternate method of measuring above the bust, her measurement is a 36 ½”. We then had our model wear a less supportive bra and measured again. This time her band measurement rose to a 37 ½” – an increase of one band size. The point here is that the bra you wear can affect your size results.

This demonstration is why I’m not a fan of the above bust measurement to determine your band size.

Okay, let’s see what we get for a cup size. Our model is wearing a 36DD bra size. So, her measurement should be a 41. But, it’s actually 39 ½”. This measurement would have our model considering a C or D cup. Not a DD cup which we know she is.

In the less supportive bra, with our models breasts sagging, we again take her cup measurement. In this bra, she is not a 39 ½ but rather a 40 ½. A different style bra or a poorly fitting bra can produce a very different size result.

This example, I hope, drives home the point that this measuring system merely gets you in a bra size ballpark. Don’t assume that your correct size is the size calculated by this system.

Given the many mistakes possible in measuring larger breasted women, my suggestion is to fit to your symptoms. Put on your best fitting bra, and then write down what you don’t like about the fit. Is the center panel not resting on your sternum? Do you sag? Are your cups too small? Then with your list, come to HerRoom.com and click on “How To Fit A Bra” and go to “Solve Bra Fit and Size Problems”. Here you will see a long list of symptoms, reasons for the symptom and size change solutions.

I hope this video has been helpful. Again, I’m Tomima with HerRoom.com. We hope you’ll come visit us soon.

For more, See our complete lingerie fitting and care guide.