Tag Archives: bra size

tape measure

Quick & Easy Bra Calculator for Sizing

Are you wearing the wrong size bra? Use a bra calculator for sizing info to find out your correct bra size. Most women have worn the wrong size bra for so long, they have forgotten that bras can be comfortable! Life’s tough enough without your bra giving you a bad time!

Weight changes or the washing machine can play havoc on how your bra fits:

  • As you gain weight, lose weight or just get older, your bra size changes.
  • Bras stretch out and lose their support after repeated washings.

Do yourself, and your appearance, a favor. Don’t wear old, misfitting bras. Buy new bras every year. There is nothing like good fitting lingerie to give a woman “grand style.”

Using a Bra Calculator for Sizing

Bra calculators are easy to use. You just need to make two measurements and then add the measurements into the calculator. The calculator “does the math” and tells you the best bra size for you.

One of our favorite bra calculators is the one provided by Big Girls Bras. It is very easy to use. Just scroll down the screen on Big Girls Bras and look for the “Bra Size Calculator” section towards the bottom of the screen. All you need to do is enter two numbers – band measurement and bust measurement.

Here’s how to calculate your band and bust measurements:

  • Band measurement – While you are wearing a bra, measure across your chest and under your arm. This measurement will help the bra size calculator determine your band size. Special note: Use a cloth tape measure that will not stretch. Or, you can measure with a piece of non-stretch string, tape or seam binding which you can then measure using a yardstick, ruler or metal measuring tape.
  • Bust measurement – Measure around the fullest area of the bust to determine your cup size.

Just enter the band and bust measurements into the bra size calculator and you will see the recommended sizes for many American brands.

Get a Professional Fitting

If you are having trouble measuring, don’t hesitate to consult a professional bra fitter at a department store or a lingerie specialty store to make sure you are wearing the right size and the right style. The fitter can suggest special fabrics and styles to meet your particular needs.

For example, some women have particularly full or heavy breasts, but not necessarily bigger breasts. So, they may not need a bigger cup size. Instead, they should look for bras with special construction, fabrics and straps made especially for the “fuller” breast.

Need more help? Check out the video in this article to watch a Lane Bryant bra fitter demonstrating correct bra fitting techniques. Once you are ready to purchase a new bra, check out How to Select the Right Bra Type and How to Select a Plus Size Sports Bra.

Have bra that does not seem to fit correctly? Check out these solutions for the most common bra fitting problems.

Plus Size Clothes: Are You Wearing the Right Size?

It is getting easier to find plus size clothes in stores, online and in catalogs. It is about time! Finding clothes as a plus size woman has never been easy. The result: We curvy bodies have spent all these years trying to find clothes we like and can afford in our size.

But, now that apparel shopping is no longer one big scavenger hunt, did you ever stop to think that you might be wearing the wrong size? I’m willing to bet you are … whether you know it or not.

Women, more so than men, have been jamming themselves into too small sizes or buying or sewing or crocheting clothes that are so voluminous that their curves get lost in the fabric. We need to take better care of ourselves fashion wise.

Here are a few places to start …

Sizing of Plus Size Clothes

Bras: It’s time to resize!

Fact: Over 2/3 of US women are wearing the wrong size bra. Probably almost another 1/3 is wearing the wrong style bra. Here a few of the pitfalls we fall into:

  • We just keep buying the same size and style.
  • We know the band is too tight; but, we can’t find a larger band in our store.
  • We think a bra is supposed to be 3″ away from our chest bone in the center!
  • We have learned to accept falling straps as a fact of life.

We may have started out with the right size or type; but, a 10-pound change in weight, a lot of bra washings and back elastics that weaken with age have turned these previously structurally-intact marvels into fabric patches with straps.

Listen up ladies. Get yourself a tape measure. Put on your best-fitting bra. Measure at the fullest point and around the bottom of the bra band under the cups. Important Tip: Bra sizing (bands AND cups) is not consistent between bra manufacturers. Read the sizing instructions for the bra you are considering. Check the measurements they give against your two measurements to get your perfect fit. You might wear a 50DD in one bra and a 52D in another.

Don’t shy away from an underwire bra if you are wearing a C cup or larger. There is no reason for a well-fitting underwire bra to poke you. Check out the Grand Style bra size calculator and sizing tips.

Separates and Dresses: What size are you wearing?

The sign of a garment that fits is not just that you can zipper, or button, and continue to breath! Well-fitting clothes allow several inches of ease between your body and the clothes. Your clothes should not be tight and, they should not be oversized.

Some women continue to wear the same size until the zipper won’t zip. I bet half of you are wearing a jacket that’s too small and you just think the arms are too short. Or, that you know you need the larger size; but, your favorite stores don’t carry a larger size (many stores only sell sizes up to size 26 or 3X.).

Get out there and enjoy the newly expanding world of larger sizes — with sizes to 6X or 7X now readily available online.

Once you figure out your REAL SIZE, you can buy from the retailers online. For extreme savings you can use eBay to purchase the overstocks of your favorite online stores and resell them on eBay. Just bid on your favorite brand names. Tip: For new clothes just look for items where the tags are still attached!)

Don’t like your real size? Buy your correct size and cut out the tags. You should wear what looks and feels good. You deserve it!

Shoes: Are your shoes wide enough?

For years we’ve been told to wear a longer shoe in order to get a wider shoe or a wider calf. Many of us have never had access to shoes wider than a C width.

But wider widths are becoming more of a necessity. As we get older and spend more time in sandals, our feet tend to spread out. And don’t forget that as your body adds pounds, your legs and feet also add weight. AvenuePayless Shoe Source and WideWidths.com are great sources of shoes and boots in wider widths and longer lengths.

Legwear: Are your socks/tights/pantyhose/knee highs the right size?

Hosiery sizing is based on your height and weight. Most of us know how tall we are (or aren’t!). But, most of us don’t really know how much we weight. Or, we use our “driver’s license weight” to determine our legwear size. This often results in legwear that doesn’t fit correctly.

Stop punishing yourself with tights and pantyhose that slide down to your knees as soon as you pull them on. Hosiery is now available in sizes up to 7X. Check out Just My Size, Lane Bryant and Catherines.

And for all of us with feet wider than B and longer than a size 9, please stop buying those size 9-11 socks and wearing those boring men’s socks! Just My Size is just one of many places making heavenly women’s socks in size 10-13. Your toes and ankles will finally have room to move with joy and you won’t have to settle for boring brown and black socks.

Watches: Are you still wearing a 7½” watchband on an 8+” wrist?

Your watch band should not feel like a tourniquet! You should be able to stick your finger under your watchband and easily wiggle it around. If you can’t, your watchband is too tight and you should replace it with a longer strap.

Finding a longer leather strap is easy — just look on the men’s side of the watch strap display at your local store. Finding a longer expansion band is harder; but, you can always have your jeweler add enough links in the strap to achieve the length you need.

Bottomline: Know what size you need and wear it!

Victoria"s Secret

How to Select the Right Type Bra for You

Many women don’t wear the right type bra for their body type. The size may be right; but, the style they select often does not give them enough support or coverage. Some women need an underwire bra for coverage while other women find that a soft cup bra meets their needs.

Bra Features Are Key to Selecting the Right Type Bra

There are ten basic types of bras. Each type is designed for a different body or style challenge. Here are the features and purposes of the various types and some tips on selecting the right type of bra for your figure.

Full Cup Bra

Your basic, everyday bra. The cup covers most of your breast and offers a good amount of support. Front hook and back hook styles are available.

Seamed Cup Bra

The cup in this bra is made of two or three sections. The seamed cups provide more support than a molded cup. The seams in the cups may be visible under many fabrics including thin knits.

Underwire Bras

As the name implies, a wire is sewn under each cup of the bra to provide extra support. The wire is generally made out of metal or some hard plastic. Women with large breasts often like the enhanced structure this bra offers. Either you love them or you hate them…or, you just need them.

Soft Cup Bras

Playtex 18 Hour Smoothing Lift Wirefree BraSoft cup bras such as the [thirstylink ids=”6744″]Playtex 18 Hour Smoothing Lift Wirefree Bra[/thirstylink] do not have any wires around the cup. This style is usually a molded cup and is sometimes padded or lined.

Minimizer Bras

Minimizer bras compress and redistribute the breast tissue towards your side and underarm, leaving the appearance of a one or two size reduction in cup size. Some women find the compression to be uncomfortable.

Contour Cup Bras

The cups in this bra maintain their shape due to an underwire, fiberfill or foam which is molded into a specific shape. This bra can add a smooth shape and eliminate nipple bumps (great under knits) and is excellent for women with different sized breasts.

Push-up Bras

This style is worn to achieve cleavage. The bra cups are designed to lift the breasts and are angled, forcing the breasts inward to create cleavage. Some styles also have a removable, elliptical-shaped pad which, when placed at the bottom of the cup, pushes the breast inward and upward making the breasts look larger.

Demi Cup Bras

A demi cup bra covers less of your breast than a full cup bra. Generally, the cup stops about one inch above the nipple thus reducing the amount of support this style offers. Women with above average sized breasts may find that they are spilling out of this bra.

Mastectomy Bras

This bra is intended for women who have lost one or both breasts from mastectomy surgery. A mastectomy bra is structured to hold a prosthesis, typically with an inside pocket.

Sports Bras

If you are active, you need a sports bra. Sports bras are designed to maximize the support of the breast and minimize the bounce. Bouncing breasts aren’t just a nuisance, they can cause long-term damage. Sports bras come with or without an underwire.

One style of sports bra is the racerback bra. The name for this style comes from the unique configuration of its straps. Racerback bras have straps that join in the center of the back either in a T-back or Y-back depending on the exact configuration. This style is often used in sports bras since it provides a larger range of motion.

Looking for more information on selecting a sports bra? Check out How to Select a Sports Bra.

Be sure that you select the right size bra, regardless of which style bra you select. For help on calculating your bra size check out the into and tips in Quick & Easy Bra Calculator for Sizing.