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Measuring for correct bra size

I hate bra shopping, and I've lost enough weight that the ones I'm wearing no long fit right. I'm 36" around the strap part, but I can't imagine a 36-whatever being comfortable. Help!

Tue. Jan 31, 6:30pm

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Oprah did a whole show on bra fittings, and how most women are in the wrong size. Get a professional fitting, I know Nordstrom's is really good at this, I don't know where else you can get a professional fitting. It's really worth it! I recently convinced two friends to go get a fitting and they are really happy they did because they were in the wrong sized bra. They both liike their new bras.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006, 6:47 PM

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JCPenney also does bra fittings. They don't just go by the length around. It's more like, they put the tape measure around your back where your bra strap should go, bring it around towards the front, then in the front the measure goes up on the side of your breasts and then meets in the middle above your breasts at your chest. I measure about 37 if you go strictly around but like 42 measured in this manner.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006, 7:44 PM

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I'm a size 12, 180lbs- my bra is a 34 or 36 D. Most women wear the strap too wide, and it will rise above the bottom of their shoulder blades and look terrible. I agree with those who say get fitted for one. I used to work lingerie, and girls would be like "I need a 38 A" and I was thinking, honey, you're narrower than me, and I wear a 34 C...

Tuesday, January 31, 2006, 7:52 PM

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I saw the Oprah episode and then read an article in a magazine (can't remember which mag) but I wrote the info down.

To get your band size: tightly wrap tape measure under breast

To get your cup size: measure at the fullest part of the breast and the difference results in your cup size

1" is A cup
2 " is B cup
3" is C cup
4 " is D cup
5 " is DD cup
6" is DDD cup

For example I am 36" under the breast and 39" at the fullest part so I am a 36C

Hope this helps

Tuesday, January 31, 2006, 9:51 PM

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Thank you to the above poster. I am very modest so I do not want anyone else measuring me for a bra, now I know how to do it myself.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006, 12:47 AM

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Yeah, I know what you mean about the modest thing, but I found it was necessary for me and she actually did the measuring with my bra on. Just so you know, the stap is supposed to be small enough to stay down under the bra line on the back and not ride up, so most women take a size two inches too large. Good luck!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006, 5:08 AM

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I received the Oprah magazine that had the tape measure included in it for bra measuring and it was not right for me. I think it was too general.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006, 11:41 AM

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I don't agree with the measuring suggestion

By your suggestion, I'd be a 32DD. I am a 36C/D. There's no way I could even fasten a 32...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006, 3:09 PM

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not all bras are made equal. I'm the 34D or 36D. Depends on which brand. Really, you have to try numerous ones on, because they're made differently. How wide is the base of the cup? How wide are you across the back? These are all things that go beyond the band/cup size, and they will vary from brand to brand.

You may think you couldn't fasten a 32, but that could be because you wear your bra a little higher, or because your band is too narrow and cuts in. Or, it could be you're wider at the back than the front, so that when the cups are fitted to your girls, there's not enough space at the back. Or some of us have a problem with the cups cutting in onthe top and us "busting out" (not as pretty as you think!!) because the cup width is right, but not the depth...

Really, our bodies are so incredibly different, but bras are made relatively "one 34C fits all 34Cs" which isn't really true. Find a good brand. Me, I'm a big fan of maiden form.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006, 3:25 PM

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When I googled this, most of the sites I came across said to add 4" to the measurement around your chest just below the breasts to get your bandwidth, rounding up if it's an odd number. The for cup size, you use the chest (not band) measurement and do pretty much as the poster above listed to determine cup size.

However, this makes me - a questionable 40DD - into a 40F. Hm.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006, 4:13 PM

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Try Macy's, they do bra fittings as well as JC Penney. In fact most of the bigger department stores do bra fittings. I would just go and try some on first if your not comfortable with getting a fitting, its not so hard to figure out your size.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006, 4:16 PM

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OK, this didn't work for me, I measured size 30 under my breasts and size 38 on the largest part of my breasts; I don't wear a size DDDD cup. I wear a size 36D. What am I doing wrong?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006, 6:37 PM

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Different brands of bras really do fit differently. I usually have to try on about 20 bras to find one that works right, I'm not kidding. That's why I really do recommend a professional fitting because if she's a good fitter, she knows the bras, and can find on that will work for your body type. Try it, it's worth it.

Thursday, February 02, 2006, 6:38 AM

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Get Measured...

by a knowledgeable sales person. I purchase a lot of my bras from either Nordstrom or Saks 5th and the sales staff always does a great job measuring me.

And just like shoes, you should invest in good bras! The cheap ones will feel cheap and for something that is going to be worn for a good part of the day close to your skin, you deserve something that feels splurge!

Thursday, February 02, 2006, 12:06 PM

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I really want to check out Victoria's Secret for some of the cute bras, but I think part of my reluctance is that all of the salespeople are these little tiny skinny mini things... Doesn't help for the average to "thick" woman in terms of self-image...

Any suggestions?

Thursday, February 02, 2006, 12:38 PM

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Avoid Victoria Secret to calculate your bra size.. their little number online told me (an A) that I just shouldn't be wearing a bra... like they don't make them for my size (sounds a bit counter productive if you are selling them) and they said the same thing for my friend who is a B.... maybe we just don't have boobs, but I'm pretty sure I'd get some looks if I didn't throw something on those guys everyday.

Friday, February 03, 2006, 12:49 AM

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VS bras are such low quality, especially for the price, and *especially* if you need any kind of support! there are tons of cute bra in regular old department stores!

Friday, February 03, 2006, 9:05 AM

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Additional sizing info

Correction on earlier post:

Once you measure under your breasts, if the number you get is even, add 4. If it's odd, add 5. For example, I measured 28 below my breasts, so i added 4 to get 32. Then the 1"=A, 2"=B, etc. chart works.

This system still doesn't work for me. I found an alternative way of measuring that accounts for wider breasts, etc.

Thanks to Ed Pechter, M.D., author of The Right Bra Measurement system, there is a new way to measure Cup Size. For many women, step three is simply not accurate. Women with very large or very petite frames, "unusual breast shapes, etc. complain that the traditional measurement does not work.

Measure across the fullest part of the breast (across the nipple), starting at the outside of the breast crease and going to the inside of the crease (across just one breast...from edge to edge). I measured 8"

The Right Bra measuring system allocates a cup size to each measurement.

7" = A cup; 8" = B cup; 9" = C cup; 10" = D cup ; 11" = DD cup; 12" = DDD (E cup).

For smaller widths (30" or 32") add one inch. For larger widths, 38"-40", subtract one inch.

This leaves me at a 32 C. I have fairly small breasts, but because of their shape, this is the size i always buy. People look at me like i'm crazy, but this measurement system finally showed me that i was right all along.

Hope this helps!

Saturday, September 22, 2007, 2:48 PM

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I'm going to post this again (as I have done on another thread before), but it's true that most people wear completely the wrong size. In one shop I went into I got told I was a 38C, as C was the biggest cup size they did (they just wanted to sell me clothes - they weren't bothered about my actual size). A 38 is about a British size 18 (is that a US 16?). I have a small back in comparison to the rest of me. It turns out that I am in fact a 30HH - 32GG depending on the style of bra. A 32 is about a British style 12 (US10?) and a 30 is a US 8. Since I got properly fitted I have not had back or shoulder pain from my boobs and I'm able to do hard physical sports because I have a sports bra which is like armour!


Monday, September 24, 2007, 7:34 AM

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Some of the above posters were mis-reading the traditional guidelines. I know this is from a long time ago, but I just wanted to clarify them.

First, you measure below your boobs. Take that measurement and add 5 (that is waht I'd always heard - but on this posting it says 4 - do what you will), and round up if the total is odd. This is your band size.

Then, measure around your boobs, and subtract the band size (NOT the original measurement, but, rather, the original measurement plus 5) from the boob measurement. Then, a difference of 1" is an A, 2" a B, etc.

And, a DD is the same as an E. A DDD is the same as an F. So, the poster who said she was a DD, and the measurement of her as an F was ridiculous - it was only off by 1 cup size.

And, the poster who measured her back and said it was a 36, but couldn't fit into a 36 band - well, she should be wearing a 40 or 42. And, the one who said her back measurement was a 30, and her boob measure was a 38, she'd be a C cup: 38 - (30 + 5) = 3".

Monday, September 24, 2007, 4:05 PM

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I wear a 40DDD and have found the ladies at Penny's very helpful. When your big busted a good bra is a MUST. They have a lot of lines to chose from including a line called Underscore that is very affordable and stands up to heavy wear and washing. Just my 2 cents.

Monday, September 24, 2007, 11:17 PM

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4 or 5 "

I just watched a great video on this. Your band size isn't the measurement under your breasts. If the number is even you add 4" and if it's odd, add 5". So you would be 34" for band size. Now 38 minus 34 is only 4 ", which makes you a 34D. Hope that helps.


Friday, December 07, 2007, 5:14 PM

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I've gotten to professional fittings. One from Macy's and another from JC Penney. Neither have been correct. I should say the fitting might be correct but the bra cups sizes were a huge issue. I am a 39, so I have to go to a 40 and I am a B cup, the problem is that the B cups on a 40 is huge compared to the B cups on anything under a 40. So the cups never fit me and they are loose and wrinkled. No one has been able to come up with a right fit for me. So what do I do? I wear a 38 B with an extender and the cup fits fine but it is slightly off centered which is a pain in the ass. I used to be a 44 B. Sadly the industry believes that the bigger you are the bigger bust you have, in my case thats not so. I have never gained in the bust area nor have I lost in the bust area.

Saturday, December 08, 2007, 11:25 AM

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