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How to Measure Bra Size at Home

Exuding outward confidence all starts with what’s happening underneath—your clothes, that is. We’re talking about your bra. Ideally, you want to find a bra that fits and feels as though you’re not wearing anything. After all, if you wear the wrong size, the straps may refuse to stay on your shoulders or the underwire will make it difficult to breathe, making you feel uncomfortable no matter how stunning the rest of your outfit is. 

But finding the perfect fit for something you wear from day to night can be a tall task, especially if you’re not sure what your correct bra size is, if it’s changed, or why your lace bandeau bra style is a different size than your sleek triangle bra.

Ah, the intricacies of bra sizing. Don’t worry—we’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll cover how to measure bra size at home, how often you should be measuring, and discuss tips for evaluating fit beyond just the numbers. 

How to Measure Bra Size at Home in 3 Easy Steps

Confused about what a plunge bra is and how to choose the right size? All bras, from sheer mesh plunge bras to everyday demi bras, come with a size attached to them. This is why it’s important to know your unique size as a starting point before purchasing different types of lingerie. Otherwise, you won’t know what you’re looking for – and you certainly won’t want to measure all the bras at the mall. 

To measure your bra size at home, find a soft tape measure (the kind used in sewing), take off your bra, and follow these steps: 

1. Start with the band 

The band is the bottom part of the bra that sits along your ribcage. It’s indicated by a numerical value. Place the tape just below the band line and wrap it all the way around your torso. If you see an even number, you’ve found your band size! With an odd number, round up or down to the nearest even number, depending on your preferences. If you want a snug band or have just had a large meal, you might want to round down.

2. Measure the bust to get your cup size

The second thing we check is the cup. This is the cup-shaped fabric that holds your breasts, denoted by one or two letters. To get a reading on your bust size, wrap the soft measuring tape around your chest, making sure to start at the fullest part of your breast. With this cup measurement, in particular, you can keep it on the looser side rather than pulling the tape taut. Jot down the number of inches you see. This is the first step in finding your cup size. 

Also, don’t forget to pay attention to the bridge—that little piece of fabric in between the cups. On a well-fitting bra, the bridge will lay flat against the middle of your chest. If it’s arching out, your body may be telling you to size up. 

3. Do the math 

When you have both the bust and band measurements, subtract your band size from your bust size. The difference is your cup size, with each number correlating to a letter. Here's a detailed fit guide

  • 0 = AA
  • 1 = A
  • 2 = B
  • 3 = C
  • 4 = D
  • 5 = DD
  • 6 = F
  • 7 = FF 
  • 8 = G
  • 9 = GG
  • And so on

By putting your band size and bust size letter together, such as 32C, you’ll have your bra size! 

Common Bra Issues and How To Fix It

As women, we may face a couple of issues when it comes to wearing lingerie, and it can be pretty frustrating. You might think the problem is you, but maybe what you actually need is the right bra size and cup to make sure you get a comfortable and hassle-free fit. Here are some of the common bra issues that most of us women may have faced at a point in our lives and how to fix them:

1. The Rising Band

If you find your band riding up or leaving red marks on your skin, these could be signs that you require more breathing room or that your bra’s band size may be too loose. To fix this, seek a smaller band size, as the ideal band should firmly sit horizontally around your body to offer support. It should feel snug but not too constrictive, allowing you to breathe and move comfortably. Remember, the band is your foundation.  You can also consider loosening the hooks or sizing up. 

2. The Overflowing Cup

If your breasts are making a bold attempt to escape those cups, it’s a sign that your cup size is too small, or you just have large breasts. Spilling your goods not only affects the silhouette under your clothes but also leads to discomfort and a lack of support. To fix this, seek a larger cup size that can accommodate your breasts fully. Each cup should encase your breast gently with no excess pressure or indentions, just a seamless fit that complements your form. You can also opt for a non padded bra to give you that extra room.

3. The Spacious or Gaping Cup

Now, if it’s not about dealing with an overflowing boob, the problem could be having more room than a quaint empty cottage – this clearly points out that your bra is too spacious. Gaping cups may not give the support your bust needs and won’t do justice to your natural shape. A sneakier sign of loose cups is straps that easily slip off your shoulders, which may indicate that your cups are roomier than they should be. To fix this, get a smaller size where the fabric should lie flat against your skin, with no empty spaces or air pockets. It’s about finding the balance – enough to feel held but not hidden. 

Find pleasure in the small things! Shop our intimates now!

The Best Practices for Measuring Your Bra Size

When measuring your bra size at home, it’s important to make sure you’re getting an accurate read. Keep the following tips and tricks in mind as you work your magic with that tape measure: 

  • Make it tight, but not too tight – Be firm when you’re wrapping the soft measuring tape around yourself, but remember that you’re measuring for a bra, not a corset. The tape shouldn’t be so tight it’s digging into your skin. On the other hand, make sure you get rid of any excess wiggle room. The tape should not be falling off your body.  
  • Lay it flat – If your tape measure is wrinkled from being stuffed in the back of your closet or if you’ve accidentally twisted it while pulling it around yourself, the numbers will be off. Make sure to keep the tape flat against your body, especially when measuring the uneven surface of your bust.
  • Use a mirror – You don’t have to look at yourself to measure your bra size, but standing in front of a mirror can help you position the tape properly and keep it parallel to the ground. Don’t forget to check your back as well since it’s easy for the measuring tape to hang further down if you’re not careful. 

How Often Should You Measure Your Bra Size?

If you’ve ever put on your sexy lace bra for date night only to find that the band seems tighter than usual, you’re not alone. 

It’s entirely normal for your bra size to fluctuate, both on a daily basis and over time. Examples of events that can affect your bust measurement include: 

  • Being on your period, since hormonal changes before and during this time, can lead to an increase in breast size.
  • Celebrating the first night of your beach vacation with a big feast and a refreshingly cool glass of wine, which can lead to greater fluid retention and puffiness around the torso.
  • Starting a new birth control regimen that causes temporary changes to your breast size as your body adjusts.

That’s why it’s important to measure your bra size regularly—we recommend about once every six months. But scheduling in these fitting sessions can easily fall by the wayside. If you’re having trouble remembering, try these tips: 

  • Add a reminder – Putting your at-home bra fitting in your planner or calendar means that you won’t have to spend time thinking about how long it’s been since the last time you measured. You’ll also have an exact date set, which increases accountability.
  • Keep track of your tape measure – Having your measuring tape readily available can make it easier to stick to your schedule. If you keep your tape at the bottom of your sewing kit tucked into the back of your closet, you’re less likely to pull it out. Instead, consider stashing your measuring tape in your intimate drawer. 
  • Couple it with other routines – Incorporate your bra measuring session into routines you’ve already set, such as your bi-annual order of skin care products or even a spring or fall wardrobe switch.

Other Factors that Impact Fit  

In a perfect world, your bra measurements would land precisely on whole numbers, and every bra in that size would fit you to a T. But the reality is that even two bras marked with the same size can have completely different fits. So if you fall between a thirty-two and a thirty-four or if you can’t decide whether you’re a C or a D cup, don’t despair! 

Bra size is meant to be used as a ballpark figure to give you a sense of where to start looking. When searching for your dream bra, various other factors, such as style and fabric, can impact fit.

Consider the following examples: 

  • A minimalistic bra with a band as thin as the straps can more easily dig into your skin if it’s too tight, requiring you to size up. 
  • A silk bra may have less stretch than a flexible tulle bra that can accommodate various measurements. 

 

And what do you do about bras that use XS-XL sizing rather than a number and a letter? For those situations, look to see if there’s a bra size chart that includes corresponding band measurement and bust measurement or size conversions. It is also important to learn how to wash lingerie or care for them properly to avoid them from becoming loose or stretched.

Aftercare and Adjustment Tips For Your Bra

But of course, this doesn’t end with just getting the right bra measurements. Let’s discuss something super important but often overlooked – taking good care of your bra. Just like relationships, the more attention and care you give, the longer that it lasts. So here are some simple tips to keep your bras feeling new and long-lasting:

1. Fastening the band just right

When getting a new bra and wearing it for the first time, fasten it on the loosest hook. This is your starting line. As time goes by,  your bra may begin to stretch out a bit – they all do; that’s normal! You can adjust this and tighten it up by moving to the next set of hooks. This way, your bra grows with you, and you get the most out of it. 


2. Adjust your straps regularly

Have you ever noticed how bra straps start to feel loose after a few wears? That may be normal, but this can also be a sign that it's time for a little tweak. Give your bra strap a slight adjustment every so often and when necessary. This can keep them from slipping off your shoulders,  making sure they’re giving you the lift and support you need. In fact, you can also eliminate strap problems by wearing a strapless bra to make things hassle-free.


3. Use your bras one after the other

Another secret to keeping your bras in tip-top shape is to rotate them! Wearing the same bra three days in a row can stretch it out faster. Having a couple of bras in your rotation and giving them a break in between wears is like giving them a little spa day! They’ll certainly last longer and maintain their shape.

Find Your Perfect Fit at Gooseberry

Understanding your bra measurements and finding your perfect bra size is the secret to strutting into your day (or night) feeling comfortable and confident. But at Gooseberry, we know that how your bra looks is just as important as how it feels. That’s why we draw our inspiration from the quality craftsmanship of classic fashion houses while also adding bold details for extra elegance and flair.

Plus, we focus on using sustainably sourced fabrics and employing Fair Trade practices so that our chic, high-end intimates can leave you feeling amazing in more ways than one. 

Here at Gooseberry, we pride ourselves on providing our customers with high quality pieces including loungewear lingerie, bodysuits, shorts, sexy sleepwear, and more. Explore our exquisite collections today!


Sources: 

  1. Women’s Health. How to Measure Your Bra Size at Home in 4 Simple Steps. https://www.womenshealthmag.com/uk/gym-wear/a700109/how-to-measure-bra-size/ 
  2. Vogue. How To Measure For A Bra That Won’t Sabotage Your Day. https://www.vogue.co.uk/article/how-to-measure-for-a-bra#:~:text=Stand%20upright%20without%20a%20bra,that%20is%20your%20band%20size
  3. Mount Sinai. Premenstrual breast changes. https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/symptoms/premenstrual-breast-changes#:~:text=Hormone%20changes%20during%20the%20menstrual,a%2028%2Dday%20cycle). 
  4. Healthline. Why Does Alcohol Make Me Bloated? https://www.healthline.com/health/alcohol-bloating 
  5. Healthline. How Birth Control Can Affect Breast Size. https://www.healthline.com/health/birth-control/does-birth-control-make-your-boobs-bigger 
  6. Marie Claire. This is how often you should get a bra fitting. https://www.marieclaire.co.uk/news/fashion-news/often-get-bra-fitting-512368  
  7. Self. 11 Expert Tips for Finding the Right Bra Size and Fit. https://www.self.com/story/tips-for-finding-the-right-bra-size-and-fit  
  8. Cosmopolitan. How to measure your bra size in 4 easy steps. https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/fashion/style/a35751320/how-to-measure-bra-size/

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