Friday, 27 January 2012

How to...Measure you Bra Size!


Ok so this might seem like a bit of a weird blog post but I was finishing up a blog interview for Melanie today (only about 6 months after she sent it to me..I'm the worst!) and one of her questions was about my wardrobe essentials. My two essentials are belts (so handy for giving you more definition round the waist!) and decent proper fitting underwear.

Now then, I'm sure you've all heard the statistic "80% of women are wearing the wrong sized bra" and I'm sure that some of you are in that 80%...I know I was before working in Ann Summers. Having worked there for almost a year (would've stayed longer if the store I worked in hadn't shut down) I've done a lot of measurements and seen a LOT of bad fitting bras. I figure that a lot of people do "ways to look good on a night out" for makeup, hair, clothes and shoes but no one ever really seems to address the underwear issue. I don't know about you but I find if I'm wearing the right underwear for a night out, I always feel much more confident (even though no ones going to see it except me!)

So, I'm going to apologise for the 2 pictures now (bra still on, don't worry!) but it's easier to show you! It's so easy to do, all you need is 5 minutes and a tape measure. I always recommended people re-measure themselves every 6 months or so, because you'd be surprised how a little weight gain or loss can change your bra size drastically.

Ok so firstly, ignore the weird angle this photo is at. It's surprisingly difficult to try and hold a tape measure and take a photo of your own boobs at the same time! Haha!
  • Anyway, (obviously this is more accurate if you do it without a bra on, but I wasn't about to turn my blog into that kind of website!) take the tape measure and measure just underneath your boobs, where your underwire normally sits.
  • If the number is even, add 4 and if it's uneven, add 5. So mine measures at 32 so I add 4 and get 36 which is my back size. (With the underwiring of my bra it makes it just over 32 in the picture, but I can assure you that it's not without the bra on. Again, no one needs to see those kind of photos on here!) Now then, if you happen to be up a size from what you're used to wearing, please please PLEASE don't be upset! So many women I measured got upset when they had gone up a back size, but there's so many reasons for this! Ok so sometimes it's because of weight gain but it can also be because you've not been measured in years and you've simply grown. It's not a bad thing and you really shouldn't keep going with the smaller back size. It can really damage your back and if you really don't want anyone to know your size, then you can cut the label out and lie if anyone asks!

  • The second measurement is across the largest part of your boobs (I know I should be more dignified and call them breasts by the way but I just love the word boobs!) so this is usually across your nipples.
  • Don't pull the tape measure too tight for this part because you'll end up with the wrong size and you'll get the dreaded "four boob" when you put your bra on. I usually make it loose enough to almost fit a finger underneath the tape measure comfortably.
  • This measurement gives you your cup size. So going from the number your actual back size is (so mine's 36) you go up from there and every inch is a cup. So 36 = A 37 = B 38 = C 39 = D 40 = DD 41 =E etc. Again, wearing my bra puts my measurement just over 38, but I am in fact a 36C. Easy right?
Problems almost every woman has:

  • One boob bigger than the other - almost every woman has this issue. My right boob is actually a bit bigger and I have to keep it in check if I'm wearing my hardcore cleavage bra! This is always going to be an issue until someone comes up with an easy way to be able to make each cup to your specific set of boobs...sounds like it'd be expensive though right?? The only time this should be an issue is if there is a drastic difference or if it's happened quite quickly. If either of these things happen then I would suggest going to the doctor to get it checked out, just in case.
  • Worried about an increase in back size/decrease in cup size - Ladies, please don't worry about this. As I said before you can always lie about it (and if someone buys you underwear just keep the tags on and exchange it for the right size!) It's much better to be wearing the right sized bra than to keep pretending to be a size that you're not. Wearing the wrong bra size really can lead to a number of problems, mainly to posture and back problems, and really ladies, once you're found the right size, you'll be surprised at how comfortable your bras can be!
  • Wanting your boobs to look "amazing and perky" - That is a thing a customer once said to me. She was in a 32C cup when she was actually a 36E. Pretty big difference right? I'll be honest she was one of the most frustrating customers I've ever had, as she insisted that I was wrong and that she had always been a 32C and couldn't have changed that much. Her boyfriend was on my side though, which was helpful but she was insistent on having maximum cleavage and apparently the E cup just "wasn't right" her. Of course, if you're changing your bra size quite drastically, then they're going to look quite different to what you're used to....that is why bra shops sell super amazing cleavage bras! (Kissing Cleavage in Ann Summers is one of my favourite bras! It's SO comfy but so enhancing! Plus the beanbag padding works wonders in other bras too! Not a fan of the new shapewear stuff in there though. Inflatable padding is just too much the body shaper, honestly can't get it on by yourself, which means the zip is likely to break easily. Not cool.) Your boobs really shouldn't be bulging out of your normal bras. This can actually cause tissue damage to them and, in some severe cases, leave them misshapen. I'd rather think my boobs looked a little less exciting for a little while then have oddly shaped boobs (FYI, everyones boobs are different. I'll be honest, I never thought I'd see as many boobs in real life as I did in the year I worked in Ann Summers! It's amazing how I feel much less weird about mine after seeing so many and how different they all are!) Also unless you get fake ones, boobs do tend to drop a little with age. Wearing the right size bra can combat this though, as they'll be properly supported and won't be as susceptible to gravity!
  • Being a different size in different styles - This is so common and so true too. I found that even in Ann Summers, my bra size would fluctuate in different styles. I will never buy balconette style bras because they just don't suit me (plus I hate having wire between my boobs (if you get what I mean?) I find it uncomfortable and irritating.) I tend to go for plunge style ones as I like the way the sit and they feel comfortable. But some people love balconette and hate plunge ones as they feel like they're "falling out" of them. I would always suggest trying different styles on to see what suits you and what size you need. Also sizes vary from store to store. Primark and New Look are generally small sizes compared to other shops I find. If you don't have time to try the bra on then you should try it on when you get home. Keep the tags on and keep the receipt and you should usually have 14-28 days to return it.
I hope this post has been helpful to you guys, please do ask if you have any questions. I'm more than happy to chat about anything and everything...after all, I've worked in Ann Summers so nothing shocks me anymore!

Until next time,


  1. This is so useful! My sister-in-law doesn’t want to believe the bra sizes salespeople tell her because they aren’t always accurate. I guess I just gotta make her read and follow these steps… I’m sure she’ll be surprised to know I’m tellin’ the truth. :D
    ~Bettie Comerford

    1. Haha! I'm glad to hear this might help! I was always surprised by the amount of women who were wearing the wrong size bra. It can do so much damage in the long run. I know that some places vary with measuring, so I do understand your sister-in-law's issue. I've measured a LOT of boobs and so far, the way I was taught has never been wrong. As I said though, she may need a different size depending on style. I'm always shocked at how different the variation is between plunge and balconette bras for me.

      Hope you have fun saying "I told you so!" ;) and I hope your sister-in-law finds this as helpful as you did :)

  2. My sister is looking for the right way to measure her size and I think I must discuss this to her for them to find the right way and Ahh Bra Reviews for the right stuff to consider.

    1. As I've said, I've found this has never really failed me so I hope this helps! I would also always suggest having a look at bras instore because I have been disappointed before by online shopping! Good luck :)


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