Getting the size just right when you’re shopping for a bra can often feel like decoding a complex puzzle. For many women, the process of finding the ideal fit can be a downright bewildering experience–and most end up feeling more perplexed by the variety of numbers and letters on bra labels.
If this is a conundrum that feels familiar to you, don’t worry! Cracking the code to find the perfect bra size doesn’t have to be as confounding or is even as complicated as it seems. Read on:
Understanding the Basics of Bra Sizing
Shopping for a bra–especially for first-timers–can be daunting enough without all the numbers and letters on the tag. There’s no reason to be afraid of them, though! Those numbers and letters simply denote band and cup sizes, respectively.
The band size represents the measurement around your rib cage, just beneath the bust. Meanwhile, cup size refers to the volume of your breasts. The letters, ranging from A to D and beyond (here at Anita, we can accommodate cup sizes up to K in some of our offerings!), signify the difference between your band size and the fullest part of your bust. Easy-peasy, right?
Unraveling Common Misconceptions
The Myth of a Universal Size
One of the most pervasive misconceptions about bras is the idea of a universal size that fits all. However, the reality is that sizing varies across different brands and even within their own collections. A 34C in one brand may not fit the same as a 34C in another brand due to variations in design and manufacturing standards.
Cup Size Confusion
Another common myth about bras is about cup sizes. Specifically, some women seem to be under the impression that the cup size remains the same as you go up and down the band size chart. As in, “The C cup in a 32C is no different to a C cup in a 38C”.
This simply isn’t true. As the band size in a bra increases, the cups naturally have to become wider so that they sit properly on the band. If not, you would end up with two tiny cups that only cover the front of the breast, instead of the entire breast, as it’s meant to!
To better visualize this concept, here’s an example: if you wear a 32C while your mom wears a 38C, compare your bras. Your mom’s bra is naturally larger, both in band and cup, to accommodate her size, because her breasts are larger than yours.
Self-Measurement: Does It Work?
While the convenience of measuring yourself at home for a bra size can seem appealing, it may lead to inaccuracies. Factors like breathing patterns, measuring tape positioning, and technique can significantly impact the measurements, which will result in an incorrect size estimation.
That doesn’t mean, however, that accurately measuring your bra size from home is impossible. Our Bra Size Calculator provides helpful and detailed instructions with graphics so that you can find your perfect fit. We recommend wearing a t-shirt bra that isn’t padded for the most accurate measurement, and getting a friend to help you out. Holding the measuring tape yourself will lead to discrepancies.
Anita’s Bra Size Calculator greatly simplifies the process of finding your bra size by providing you with an easy-to-use digital slider interface to input the measurements for your underbust and bust circumference. With our Bra Size Calculator, getting your bra size is as easy as 1-2-3–literally!
Crossover Sizes: Fact vs. Fiction
Some lingerie fitters may try to sell you a bra that isn’t exactly your size when they’ve sold out of ones that are. While there is some degree of flexibility in band and cup sizes, though, you should never leave the store with a bra that doesn’t fit you correctly.
Here’s the real deal: sometimes it works but sometimes it doesn’t. You can comfortably wear an 80B or a 70D bra, for example, if your calculated bra size is 75C. Sometimes those bras may even feel better! However, if a salesperson pushes you towards a specific size bra and then tells you to simply wear it on the tightest setting, best leave that one on the shelf. More than being uncomfortable, you’ll find that the fabric of that bra will inevitably stretch over time after a few uses and washes. You’ll then be left with a loose bra: one that you won’t want to wear again.
Finding Your Perfect Fit
Go For a Professional Fitting
By far, the most reliable way to find your perfect size is to seek a professional fitting. Many stores offer this service–Anita definitely does–where trained fitters can accurately measure you and suggest the best styles that suit both your body shape and preferences.
Experimentation and Adaptation
Since sizing can differ between brands and even between different styles within the same brand, trying on different sizes and styles becomes crucial. Experiment with various sizes to find what feels comfortable and provides the best support. Even the results from our Bra Size Calculator shouldn’t be taken as gospel–think of them more as a guide. Every woman is unique! The important thing is to find a bra that fits perfectly, and that you feel comfortable when you wear it.
Embracing Changes and Adaptations
Understanding That Sizes Can Fluctuate
Our body sizes fluctuate due to various factors such as weight changes, hormonal shifts, and even age. Therefore, it’s important to reassess your bra size periodically to ensure the perfect fit, adapting to the changes in your body.
Flexibility in Preferences
Preferences in style, material, and level of support might also change over time. Embrace these changes and be flexible in your choices to ensure that not only the size but also the style caters to your current needs and comfort.
Finding the perfect bra size isn’t just about numbers and measurements; it’s about the comfort and confidence that come with it. A well-fitted bra can alleviate discomfort, reduce strain on your shoulders and back, and enhance your posture. Understanding the basics, dispelling misconceptions, and being open to changes can significantly simplify this process.
Next time you’re shopping for a bra, there’s no need to freak out! Just keep these pointers in mind when you go, and with a bit of trial and error, you’ll unlock the secret code to your perfect fit.