Shopping for new bras can be very emotional and disappointing - if you don't know your accurate bra size! I worked for a major and well-known lingerie company for a year and learned so many useful hints to finding your perfect bra!
It really is easy...just follow these simple steps:
While wearing an everyday, non-padded bra, have a friend or loved one help you use a flexible measuring tape. Place the tape around your ribcage, directly under your breasts, the tape should be straight behind you on your back. Pull to a very snug fit and note the inches you measure.
To this measurement, add 5 inches. This is your BAND size. If the number ends up being an odd number, you will be most comfortable in the NEXT EVEN size band. Examples: You measure 33 inches around, this is a 38 BAND size. You measure 32 inches around, this is a 37 BAND size, but since bras are not made in odd size bands, you would be a 38 BAND size.
Next, to measure your cup size, take the tape and measure around the fullest part of your breast. This should be a very loose measurement, often times professionals will add a generous half of an inch to the tape when placed on the fullest part of the bust. Note this measurement.
Take the difference between your bust in inches and your band size to determine your cup size.
If there is 1 inch difference = A cup
2 inches = B cup
3 inches = C cup
4 inches = D cup
5 inches = DD cup
and so on...
Example: Your snug ribcage measurement is 33 inches so your BAND size is 38, and your bust measurement is 42 inches. SO...your bra size is a 38D.
Quite often, you may measure at an unusual size or the bra you want is not available in your size - so that is when you try your "SISTER-SIZE".
What is a "sister-size"? This means, once you have been fit for a bra, whatever your band size is, you can go up or down into different sizes for more options in bras! Here is how you do it:
Take your original band and cup size - go UP to the next size in the band, and go DOWN to the next size cup
Take your original band and cup size - go DOWN to the next band size, and go UP to the next cup size!
a size 40B = 38C
a size 38B = 36C
a size 34A = 32B
As accurate as this process is, there are always exceptions! Every woman's body is a little different, you should definitely go into a lingerie store and try on all the different types of bras that you will need to fit your wardrobe!
Remember...you have many different styles of shirts, so you may need many different styles of bras as well!
Try a low, plunging demi-cup (half-cup, covers less of your breast) for those v-neck shirts you have.
Or for major support, try a full coverage, lined bra with underwire.
Push-Up bras give you cleavage, while Padded bras fill you out more.
I hope this helps!
Check out my listings and don't hesitate to email with any questions!