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Did you know that 90% of women are wearing the wrong bra size?
Many of you may be familiar with the traditional bra fitting method of adding 4 inches to your underbust and using overbust measurement to calculate your cup size, however at Amanda May Lingerie we use a method that people have consistently told us gives them the most comfortable fit. We find that complicated measurements using the overbust doesn’t account for breast shape and greatly affect comfort and fit. We also find the the standard method can leave people in a band too large, that often rides up and causes the underwires to sit away from the body. Underwires that do not hug the body offer less support and can sometimes shift on the body to rest on breast tissue. The biggest cause of discomfort if when the underwire is resting on top of the breast tissue! Bra sizing is more art than science. Women’s bodies are all different, and cookie cutter methods of sizing are not going to get you into the right bra.
The easiest way to determine bra size from home is by using one of your best fitting bras you own and a measuring tape.
First, start off by measuring your underbust. Typically we find that adding two inches to this measurement is sufficient. For example, if your underbust measures 30.5 we would suggest trying a 32 band.
Also, forget what your mama told you about wearing your bra on the middle hook and attach your bra on the loosest hook. This allows your to move up through the hooks as your bra stretches out. With wear and wash, all bands stretch out so starting on the loosest hook extends the life of your bra.
You should be able to fit two fingers under the band. It should pull about 2 inches away your back when stretched. The band should fit snugly against your body, sitting parallel to the floor (at the same spot in the front as it is in the back). Try moving your arms around, reaching up in the air. Your bra should not ride up in the back, if it does, this means that your band is too loose.
We find that many women with larger a larger bust prefer a snugger band. This means that your band may only stretch out about 1" in the back. The weight of your breasts can contribute to stretching out the band faster. On the flip size, women with a smaller chest sometimes choose a larger band.
First, I would like you to set aside everything you believe about your cup size. You may be attached to your current bra size (I can't count how many times I've heard "But I've been this size since high school"). Also, do not be afraid of your letter. A proper fitting bra is the goal, not a certain cup size.Typically people wear band sizes too big, and cup sizes too small. A well fitting bra will have an underwire that encompases all the breast tissue within it - not sitting on the breast tissue.
To check cup size, you will want to look in three spots: underarm, center gore, and top of the cup. If you are trying to determine your bra size from home, we recommend using your best fitting bra to see how the underwire is fitting.
Underarm. Lift your arm parallel to the floor and look in the mirror, do you see breast tissue spilling out? Run your fingers along the underwire pushing down with firm pressure, do you feel breast tissue under the underwire? If so you are in a cup size too small.
If your cup is too small, the underwire will sit on your breast tissue. You can look for this sign on your sides, you should not see any breast tissue spilling out over the bra. Also, your breasts should not spill out in the front.
Center Gore: The center part of your bra, the center gore, should lie flat against your body. If this is not lying flat, the cups are too small.
Top of the Cup: While maintaining good posture, the top of the cups should lay smoothly over your breasts. If the cups are too large you will have room within the cup and there will be gapping. Also, make sure that when you are putting your bra on, you pull all your breast tissue into the bra. You can do this by bending forward, and pulling the breast tissue into the cup - we call this the “Swoop and Scoop”.
So now you have an idea of the band and underwire, but what does this mean? What bra size are you?
Let’s suppose the bra you used to check the underwire was a size 36 B and your underbust measurement was 30 inches:
If the underwire fit perfectly, we would suggest trying a 32 D. This is called a sister size, meaning that the the underwire is the same size but the band has changed. You can see a chart of sister sizes here.
If the underwire was too small, you will want to try a bigger cup so perhaps a 32 DD, E, F or higher. It’s hard to say exactly how much larger of a cup to get, but if you had significant spillage I would try an F or higher. If the cup was sightly snug you could try the DD.
If the underwire was too big, you will want to try a smaller cup such as a 32 C or B.
Need some help? Feel free to give us a call at 613-422-3106 or shoot us an email at email@example.com. We have also done bra fit consultation by Skype and Facetime.
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Cup sizes by brand
Use this chart to determine your cup size. All band sizes will be in US. For Marlies Dekkers and Fleur of England bras we will display US sizing in brackets (for example a Marlies Dekkers bra in size 34 F (E))
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