Lingerie Fitting Guide
70% of women in the UK regularly wear the wrong size bra. Badly fitting lingerie can not only result in unsightly lumps and bumps but can also cause discomfort and back pain. If you are about to invest in some luxurious new lingerie or an everyday bra, isn't worth making sure you are wearing the correct size? It only takes a few minutes to check your measurements and the result will be a smooth silhouette and comfort throughout the day.
The Bra Size Guide
Most commonly, women wear a band size that is too big and a cup size that is too small. This may feel comfortable around the ribs but can lead to numerous health problems. Many women are too shy or time pressured to make an appointment for a professional bra fitting. Did you know that it's something you can quite easily do yourself? If you are unsure how to measure yourself properly for a bra, follow our simple three-step guide to get an accurate, reliable measurement. It doesn't matter if you are buying a bra, bodysuit or a basque, the principle is exactly the same.
Step 1: Measure Your Back Size
Take a soft tape measure and measure around your back and under your bust. Make sure that the tape sits parallel to the floor all the way around and feels secure. This will give you an accurate measurement across your back. Find your number, in either inches or centimetres and write it down. Be sure to round everything up to the nearest whole number.
Step 2: Measure Your Cup Size
Whilst wearing a non-padded bra, or in the nude, stand upright with your arms at your side and measure the fullest part of your bust. Make sure the measuring tape is parallel with the ground and not lose or too tight. Measure around your back as before and find your number, again round it up.
Step 3: Calculate Your Cup Size
- If there are 2 inches difference between the band and the cup measurements then you are a B cup. For example, 32 band and 34 cup you are a 32 B.
- If there are 3 inches then you are a C cup. 4 inches then a D cup, so on and so forth.
How Should A Correctly Sized Bra Fit?
- Band Size (or back size) It is important to note that the band of your bra should do all the work in supporting your bust, the straps should only be there to offer extra security. On the loosest fitting, you should just be able to fit two fingers underneath the back. If your bra is comfortable on the tightest fitting hooks you should consider wearing a smaller back size.
- Apex The apex is the point at which the bottom of the strap joins the cup at the front of the bra. When choosing a bra, always make sure that this point is wide enough to support your bust. For instance, if you have a C or D cup, you can get away with a narrower apex than if you have DD+. If you need a larger cup size E, F, G, H or more, then you will need to make sure that the apex is wide enough to give you good support and lift.
- Bra Straps Your bra should be both supportive and comfortable. Don't rely on your bra straps for support. Straps should fit comfortably but should not dig into your shoulders. Too-tight straps can cause the cups to dig into your bust, while loose straps will slip off your shoulders as you move.
- Wings are the bit off the bra that goes under your arms. The wings of the bra should fit snugly, but not too tight. If you bulge out above the wings, then you need a bigger cup size.
- UnderwiresIf you are buying an underwired bra, bear in mind that the wires should not dig into you at any point. If this happens, you may need a bigger cup size rather than a bigger back size.
International Back Sizes
International Cup Sizes
International Dress Sizes
Notes On Size Charts
When purchasing lingerie online, it's important to note that there are differences in sizing between different countries:
- French sizing is used in France, Belgium, Spain and Portugal.
- EU sizing is used in most other European countries.
- China, Japan, Hong Kong and Korea also use the EU sizing system.
- India use the same sizing system as the UK.
- Occasionally, brands use may adopt a sizing system not currently used in that country. You should, therefore, always check the size chart for the particular brand of lingerie you are buying.