How is a good-fitting bra? Am I wearing the right bra size?

Does my bra fit? After wearing a bra for all your life, many women are shocked to learn that they’ve been wearing the wrong bra size. Wearing a good-fitting bra for the first time is a life-changing experience. When you’ve been wearing the wrong bra for so long, it takes a while to get used to your new fit, but, on the other hand, your clothes will most likely fit better and your posture will be better, too. A good-fitting bra can save you from so much neck pain and backache!

Finding your right bra size

The first thing you need to know is that there isn’t a true bra size, but, is there ever in fashion a true size? Think of the size you order when buying flat sandals or flip-flops. Would you order the same shoe size than buying walking boots? Not always, right? We always have a primary size and, after some trial and error, we work the right size for each individual bra.

As you must imagine, you sometimes need different sizes for a moulded push-up bra than a bralette. OK, these seem quite opposite styles, but we’re exaggerating a little bit here to make our point. Different brands also have different fittings. For example, German bras tend to feel wider in the back, while Italian cup sizes seem to have a small fit. The first error when buying a bra is thinking a bra is going to be the one only because you always buy that size.

As we need to find that primary size, you should first get a measuring tape and calculate your bra size. You can also watch this video Panache created, which we find really useful.

The back: A good-fitting bra sits firm and comfortable

Can you pull your bra away from your back? Does your band ride up, like in the picture below? It means it’s too big and you should go down a back size at least. Is it too tight that digs into your back? Then, try a larger back size.

Source: Panache

Finding the right cup size:

Look at the first picture below on the left. Has it ever happened to you that you try to reach something and your girls try to escape? It’s quite an annoying thing, we know. This can happen for two reasons: either that bra is too large on the back, or too small on the cups. If your cup size is too small, you may end up with the feared four-boob effect. This is more likely to happen if you wear a half-cup bra or a push-up bra.

Source: Panache

Both fabric and centre gore (the central part of the bra, where wires come together), should sit close to your skin. See below the example in Panache’s fit guide to find out how to fix it.

Source: Panache

How tight are your bra straps?

Your bra straps should be tightened up, but not this doesn’t mean that they should dig in. A good-fitting bra should hold most of the weight of your bust through the structure of the bra. If your bra only feels supportive when your straps dig in, that’s not the right bra for you. You’ll need to invest in a good quality bra with extra support. If the straps keep falling down despite being adjusted and it’s a new bra that you’re buying, you can sometimes try wearing a smaller back size, as elastic straps sometimes expand as much as the back bands. This is why some brand of DD+ bras prefer to offer non-elasticated straps.

Source: Panache

Do you have any bra-fitting related questions? Feel free to reach our Customer Service or simply leave a message below. You can always take a look at our lingerie and bra fitting guide for additional advice.




  • DDtop

    Hi with sizing/fit there is more than a SIZE! as don’t get hung up on your size.
    Because you could be say a 36F in brand A model 1 but got to model 2 or 3 but in same brand and could need to go up/down a cup even a band size!
    One being model 1 has type X wires where as 2 or 3 has Y wires ie different widths!
    So gives a different shape along with being narrower or wider plus how much coverage/depth the cups give.
    Also the fabrics used have a big say on fit as one likes black have less stretch plus how much elastic content the bra has!
    I read often reviews and cringe when reading it was too small/tight-went for my normal size and didnt fit etc etc
    Well reason being is often your size is from likes of a store bra ie MS/VS/Bravissimo/Catalouges own names which are often made to a price “cheap” for maximum profit and run A is made in one factory & next run is made in another or to a different fabric/cut/measure etc as one found how to cut corners other found cheaper fabrics!
    But wearers wonder why when go elsewhere bras are too tight ie i normally wear a 34 yet are 38 under bust as Store bras will stretch and stretch and after a few wears won’t be anygood to a 34 band wear as don’t recover it’s shape at all.
    One reason i always say to others on likes of Reddit etc go for a fitting at a decent/recommended shop in a mainstream bra ie likes of Elomi.Fantasie.Primadonna.Anita.Felina etc and so on not ones that sell eggs/fish/poultry/housewares and all so have a decent foundation to work from.

    As go to a place/someone/forum etc and say im a 36F in a Felina melina and they will often know a bra that is a similar fit/style that will work so not fishing around in the dark!.

    I’m only a Male/Guy so what do i know? Well learn’t a lot since needed to wear over hormone issues with Prolactinoma plus lot’s of growth over T HRT! But having Fibro&Raynauds always look for quality as things not fitting right get painful/sore so want bras that are comfortable to wear and being top end of 42G/44FF UK have plenty to support!

  • louise grantham

    First post! I’m a longtime lurker on this page and just wanted to say THANKS!! I thought I was wearing the right size (32G UK or 32I US) before, not to mention I thought that truly I could not be any bigger than what I was because that already seemed huge and hard to find.

    Anyway, I measured myself using the calculator and I got a 30HH UK. After reading a ton about projection and gores and all that, I ordered a massive amount of bras to try on.

    I’m pleased to report that I now have some of the best fitting bras I’ve ever owned. I’m definitely a 30HH or 30J depending on the brand (30L or 30M in US sizes but those don’t really exist anyway).

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