Are you wearing the right bra size?

Are you wearing the right bra size? It’s estimated that at least 85% of British women wear a bra that’s the wrong size. Some tell-tale signs that you may be wearing the wrong bra size include: spilling or bulging cups, underwire that doesn’t lie flat against your rib cage, a band that’s too tight or loose, and an overall sense of bra discomfort. If you want to measure your size at home, follow these steps:

1. Band size

Whilst either wearing a non-padded bra or no bra at all, measure directly under your bust with a tape measure. Make sure the tape is correctly level and is comfortably tight, and round the measurement to the nearest whole number. If your number is even, add 4 inches, and add 5 if it’s odd. This will equal your band size, e.g. if your measurement came to 32 inches, your band size is 36. The same goes if you measured 33 inches, your band size is 38.

2. Bust measurement

Next, take the measuring tape around the fullest part of your chest, so it’s in-line with your nipples. Again, round to the nearest whole number.

3. Cup size

To calculate your cup size, subtract your band size from your bust measurement. For example, if you have a 37 inch bust and a 34 inch band, there’s a difference of 3 inches - which gives you a 34C size (see below for reference). A top tip is that bra sizes are all sisters: So if you’re a 34C, your sister size is both a 32D if you wanted to go up a cup size, and a 36B if you wanted to go down. ● Less than 1 inch (2.5 cm) = AA ● 1 inch (2.5 cm) = A ● 2 inches (5 cm) = B ● 3 inches (7.5 cm) = C ● 4 inches (10 cm) = D ● 5 inches (12.5 cm) = DD ● 6 inches (15 cm) = DDD (E in UK sizing) ● 7 inches (18 cm) = DDDD/F (F in UK sizing) ● 8 inches (20.5 cm) = G/H (FF in UK sizing) ● 9 inches (23 cm) = I/J (G in UK sizing) ● 10 inches (25.5 cm) = J (GG in UK sizing) The majority of leading brands use UK cup sizing: AA, A, B, C, D, DD, E, F, FF, G, GG, H, HH, J, JJ, K, KK, L, LL.

4. Try, try, try

Don’t be afraid to try before you buy. A few ways to test your bras to see if they’re the one for you, include: being able to slide one finger under the band, as this means it’s not too loose. Also try wearing a tight-fitting shirt over the bra - if the cups are bulging the bra is too small. Choose a bra that fits perfectly when secured on the loosest hook - this is because the bra will eventually loosen over time. Alternatively, if you want some expert assistance, you can get a free in-store bra fitting at a number of high street stores, such as Marks & Spencer and Debenhams.