How to Measure a Bra Size without being an expert!

How to measure a bra size

Do you know your bra size? If not, it's time to find out your bust size. You can measure yourself at home with a tape measure and this guide. The bust measurement takes just a few minutes and will help you get the most comfortable fit possible.

Knowing your bra size is essential because it helps you choose your new bra that is more likely to fit well and last longer. But, on the other hand, the wrong size can lead to:

  • Discomfort.
  • Poor support.
  • Skin irritation under the arm.
  • Skin irritation on the back of your neck.

That discomfort comes from straps that dig into your shoulders too much.

And if you don't like how they look in clothes, why bother wearing them at all? A properly fitting bra should feel supportive without digging in anywhere.

Give breasts a smooth line with no bulging over the top or sides, and be neither so tight as to cause red marks nor so loose that any is slipping down of cups or straps (which means they need adjusting).

In other words, when we say "a bra fits properly," we mean something concrete and different than what most people think!

Please read our blog post for instructions on how to measure your bra size!

Table of Contents

How to measure bra size?

How to measure a bra size

To find your size, first, measure around the rib cage directly under your bust and make sure it's level across the body. Next, take a loose measurement over the fullest part of breasts; remember not too high or low! Then round up if that number is even closer than what you want.

Measure the bra band size

Place your arms at your side, and begin to bend forward. Bend as if you are trying to touch your knees with the tips of your fingers. This position is the starting position for measuring band size.

Pull one end of the measuring tape taut away from the other end; make sure it is parallel to the floor through the measurement.

Wrap the tape measure around your body at the inframammary fold. Or where the underside of your breasts begins to curve in towards your chest.

The measuring tape should be level with the floor and snug against your bare skin. Ensure that you do not pull it too tight or leave it too loose to get an accurate measurement.

Read the number that lines up with the starting point to determine your band size. Next, measure the bust at the fullest part.

You want a bra that fits. So it's essential to get the right size for your cup.

Measure the bust line

Measure the bust line at the fullest part of your bust to determine your cup size. Make sure that your arms are at your sides, and bend forward at the waist as before.

Place the measuring tape around the fullest part of the bust, through the nipple area.

Make sure that all breast tissue is encompassed within the tape measure and fasten it behind your back. Make sure it is parallel to the floor with no slack for an accurate measurement.

Leading lingerie retailers recommend that women get professionally measured every time they buy a bra.

Measure the cup size

Put on a non-padded bra before measuring your cup size for more accuracy.

Place the measuring tape around the fullest part of one breast, ensuring that all breast tissue is encompassed within the tape measure, and fasten it behind your back; make sure it is parallel to the floor with no slack for an accurate measurement.

Read the number at the starting point of the measuring tape to determine your cup size. This number will enable you to measure yourself correctly and find the right bra size.

Measure the other breast in precisely the same way as before. When both breasts are measured, add them together and divide by 2: your bra size.

Adjusting a bra to fit properly 

When your bra doesn't fit properly, it might cause problems for your breast tissue. A poor-fitting bra can cause the weight of your breasts to stretch out ligaments in the breast itself.

When ligaments are overstretched, they no longer support the breast properly and may even lead to sagging or drooping.

If your band size is too tight, you might experience discomfort and find it difficult to breathe. On the other hand, too loose up a band size can cause the underwires of your bra to rub against breast tissue and push into the skin.

If you notice redness or chafing in the breast area, either from an ill-fitting bra or from wearing a bra that is too tight, don't worry. Take the bra off and apply a cold compress to the area for at least half an hour out of every 2 hours until the redness goes away.

The best fit is when your bust fits comfortably in between the underwire of your bra so that breast tissue doesn't spill over it or on either side of it.

If your breasts overflow, try finding a bra with a bigger cup size. If the underwire is very tight against you, but there's enough space in the cups, go up a band or down a cup size.

If you notice that the back of your bra rides up when you wear it, this can indicate that it doesn't fit properly. Your bra should fit firmly against your back, with the band staying parallel to the floor all day long. If it rides up, go down a band size or up a cup size.

Some women find that their back is significantly shorter than their front, making it difficult to find correctly fit bras. However, many manufacturers offer bra sizes that are especially suitable for a shorter back.

A bra should fit comfortably with your breasts resting in the cups without causing any bulging or spilling over.

If you have larger breasts, they may also cause underwires to dig into the flesh from the side of your breastbone when you bend forward or stretch out. If this is a problem for you, look for underwire bras that have breast-spreading features.

If your band size is too big or the cups are too small, your breasts may overflow from the sides of your bra or bulge on top of it. If this happens, try a bigger cup size and a smaller band size.

Remember to check your back measurement when deciding on the band size.

Your bra should fit comfortably without causing any bulging or spilling over.

If you feel bust measurement is difficult for you, here I leave you a very easy-to-use bra size calculator.

Bra size chart

There are several different bras sizing systems in use around the world. For example, the U.S. and European systems differ considerably for band size, cup size, equivalent sizes, etc.

Most systems have cups sized by letters of the alphabet, but some have sizes expressed as whole or half numbers on a numerical scale. Cup labeling systems include:

Band sizes are typically labeled with a letter such as X, Y or Z which represents the bandwidth. Band sizes below and including 32 have no letter attached to them.

However, 34 and above use letters (a through to g) 36 and up may also include H, I, and J for plus size bands.

In countries using European and U.S. sizes, the band size is often denoted using an integer (e.g., 34, 36, 38, etc.) but many manufacturers list band size as a letter (e.g., 32A/34B/36C).

On some websites and in catalogs it may be difficult to find the correct bra size, due to the use of various sizing systems.

If you are unable to determine your bra size using a particular measuring system, you should consult the size chart for that product which will convert between sizes.

To ensure proper fit, wear a non-padded underwire bra in the correct band and cup size.

Bra size chart USA

SizeOver Bust in inches
28A 28-29 B 30-31 C 32-33 D 34-35
30A 30-31 B 32-33 C 34-35 D 36-37
32A 32-33 B 33-34 C 35-36 D 37-38 E 39-40 F 41-42
34A 34-35 B 36-37 C 38-39 D 40-41 E 42-43 F 44-45
36A 36-37 B 38-39 C 40-41 D 42-43 E 44-45 F 4
38A 38-39 B 40-41 C 42-43 D 44-45 E 46-47 F 48-49
40A 40-41 B 42-43 C 44-45 D 46-47 E 48-49 F 50-51
42A 42-43 B 44-45 C 46-47 D 48-49 E 50-51 F 52-53
SizeUnder bust in inches

Bra size chart by conuntry

Europe85 A-DD 90 B-F 95 B-F 100 B-F 105 B-F 110 B-F
UK32 B-DD 34 B-F 36 B-F 38 B-F 40 B-F 42 B-F
JapanA-D 70 A-F 75 A-F 80 A-F 85 A-F 90 A-F 95
USA32 A-D 34 A-F 36 A-F 38 A-F 40 A-F 42 A-F

Bra styles

There are a variety of bras available in the market. The main differences between them are their cup designs and what material they are made from.

  • Underwired
  • Beginners
  • Cage
  • Push-Up
  • Plunge
  • Balconette
  • Bralette
  • Transparent
  • Strapless
  • Padded
  • Tube
  • Nursing
  • Bridal
  • Full figure
  • Minimizer
  • Sports bra
  • T-Sirt
  • Multiway
  • Halter
  • Stick On
  • Racerback

The next time you go bra shopping you'll make the right choice, don't worry about it!

Tips for wearing a strapless or backless dress

If you're wearing a strapless or backless dress, you need to get the correct type of bra for it. A strapless bra has cups that hold up your breasts. It does not have a band underneath your breasts, so your breasts stay in place without it.

If you want to wear an adhesive backless bra under a backless dress or don't want to wear a bra with your strapless dress, you can use the silicone-tape method.

  1. Place pieces of sticky tape side up on your skin and press them together, so they adhere to each other without any open spaces.
  2. Put on your backless dress carefully over the tape.
  3. Remove the tape from your skin very carefully without ripping any hair or skin along with it.

The tape doesn't cause pain, but the adhesive might feel a bit uncomfortable when you first start wearing it for one to two hours at a time. However, after a couple of days, your skin will get used to the sensation and shouldn't cause any problems.

Tips for dressing an open-back dress

Dresses without backs are popular. Many celebrities wear them on the red carpet. These dresses are suitable for formal events, but you can also wear them for semi-formal and casual occasions. Dresses without backs can be elegant too!

Consider sewing cups into the dress

No built-in support on your open-back dress? Consider sewing cups into the dress. Buy a bra that provides support without affecting an open-back design.

Some bras have clear straps and do not affect the look of the dress from behind. Other options are getting a body shaper that will smooth out your curves and provide you with

If you want to wear a bra but don't need much support, try putting on a bra that sticks on and covers up.

Make Sure your open-back dress fit is Correct

Be sure that your open-back dress fits you. If it is too big, it might gap in the back, and if it is too small, the fabric may pucker and not lay well. It has to fit well for you to feel confident and polished.

Use fashion tape

A good fashion tape is a thing that keeps your front from opening and helps to keep your shoulder straps in place. A fashion tape can save the day by preventing a strap from falling or your v-neckline from gaping while you are out on the dance floor.

Choose the best hairstyle for you

Why not wear a sexy dress with an open back if you have short hair? There are many beautiful hairstyles for short hair. You can find one that keeps your hair up and away from your back to show off the dress.

Ensure your back is perfect

It's hard to wear backless dresses. But you can make your back look good by starting a skincare regimen.

You can use a loofah to scrub away any dead skin, and if you need it, use an acne scrub regularly before applying moisturizer. This routine should help clear up any problems and let your back be the star.

How to know you are wearing the wrong bra size

  • First, if the band around your chest rides up or slips down
  • If it feels like your breasts are sagging
  • If one of the cups pokes you

You're not wearing the right size if it's constantly feeling uncomfortable, slipping off your shoulder, or digging into your skin.

It's time for a bra fitting if you want to wear clothes that make your bust look its best. Admittedly, it can be nerve-wracking.


We hope this article has helped you better understand bra size and how to measure it.

The size is an essential aspect of shopping for bras, so it's worth taking the time to get a measurement that will provide accurate results for your body type.