Getting the right bra size

Do you know that about 80% of women wear the wrong bra size? In countries where the average cup size is D or larger, women tend to wear bras that are too small while in countries where women are not so well endowed women tend to buy bras that are too large. It's common to see women in Singapore wearing bras that are too big.

How do you know you are wearing the wrong bra size?
a) Your boobs are overflowing from the cup. I think some overflow from the cups is acceptable. I'm guilty of this one. I just like the visual effect of the overflow. But of course I won't overdo it such that my nipple pops out :P
b) There are fats protruding from the sides or back. The band is too small. Get a larger size or hook the bra using the outermost hooks.
c) There's a gap between your boobs and your chest or the material creases. This means that the size is too big (it could be either the band or the cup that is too big or both).
d) The bra creeps up the back. This could be caused by bra straps that are too tight or bands that are too loose. Adjust the straps accordingly or get a small band size.
e) The wire isn't against your body. Either the band or the cup is too large. Or the design of the bra is unsuitable for your body frame.

Taking measurements
- Measurements should be taken without wearing a bra, or if modesty is an issue then a good fitting, non-padded, non-minimizing, non-sports bra.
- Use a soft measuring tape.
- Take measurements while standing in front of a mirror so that you can check whether the tape is horizontal to the ground.
- Breathe normally. Unless you are planning on holding you breath all day, do NOT hold a deep breath when you measure.
- Wrap the tape around your body such that it is in contact with your skin. Don't pull it too tightly and don't leave it too loose either. If you don't leave the tape hanging loosely when taking measurements of your waist and hips, you shouldn't do either so when taking bustline measurements.

How to determine band and cup size
To determine band size, measure around the rib cage, just below your breasts. Then add 4 inches if the measurement is even and 5 if the measurement is odd.

E.g. 1: Measurement of 29" on ribcage -> 29 + 5 = band size 34
E.g. 2: Measurement of 28" on ribcage -> 28 + 4 = band size 32

To determine cup size, measure the bustline, i.e. around the fullest part of the breasts, over the nipples. Deduct the rib-cage measurement from this figure. A 1-inch difference between the measurements equals an A cup, 2 inches a B and so on.

E.g. 1: Measurement of 29"on ribcage and 30" bustline ->
A cup -> Bra size 34A (see calculation above for band size)
E.g. 2: Measurement of 28"on ribcage and 31" bustline ->
C cup -> Bra size 32C

The exact bra fit will differ according to manufacturers and designs. Sometimes you need to go one size/cup bigger or smaller. Usually if you increase the band size, you also need to decrease the cup size and vice versa.

E.g. 1: Instead of 32C, you try a 34B.
E.g. 2: Instead of 36C, you try a 34D.

It is best to try before buying. I won't recommend buying bras off the internet.

One breast is larger than the other
It's common and normal for women have one breast larger than the other. Usually the difference is not very much - about 1/2 cup size - but in extreme cases it can be a difference of few cup sizes. I seems typically the left breast is larger than the right because the location of the heart causes the left breast to protrude more.

When buying a bra, go with the size of the smaller or bigger breast, or something in between depending on which feels more comfortable. Top up with a bit of padding on the smaller breast if needed.

Related post:
[How to determine bustline from bra size]

[Do bras cause breast cancer?]


Cheng said...

Very detailed and specifically explained...Experto !!!

Anonymous_CB said...

I do agree Malaysians and Singaporeans (mainly Chinese) wear the wrong bra and cup sizes, which is always the bigger one.

How to tell is easy. Whenever they bend down... and trust me, there are many accidental "down-blouse" cases, it is unavoidable to view half the breast or even the nipple itself.

It may be an ill-fitting bra or loose already. Or perhaps a not good cutting or quality bra. But please, if you wish to leave your blouse/shirt unbuttoned or low neck, please wear a proper fitting bra.

Free shows are nice (at least to me) but I prefer in Full HD quality.

Shaun said...

Better not wear. Some with A size, it would be better to save money and the environment by not wearing any!

Yu-Kym said...

A tall guy fren told me that everyday in the train he gets to see women's nipples.
Full HD quality means what? Full breasts?

A cup sized boobs can also sag... so better wear.

Anonymous said...

I prefer to wear bikini top then the bra. And i will have breasts massage to keep them firm.

Yu-Kym said...

I'm sure massage has its benefits. Though I've heard that the ones available commercially in Singapore are bullshit.