It's important to make sure that your bra fits well - an ill-fitting one isn't just uncomfortable, it can lead to back and shoulder pain, poor posture, and it tends to look bad as well.
Finding your bra size isn't hard - it just requires a measuring tape and a little simple math.
Note: There are (kind of goofy) illustrations of boobs in the following steps; if they offend you, I'm sorry in advance. If it offends you that they're just drawings (and not real boobs), sorry about that too.
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Step 1: Measuring the Band Size
To determine the band size you need, measure around your chest just under your bust (just under the breasts). Make sure that the tape is against your body and straight across your back. Exhale as you take the measurement, but try not to pull the tape too tight (it should not dig into your skin at all).
Round all fractional measurements to the nearest whole number. If the number you get is even, add 4 inches; if it's odd, add 5 inches - jot that number down, it's your band size (the 34 portion of 34D, etc.)
When measuring, it may help to have someone else measure you to ensure that the tape is not twisted, and that it's parallel to the floor around the back.
Step 2: Measuring the Cup Size
Place the measuring tape across the fullest portion of your bust, ensuring that it is parallel to the floor, and not digging in or gaping away from your body. If needed (depending on the size and shape of your breasts), this measurement can be taken while wearing a non-padded bra - just make sure that it is not too tight or binding.
Round all fractional measurements to the nearest whole number.
From this number, subtract the number for the band size - this will tell you your cup size (see chart in next step).
Step 3: Getting a Better Bra
This chart will help to determine what bra size you need.
A few things to remember:
1. The center portion of a bra should fit between the breasts and should sit against the skin, not gap outwards.
2. Straps should not dig into the shoulders or hurt. If they do, try loosening them slightly, or try adjusting the band of your bra to make it looser.
3. The back band of the bra should sit across your back below the shoulder blades. If it pulls upwards, try loosening the shoulder straps.
4. If your bra has underwire, they should not dig in to your body or feel uncomfortable or painful - this is a sign that the bra does not fit you well.
5. The fabric of the cup portion should not bunch up (it's too big) or not cover the breast (too small).
6. If you gain or lose a lot of weight, you should re-measure and consider getting new bras as ill-fitting ones are rather uncomfortable.
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Burning Questions: Round 7