How to correctly fit a bra to reduce back pain and overall womens health and wellness.
Bra shopping can be an overwhelming, intimidating and stressful event, but it doesn’t need to be. Knowing your correct bra size (which a majority of the women – roughly 85%! - out there don’t) will make your shopping trip a much more pleasant one. It was only in the last few years that I started viewing it in the positive, instead of a chore that needed to be dealt with and you can to.
Like most women, for years I was wearing the incorrect bra size. I had been sized in the past, but to be totally honest, the last time that happened was when I was being fit for my very first bra when I was about ten years old. Since then, I had just been wearing what I thought looked good, not factoring in much else. After a while I decided it was time to get sized and see just how off I really was. Turns out I was off by a lot! I thought I was just a really busty B-cup when in realty I was teetering between a 38C and 32D, depending on the bra.
Wearing a bra of the wrong size can lead to back pain, shoulder pain, issues in your posture and an overall feeling of discomfort. If your bra is riding up your back, or if you are spilling over the top or around your underarms than you are probably wearing a bra that is too small. That being said, getting your correct measurements is easier than you think. You can either go to the bra section of your local department store and have one of the associates there size you or, if you’re like me and are a bit uncomfortable with someone nosing around your naughty bits, you can accurately size yourself at home. All you need is a flexible measuring tape (or some string and a ruler) and possibly a calculator.
When measuring your bra size, there are two areas that are important: your band size (the numbers – 32, 34, etc) and your cup size (the letters – A. B, etc).
In order to determine your band size, measure directly under your bust line by holding the tape (or string) firmly under your bust and be sure to keep it straight and parallel to the floor. Take the number you get and then either round it up or down to the next whole number.
Example: If you measure 30 ½ inches, round it up to 31 inches.
If you measure 30 ¼ inches, round it down to 30 inches.
Once you have your whole number, add 3 inches to it.
Example: If you measure 31 inches, add 3 inches. This will give you a total of 34, which is your band size. Note that bras are sized in even numbers. If you find yourself left with an odd number (35 for example), round up the next even number (36 in this case).
In order to determine your cup size, measure around the fullest part of your bust. Only go so far that the ends of the tape are touching. Do not strain or squeeze to get a smaller number. Even though small numbers are generally more appealing to us women, when it comes to fitting a bra, comfort is more important. Just as you did while measuring the band, make sure you keep the tape straight and parallel the ground. Also with the band size, you will round your number up or down to the nearest whole number.
Here is where the math comes in. Take your band size from before (we will use 34 as our example) and subtract it from the measurement you just took for you cup size.
Example: If you measured 37 inches for your cup size, subtract the 34 inches from your band size. You are left with a difference of 3 inches.
The number that is your difference will make up your cup size as follows:
Up to 1” difference = A cup
2” difference = B cup
3” difference = C cup
4” difference = D cup
5” difference = DD or E cup
6” difference = DDD or F cup
7” difference = G cup
8” difference = H cup
9” difference = I cup
10” difference = J cup
In the end, our example measures a 34C.
Ladies, you now have no excuse for wearing an ill fitting bra. You owe it to yourself to be comfortable and to look good.