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How to Measure for a Bra

Unfortunately, there is no true size standardization in the bra industry. Every manufacturer suggests a similar but slightly different method for measuring and determining size. Different fabrics are used – some have more stretch and others are very firm with little stretch. Measuring for bras is quite simple. Evaluating the measurements can be a bit challenging depending on whether you are measuring during pregnancy or during nursing. Using a cloth measuring tape and following the guidelines below will start you on your way to a finding a perfect fit. It might take several tries with different bras, so don’t become discouraged. Email us at customerservice@maternityandnursing.com if you need further help. We know the characteristics of the bras we carry and can, perhaps, help you in your quest.

Completing the form below will help you to track the following measurements. A printed page also provides a handy reference should you need to contact customer service for assistance:

Step 1. Rib Cage Measurement.
Wear the bra that fits best for this measurement. Measure the rib cage by placing the cloth measuring tape directly under the breasts and around the back. Be sure the tape is level all the way around your body. Take a firm measurement and add 3” to this measurement. If the measurement is an odd number, round up to the next nearest inch. Example: measurement of 34” + 3” = 37” resulting in 38”.

RIB CAGE MEASUREMENT is _______inches + ______inches = _______inches

Step 2. Chest Wall Measurement. Take off your bra for this measurement to insure that no breast tissue is pushed upward causing an inaccurate measurement. Place the measuring tape around the chest wall (above your breasts, under your arms, and around your body). Be sure the tape is level all the way around the body. Take a firm, but not tight, measurement. If the measurement is an odd number, round up to the next nearest inch. Example: measurement of 37” would round up to 38”.

CHEST MEASUREMENT is _____________inches

Step 3. Band Size Determination. To determine bra band size, compare the above numbers obtained in the rib cage measurement and the chest wall measurement. These two numbers should be about the same, however, occasionally they are not. Need help…then try these guidelines. If you are measuring during pregnancy for a maternity bra, the rib cage measurement should be the guiding factor. If you are nursing, the chest wall measurement should be the guiding factor. If they are not close, re-measure and/or email customerservice@maternityandnursing.com.

BAND SIZE DETERMINED is ____________

 
Step 4. Cup Size. Wear the bra that fits best for this measurement. Place the cloth measuring tape across the fullest part of the breast and around the body. Be sure the tape is level all the way around your body. Take a loose measurement.

BREAST MEASUREMENT is ____________inches


Step 5. Determining Bra Size.
Subtract the band size measurement (step #3) from the cup size measurement (step #4) and compare the difference to the chart below. Example: Breast measurement of 42”minus band size measurement of 38” results in a 4” difference. Notice on the below chart that a difference of 4” indicates a cup size of D. So you should begin your bra search by looking for bras available in 38D size.

Difference between rib cage and cup size measurementsResulting cup size
0″ – 1 1/2″   A Cup
1″ – 2 1/2″  B Cup
2 1/2″ – 3 1/2″C Cup
3 1/2″ – 4 1/2″D Cup
5″ – 6″  E (DD) Cup
6″ – 7″  F (DDD) Cup
7″ – 8″G Cup
8″ – 9″H Cup
9″ – 10″I Cup
10″ – 11″J Cup

Working with a professional, experienced bra fitter can save lots of money when trying to shop for bras. If a professional fitter is not available in your area, please call our toll free number 888-806-BRAS (2727) or email us at customerservice@maternityandnursing.com for special assistance.