Calculating bra size correctly is essential in achieving a confident appearance. Ill-fitting bras can lead to back problems, bad posture, breast tissue injuries, and a diminished appearance. The right bra is not only comfortable, but it makes you look polished. Use these guidelines for calculating your bra size, and if possible, ask a friend to take the measurements for you.
Put on an unpadded standard bra which is not a sports bra or a minimizer. Underwire bras are fine. Adjust the straps to achieve the proper alignment of your breasts. For most women, this means that the crest of breasts are half way between elbow and shoulder. Exhale all the air in your lungs and firmly wrap a measuring tape around your torso directly underneath your bust to determine the band size. Make sure the measuring tape is parallel to the floor, but not too high or low on your torso. This is where the bra band should fit.
Take the measurement and round the number to the nearest whole inch. For example, if you measure 31 and 3/4 inches, round the number to 32 inches. If the number is even, add 4 inches. If the number is odd, add 5 inches. For example, for 32 inches, add 4 inches to get 36 inches. Your band size is 36 inches.
Bra bands should rest at the same level in the front and back of your torso. They should wrap around the narrowest part of your back.
Stand up straight and adjust the bra straps to be sure breasts are aligned correctly. If one breast is larger than the other, insert padding into the bra to make it even with the larger breast.
Wrap the measuring tape around the bust so that it is touching, but not cutting into the breasts. Take the measurement and round the number to the nearest whole inch. For example, 37 and 3/4 inches is rounded up to 38 inches.
To calculate cup size, subtract band size from cup size. 38 inches minus 36 inches is 2 inches. Consult the chart to determine cup size. In this case, the difference is 2 inches, cup size B.
0" - 1/2" (1.3 cm) = cup size AA
1/2" - 1" (2.6 cm) = cup size A
2" (5.1 cm) = cup size B
3" (7.6 cm) = cup size C
4" (10.2 cm) = cup size D
5" (12.7 cm) = cup size DD or E
6" (15.2 cm) = cup size DDD or F
7" (17.8 cm) = cup size G
8" (20.3 cm) = cup size H
9" (22.9 cm) = cup size I
10" (25.4 cm) = cup size J
Always test a bra for fit even when the given size matches calculated bra size. The band should be snug, but not cut into your back. You should be able to run your finger along the inside without trouble. Adjust the straps for proper breast alignment. Breasts should not bulge out the side. Bras vary depending on style and material. Therefore, bra comfort and fit are more important than sizing.