How to find the right bra

I have a friend who takes two hours to buy three bras. Every time we go to the store, she asks to see everything they have in stock between 34 and 36, and she tries each of them on. You can imagine how frustrated I get. The last two times, I took a book along because I knew I’d have to wait about an hour and fifty minutes after I finished making my choices.

I’ve figured out that there’s a more efficient way to pick out what you want while bra shopping. Of course, sizes vary minutely between brands, but there’s a simple formula to figure the basics out. First, however, let’s look at how exactly you’ll know that you’re wearing the wrong bra.

If the bra is too big for you,

  • The straps slip off
  • It’s higher in the back or rides up when move your arms
  • There are gaps or wrinkles in the cups

If the bra is too small for you,

  • The straps dig into your shoulder
  • The bra digs in at the back and leaves a mark
  • You’re spilling out of your cups

If none of this happens to you, then you’re already wearing your perfect bra. If you find that one or more of them have you frustrated every now and then, just a little basic math will help you set things right. Taking your own measurement is easy enough. Follow these three steps:

    1. Get your band size: Stand straight in front of the mirror. Breathe normally - don’t push your chest out as you would if you were inhaling to sing. Run the measuring tape all the way around you, placing it right under your breasts where the elastic sits. If the measurement is an even number, like 30, add 4 to it, so it becomes 34. If it’s an odd number, like 31, add 5 to it, so it becomes 36. That’s your band size, the one you have to ask for at the store. Band sizes have to be in even numbers because bras don’t come in odd numbered measurements.
    2. Getting your breast size: Next, wear your bra. Make sure it’s not a very tight one because you don’t want to get it all wrong again. Then, measure your breasts around from the nipple, at the fullest part. Ensure that it goes around entirely.
  • Getting your cup size: Band size - breast size = cup size. So if both are 34, your cup size will be 0. If your band size is 36 and your breast size 35, your cup size is 1. Translate numbers into alphabets like this: 0 = AA, 1 = A, 2 = B, 3 = C, 4 = D, 5 = DD and 6 = DDD.

Simple enough, no? I’m pretty bad at mental math myself, but even I couldn’t make a mistake there. So go on ahead, find your perfect fit and make yourself comfortable.