How to Find the Perfect Bra for You

How do you know if you're wearing the right bra? When your breasts feel comfortable, supported, and beautiful. When your bra straps don't dig, roll, or pinch and your band fits without leaving red marks, riding up, or chafing. When there's no "back fat" and your breasts fill the cups without "running over," bulging, or leaving gaps.  Your bra-supported breasts fall halfway between your shoulders and elbows. Your back doesn't ache, your shoulders aren't strained, and your breasts don't itch.  How difficult is that to achieve?  Very.  According to some reports, 80 percent of women wear the wrong bra.

The search for the perfect bra focuses on three important factors: 

  • Band size
  • Cup size 
  • Bra style

Band and cup size determine a bra's fit and feel. Bra style determines how much it shows under your clothes.

How do you find the perfect size?  By taking measurements every time you buy a new bra. It's a good idea to have a professional fitting with a lingerie expert, but you can do your own fitting at home.  Start by putting on your most comfortable, non-padded bra.

How to measure band size:

  • Wrap a measuring tape around your ribs directly under your breasts. Keep the tape snug (not tight) and parallel to the ground (don't let it ride up or sag).
  • If your measurement includes a fraction (for example, 33 ½ inches), round up to the next larger inch-mark (34).
  • If your measurement is an even number, add four inches (For example, if your rib measurement is 34 inches, your band size is 38. If your measurement is an odd number, add five inches (if your rib measurement is 35 inches - your band size is 40)

How to measure cup size:

  • Measure around the fullest part of your breast (usually at the nipple). Make sure the tape stays horizontal and doesn't compress the breast.
  • Round your measurement up or down to the nearest inch-mark.
  • Subtract this measurement from your band size (If the measurement around your nipple is 38 and your band size is 36, the difference is two inches).

Ever inch difference equals a cup size. 

  • One inch equals an A cup
  • Two inches - B cup
  • Three inches - C cup
  • Four inches - D cup
  • Five inches - DD or E cup
  • Six inches - DDD or F cup
  • Seven inches - G cup

What about style? 

  • Choose your fabric: Whether it's cotton, satin, or lace, choose something comfortable with a texture that appears smooth under your clothing. White and bright colors show through light colored blouses. Beige and neutral tones appear more natural.
  • Choose your strap: Bras come with traditional (over the shoulder), halter, crisscross, see-through, or even no straps at all. Choose the best supporting strap that's least visible under your clothing.
  • Choose your shape: The right bra makes a big difference in the appearance of your breasts. If you want to add volume, try a padded or push-up style. If you are already busty, choose one that minimizes your breasts without making you appear squished.

Try on a variety of styles and sizes until you find one that feels and looks best when fastened on the middle row of hooks. Make sure there are no gaps, spaces, wrinkles, or puckers and the front piece between the cups lies flat against your breastbone.  Don't let price tags fool you. Great bras come in all price points.