Determining your correct bra size is a difficult task… for a handful of reasons:
I. There is no such thing as a correct bra size… at least not one single size that every bra will fit you in. I may be a 32F (UK) in one bra and a 30G (UK) in another.
II. Beyond DD, US and UK sizing is different. I honestly figure it out by counting up from DD on the size chart for each bra. :/
III. None of the methods of measurement work for everyone. People have differently shaped breasts.
IV. Breasts grow and shrink with hormonal and weight changes. If your bras don’t fit right anymore… it’s time for a new one.
Speaking of not fitting correctly, here are some signs that you are in the wrong size:
- straps are cutting into your skin (band too large)
- band slides up your back (band too large)
- band is curved or otherwise not horizontal (band too large)
- band crushes your ribs (band too small) [a little back fat is fine, but if it hurts…]
- underwires are actually on your breast tissue (cup too small)
- underwires are not in contact with your ribcage (cup too small)
- centre gore does not lie flat against sternum (cup too small)
- underwires poke you in the side/arms (cup too small)
- you have the dreaded quadraboob (cup too small)
- you have sideboob (cup too small)
- you have “armpit fat”- it’s actually breast tissue! (cup too small)
- cup wrinkles at the top (cup too large) [bottom wrinkles can happen even if the cup is too small]
- cups are not filled-out (cup too large)
If you find yourself between sizes in a bra, it’s easier to get the larger size and wear it with a “cookie”… better than quadraboob.
How to find your size:
There are lots of techniques… most don’t work for me. I’ve actually had great success fitting people using the bra that they are currently wearing. Ex: Sally is wearing a 34C. Her band is riding up and the cups seem a bit too small. She should try a 32DD. If the band still rides up, try a 30DDD. If the cup is too small, try a 32DDD. Etc…
Don’t be shocked if you find yourself comfortable in a 30K. We are so used to seeing thin women told that they are 32Bs, when, in reality, they are probably 26DDs or even 26DDDs. A DD is much smaller than we think it is.
If you’d like to go and get fitted, I would enthusiastically suggest going to Nordstrom. The fitters there are obviously not perfect, but they are used to working with D-K cups and will get you into a comfortably fitted bra.