How to Measure Your Bra Size

by MaggiePowell

A well fitting Bra makes your clothes look better. Do you know your correct Bra Size? Do you know how to determine your Bra Size? Do you know how to measure Cup Size? Here's how.

Do you ever stand in the lingerie department and wonder to yourself "what bra size am I?" Does looking at a Bra Size Chart make you confused? Are you shopping for a first Bra, and don't know where to start?

Knowing how to measure your bra size correctly will make choosing a bra a lot easier.

Whether this is your first bra, your first post-pregnancy bra, or you have just never felt like you found the right fit for you, this sizing method will help.

A Bra that fits correctly feels good over the course of the day. No tugging at straps, no bulges at the sides, no shifting to get the girls back in place. And for those of you who were blessed with a larger size, no more back ache!

The right Bra size not only FEELS better, it LOOKS better! Granted, the general public will not see you in your bra (unless, that's your thing), but everyone will see how much better your clothes fit. It's like a building... a good foundation will keep the structure in place.

Here is a simple lesson on how to measure for a bra in the comfort of your own home. Knowing your size will make searching through the lacy maze much easier.

(ps... sorry in advance to anyone hoping for a little cheesecake on this page... measuring myself and taking photos at the same time proved to be too difficult..)

How to Determine Your Bra Size

Bra Size is Determined By Two Simple Measurements

Measuring TapeYou will need to take 2 measurements to determine your bra size. Band and Bust... then it's a simple calculation to find your correct size.

(Don't worry, you won't need an advanced engineering degree to work it out!)

You need a Measuring Tape, like the one a seamstress would use (not the metal one a contractor uses, and for heaven's sake, do NOT use a yardstick.... )


And maybe a piece of paper to write the numbers down.

When you are ready to measure, you should either be bare chested, or wear a non-padded bra. 


You Need a Measuring Tape

Flexible, Marked With Inches and Centimeters... These Vinyl Tapes are practically Indestructable.
Singer 60-Inch Tape Measure

Singer 60-inch Vinyl Tape Measure is lightweight and accurately printed in both-inches and centimeters. This flexible tape measure is perfect for measuring curved or flat surfac...

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Measure the Band Size of Your Bra

This is the Measurement UNDER your Bust

Band MeasurementMeasure around your chest right under your breasts. This is the spot on your chest where things are starting to happen. 


Pull the tape snug, but don't cut off your breathing. Make sure it's level all the way around (use a mirror if you can). Make sure the tape is not twisted.

 Take a look at the measurement.


If it is an even number, add 4 inches. (so a 32 becomes a 36)

If it is an odd number, add 5 inches.  (so a 33 becomes a 38)

 Write this number down on your piece of paper.


How to Measure Bust Size

This is the Biggest Part of Your Chest

Bust MeasurementShift the measuring tape up a few inches, and measure around the biggest part of your chest. Generally, you this is at the level of your nipples. 

Make sure the measuring tape is level, and not twisted.

Look at the number.

Now round to the nearest whole number....

(quick math lesson.... anything over the 1/2 inch mark, round up... anything over the 1/2 inch mark, round down) (if you are smack on the half way line, flip a coin.)

37 1/4 inches becomes 37

37 2/3 inches becomes 38

Determining Your Cup Size

What Size Bra Cup Do You Need?

Here comes the hardest part! Math. (Seriously, not tricky at all... so put away the calculator)

Take the number you got for your bust measurment --------->  ex. 39

Subract the number you got for your band measurement---->  ex. 36

                                   Then take this number------------------->         3


And insert it into the handy Bra Size Chart Below   Down arrow

Ta Dah!! Cup Size.

In this example, the woman is a 36 C



Bra Size Chart

Use Your Measurements to Convert to Your Cup Size
Bra Size Chart
Bra Size Chart

Looking for Your First Bra?

Just Enough Support.... Mental and Physical
Maidenform Girls 7-16 3 Pack Crop Bra, White/Nude/Pink, Small

Perfect for sports or everyday. Flexible and comfortable

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Comfortable Everyday Bras

Bras That Work With You All Day
Bali Women's Comfort Revolution Wirefree Bra, Light Beige, 42B

Seamless wirefree bra.

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Playtex Women's 18 Hour Ultimate Lift And Support Wire Free, Nude, 38D

This lightweight soft cup bra features molded, wireless cups with support panels along the bottom and side of the cups for youthful uplift that looks natural

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Bali Passion For Comfort Minimizer Underwire Bra, Black, 34D

Whoever said "less is more" must have known about our collection of Minimizer bras. These styles are ideal if you are looking for reduction without flattening - resulting in a b...

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Lacy Everyday Bras

Everyday Bras Can Still Be Pretty
GO2BRAS SARAH ANN Embroidered Lace Demi Cup Bra Silver w/Taupe 36DD

Fuller busted women no longer have to sacrifice anything in the areas of fit, fashion and function! Feminine lace with fabulous support.

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Maidenform Women's One Fab Fit Embellished Butterfly Lace Bra, Pink Freeze/Magenta Me Crazy, 38D

What every woman desire. America’s number 1 selling t-shirt bra. Fashion, fit, and function meet value and comfort. By combining the benefits of one fab fit’s supportive back, b...

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Glamorise Women's Front Close Stretch Lace Wonderwire Bra, Cafe, 38DD

The Front Hook Stretch Lace Wonderwire Bra from Glamorise provides great support, natural shaping, and comfort in an underwire bra. Great support, natural shaping, and comfort i...

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Make Sure Your Bra FITS

Not All Bras Are Created Equal


Despite all of your measuring, not all bras in your size will fit you. Manufacturers cut corners, or use different standards of measurment known only to the guys in the back room. The only way to know for sure if the bra fits?   Try it on....

Ordering a Bra online is fine, just make sure they have a good return policy. I actually prefer trying Bras on in the privacy of my home


Do the straps dig into your shoulders? Can they be loosened?

     Try loosening the straps a bit, if it's still uncomfortable, maybe find a bra with wide straps.

Does the band dig in under your bust? Even in the last hook setting?

      Because Bra's stretch, you want it to fit snuggly on the last hook. As it loosens up, you can go         to another hook. If the Bra DIGS into you, try a bigger band size.

Bend over a bit... Do the girls stay in the cups?

      If you are blessed with a larger cup size, you may have to look for a full coverage bra for                 everyday wear. (Yes, you can still buy that teeny lacy bra, just be aware that you'll be tugging         and squeezing things back into place if you wear it while chasing kids around the park).

Do the girls fit in the cup? Or do they bulge over?

      Find a bigger cup size, or a bra that has more coverage. Having an odd extra bulge spoils the         look of your T shirts.


One final note... you don't have to pay the earth for a good bra, HOWEVER, you do often get what you pay for. If you buy something cheap and flimsy feeling, chances are it will get stretched out and not fit for long. This is an item of clothing you wear A LOT! Consider it an investment in yourself.... in how you look, and how you feel at the end of the day.


Bras That Want to Have Fun

Lacy, Pretty and Still Comfy
Betsey Johnson Women's Stretch Lace Underwire Demi Bra, Candy Apple, 34D

Stretch lace underwire demi

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Maidenform Women's Enthralled Embellished Lace Push Up, Black/Body Beige, 38B

What every women desires. The sexier side of maidenform. Push up silhouette designed with all over delicate lace, satin trim and a plunging neckline create a super sexy story.

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Felina Women's Felina Parisienne Contour Bra, Black, 32DDD

Lace t-shirt contour beautified by our floral lace is detailed with soft to touch micro

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Special Bras

You May Not Want to Cover These Bras Up
Just Sexy Women's 2 Piece Soft Lace Halter Bra Set, Black, Large

2 piece stretch lace halter bra set with skirted thong

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2 Pack: Bra and Panty Set Satin and Lace Multiple Colors

If you're looking for a super cute (and a little sexy) bra and panty set - then we're sure you'll love at least one of these colors. They are a satin fabric with lace and mesh d...

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Wonderbra Women's Demi Bra Style #8384 Noir 34 B

Chantilly lace for this elegant demi bra available in two colors.

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Changes In Cup Size

Just to Keep Things Interesting

Thanks to hormones, many women find that their bra size CHANGES over the course of the month.

It might be a good idea to have a few extra bras in the bigger cup size in the back of the drawer....(kind of like those stretch pants you hide in the back of the closet).

Spike Bra.... For Those Days When You Need Extra Defense

Comes in a Variety of Colors! (But it Will Show Under T Shirts)
Afterpink New Metallic Gold and Silver Spike Push up Bra (L, SILVER)

Afterpink Sexy Spike Bra Top for Special Occasion.

View on Amazon

Updated: 09/10/2013, MaggiePowell
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MaggiePowell on 09/12/2013

You can check for yourself in the privacy of your home with a measuring tape... some stores have women who will measure for you.
Measure around your chest just under your breasts for the band size.
Then measure around at the largest part of your breasts to get the next calculation.
The chart will give you the cup size.

Hope that clarifies it.

MaggiePowell on 09/06/2013

Clearly, you all have a much better system than we do here in the States.

Guest on 09/06/2013

I swear by Marks & Spencer here in the UK and Maidenform when I can afford to purchase Stateside. M&S have specialists who measure you on request. Maidenform's bras often come in the band sizes S M L and the only thing you need to worry about then is the cup size, which is well and clearly explained above.

MaggiePowell on 09/06/2013

I used to think it had something to do with rolling dice or wishing on a star... turns out there is a real method. Why it's so secret is beyond me.

sheilamarie on 09/06/2013

Choosing size demystified. Thanks for the easy-to-understand lesson.

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