Finding the right bra: tips and information

For everyone with breasts: this is about finding the right bra for you (both size and style) and knowing your breast size/shape. This post, which may seem a bit random and personal, is because of a conversation on Facebook where I talked about a lot of this information, then realized maybe it would be good to share with others.

I saw this video a few years ago and it’s what made me first realize I had measured myself completely incorrectly– I recommend you watch it too:

If you don’t want to watch that video or even if you did already see it, here’s more information below.

MEASUREMENTS, TYPES, AND STYLES

Ok so, bras are weird. I was never educated on these things so there’s a LOT I didn’t know about before I decided to measure myself one day. I had no idea that for most of my life, I wore bras that were way smaller than I should have had.

What I found for myself was that as soon as I wore the correct size, it was so much more comfortable– and people kept telling me that they thought I’d lost weight or why did I look so good? When I told them it was just that I was wearing the correct bra size now, they were surprised. And doubtful that it would make such a difference, but it does.

My recommendations/tips:

1) Measure yourself properly! You can use the way it’s shown in that video, but I also recommend you check out http://www.wikihow.com/Measure-Your-Bra-Size to get a much more in depth view of the whole issue. I recommend the “method 2 of 4: modern sizing” because that was most helpful for me, but it’s nice to do both measurements to compare.

The important thing to know is that back in the day, women wanted to feel more voluptuous so a lot of sizing was trumped up to sound sexier and more like Marilyn Monroe, and also back in the day the elasticity of material was completely different. So the old way of measurement required adjusting the band by several inches to account for that stretch over time. The modern way no longer does that (because modern bras don’t have that problem with the fabric stretching). There are also a few ways of measuring yourself; one way wearing a bra and another not.

2) Cup sizes are NOT absolute; they are proportional. They actually just indicate the difference of inches between your bust circumference and your band circumference; they are NOT universally the same size regardless of your body size. You calculate your cup size by measuring your bust, then your band, then doing bust – band, and using the chart to see what that difference in inches equates to for cup size. Info here: http://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/clothing/shopping-guide/how-to-measure-bra-size/calculate-your-cup-size or at the wikihow article method 2 mentioned and linked above.

3) Note that not every country uses the same cup size measurements. As per uzh, all the countries decided to sort of start on the same idea then just do their own thing. For example, the SAME CUP SIZE would be: USA: DD or E; UK, Italy and Australia: DD, Europe and France: E, and Japan: F. Find conversions here: http://www.herroom.com/european-lingerie-size-conversions,929,30.html Wikihow says that most companies use UK standards of measurement but I don’t know if that’s true.

4) If that wasn’t confusing enough, there are also “sister sizes” in bras where usually you can go up a band size and down a cup size to get a similar but minutely different feel. Info here: http://bustyresources.wikia.com/wiki/Sister_size. This is nice for when you find a bra you like and it isn’t quite the right fit. For example, let’s say you’re a 32B and the bra you get in that size doesn’t fit quite right; you could try the same bra in 34A or 30C and have the same volume available for your breasts. Depending on the bra style and brand and more, you might find that one of those sister sizes is better for you in that instance.

5) The shape of your breasts determines which cut of bra is best for you so sometimes even if you’re buying the same bra size in the same brand you’ll find one looks like shit and another looks fantastic because they might have different cuts. There’s good info on that here:

6) Even in stores I really like such as Soma, I find that I buy most of my bras in one size, but for some I’ll get a bra with one cup size down because it fits better. Not doing the sister size; just straight up doing one cup size down.


FITTINGS IN STORES

One thing I’d say is first, try to measure yourself at home and write down what you find. Then, go to a store like Soma and have the lady there measure you and tell you what they would recommend you wear. Try out bras in that size, in different styles, and check to see if it feels more comfortable and if you look better in it. But remember, these stores will measure you based on THEIR sizing, which may not be universal across the board. This is why I think it’s good to first measure yourself so you can compare that against what you’re told. And if you’re going to have a store measure you, make sure first that they have a wide variety of sizing and don’t stop at, say, 34C. You want the band size and cup sizes to be much more diverse than that.

Something I’ve noticed with Victoria’s Secret: I think they want people to think they’re more well-endowed than they are because I feel like the one I got there stretches too far back on the sides. I could have simply bought the wrong bra but I wanted to mention this because when I went to Victoria’s Secret, two people sized me and they did it out in the open in the store over my clothes without asking what sort of bra I had on underneath. When I was at a place like Soma, they had me in a private changing room but honestly I can’t remember if I wore my bra. I know I wore my shirt. Either way, they measured me in a different way but in that instance I got the same measurement for the most part. Having someone measure you might sound creepy and I would have anticipated it to be so, but it wasn’t. I was completely comfortable because the lady was totally professional– and it felt good to know I’d been right in my own measurements too.

My friend and I both got measured and I got the same size between Victoria’s Secret and Soma, but my friend was told two different cup sizes between the two stores. I think part of the reason for that is she was wearing a padded/push-up bra and since VS didn’t ask, they just measured over her clothes, she was told she was bigger than she is.

This post is long so I’ll stop here but if anyone wants me to do a follow up on it, let me know if you have additional questions or comments. I’m not an expert by any means, but if you wondered if I’d already looked something up or had questions about my personal experiences I’d be happy to follow up on it if wanted.

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