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Bra Measuring Guide

measuring instructions fitting guide

Bra Measuring Guides & Bra Fitting Guides

Here we have provided information on measuring your bra size and key points to look for when fitting a bra. If you are looking for information on US or European sizes, please see our Bra Sizes page where we also offer fitting help for when buying an Anita bra.

We supply standard tape measures and extra long tape measures if you need one to take your measurements.

Bra Measuring Guide

To check your bra size, you need two measurements which are:

1. Underbust Measurement

Measure under your bust and:
add 4ins if the measurement obtained is an even number of inches or
add 5ins if the measurement obtained is an odd number of inches.

For example, if your underbust measurement is 31ins, add 5ins. to obtain bra size 36, or, if your underbust measurement is 30ins add 4ins to obtain bra size 34.

2. Overbust Measurement

Measure round the fullest part of your bust to determine cup size

If the bust measurement is: Same as your bra size, your Cup size is A. 1in more gives Cup size B 2in more gives Cup size C 3in more gives Cup size D 4in more gives Cup size DD 5in more gives Cup size E and so on through F, FF and G

An example: Underbust measurement of 29in + 5in = Bra size 34 Overbust measurement of 34in = Cup A So the correct fitting would be 34A

Bra Measuring Video Guide

This video from Eveden shows a woman being fitted for a bra in a store to help you understand how you can do this for yourself at home.

Bra Fitting Guide

fitting part 1

What should a correctly fitted bra look like?

  • Cups - Breasts should be comfortably encased in the cups with no bulging or gaping at the top or the sides.
  • Wires - Should lie flat against the rib cage and not dig in.
  • Band - This should be level all the way round, not riding up at the back.
  • Straps - These should run parallel at the back and not dig in to the shoulders.

If your bra doesn’t look quite right...

fitting part 2

  • My bra rides up at the back? Adjust hook and eye closure to tighten, loosen straps or try a smaller band size (38 instead of 40).
  • My band digs in? Order one band size larger (40 instead of 38), this may mean you need a smaller cup. Alternatively, opt for a bra with a wider band. Choosing a larger cup size may also help.
  • The sides bulge? Order one band size larger (40 rather than 38) or choose a style that provides more cup coverage.
  • The cups overflow? Order one cup size larger (E to F) or one band size larger (38 to 40). Choose a full cup rather than a half cup.
  • If cups wrinkle at tip? Opt for a larger cup size.
  • My bustling sags? Shorten straps and avoid stretchy fabrics. Choose a firmer support style with rigid straps and cups with more sections as this will give more support.
  • The underwire pinches or pokes out? Order one cup size larger (E to F) or try a non-wired soft cup style.
  • My shoulders are sore? Loosen bra straps or opt for a bra with wider, or padded straps. Tighten the band to take pressure off the shoulders.
  • The straps slip? If you have narrow shoulders, choose a bra style with straps closer to the neck. Alternatively, choose a bigger cup size.
  • What's the best way to try a bra on? Put the bra on the loosest hook to start with so that it can be tightened as the bra starts to give after been worn a few times. Adjust the shoulder straps to ensure they are neither too loose nor too tight. If the band feels too tight then try going up a size (38 to 40). If the cups feel too small then try a larger cup size (E to F). When trying on a new bra always wriggle the shoulders to ensure the straps do not slip.

Bra Fitting Video Guide

This video from Eveden shows a woman being fitted for a bra so you can see the features to look out for in a good and bad fitting bra.

Getting a bra to fit when pregnant

If you are pregnant then your breasts will experience some changes through your pregnancy and after the birth during the nursing stage and it is important that you are wearing a well fitted bra. It's advisable to have a professional fitting at about 3 or 4 months into the pregnancy and then again at about 7 months. During pregnancy, breast become fuller, heavier and more sensitive. The bras that you wear through pregnancy need to be:

  • Comfortable.
  • Flexible.
  • Provide good support.
  • The cups should provide good coverage.
  • A cotton cup lining is preferable.
  • Bras should not have seams that irritate the breasts or nipples.
  • The back of the bra should not ride up.
  • Have comfortable soft straps that don't dig into the shoulders.

At what stage should I buy a nursing bra?

Sometime close to the birth. Your rib cage will expand during pregnancy and contract after birth so your bra size is likely to change. It is important to wear a well fitting bra during nursing. What should I do if my bra size is not shown (DD, FF, GG, HH, JJ)? If your size is not shown then please choose the next size up.

When should I have a bra fitted?

Experts recommend that women should have a bra fitted regularly. There are a number of occasions in a women's life when you should consider having a bra fitting:

  • During pregnancy.
  • After pregnancy.
  • When you lose weight.
  • When you gain weight.
  • When undertaking an exercise regime.
  • After any type of surgery that may increase or decrease the size of your breasts.
  • When your bra feels too small.
  • When your bra feels too big.

If you would like any help and advice about having a bra fitting then you can contact the office and one of the team will be more than happy to advise you.

Choosing swimwear by bra size.

I'm very tall

Opt for a bigger band size and a smaller cup.

I'm very short

Opt for a smaller band size and bigger cup.

Please note: Swimsuits sold by bra size are for people who are 5'5". Don't ask me why, they just are!

My swimsuit doesn't give a good fit around the bottom

We recommend that if this happens then you can try choosing a smaller back size and a bigger cup to accommodate the bust and give the bottom a snug fit.

See our Swimwear Fitting page for more FAQ.

* Fitting Guide imagery courtesy of Royce Lingerie.

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