Before making a purchase, research lingerie brands and how their sizes run. Just like outerwear, intimate apparel brands can run small or full. As a rule of thumb, European brands tend to run smaller than most American brands, but they will still be true to size. Thus, it is important to know your true measurements when purchasing fine lingerie.
Many women (almost nine out of ten!) find they are wearing the wrong size bra. Obtaining a bra that fits properly will improve your comfort throughout the day and even improve your posture! Refer to the section called "Finding the Right Size" to help you determine your proper bra size to maximize support and comfort.
Don't get hung up on cup size!
Many times, women choose bras with a band size that is too large and a cup size that is too small. When the strap around the body fits properly, it is able to provide most of the support and relieves stress from the shoulder straps.
How a Bra Should Fit
- Viewed from the side, the strap that runs around the body should be horizontal and should not ride up at the back at all.
- The under wire should lie flat against the rib cage and should not dig in, rub, or poke out at the front.
- The breasts should be enclosed by the cups and there should be a smooth line where the fabric at the top of the cup ends.
- There should not be a ridge or bulging over the top or sides of the cups, even with a "balconnette" style or lower cut shape.
Finding the Right Bra Size
Gigi’s Closet specializes in bras. That’s why we want to make sure that you buy the best-fitting bra you can find for your body type. Because of the bra’s direct contact with the body, it’s important to find your accurate size to prevent discomfort or irritation. Luckily, you can measure your bra size at home. You’ll need a tape measurer (or a string and ruler), along with a pen and paper (to write down your measurements).
Your bra size can be measured with a bra on or off, as long as the bra you’re wearing doesn’t have additional padding.
To find your band size, place the measuring tape directly beneath your breasts and measure around your rib cage. This measurement correlates with the bra’s elastic band that fits underneath your breasts. Therefore, this should be a tighter measurement to allow for stretching. You don’t want it to be loose. If the number you get contains a fraction, you can discard the fraction: So, a 28.5 would be a 28. (Write your number down.)
Take that number and add five to it. If your number ends up being an odd number, then round up. For example, you add five to 28 and you get 33, so your band size is a 34. (Write your number down.)
To get your bust size, measure around the point where your chest is the largest (also known as the bustline). This measurement should be much looser. You want the measuring tape to barely wrap around your bust without applying any pressure at all. You shouldn’t even feel it because if you add pressure, you’ll squeeze in your chest and wind up with an inaccurate measurement! Let’s say it’s 36 inches. (Write your number down.)
Both numbers will help in determining your cup size. Subtract the band size from the bust size. For example, the difference between 36 and 34 is two (36-34=2). This number determines your cup size. Generally, with each inch, the cup size goes up a letter:
- 1 inch = A cup
- 2 inches = B cup
- 3 inches = C cup
- 4 inches = D cup
- 5 inches = DD cup
- And so on…
Figuring Your Size
This means that a bust size of 36 and a band size of 34 would make a 34B bra size. It’s that simple!
Although you now know your accurate size, it’s important to remember that different brands have different methods of sizing. Remember to look at the manufacturer’s sizing charts for further guidance on which size to buy. You can also call the customer service at Gigi’s Closet for advice on what brand to get. Now you’re ready to buy some bras that actually fit!