Captain of My Soul: DO IT NOW: Fairly Quick Guide to Proper Bra Fit and Measuring because Victoria Secret and La Senza and whatever are full...
Hi guys I’m obsessed with this shit lately because I don’t want anyone to have unhappy, unsupported boobs like I did. Even if you think your boobs and bras are fine, try it. It will make a big difference in comfort, support, and shape, even if you have small boobs or big boobs. A proper fitting bra can fix back, shoulder, and neck pain, along with breast soreness - and it can help you look 10lbs lighter, and your breasts a hell of a lot perkier.
Don’t just like this, REBLOG IT. EVERY WOMAN DESERVES A PROPER FIT. Even if you are a guy, spread it around to tumblr or with your female friends or family.
Grab a soft tape measurer (use inches) and get nekkid - don’t wear a bra or shirt please, you don’t wear a bra or shirt underneath your bra, do you? This part is fast and easy, and will help you find your ‘Starting Point’ bra size - you may not end up in this exact size, but it will get you in the right ballpark.
How to Measure:
- Measure your underbust - go right underneath the root of your breasts, but make sure the tape is straight/parallel to the floor. Take a firm, snug measurement - if you have chub, take it tighter.
- Measure your bust bent over - bend forward so your back is parallel to the floor and your boobs are hanging so you have access to all that beautiful breast tissue that is now brought forward. Measure very loosely around the nipples, keeping tape straight/horizontal/perpendicular to the floor.
How to Use These Measurements to find your ‘Starting Size’:
- Your underbust measurement is automatically your band size. No BS. If it is not perfectly even/has a decimal, round it up to the nearest full, even number. There is no adding imaginary inches here.
- The difference between your band size and your bust measurement dictates your cup size. Every 1 inch in difference represents a cup size, so 1 inch = A, 2 = B, 3 = C, 4 = D. As you can see here, a true D or DD cup is actually pretty fucking small.
- CUP SIZES ARE NOT STANDARD, UNLIKE COMMONLY THOUGHT (AND TOLD TO US BY ASSHOLES LIKE VS). They are TOTALLY relative to band size. The cup on a 30D has 4 inches less volume than the cup on a 34D. A 30D is actually the same cup size as a 34A!
- No one has their shit together on the lettering for each cup size, so here’s a handy dandy chart. Remember to go with UK measurement as they somewhat have their shit together (and because American companies do not make much above DD, so there’s literally no point in knowing it, but the European sizing may come in handy)
- For example, I have a 29.5 inch underbust and a 38 inch bust when bent over. So, I should take a 30 band and then there’s an 8 inch difference. So I am a 30FF in UK sizing. This is just my starting point when looking for bras, and I may not always end up with this exact size
- Do not pull the ‘omg no I’m not a G cup my boobs aren’t that big you’re retarded’ shit with me ok? You drank the Kool-Aid and now you need to piss it out. CUP SIZES ARE NOT STANDARD. A 34D IS BIGGER IN THE CUPS THAN A 30E. Here, take a look at a chart of cup volumes and see what I mean.
- Also… not all ‘big cup’ bras are ugly and granny-like. Just check out brands like Freya or Gossard or Gorteks or Panache or Cleo! They are gorgeous!
Trying it on: What a proper fit is like
- ALWAYS SCOOP AND SWOOP BEFORE ASSESSING WHETHER IT FITS OR NOT. What does this mean? This means bend over, hike up your bra so that it sits right under the root of your breasts. Then, start smooshing all your back fat and armpit rolls or any loose tissue thats underneath or to the side of the cup, INTO the cup. All that stuff is breast tissue that got pushed around from your shitty bras, no I am not bullshitting - after a few months of wearing better bras, many women end up having to get a bigger cup and sometimes even a smaller band too, as all the smooshed breast tissue migrates back to the boob, where it should be. Not kidding. So get everything in there and make sure the wire is positioned perfectly under your boobs. Then stand up and assess the fit. If it seemed to fit before scooping, it won’t fit now.
- THIS IS JUST A STARTING POINT. Try on your starting size and work from there. You may need to go up or down a band size, or up or down many cup sizes. Not all brands or even models in that brand are made the same way, and the shape of your boobs also helps determine the size and fit, so don’t try on JUST the size you calculated, say “it doesn’t fit”, and then give up and go back to your 36Cs. You aren’t doing yourself any favours. If you don’t feel comfortable in your ‘starting point size’, go ahead and try a size up or down in bands and/or a size or two or even three up or down in cups as needed.
- ALWAYS start on the loosest hook. If you need to start on the tightest hook, go down a band size. The point of hooks is simple - as your bra gets used, it gradually loses its elasticity and gets loose. So, you use your hooks to bring it in, and when you reach the last hook, well, be prepared to get rid of your bra in a few months (unless you invest in a band tightener like the Rixie Clip)
- A proper fit means the bra band is straight and parallel to the floor. If it isn’t, and seems to be getting pulled up, its too big and isn’t supporting you. Get a smaller band. You shouldn’t be able to stretch it more than a couple inches off your back. It may feel tight at first, but bras do need ‘breaking in’ and you are used to wearing things that do not fit correctly, so give it a chance. Of course, it should not hurt either!
- A proper fit means your bra straps are not digging in.
- A proper fit means the gore (the little centerpiece of the bra where the wires sort of meet) MUST tack/sit firmly against your chest. If it doesn’t, then the wires are not truly fully underneath your boobs and so are not giving you the proper support.
- A proper fit means your boobs must fit smoothly into the entire cup (after scooping and swooping). The wire should totally encase all your breast tissue (this includes armpit fat and stuff). There should be no empty space at the bottom or top of the cup. Your boobs should not be overflowing from the top of the cup. If there’s overflowing or uncontained tissue after scooping, or of it feels tight, get a bigger cup.
- A proper fit means you should be able to lift your arms over your head and jump around without the band or underwire budging or exposing underboob.
Size Tweaks/Troubleshooting (make sure you scoop and swoop first):
- The band feels tight: Is the gore tacking or not? If not, go up a cup size or two (or maybe even three or four). Even if the gore is tacking, try this first. The band may be tight because the cups are too small, so your boobs are stretching the band out too much to overcompensate for lack of cup depth, making it feel tighter. If after trying larger cups, it still feels uncomfortably tight, go up a band size (and down a cup size if the first size fit well in the cups - remember, cup is relative to band, a 32DD is the same in the cups as a 34D). Remember though that it takes a few days to break a bra in, so it may feel tight or perfect at first, and then comfortable or too loose later.
- The band feels loose/band is riding up and not remaining parallel to the floor: Go down a band size (and up a cup size or two because blablah relativity).
- The gore is not tacking, but band is not tight: Band size is too big, or maybe fits just right - but the cups are too small. You know what to do.
- Boobs spilling over: Go up a cup size. Check first though that the bottom of the cup is not empty, and hike it up if it is!
- Empty space at bottom of cup: Hike that shit up so it gets right to the roots of your breasts. This may fix bulging/spillage. If you can’t get it higher, then you need a smaller cup or this make of bra is just not suited to your shape.
- Empty space at top of cup: You need a smaller cup, or this shape of bra just does not suit you your breasts, especially if your breasts are not very full on top. Or you need to scoop and swoop!
- Straps digging in: Loosen them. If your boobs suddenly sag, then the band is not supportive enough, and you need a tighter band.
- Armpit rolls: Bigger cup and/or scoop and swoop that shit. The cut of bra may also just not be for you (for now anyway - your armpit rolls may migrate back into the boobs and disappear eventually!)
- They don’t even make my size!!: If you’re in a 28-48 D-KK (UK sizing) cup, you will find your size online easily enough. however, if you have a smaller band than that or need smaller cups, they are hard to find - message me and I’ll try to help you with a solution!
- So, for example, my starting size may be 30FF, but I may end up wearing a 28G or H if the band of that model is too loose and the gore not tacking. Or the band may be fine and I may need a bigger cup so I’ll get a 30G. Or The band may be good but the cups too big, so I’ll get a 30F or E. Or the band may be too small to be comfortable and I’ll wear a 32F or E (same cupsize-ish as 30FF!).
What Not to Do:
- Do not add 3 or 4 or 5 inches or whatever to your band measurement. That is BS that American companies use so that they don’t have to manufacture a larger range of sizes - they use it to fit you into their stock, not their stock onto you. The band will be too big and unsupportive. Those 4 inches they add to the band are 4 inches that should be in the cup size, so no wonder people think anything over DD should be huge.
- Do not measure your ‘overbust’ cause really what the fuck does that have to do with how large you are underneath your boobs, come on
- Do not do the above because 80% of the support comes from the band, which needs to be firm against you and not be sliding or moving around.Would you wear underwear 4 inches bigger than your hips? No, so why would you wear a bra band 4 inches bigger than your ribcage that gets pulled up and stuff and would fall off if not for the straps, while expecting it to support the boobies at the same time?
- Do not go down a band size and then forget to go up a cup size or two. Again, cup sizes are not static. A 30FF is the same cup volume as a 32F or E. If you don’t do this, no shit the bra will fit badly or feel tight.
- Do not go straight to Victoria’s Secret or La Senza or whatever, even if you are lucky enough to fit in their small range of sizes - they don’t seem to follow sizing very well. Still, try, by all means, but be aware that their bras may be odd compared to others.
- r/ABraThatFits: forum for bras, they will help you with sizing, fitting, and finding the right model for your breast shape - they have links to a lot of resources, such as online stores, used bra listings, etc.
- Busty Resources Wiki: Great resource for fitting tips, diagrams, explanations, styles.
- List of Online Retailers: Online is MUCH cheaper and shipping is usually cheap too, even from Europe. Try bras in a store near you , pick out what you like, and order them online instead.
- How to Find A Store Near You: look up a Nordstrom or a good lingerie store near you, or go on r/ABraThatFits and ask about stores in your area. Yelp or review websites may also put you in the right track. Google!
- Bratabase: Database of bras, with user inputted measurements of each bra model in its size - bras may be marked the same size, but with this you can see which may have bigger or smaller bands or cups, or what style may suit what shape of breast, all of which helps find the perfect fit for you!
- Great Youtube Video on Bra Fitting: This is one of the few people on Youtube who knows their shit about bras. Great for the visuals to help you understand what a bad fit and proper fit look like.