How to check your bra size.

Are you wearing the right bra size?


Approximately 8 out of 10 women are wearing the wrong bra size, so there is an 80% chance this could be you.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are your bra straps strangling you, digging in, or leaving horrible marks.
  • Do you pop out the top of your bra?
  • Are you hanging out the bottom of your bra?
  • Do you have lumpy back fat showing?
  • Does your back/shoulders ache?
  • Are you hanging a tad low?
  • Does your bra not feel right?

If you answered yes to any of these, then there is a good chance that your bra isn’t fitting you correctly. A good bra should support your bust, back, and give you a nice shape and lift (and if its a sports bra, then it should reduce the bounce).

How do you check your size?

Sadly, the days of department stores having an on-duty bra fitter at all times are long gone. Some do offer the service by appointment, but unless you’re going to a specialist store, you’re unlikely to get immediate service. So how do I check my size?

1.) With your bra on, measure firmly around your rib cage, directly underneath your breasts. The tape measure should be horizontal around your body and should not drop in the back. This is your underbust or band measurement. (This should be a close match to your standard dress size)

2) With your bra on, hold the tape measure firmly around the fullest part of your bust. Make sure the tape measure is taut and straight. This is your cup size measurement. Your cup size is determined by the difference between your cup and underbust measurement. The larger it is , the larger the cup.

This online calculator from Berlei can help determine your size (AU size, but gives UK, US & European equivalents) Bra Size Calculator 

Size variations

I find that the cup and band size can vary significantly between styles and brands. For example I take a larger size in bathers than I do in everyday bras (one does not need any surprise exposure while swimming in surf), a smaller strap size in dress bras and corsetry, and a standard size in sports bras.

Different brands have different sizes too (remember that AU sizes are significantly larger than Asian sizes, slightly larger than UK sizes, significantly smaller than US sizes, and about the same as European sizes.)

The moral of the story is to try on any bra before purchasing, or check the on-line size guide before buying from the Internet.

Places where you can buy larger size bras and bathers (yes they do mail order):