Band & Cup Sizes Explained

For example, if your band size is 34 but your bust size is 37, then your bra size is 34C (difference of 3, again, means it's a C cup). Of course, it's worth mentioning that bras can fit differently according to different brands, but now you have the basic tools to work out your correct size.

For example, if a 34C is too big for you, move to a 36B. One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. When did "add 5" to the rib cage become part of the formula? I talked to representatives at two lingerie stores, and they told me that adding four inches to the band size is outdated unfortunately. Archived from the original on 24 May

Measure Around Your Rib Cage for Band Size. Use a flexible measuring tape to measure the circumference of your rib cage just below your breasts. Add 5 inches to this measurement and round to the nearest even number See #2 measurement on the picture to the right. Step 3: Measure Width of Breasts for Cup Size.
Measure bra band size is the first step to discover your true bra size. Because knowing your bra size is a result of measuring two sizes. And it all starts by measuring the underbust and choose the closest band size.
Measure Around Your Rib Cage for Band Size. Use a flexible measuring tape to measure the circumference of your rib cage just below your breasts. Add 5 inches to this measurement and round to the nearest even number See #2 measurement on the picture to the right. Step 3: Measure Width of Breasts for Cup Size.
Measure bra band size is the first step to discover your true bra size. Because knowing your bra size is a result of measuring two sizes. And it all starts by measuring the underbust and choose the closest band size.
Your Band Stand in front of a large mirror wearing a non-padded bra. Wrap a soft measuring tape around your back at band level, under each arm and around the front.
2. Determine your band (frame) size

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See the cup size conversion chart below. Example: Step 1: 34

It is just the standard. Many women would do well in understanding the "sister sizes" in bras and what different styles actually do for a breast. It also might help to talk to a tailor who could suggest how to add a gusset or take in a band or move over a strap to suit your particular body.

Shouldn't I wear 38G or 38H? Then why does the band ride up my back the the front sag down in all the styles I've tried in this size? With 40F the sagging is worse, and I have yet to find a 36H sold in stores. This method does not work for me. I am generally measured a C depending on the make and when I wear these size bras they are comfortable and secure and support my breasts fully. This measuring chart, however, is telling me I am a size 36DD.

This is so obviously wrong. Never add 4 or any number of inches to the underbust measurement. This is a relic from the beginnings of bramaking, when the fabrics were less elastic. That is also why some of you get negative numbers. It clearly doesn't make any sense. And why would I wear an underband that is 4 inches too large? Just take the underbust measurement and go from there. I measure around 31 inches and wear a 30 or 32 underband depending on the brand and elasticity of the band.

There are bra sizing charts out there that compare international sizing systems and sizing differences between brands, which will give you an idea which brands to go for. Also know that the cup size changes with the band size. For example, a 34C has about the same cup volume as a 36B, or a 32D. So if you're trying on a bra and it doesn't fit, you need to adjust the cup size when trying another band.

Also, don't be afraid of larger letters. Women don't come in only 4 sizes. A D-cup usually isn't all that big as I said, a 32D is about the same as a 38A , and most women are used to wearing band sizes that are way too large for them and hence used to low letters.

So if the fit of your 36C cups seems only slightly off but the band rides up your back like nothing good, remember that a 32E has about the same cup size even if it sounds huge to you and a 32F will probably fit even better. It is really uncomfortable. This system dones't work! So I don't add 4" but I feel confused. Does that mean that I am a 26 FF? I don't understand what size I have to wear. Moreover, the smaller band size is 28 and not So what is my real size? This measuring system only works for the ones who do.

And every woman has one breast sitting slightly lower than the other. It isn't that this system isn't working. I measured myself and got a negative number in the difference of my bust and band size which is incorrect. I right now wear a 34B to a 32C depending on the bra. It's not like my breast cave into my body how could I have gotten a negative number. If I go with the 40 inches, most of the bands fit, though one 42 I found is comfy too, but I have yet to fill up the cups on both sides of any B cup I have found before washing the cotton ones and I measure 46 inches at the fullest part of my chest, and sometimes it comes out 47 inches.

I have seen 44 B come up and even 44 C on one measuring advice site. My breasts look like a B and an almost B.

The few 40 A cups I found online and ordered do not fit properly, but that may be complicated by my height and high shoulders. I go for tighter bands to hold the bra down, generally. I feel like a B minus overall and maybe a A on one side. I have a couple of 38 C's I can wear with an extender and they make life easy unless the straps fall off.

The odd thing is that minimizer styles are more likely to fit than other ones but I hate the industrial strength look of them. I do not sag. I don't even have a crease under my smaller side and I am over I think trial and error is the only way, but with almost no wide band small cup sizes around it is hard to accomplish.

I think a fat transfer style boob job is my answer. I am definitely not a size AA. I am currently in a 34C and my nipples slip.

What math could I be doing wrong? My under-breast measurement is 35". Odd number so add 5". OK, so they're telling me my band size is 40? Across the thickest part of my low volume breasts is I'm going to round up out of shame and say I have an "A" cup. Here's where it starts to get funny.

My breasts fit into 34A cups. The band is too tight, so I tried a 36A. The band fit, but the cups were too big. That's because when you go up a band size, cup letter remaining the same, you go up a cup size. I think I need a 36A-. This site is telling me I need a 40A.

So adding cup sizes: Then another quirk of the standard measuring system: I'm 5'10", pounds with broad shoulders. So when I wear a 34A with or without an extender, my breasts are 'placed' too far together so it looks unnatural.

If you look at me in 2D, I have about 3" on each side before the outside of the cup wire starts. A 34 band is meant for someone maybe 5'4" with a narrow, feminine frame.

Because I'm taller, I'm also wider; my ribs are still in proportion to my body; you don't grow taller without also growing wider -- "in proportion," if that makes any sense. Victoria Secrets is useless for fitting, they just shove you in a room with boxes of bras. I am a large woman and can't seem to find a bra that will lift, separate and fit me well at all.

Should I try a 54 D? Or a 54 DD? Any suggestions are appreciated. The band size of the bra states 40, but the measurement with tape measured This is with the band in natural position and not stretched out.

I then checked several of my other bras, and the difference was about the same. Can anyone explain this? I also have one playtex bra that the band actually measured the tag size. The others were more expensive brands. I suppose this is because bras are mass-manufactured and are therefore conglomerated into a few mainstream sizes.

Take my measurements for example: According to the archaic sizing methods used, I am a 36A. These numbers are way off, because I cannot fit into that size without crushing my breasts.

Adding 5 inches to round up to an even number is stupid. What happens when you round down a number? So which one is it? A 36A simply doesn't cover my breasts, whereas a 34C is closer but a bit tight in the band. So I'm told to try a 36B because it's the same as a 34C in the cup? The 36B ends up smallish in the cup but the band is nice. The funny thing is that the bras that actually fit me are nowhere near my supposed calculated bra size.

To those who leave comments like "you just did it wrong", get a life. Most of us know how to add and subtract. The system for measuring is wrong, plain and simple. You can't take a middle ground because there isn't one.

And you can't say to just adjust the straps accordingly because the straps have nothing to do with the cup. The next issue is shape. Bra cups are not friendly towards breasts that face out a bit or aren't sitting super close together.

When I wear a 36C, there's a gap in the inner part of the bra but the outer cup cuts into breast tissue. When I bend down and squish the whole breast in, they fill the whole bra nicely. Until I move a bit, then back to square one, and the pain from the cups cutting in is nasty. I think bras need to be tried on individually, but there has to be more variety for different breast and body types.

Also, living in a dream world here, but wouldn't it be nice to have those odd numbers available? Just go by band measurement and cup measurement to get a better idea of which size to start with and go from there. Yes, it's based on an antiquated system -- a system which remains in place.

All the women whining about it not working, read up on it properly. And the woman who got a boob job; if the test says you're still and A-cup then you more than likely messed up your measurements. The number of people who don't add on the inches is the reason so many women are wearing the wrong bra size. I've worked in lingerie in the top stores for over three years. Her actual band size is 36 or 38, measured under the breasts, not above under the underarms. If she wears a 36 band, she puts the rear clasp on the loosest setting.

If it's a 38, she puts it in the middle. Then we measure around the bust. If we stick to the 36 band size, she comes out to a 36dd because her bust is 5" bigger than her band. If we go with the 38 band, she is a 38d because she is 4" above the band size. The most comfortable bra for her is the playtex at WalMart. It is a simple, underwire molded cup bra with moderate to excellent support. Try it, you'll like it. A 34A would be climbing up my back, pinching me in all the wrong places, and not even begin to contain these girls.

Why would that even make sense? It is antiquated information based on old methods of bra construction. Your under-breast measurement is your band size. Every inch of difference between that and the fullest part of your bust is a cup size. People just need to remember there are sister sizes. Someone talked about that about a quarter of the way through all these posts. There are some great sites for finding abnormal bra sizes.

I'm a 32DD and I'm about two months pregnant. Figure I have some growing yet to do. If you look around, you can find some really good sites that sell bras for many sizes. I know there are a few located out of Europe. Give them a look. Thanks for this article.

I will be able to figure my size out as I get farther along in my pregnancy. I get fitted with my bras by trying them on and seeing the results. Currently I am wearing a 38L bra, which I fall out of and it gives me no support whatsoever. Every time I go by a measuring guide, I measure to be a 40GG, which is rubbish because I tried this on in the shops and it looked like I only had nipple tassels on.

I need help and quick. When you're telling people to add and subtract nonexistent inches from their bodies, then it's absolutely possible for some women to arrive at a negative number. Secondly, here's how I know that this ridiculous method does not work. I just had breast augmentation surgery, which increased my breast size dramatically.

But according to this useless method, my current post-op measurements would place me in an A-sized bra. Does that make much sense? How is it possible to inflate my chest with implants, and then expect them to fit into the same cup size I was wearing before surgery? My A bras did fit me perfectly before. Today, those cups won't even hold half of my boob. And guess who measured my breasts and informed me of my "new" bust size?

Some employee at Victoria's Secret. You should've seen her face when I tried on that A for her. This method just doesn't work. Your underbust measurement is the measurement under your bust in inches, rounded to the nearest even number. That's why so many women are wearing a too big back size and too small cup size - they keep adding ". I have tried a 32A bra but it is simply too small, what should I do?

I measure around a 33 or 34 inch chest. I measure right around 42 inches on my breasts. I do not know what size of bra to wear.

When I get a 36 D, it makes me look like my breasts are way drooped down, and if I wear anything smaller than a D, my breasts are falling out.

The bigger I go in the number, it just pulls my breasts down. What is my bra size? Under my breasts I measure I'm currently wearing a 36D which I know is too small.

Yes, that size exists. No, I didn't measure myself incorrectly. If you get a negative number, don't add 5 to your underbust measurement. I got measured at Victoria's Secret and the lady told me I measured exactly a 34D which, coincidentally is what I have been wearing for years now. If I use this formula, I get a 29 lower band plus the 5, which takes me to a 34 and a 36 bust measurement. If I follow this formula, I'd be a 34B - impossible. I spill out of my D cups.

My "upper" band is 35 inches. Around my nipples is 37 inches. I just lost a lot of weight, which is why I need to recalculate my bra size, so snarky remarks about fat don't apply. I got straight A grades when I took math. I cannot figure out which size bra cup will fit me. These instructions are giving me a Minus cup not true and I don't know if the size should be 34, 35, 37, or I got between B and C and that's what I think I have.

When i measured, i got a -1 and that's not right because my band is 34 so when you add the 4" it becomes a 38 but my bust is only I'm currently wearing a 36B but it barely covers my nipples!

My mom's been telling me to try out a 34C or 36C so this really does not work! LenaAnn94 Post 99 I've been wearing a 34C. Because B's have never fit very well before.

I have been so confused up until your explanation. I have been wearing a 34B but the cup size has recently become uncomfortable. I went to VS and got measured as 32D but they had none of that size to try on. I personally thought the 32C cup fit pretty well though. I then used this system to measure myself and got 32A as my size. But with your explanation, I now understand why the 32C was fairly comfortable and why the attendant at VS suggested 32D.

She was actually doing to good job of sizing even though it seemed crazy at the time! Thank you so much because now I know which size to pick and even which one to try next if it doesn't fit! I was professionally fitted a year ago and all my bras are a 32E. All of those bras are too small now.

This test says i am a 31C. I've never been an A-cup in my life. The last time I tried wearing an A-cup I was spilling out of it plus it'll be very hard to breathe in an A-cup. But when I add five inches I get 34 and that gives me a negative number.

I just don't know what to do. I find a bra that feels right, 38D, but I have the dreaded spill-over affect. If I get a bigger cup size, then I droop even though I wear underwires. I also have a short waist 33 and long legs 35 inseam. I'm 5'10" and could stand to lose 10 pounds, but my breasts make me look like I'm obese. Can someone help me sort this out?

I've been looking for the last two years for a bra that actually fits me without either cutting into my back or my boobs aching. Ladies, you have to understand how bra sizing works.

Let's look at five different bra sizes: Five different band sizes, and five different cup sizes. Each of these holds the same volume of breast as the rest.

That means that a woman who wears a 30DD bra has the same size breasts as one who wears a 38A bra the only difference is in the band! That means, if you try on a 36C in the store, and find that the band is too loose but the cups are just right, you should try on a 34D next, rather than a 34C because the cups on a 34C would hold the same volume as the cups on a 36B.

Is the band still too loose? Then try the 32DD. Understanding this concept should make finding a bra that fits much easier, and should help the confused ladies understand that this guide might not be as 'wrong' as they had originally thought. One last thing to keep in mind: Not all bras are made the same, so they won't all fit you in the same way. It's important to try on a bra before making a purchase, because one brand's sizing might not run the same as another's.

I usually wear a 34 B and many of them fit me okay but some do not even if they are the same brand. For me it just depends on the style like I need a demi bra because my boobs are shallow. I used victoria's secrets measurement system and they told me I was a B!

There is no way I'm a B when I have these two huge cantaloupes sitting on my body. I have been wearing a DD but my cups are full and I'm kind of getting some "spillage" over here lol. Anyway, I'm going to move up to an F - I think it will work better. I need just a touch more room. Thanks so much to whoever posted this, you're a life boobs saver!

And if you're getting incorrect measurements you're probably doing it wrong. According to this, I should be wearing C cup, which is impossible, because a B sometimes is too big, and an A is sometimes too small.

With this way of measuring I keep getting a 39C, which doesn't exist. I am comfortable in a D cup as long as it has full support. I have become so frustrated because I don't know my size. I measure 28 across the ribcage. I'm pretty sure that I have something there. The reason most women wear the wrong bra size is that we're told to add 4" to the band, and end up with the band too big and the cup too small.

Band rides up in back, cups don't fully encase boobs, there is no support - but everyone assumes women are underestimating their band size and inflating their cup size out of vanity or something. Yeah, it's vanity, in that I want a bra that actually gives some support. I wear a 38 DD and i got a negative 1 as my cup size number. What's up with that? Obviously it's possible to have a negative number.

In step one, you add four inches to your band size. So yes, men, unless they have four inches of random fat floating around up there, would end up with a negative number. This this is completely inaccurate.

I'm sitting here in a 34 D and my boobs are literally spilling out of the cups. My bathing suit is from Victoria's Secret and the top is a size 36 DD and that fits perfectly. I wouldn't trust this form of measurement. I used to be a 32DD. I'm three months pregnant with twins and can expect to grow much larger than I have thus far.

If I'm doing the math right I am a 32 J now. Do they even make those? I feel like a pregnant version of Dolly Parton! I did this four times to make sure i was right because I'm going bra shopping in a couple of days. My boobs have been popping out of the top of my bra, a lot, and i figured i was a D cup, and i wasn't exactly sure, so i went online and found this website.

Now, the result i got was a 32D and this is right, because the band on my bra now is a 32, and it's not too tight and not too loose -- it fits me perfectly. All i needed was a bigger cup size, since obviously C is not working for me. I can't ever find a bra to fit me. I measure 28 inches around my ribs and wear a 32 or I am 36 inches around my bust, which puts me at a B cup. If I didn't add the four inches my measurement comes out to a 28 F, which probably doesn't even exist.

My child is 12 years old, and her chest is almost completely flat! She doesn't wear a bra. It's probably because she's vegan, but she's been taking vegan calcium chews, but they're not working!

So again, at what age do people usually start wearing a bra? The cup size is determined by the difference between your underboob and overboob measurement. That should probably work better, but again, it's just a rough guide. The correct way to do it is to actually subtract your underbust measurement before you add the 4 or 5 to your chest measurement.

D anon Post 62 This does not work. The only way to find out your bra size is to try on bras in different sizes and see which ones fit the best. You cannot figure out your bra size with a tape measure any more than you can figure out which size jeans will fit you without trying them on first. The right bra will make such a difference in how clothes fit. Don't get hung up on being a certain size. These measurements are a fitting guide, designed to help you find a starting point.

Try on several different sizes and styles, see what feels the most comfortable and what makes you look your best. Wear that style and size. Let's not be guys about this, comparing ourselves with each other, and worrying about it. Let's be beautiful, individual, mysterious females who wear what makes us feel good.

I'm wearing a 34 b but on some websites I'm a d? I tried this and it says I'm a 32AA but i have like four boobs when i wear that size! I think I'm a 30 or 32 B so i guess not that big a difference.

Add 5, like the instructions say, and I get 32, which is my correct band size. According to anon's method, I'm a 28C? Well, I suppose that could be comparatively similar to a 32B. It tells me that I am a 36B, but in my 34D bra my nipples are out!

Umm, that can't be right. I agree with what some of you said. I measure a 32 for my band size and 38 for my cup size. I normally wear a 34 because it is more comfortable for me and for cup size right now I am in a DD. I have gone to Victoria's Secret and they measure like this site says to and told me I was a 36B! So just for laughs, I tried one on and it barely covered my boobs!

I then tried on a 34DD and viola! It fit like a glove. All the girl could say was, well some bras fit differently. I was tempted to tell her to bring me a 36B bra in every style and I will prove their method is wrong! First, tighten the band, then shorten the straps. Put on a close-fitting shirt over the bra. If the cups pucker or your breasts bulge, you're not wearing the correct size. Look at yourself sideways in a mirror. Your breasts should sit midway between your shoulders and elbows.

If not, you need a more supportive and better-fitting bra. If you need to go down a cup size for fit, go up one band size, and vice versa. For example, if a 34C is too big for you, move to a 36B. Choose a bra that fits perfectly when secured on the outermost hook. As the bra loosens over time, make the band taut by moving toward the tightest hook.

Now that you've found your correct bra size, it's time to go shopping! Below are some of our favorite places to pick up a pretty bra, in person and online. Real Simple may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.

Close View all gallery. Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission. Are You Wearing the Right Size? Determine Your Band Size While braless or wearing a non-padded bra, measure around the bottom of the band, directly under your bust.

Take Your Bust Measurement Wrap the measuring tape somewhat loosely around the fullest part of your chest at nipple level. Calculate Your Cup Size Subtract your band size from your bust measurement and refer to chart.

By Rachel Shelasky and Julee A. Share the gallery Pinterest Facebook.


Band size (also called frame size) is a number that indicates the circumference around the women`s torso, under or over her bust. If your bra size is 36D, 36 is your band size. Band size can be measured both over and under the bust. A = Band Size + 1″, B = Band Size + 2″, C = Band Size + 3″, etc. Nevertheless, because there is often a limited selection of sizes available, people will usually buy “cup size equivalent” bras—or bras whose sizes are vastly different but whose cups require the same amount of breast tissue to fill them. Measure Around Your Rib Cage for Band Size. Use a flexible measuring tape to measure the circumference of your rib cage just below your breasts. Add 5 inches to this measurement and round to the nearest even number See #2 measurement on the picture to the right. Step 3: Measure Width of Breasts for Cup Size.