Proper Bra Fitting

Although many women believe they have determined their proper bra size, experts in the lingerie industry estimate that as many as 70% of women are wearing the wrong size.
Although it's sometimes immediately obvious that the bra you're trying just isn't working for you, there are also several less apparent signs that you might overlook. It is with that in
mind that Sexy Creations has brought you a comprehensive look at how to make sure you
get the most out of your bra and, in turn, the most out of your wardrobe.

Measuring For The Right Fit
  Many factors affect your bust measurement ... including pregnancy, birth control pills, weight fluctuations and exercise to name a few. There is also no one sure-fire 100% accurate measuring system.  However, armed with a few guidelines and a little common sense, you can figure our your correct site. Start by following the steps below while wearing your best fitting unpadded bra (minimizers and sports bras should be avoided for measuring purposes):
  Measuring Your Band Size
Holding the measuring tape gently but firmly, measure around your bra directly under your bust after expelling all air from your lungs - you want this measurement to be as small as possible. Look in a mirror to assure the tape is parallel to the floor. The position of your tape measure is critical here. If you have the tape too high, your measurement will be too large; too low and it's too small.
When you take these measurements, round to the closest whole inch, either up or down. For example, if your measurement is 29 3/8", round to 29". If your measurement is 29 1/2" or more, round to 30".
Bras come in even band sizes. If the rounded measurement you come up with is an even number, add 4 inches. If the rounded measurement you come up with is an odd number, add 5 inches.
The result is your band size. Example: 33" + 5" = 38" band size.
  Measuring Your Cup Size (Natural Breasts) 
Standing straight, with your arms at your side, measure around your body at the fullest part of your bust (while wearing a bra with your bust apex being midway between your elbow and your shoulder).
Wrap the tape measure around you so that it is just touching, but not binding. If one of your breasts is significantly larger, put some type of padding in the cup of the smaller breast to make it even with the larger breast before taking your measurement.
Round up or down to the nearest inch as you did to find your band size.

Now, subtract your band size measurement from this second measurement. The difference is your cup size. Example: 38" - 34" (band size) = 4" = D cup size. The chart below shows you how to determine cup size.

Standard Cup Size
 0" to 1/2" (1.3 cm)       
 1/2" to 1" (2.6 cm)
 2" (5.1 cm)
 3" (7.6 cm)
 4" (10.2 cm)
 5" (12.7 cm)
             DD or E
 6" (15.2 cm)
             DDD or F
 7" (17.8 cm)
 8" (20.3 cm)
 9" (22.9 cm)
 10" (25.4 cm)
  Measuring Your Cup Size (Implants) 
   1. Measuring for your cup size is not the same. With your tape measure parallel to the floor, you will measure your breast from where your breast begins in your cleavage, across the nipple point, then over to where your breast ends near the armpit. With this measurement, and your band measurement, use the table below to determine your cup size.
Breast Measurement  32" Band
(27-28" ribcage)
 34" Band
(29-30" ribcage)
 36" Band
(31-32" ribcage)
 38" Band
(33-34" ribcage)
 6" A   
 6 1/2"
 7" B A  
 7 1/2"
 8" C B A 
 8 1/2"
 9" D C B A
 9 1/2"  FULL D
 10" DD D C B
 10 1/2"
 11" DDD DD D C
 11 1/2" FULL DDD
 12"  DDD DD D
 12 1/2"
 13"   DDD DD
 13 1/2"   FULL DDD


  International Bra Size Conversion Chart
 30 65 80 30 1 80
 32 70 85 32 2 80
 34 75 90 34 3 90
 36 80 95 36 4 95
 38 85 100 38 5 100
 40 90 105 40 6 105
 40 90 105 40 6 105
 42 95 110 42 7 110
 44 100 115 44 8 115
 48 105 120 46  120
  110 125 48  125
How a properly fit bra should look and feel
 Smooth Fitting Cups

The edges of the cups should lie flat against your breast. If you don't fill out the cups, you need a smaller size. If you over fill them, try a larger size or a style with a more full cup design.If there is a gap (especially with padded bras), you should go down a cup size.

 Center Panel Lays Flat Against Your Breastbone

If it does not, this is a possible sign that the cup size is too small or that the panel is not large enough to accommodate the separation between your breasts. Exception: Minimizers don't typically rest against the breastbone and this is fine.

 The Bottom of the Bra in the Front & Back is Parallel to the Floor or Slightly Lower in Back
  The lower edge of the band should anchor below the shoulder blades. The lower the back fits, the better
the support.
 Straps Stay Put and Don't Dig Into Your Shoulders
  Consider a different bra style with straps closer together if the straps keep falling. A smaller band size
should reduce the strap's strain on your shoulders.
 Cup Fabric Should Be Stable
  The fabric should give support as well as a good breast shape.
 An Underwire Should Encircle Your Breast
  It should never poke, pinch or protrude.
 Good Breast Uplift

The apex of your breast should be mid-way between your shoulders and  your elbows. Properly uplifted breasts look more youthful and give a slimming appearance.


 Breast Face Forward and Do Not Sag or Fall to the Sides
  You should be able to freely swing your arms.
 A Finger Can Be Run Under the Front of the Band

Your bra should be snug, but not tight. If it's tight, you either need a larger band or a looser hook in back.

 Feels Comfortable When Sitting
  Our ribcages tend to expand when we are seated. If you're not sure your band is big enough, sit down and have your question answered.
Troubleshooting Common Bra Fitting Problems
 The Bra Cups Pucker
   Cause:Your cup size is too large.
   Resolution:Go down one cup size, while keeping the same band size, or tighten your bra straps.
 My Breasts are "Bulging" Over the Top of the Bra
   Cause:Cup size is either too small or cut too low for the size of your breasts.
   Resolution:Try going up one cup size, while keeping the same band size, or choose a style of bra that has more fabric in the cup. For example, try a full coverage cup rather than a demi cup.
 One Cup Fits Fine, but the Other One Puckers
One breast is larger than the other. Don't panic, this is very common.
   Resolution:Most often the difference is not noticeable. However, if yours is significant, you do have options. You can try a bra with a stretchy fabric in the cup so that it conforms more to your own differences. You can also try a bra with a fiberfill, light padding or molded cups to help hide the differences. Finally, you can purchase bra inserts to use to build up the smaller breast or bras with removable inserts that you can take out of the larger side. 
 I Have Rashes or Redness Underneath the Breasts
   Cause:Your cup is too small, your underwire is not in the breast crease, and your bra does not give enough support to lift your breasts off your ribcage. Consequently, your breast skin is overlapping and rubbing on your ribcage skin and irritation is occurring.
   Resolution:Increase your cup size until you find the right underwire that fits within your breast crease comfortably. Choose a bra that has a band on the bottom. This band will give additional support and insure your breast tissue does not come in contact with your ribcage skin. Select a bra with a supportive cup design such as 2 to 3 section cups, contains support panels at the bottom, along the sides and possibly all the way around your breast. Finally, consider a wireless bra with a band and good supporting cup design.
 My Bra Size is Correct, but Breast Tissues Falls Out Near the Underarms
   Cause:You have the wrong style of bra.
   Resolution:Triangle bra styles and other skimpy bras are probably not for you. Such styles are more for women who don't need much bra support. Remember, not all bra styles will work on your figure - even if they come in your size.
 The Underwires Pop Out of My Bras
   Cause:Your band size is probably too large. If your band is moving around your body, this friction wears down the casing covering of your underwire and ultimately causes a hole for the wire to pop out. In a really bad fit, this hole can occur within a matter of hours. The fabric sewn over underwires inside a bra, called channeling, is sometimes made of cotton. Washing in hot water can shrink the channeling and force the underwire to pop out. The manufacturer may not have sewn enough stitches to close the underwire channel and the underwire has been able to pop out.
   Resolution:Try a smaller band size and a larger cup size (for example, go from a 38D to a 36DD) and see if your bra stays in place better. Never wash your lingerie in hot water or put in a dryer. If your wire popped out due to a sewing error, it can be fixed with an alteration.
 The Underwire is Uncomfortable and Poking Underneath the Arm
   Cause:The cup size is too small and places the underwire right on the tender breast tissue and too far forward on the body. The style of the bra is not providing a wide enough cup to support your breast, or the design of the bra is placing the cups too close together.
   Resolution:Try going up a cup size and see if the underwire fits more comfortably (e.g.: 36C to a 36D). Or try a different style bra with fuller cup coverage and/or a larger center panel in front. A large-breasted woman can still experience poking on the sides, even in a bra that is the correct size. Therefore, she should look for a bra that has side support panels. These panels will push your breast tissue towards the front and away from under your arms. Also, if this problem is occurring with a minimizer, you should probably stop wearing a minimizer. A minimizer works by flattening your breasts and moving the tissue more under your arms and up your chest. Too much tissue under the arms will get in the way of comfortable movement.
 The Underwires are Poking Me in the Armpit
   Cause:You are probably petite in build, and/or have a short torso, or have breasts that are high-set on your ribcage. Petite women have this problem because average bras are not made for women with short torsos. Therefore, the underwire is too tall and pokes into their armpit.
   Resolution:Consider a demi style bra, or a bra style with less cup coverage and thus shorter underwires. This shorter underwire should reduce poking. Also, consider petite bras. They are designed to have closer cups, shorter wires, and shorter bra straps.
 The Underwires Tip Away from my Body Between the Breasts
   Cause:Your bra cups are not deep enough and/or the center panel is too narrow at its bottom. The underwire is not sitting in your "breast crease" and therefore is not laying flat against your chest. Your bra may also be a minimizer.
   Resolution:Try on a larger cup size or select a bra with a different shaped center panel. Your breasts may also be unusually wide and not rest in underwires well. Consider wearing a wireless bra. Minimizer underwire bras work by compressing breast tissue. One side effect is that sometimes the center wires tip outwards. Try another minimizer or forgo a minimizer all together.
 I Can't Find an Underwire that Fits
   Cause:Your breast shape may not be suited for underwires. Some women have breast tissue that extends around their chest and under their arms. An underwire is going to press into breast tissue and feel very uncomfortable.
   Resolution:Forego an underwire and find comfort in a wire-free bra.
  My Breasts Sag Even Though I'm Wearing A Bra
   Cause:Your bra does not have enough support, the cup fabric is too stretchy and flimsy for your breasts, or your band size is too large. You may also have heavy breasts that are becoming pendulous due to lack of proper support.
   Resolution:The apex of your breasts should fall half way between your elbow and shoulder. To get there, you need a bra with good support. Features of great supporting bras include a 3-section cup, support panels built into the cup, a band all the way around the bottom of the bra, and 3 or more hooks in the back. Avoid single layer molded cup bras. Going down a band size and up a cup size may also solve this problem (e.g. 38C to a 36D).
 The Center Bra Panel has a Gap
   Cause:The style of bra does not work with your figure.
   Resolution:Try a different style of bra or have the bra altered.
 My Bra Rides Up in the Back
   Cause:Your band size is too large.
   Resolution:Try hooking your bra on a tighter setting and loosening the straps. If this doesn't work, your band size is too big and you need to buy a smaller band size. If your cups fit fine, in order to keep the same cup size when you go down on the band size, you must go up a cup size (for example, go from a 36C to a 34D).
 My Bra Size is Correct,but It Still Rides Up in the Back
   Cause:Your torso does not get narrower at the waist and in fact might be wider, and /or your breasts are large and heavy. Both these body characteristics predispose your bra back to riding up.
   Resolution:Make sure your bra back has the leotard back strap styling, 4-7 hook back closure, and wide elastic sewn along the bottom edge. Also, when you put on your bra, make sure your bra back is pulled down under your back bones - this will also help anchor your bra.
 My Bra is Uncomfortable, Cutting and Pinching Whenever I Move
   Cause:Your bra is hooked too tightly, your band size is too small, or the sides of your bra are too narrow for your figure type.
   Resolution:Try hooking your bra on a looser setting or adding a back extender. It may also be that the bra style is inappropriate for your figure. Consider a style with wider sides and a three-hook closure in back.
 My Shoulder Straps Keep Falling Off
   Cause:If tightening the strap is not working, the problem could be that your cup size is too big. You're not filling out the top of your cup and this is causing your straps to slide down your shoulders. You are using bra extenders which are basically causing the same problem as a band being too big. When putting on your bra, you are not making certain your bra's back is pulled down and under your shoulder blades. Your band may not be tight enough or a size too large and the straps in the back are thus too close to the edge of your shoulders. The bra style could also be the problem -wide-set straps are very popular. If you have small or sloping shoulders, this style is not for you.
   Resolution:There are several solutions. Try your bra style in a smaller cup size or select a different style bra. Try wearing your bra on the tightest back hooks - and make sure you have pulled the bra down in back so that it is level with your bra front. Racer and Leopard back bras are great solutions for falling straps. If you're using bra extenders, remove them and buy the bra in a larger band size and one cup size smaller to maintain the same cup fit. Go down a band size and up a cup size and see if your bra fits better. There are also accessories that help to keep your straps in place.
 My Shoulder Straps Dig Into My Shoulders
   Cause: Your bra is not giving you enough support, so your shoulder straps are being forced to do too much work, or your straps are too tight or too narrow. Straps should carry no more than 10% of the breast's weight.
   Resolution:If you drop your shoulder straps off your shoulders, your bra should stay in place. If this is not the case, your band size is too large and you should go down a band size and up a cup size - if your cups fit correctly (e.g. from a 42D to a 40DD or 40E). Bra straps should never create dents in your shoulders; straps should carry only minimal breast weight. A wider bra strap is also a good idea for breast sizes larger than a D cup.

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