How To Measure The Right Bra Size

Updated on October 12, 2010

An astonishing amount of women don’t know how to find the right bra. Include me in that number. Up to press, I’ve always bought bras that looked as though they’d fit. You know, look down at my chest, look up at a line of bras - and measure by the eye.

On the occasion that I started measuring by hand I managed to engage a store assistant’s attention. I decided to knock off what must have looked like a moment of public self-gratification somewhere between her eyebrow raising like Angelina Jolie caught off guard and her rather obvious intention to come over and actually speak to me.

That day I returned home with two bras that I wouldn’t have fit into when I was 15. I just felt like I had to buy something, in order to make amends.

How To Find The Right Bra

So, how to find the right bra? Well listen up ladies, I’ve got some great chest enhancing, body slimming booby advice. And I’m sharing it because no one ever bothered to educate me on what correct bra measuring is or the intricacies of fitting the right bra.

Follow me, firmly upholstered as I am (now) into the breach – lets talk about our boobies.

NB – if you’re a guy and like to wear women’s clothing, please feel free to apply the following to your fantasy boobs. You’ll find no prejudice here.

Correct Bra Measuring

Bra Cup Size

Roughly 70-80% of us wear the wrong size. That's comforting. I'm not the only one then.
Roughly 70-80% of us wear the wrong size. That's comforting. I'm not the only one then.

You Will Need ...

One of these and ...
One of these and ...
... a pair of these.
... a pair of these.

Bra Size Measuring Video - Only Watch to 2.20 - The Rest Is Advertising

Now I know the correct bra measuring technique, I feel a little silly. But then again, I don't think I'm alone so you know, if you're here reading this, either you're like me or you're a man hoping to see pictures of near-naked women.

I’ve written the method down in step-by-step form, as it was explained to me. Of course I’m providing pictures, using myself as the model.

I look good, I know it, and you don’t, so I’m sharing more than just my new found knowledge.

Measuring your correct band size:

  1. Make sure you’re wearing a really lightweight bra. Nothing padded, just plain and without embellishments.
  2. Using a tailors measuring tape, measure around your body, right below the line of your bossom.
  3. Don’t allow the tape to go slack and drop down – make sure the line is as straight as possible all the way around.
  4. Now – write down the measurement.
  5. Next: if the number is odd, add another five inch to the measurement – four inches if it’s an even number.
  6. Example – you measure 30in – add 4in – therefore your band size is 34in.
  7. If your initial measurement hits 36 or above, only add an extra 2in for odd, 1in if it’s even.

Measuring your correct bra cup size:

  1. Repeat steps #1 and #2 from above – only place the tape around the fullest part of your chest.
  2. Next, simply subtract the measurement from your band size
  3. Example – if your band size was 35in and you measure 34in around your bust line, then your cup size is an A. Refer to the chart below for correct cup sizing.

And that's it. Consider yourself measured correctly. Now you know exactly how to find the right bra size. Sausage back begone.

That's the plan anyway. Just follow the rest of the tips and you'll soon be as delightfully reupholstered as a counch with a make-over.

Only you'll have more appeal that an old couch newly covered. Or at least ... that's the plan.

How To Determine Bra Cup

Cup Size 
Less than 1 inch
AA Cup 
1 inch
A Cup 
2 inch
B Cup 
3 inch
C Cup 
4 inch 
D Cup 
5 inch 
DD Cup - E
6 inch
DDD Cup - F 
7 inch
DDDD Cup - G 
Way back when - the 20's - bras didn't even come close to supporting what nature blessed us with. And no - she wasn't thinking of men when she handed them out. Or us, come to think of it.
Way back when - the 20's - bras didn't even come close to supporting what nature blessed us with. And no - she wasn't thinking of men when she handed them out. Or us, come to think of it.

Wearing The Right Bra

You know - wearing the right bra not only does wonders for your bossom (fits better, feels better - upholstered better) but it also makes you look slimmer. Great huh? More bang for your buck.

Correctly fitting bras mean perter looking boobs and slimmer looking bodies. Trying to squash a quart into a pint pot will always look as though it's overflowing. One of the laws of physics. If it's too big, be prepared for spillage.

And bra spillage usually occurs by way of:

  • the sausage back effect
  • underarm fat rolls
  • too many puppies in too small a basket

The last one is usually alluring to men but 'fess up ladies - who wears a badly fitting boulder-holder and spends the day fiddling about, scooping escaping flesh back into a space that's going to immediately eject the excess once you're sat in that really important conference of job interview? *breathes*

And who hasn't performed the quick and snappy back-band shuffle? The shoulder strap tweak? The under-wire scoop? I like to think of these moves as something akin to all-in wrestling techniques.

Only your oppopent isn't a big sweaty hunk of muscle. It's two over-rated wobbly bumps and about 34inches of badly fitting elastic. I'll take Hulk Hogan thanks. At least when he's dealt with, he stays where he's put ...

Correct Bra Size - Tips                                                

Thankfully, Gossard appeared on the linerie scene. Unfortunately, their earlier designs weren't so much supportive as straight jackets for t*ts.
Thankfully, Gossard appeared on the linerie scene. Unfortunately, their earlier designs weren't so much supportive as straight jackets for t*ts.

To finish, some correct bra size tips. All handy hints to back up the right bra size information already laid out for your viewing pleasure. Read 'em and take note. They're helpful, they're factual and they're intended to help you further suss out the great right bra size mystery.

  1. Try on at least a dozen bras. Even with the correct measurements to hand, you'll still need to make sure that the bra fits correctly
  2. Most of the support that you get from any bra actually comes from the band. And that's why it's so important to make sure your band size is measured correctly!
  3. A correctly fitting bra will sit flat on your rib cage - and it should be centred. If it bags away from you ribs, try another bra on. If it's one you already own - throw it in the trash, it doesn't fit
  4. Measure yourself if you gain or lose weight. Makes sense to assume that if your waist has dropped or gained a size - so has your bra size
  5. Remember: if the above occurs, each time your band size increases or decreases, the cup size follows suit
  6. It won't hurt to have yourself professionally fitted. If you have access to this service - use it
  7. The straps should sit comfortably on your shoulders. No cutting in or dropping - just sat, comfortably - and doing their job
  8. The back band should sit slightly lower than the bra front. It should feel snug without feeling tight. If you've got sausages going on, it's too tight - adjust it. If that doesn't improve matters enough to make the bra feel comfortable and snug, try another bra

All you have to to (now) is go shopping. There's no point having the right measurements yet you're still left with a drawer full of baly fitting bras.

Get your coat, your husbands wallet and hit the high street. And don't worry about his reaction when you return home having maxed his card out. Just give him a couple of his favorite toys to play with.

You know - the ones his money just covered in something lacy, alluring - and correctly fitting.


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    • profile image


      3 months ago

      This doesn’t work for heavy women. I have a difference of 4 1/2 inches but my breasts barely fit in a B cup. All my size is everywhere else other than my actual breasts.

    • profile image

      Cheryl Dyal 

      5 months ago

      When I measure my bra size I come up with the band size being 48 then I add 4= 52.

      My bust measured 55.5. So how do I determine my size when the bust is larger that the band? Am I missing something!

    • profile image


      19 months ago

      Serves you right. I'm glad to see this happening. Maybe then you can understand how us women feel being teased about our large breasts.

    • profile image

      barry known as Carol 

      7 years ago

      thank you for the tip, I now have the right bra size and it is comfortable

    • Rismayanti profile image


      9 years ago from Tropical Island

      Great hub..helping, thanks

    • frogdropping profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Cheeky Girl - I hope either something I've written or something left in the comments helps improve your ... you know ... boobs ;)

    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 

      9 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

      I am so glad I saw this! I will book mark this one for sure! Whehey! Thank you! About time someone did this on hubs!! : )

    • frogdropping profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Dim - I'm saving the world ... one chest at a time ;)

    • frogdropping profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Mist1302 - I used the universal method but for sure one size doesn't fit all. That's for another method for measuring you cra size correctly :)

      Justine - glad you may have found another way to upholster your boobs!

    • frogdropping profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      suiiki - thanks for the alternative advice :) I think it's helpful to leave different methods. The above pretty much works for me but I'm not everyone else!

      Paradise - just don't bother with my original method ;)

      Candie - that's what jiggling boobies in too small a bra always look like lol :)

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 

      9 years ago from Great Britain

      That gave me a good chuckle, thank you. I've made just about every mistake mentioned here.I have also just measured and 'yes' I need a different size.

      Why am I not surprised? I'm constantly uncomfortable in my bras. Thanks for the advice. Great stuff!!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      HAHAHAH!! FD, I am actually going shopping for new clothes soon. We had a bon fire for my birthday a while ago, and I ripped my only pair of jeans. I am hopefully going to spend some money on new undergarments as well. They really make a difference on how well your clothes fit, but Ill need to find someone with a camera to tag along... :)

      HEY I just noticed some comments to help me, thanks guys!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      For those girls with larger cups, it can be fairly impossible to find anything in a regular store. (And yes, 'anomalies' like 32F happen - to real women. Wearing the correct band and cup will make you feel better and look better - but unless you are lucky enough to live in the UK, it is necessary to find a specialty store or buy online.)

      But the way you measure band is incorrect. When taking the underbust measurement, add only 2-3 inches to find band size. It quite honestly depends how squishy you are around the ribs and what size actually fits, for the same measurement seems to vary woman to woman. I measure about 28.5 inches underbust, and I wear either a 30 or 32 band depending on brand. (That's another factor in correct size.)

      I hope this helps.

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 

      9 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      LOLOL!! "Too many puppies in too small a basket"!!! You crack me up!. I had a girl friend (full figured to be sure) that used to laugh and say she had to by bras in the hat department! Thanks FD!

    • Paradise7 profile image


      9 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks, I'm bookmarking this for the next time I go bra-shopping. I've bought bras online using the size charts and doing the measuring with a LOT more success than I've had buying bras in the store (note for Justine!).

    • Suiiki profile image


      9 years ago from City of the Newly Wed and Nearly Dead

      I was always taught that to find your cup size, you need to find how much bigger your boobs are than your band size (before adding to find the actual band size) For instance, my breasts are 5 inches larger than my measurement just under the bust, making me a DD cup.

      I could be wrong, but that's the way my mum taught me and her mum (A dressmaker) taught her...

      It always worked for me (And could help Justine76)

    • frogdropping profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      drbj - I don't think it's a first. I just wrote it on the hop. So to speak ;) And the joke made me laugh ... gravity is very cruel to women. And men ...

      Ethel - The part about me measuring by hand is true. 'Twas in a store in my local town. I semi-cured me. I got all fascinated one time with those gel filled bras. I ended up buying another useless bra that day too ;)

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      9 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      You managed to get a good amount of humour into this Hub. Not easy with the subject in hand

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      9 years ago from south Florida

      A hub on how to measure your bra size? I haven't checked but this must be the first hub of its kind.

      I wish that the comments section could show an image but since it doesn't, I'll describe a funny cartoon I just saw that fits (joke) right here.

      Picture an elderly couple sitting side by side on a sofa. He puts his hand under her blouse to fondle her breast and she says, "No, Henry, they're not up there any more!"

      Oh, well, you had to BE there.

    • frogdropping profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Lol Justine that's a crime, surely?! I don't know - go try one on and see. And of course I'll need pictures for evidence ;)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      HAHAHHAHAH!! Ive had this problem for so long. Yes, just under the bustline 27 inces. (skip the math for the band size, Ive got 7 inches of boob? that's NOT going to fit in a B cup!!) It may be the fact that where I live doesn't offer much for variety, bras are kinda like jeans, different brands will vary in their sizes somewhat.

    • frogdropping profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      lol Justine all I can say is the above is the standardized method for finding your bra size. If it says you're a 32B ... and you're not then something's wrong. You're definitely taking the first measurement from just under your bustline right? Adding the right amount to find the band/bra size? You'll have to get your boobies out lol, so I can see. And don't worry - I won't share ;)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      haha. sausages. :) Here is my big issue. I get 27 inches for the first measurement. so..add 5, right? 32. Now, next measurement, 34. So I should be a 32B? not a chance will that fit. Ive tried!! what am I doing wrong? And the shopping? Your so right! He wont mind a bit!!


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