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How do I Determine my Bra Size?

Determining your bra size is essential for comfort and support. Start by measuring your band size under your bust, then your bust at its fullest point. Subtract the band size from the bust measurement to find your cup size. Each inch represents a cup size (A, B, C, etc.). Ready to find your perfect fit? Let's explore the nuances together.
Aniza Pourtauborde
Aniza Pourtauborde

Bras can either be your best friends or your worst enemies. Worn correctly and in the right size, they provide your breasts with excellent support, saving you from a host of problems such as unsightly sagging breasts, back pains and muscle tension. Nevertheless, it is shocking that seven out of every ten women unknowingly wear bras that do not properly fit their bodies.

A bra size is made up of two components: the number that denotes the band size and the letter that indicates the cup size. Determining the bra size that fits you is not as complicated as you may think. In fact, all you need are a tape measure, someone to assist you and the guidelines below. Keep in mind, however, that this method doesn't always work well for women with larger cup sizes, particularly those over a D.

Step 1: Be prepared

Trying a bra for size.
Trying a bra for size.

To prevent any inaccuracies, get someone else to take your bra size measurements. It is best to take the measurements on your bare skin rather than over your clothing. However, if you are embarrassed about standing bare-chested before someone else, then wear your most comfortable and best-fitting unpadded bra. Stand upright with your arms at your sides and assume a relaxed posture by breathing normally.

Step 2: Measure your band size

Your band size is also known as your chest size. It is the circumference of your chest either above or below your breasts. Both measurements are commonly used and are accurate in determining your correct bra size:

Upper chest band size

A beige underwire bra.
A beige underwire bra.

Place the tape measure around your back and upper chest by going above your breasts and under your armpits. Make sure the tape measure lies taut against your skin. If you get an odd number or a fraction, round up to the nearest even number. For instance, 31.6 inches (80.3 cm) will become 32 inches (81.3 cm). This measurement in inches is your band size.

Underbust band size

A strapless bra.
A strapless bra.

Place the tape measure tightly around your back, going under your breasts and across your ribcage. Add four inches (10.2 cm) if you get an even number and five inches (12.7 cm) if you get an odd number. For example, 28 inches (71.1 cm) will become 32 inches (81.3 cm). This is your band size.

Following this example, your band size is 32 inches (81.3 cm). Keep this number in mind, as you will need it to calculate your cup size.

Step 3: Measure your cup size

You can determine your bra size by taking a few basic measurements.
You can determine your bra size by taking a few basic measurements.

Measure the circumference of your chest, including your breasts at their fullest part. This part is usually at the nipple level. To determine your cup size, subtract your band size from your chest plus breast measurement. Hence, if your chest and breast measurement is 34 inches (86.4 cm), and your band size is 32 inches (81.3 cm), you will get a difference of two inches (5.1 cm). The table below lists the various cup sizes based on the length of the difference:

Difference: Cup Size
1 inch (2.5 cm): A
2 inches (5.1 cm): B
3 inches (7.6 cm): C
4 inches (10.2 cm): D
5 inches (12.7 cm): DD or E
6 inches (15.2 cm): F
7 inches (17.8 cm): G

Since you have a difference of 2 inches (5.1 cm) in this example, your cup size is B. From steps 2 and 3, you already know your bra size, which is 32B.

Measuring bra size requires using a tailor's measuring tape.
Measuring bra size requires using a tailor's measuring tape.

Now that you know how it is done, you can measure your bra size from the privacy of your own home. Even though the method above is accurate, you may sometimes try on a bra in your size that does not fit you. This is common, given the varying bra designs from one manufacturer to the next. Additionally, your bra size alters according to changes in your body due to factors such as exercise, diet, the natural aging process and water retention.

If a bra in your size does not fit you, first try to adjust the bra straps or band hooks before opting for a bra in another size. If, after proper adjustments are made, the bra still does not fit well, then follow what your body is telling you. Above all else, it is very important to choose comfort and a good fit rather than restricting yourself to your bra size.

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Discussion Comments


How many of you women were early breast developers?


If I did the add 5 in method, I would get exactly the same as my bust, which is so far from correct. I just measure them without the add 5 in to under bust nonsense, and that would get me either 30DD/E or 28DDD/F measured without that nonsense. Girls, just measure them without adding inches and confusing yourself.


I have recently bought a bra and after wearing it for only a day, I have a 4" burn across my back. I have worn the same size for years and the bra doesn't have any plastic or rubber across the bottom that you sometimes find on strapless bras. I'm not really sure what could have caused it but it's sure sore.


This method of measuring is ridiculously wrong. The underbust measurement is the band size rounded to the nearest whole number. There is absolutely no point to measuring above the bust. The number of inches the bust is larger than the underbust is the cup size. It's as easy as that! 30/38(my measurements) is a 30FF which is not watermelon huge.

I have average sized breasts. On slender frames (28-32 band) D is not a large cup size at all. Misinformation like this and the lack of selection for real sized women in stores is why so many women put up with the wrong size bra. Look at the Bra Band Project for properly measured sizes.


This method of calculating your bra size works perfectly if you have breasts that are the "industry standard," meaning you are perfectly full and even below and above your nipple and you have the standard breast spread of no more than an inch.

These "perfect" breasts will, in fact, give you the perfect measurements for your bra size.

The "industry standard perfect" measurements would give you the same number for underbust and over bust, proving your breasts are perfectly balanced for their patterns.

For example: 34" underbust +4" = 38"; 38" overbust; 42" bust/

Notice with the industry added 4 inches, the underbust is the same as the over bust. This allows for the industry standard bra patterns to fit a perfectly balanced breast.

In this example, the bra size would be 38D. The D is because 42-38 =4 and you move one cup size per number.

However -- and this is a huge however -- you can also fit the "industry standard" 40C and 36DD/E. Why? Because the perfectly balanced bra patterns allow for every decrease in band size an increase in cup size. Or for every increase in band size a decrease in cup size. Most bra manufacturers allow for two sizes either direction without much alteration in the patterning.

Many people on this forum have already complained this system doesn't work for them and in turn, provided data to show it did work. They just happen to prefer bras that have a proportionally smaller band and larger cup. Or a larger band and smaller cup.

Also, one must take into account if you do not have the industry standard perfectly proportioned breasts because you are fuller on bottom or top. Or you have close-set breasts that naturally touch or you have splayed breasts that sit several inches apart. In these cases, you might have to adjust cup size from the industry standard to compensate.

How do I know all this? I am a tailor and pattern maker who happened to luck out and has industry standard breasts. I can pretty easily slide up and down the scale as the bra makers intended without many problems. That doesn't mean I don't run into the odd bra manufacturer who runs small or large, or the odd style that doesn't work with my breasts.

In fact, many bra manufacturers make bras specifically for fuller on bottom or wide-set breasts, etc. You might just need to understand that they might call them Balconette or Demi or gusseted, etc.

It doesn't mean the calculator doesn't work. It just means you either don’t understand how manufacturers are using the measurements or you are very outside the industry's standard. It’s no different than saying we aren't all a standard 31" inseam, but most manufacturers make pants in that length. It is just the standard.

Many women would do well in understanding the "sister sizes" in bras and what different styles actually do for a breast. It also might help to talk to a tailor who could suggest how to add a gusset or take in a band or move over a strap to suit your particular body.


I measure 39in under bust and 46 in for bust. Shouldn't I wear 38G or 38H? Then why does the band ride up my back the the front sag down in all the styles I've tried in this size? With 40F the sagging is worse, and I have yet to find a 36H sold in stores. This method does not work for me.


This is complete nonsense. I am generally measured a 32-34C (depending on the make) and when I wear these size bras they are comfortable and secure and support my breasts fully. This measuring chart, however, is telling me I am a size 36DD. This is so obviously wrong. Please fix this.


Misinformation like this is the reason why so many women still wear bras that simply don't fit at all, and why their bras would ride all the way up to their neck if it weren't for the shoulder blades.

Never add 4 or any number of inches to the underbust measurement. This is a relic from the beginnings of bramaking, when the fabrics were less elastic. That is also why some of you get negative numbers. It clearly doesn't make any sense. And why would I wear an underband that is 4 inches too large?

Just take the underbust measurement and go from there. I measure around 31 inches and wear a 30 or 32 underband (depending on the brand and elasticity of the band).

The cup difference list is an OK-ish starting point, but there *are* bra sizes beyond G. There are bra sizing charts out there that compare international sizing systems and sizing differences between brands, which will give you an idea which brands to go for.

Also know that the cup size changes with the band size. For example, a 34C has about the same cup volume as a 36B, or a 32D. So if you're trying on a bra and it doesn't fit, you need to adjust the cup size when trying another band.

If the cup is too small/large, but the band is OK, simply go up/down a cup size, but, if the cup is OK and the band is too small, go up a band size, down a cup size, or if the cup is OK and the band too large, go down a band size and up a cup size.

Also, don't be afraid of larger letters. Women don't come in only 4 sizes. A D-cup usually isn't all that big (as I said, a 32D is about the same as a 38A), and most women are used to wearing band sizes that are way too large for them (and hence used to low letters). So if the fit of your 36C cups seems only slightly off but the band rides up your back like nothing good, remember that a 32E has about the same cup size (even if it sounds huge to you) and a 32F will probably fit even better.


I feel like there is something wrong with this because my breasts barely fit into a size B and it's saying I should be a 34C-D. I wish.


My band size is 25.5''plus 4"=29.5" so about 30" and my bust size is 34" so I would wear a 30D but the band is too loose and the cup is too small. It is really uncomfortable. This system dones't work! So I don't add 4" but I feel confused. Does that mean that I am a 26 FF? I don't understand what size I have to wear. Moreover, the smaller band size is 28 and not 26. So what is my real size? I need help.


A lot of women are not anatomically symmetrical. This measuring system only works for the ones who do. And every woman has one breast sitting slightly lower than the other. It isn't that this system isn't working. It is broken.


This system didn't work for me. I measured myself and got a negative number in the difference of my bust and band size which is incorrect. I right now wear a 34B to a 32C depending on the bra. It's not like my breast cave into my body how could I have gotten a negative number. Help!


I have heard everything from stick to your under-bust measurement if an even number over 38 (I am 40 inches right now) to add 3 inches, 4 inches or 5 inches.

If I go with the 40 inches, most of the bands fit, though one 42 I found is comfy too, but I have yet to fill up the cups on both sides of any B cup I have found (before washing the cotton ones) and I measure 46 inches at the fullest part of my chest, and sometimes it comes out 47 inches.

I have seen 44 B come up and even 44 C on one measuring advice site. That is nuts. My breasts look like a B and an almost B. The few 40 A cups I found online and ordered do not fit properly, but that may be complicated by my height and high shoulders. I go for tighter bands to hold the bra down, generally. The straps don't always adjust long enough, which makes them ride up, and/or the cup seems proportioned for a shorter person.

I feel like a B minus overall and maybe a A on one side. I have a couple of 38 C's I can wear with an extender and they make life easy unless the straps fall off. The odd thing is that minimizer styles are more likely to fit than other ones but I hate the industrial strength look of them. I do not sag. I don't even have a crease under my smaller side and I am over 50.

Life was easier when I was young and thin and did not need a bra for my 34A-B/36A size, which measured a 36 AA by most fitters, unless I needed to fill out a clothing item or if I needed privacy when wearing white.

I think trial and error is the only way, but with almost no wide band small cup sizes around it is hard to accomplish.

I think a fat transfer style boob job is my answer.


My band size is 34'' plus 4 = 38"; my bust size is 38"; so that equals 0. I am definitely not a size AA. I am currently in a 34C and my nipples slip. What math could I be doing wrong?


Interesting. Check this out. My under-breast measurement is 35". Odd number so add 5". OK, so they're telling me my band size is 40? Across the thickest part of my low volume breasts is 35.5". I'm going to round up out of shame and say I have an "A" cup. Here's where it starts to get funny.

My breasts fit into 34A cups. The band is too tight, so I tried a 36A. The band fit, but the cups were too big. That's because when you go up a band size, cup letter remaining the same, you go up a cup size. I think I need a 36A-.

This site is telling me I need a 40A. So adding cup sizes: 36A +1 (B volume); 38A +1 (C volume); 40A +1 (D volume) = no support around the chest (which is what holds the boobs up), and gaping huge cavernous voids between the cups and my breasts!

Then another quirk of the standard measuring system:

I'm 5'10", 130 pounds with broad shoulders. So when I wear a 34A with or without an extender, my breasts are 'placed' too far together so it looks unnatural. If you look at me in 2D, I have about 3" on each side before the outside of the cup wire starts. A 34 band is meant for someone maybe 5'4" with a narrow, feminine frame. Because I'm taller, I'm also wider; my ribs are still in proportion to my body; you don't grow taller without also growing wider -- "in proportion," if that makes any sense.

Victoria Secrets is useless for fitting, they just shove you in a room with boxes of bras. The places that do fits sell bras for $200 each.


I need help. I am a large woman and can't seem to find a bra that will lift, separate and fit me well at all. I recently tried a 52 DDD and the cups and band were too big, so I tried a 52 DD and the band is too tight, so what do I do? Should I try a 54 D? Or a 54 DD? Please help. Any suggestions are appreciated.


I measured with tape measure the actual band of my bra that I just purchased. The band size of the bra states 40, but the measurement with tape measured 33. This is with the band in natural position and not stretched out. I then checked several of my other bras, and the difference was about the same. Can anyone explain this?

I also have one playtex bra that the band actually measured the tag size. The others were more expensive brands.


Bra sizing doesn't take into account several factors, such as odd numbers, breast shape, distance between breasts, breast height, etc. I suppose this is because bras are mass-manufactured and are therefore conglomerated into a few mainstream sizes.

Take my measurements for example: below, I am 31" and across the bust I'm 37". According to the archaic sizing methods used, I am a 36A. These numbers are way off, because I cannot fit into that size without crushing my breasts. Adding 5 inches to round up to an even number is stupid. What happens when you round down a number? A 34C. So which one is it? A 36A simply doesn't cover my breasts, whereas a 34C is closer but a bit tight in the band. So I'm told to try a 36B because it's the same as a 34C in the cup? The 36B ends up smallish in the cup but the band is nice. Go figure.

The funny thing is that the bras that actually fit me are nowhere near my supposed calculated bra size.

To those who leave comments like "you just did it wrong", get a life. Most of us know how to add and subtract. The system for measuring is wrong, plain and simple. Explain how a 31 inch band/37 bust can go from a 36A to a 34C by rounding up or down one. You can't take a middle ground because there isn't one. And you can't say to just adjust the straps accordingly because the straps have nothing to do with the cup.

The next issue is shape. Bra cups are not friendly towards breasts that face out a bit or aren't sitting super close together. When I wear a 36C, there's a gap in the inner part of the bra but the outer cup cuts into breast tissue. When I bend down and squish the whole breast in, they fill the whole bra nicely. Until I move a bit, then back to square one, and the pain from the cups cutting in is nasty.

I think bras need to be tried on individually, but there has to be more variety for different breast and body types. Also, living in a dream world here, but wouldn't it be nice to have those odd numbers available? Just go by band measurement and cup measurement to get a better idea of which size to start with and go from there.


Adding four inches is not a myth. Yes, it's based on an antiquated system -- a system which remains in place. All the women whining about it not working, read up on it properly.

And the woman who got a boob job; if the test says you're still and A-cup then you more than likely messed up your measurements. The number of people who don't add on the 4-5 inches is the reason so many women are wearing the wrong bra size.

I've worked in lingerie in the top stores for over three years.


I am a guy and trying to help my wife find the right bra size using the add 4 or 5 inches to the band never worked. Her actual band size is 36 or 38, measured under the breasts, not above under the underarms. If she wears a 36 band, she puts the rear clasp on the loosest setting. If it's a 38, she puts it in the middle. Then we measure around the bust. If we stick to the 36 band size, she comes out to a 36dd because her bust is 5" bigger than her band. If we go with the 38 band, she is a 38d because she is 4" above the band size.

The most comfortable bra for her is the playtex 5222 at WalMart. It is a simple, underwire molded cup bra with moderate to excellent support. Try it, you'll like it. And it only costs about $15 depending on where you live, and even though she is big breasted, they last her about a year.


This is incorrect! According to this I would be a 34A, when in reality, I am a 30DD. A 34A would be climbing up my back, pinching me in all the wrong places, and not even begin to contain these girls. Don't add inches. Why would that even make sense? It is antiquated information based on old methods of bra construction.

Your under-breast measurement is your band size. Every inch of difference between that and the fullest part of your bust is a cup size. Revolutionary, I know.


This does work very well. People just need to remember there are sister sizes. Someone talked about that about a quarter of the way through all these posts. There are some great sites for finding abnormal bra sizes.

I'm a 32DD and I'm about two months pregnant. Figure I have some growing yet to do. If you look around, you can find some really good sites that sell bras for many sizes. I know there are a few located out of Europe. Give them a look. Thanks for this article. I will be able to figure my size out as I get farther along in my pregnancy.


Measuring most certainly does not work. I get fitted with my bras by trying them on and seeing the results. If I measure myself it works out I'm a 40c and in reality I wear a 34GG perfectly.


I am so stressed out trying to find a bra that fits me, to the point I could cry. Currently I am wearing a 38L bra, which I fall out of and it gives me no support whatsoever.

Every time I go by a measuring guide, I measure to be a 40GG, which is rubbish because I tried this on in the shops and it looked like I only had nipple tassels on. I need help and quick.


First of all, to the Victoria's Secret worker: you are wrong! When you're telling people to add and subtract nonexistent inches from their bodies, then it's absolutely possible for some women to arrive at a negative number.

Secondly, here's how I know that this ridiculous method does not work. I just had breast augmentation surgery, which increased my breast size dramatically. But according to this useless method, my current (post-op) measurements would place me in an A-sized bra.

Does that make much sense? How is it possible to inflate my chest with implants, and then expect them to fit into the same cup size I was wearing before surgery? My A bras did fit me perfectly before. Today, those cups won't even hold half of my boob.

And guess who measured my breasts and informed me of my "new" bust size? Some employee at Victoria's Secret. You should've seen her face when I tried on that A for her.

Long story short: This method just doesn't work. Period.


The add 4-5" thing is a myth. Don't do it. Your underbust measurement is the measurement under your bust in inches, rounded to the nearest even number. No adding 4-5". That's why so many women are wearing a too big back size and too small cup size - they keep adding 4-5".


This thing says that I am an 36 A cup, but really I wear a 36 C cup or everything is bulging out.


I am currently wear a 30DD which fits almost perfect but my measurements say I'm a 32A. I have tried a 32A bra but it is simply too small, what should I do?


Please help me. I measure around a 33 or 34 inch chest. I measure right around 42 inches on my breasts. I do not know what size of bra to wear. When I get a 36 D, it makes me look like my breasts are way drooped down, and if I wear anything smaller than a D, my breasts are falling out. The bigger I go in the number, it just pulls my breasts down. Please help!


Help! What is my bra size? Under my breasts I measure 30.5'' and around the fullest part of my breasts I measure 39''. I'm currently wearing a 36D which I know is too small. Help!


According to this ridiculous measurement system, I would wear a 32A.

I wear a 28DD/E. Yes, that size exists. No, I didn't measure myself incorrectly.

This stupid "add 5 inches" business is what VS uses to smash women into their 32-36ABCD overpriced bras.

If you get a negative number, don't add 5 to your underbust measurement. Just take that measurement, round up to the next even number (27" measurement = 28 band) and proceed with the calculations for cup size.


This is totally inaccurate. I got measured at Victoria's Secret and the lady told me I measured exactly a 34D (which, coincidentally is what I have been wearing for years now). If I use this formula, I get a 29 lower band (plus the 5, which takes me to a 34) and a 36 bust measurement. If I follow this formula, I'd be a 34B - impossible. I spill out of my D cups.


my breasts are 50 inches and my chest is 40. what's my size of bra?


My "lower" band is 34 inches. My "upper" band is 35 inches. Around my nipples is 37 inches. I just lost a lot of weight, which is why I need to recalculate my bra size, so snarky remarks about fat don't apply.

I got straight A grades when I took math. I cannot figure out which size bra cup will fit me. These instructions are giving me a Minus cup (not true) and I don't know if the size should be 34, 35, 37, or 38. Very poor instructions.


they gave me a negative number but I know that I can't even fit into an A cup since it's too small?


I guess it was pretty accurate. I got between B and C and that's what I think I have.


This didn't work for me at all! When i measured, i got a -1 and that's not right because my band is 34 so when you add the 4" it becomes a 38 but my bust is only 37. I'm currently wearing a 36B but it barely covers my nipples! My mom's been telling me to try out a 34C or 36C so this really does not work!


I've been wearing a 34C. and I just measured a 32 under and a 34 over. does this mean I'm a B? and If so how do I know what size? Because B's have never fit very well before.


I'm confused. somehow i got a 28dd. is that right?


so i measured my and and got 30. should i go to 32? and my circumference is 36. does that mean im a D? and what bra size would i buy? P.S. i have been wearing sports bras because for gym class normal ones never worked very well.


Thank you anon122119! I have been so confused up until your explanation. I have been wearing a 34B but the cup size has recently become uncomfortable. I went to VS and got measured as 32D but they had none of that size to try on. I personally thought the 32C cup fit pretty well though.

I then used this system to measure myself and got 32A as my size. Now I know I am neither an A or a D so I was just left even more confused. But with your explanation, I now understand why the 32C was fairly comfortable and why the attendant at VS suggested 32D. She was actually doing to good job of sizing even though it seemed crazy at the time!

Thank you so much because now I know which size to pick and even which one to try next if it doesn't fit!


This worked great for me! Thanks.


This test doesn't work for me. I was professionally fitted a year ago and all my bras are a 32E. All of those bras are too small now. This test says i am a 31C. that is not true!


I have trouble finding my bra size.

Victoria's Secret fitters keep saying I'm an A-cup and I'm nowhere near an A-cup. I've never been an A-cup in my life.

The last time I tried wearing an A-cup I was spilling out of it plus it'll be very hard to breathe in an A-cup.

But when I do the math, my underchest is 29, my bust 32/34 and at one time 33 inches. But when I add five inches I get 34 and that gives me a negative number.

I just don't know what to do.


What would your cup size be, if there was 14 inches difference between under breast to around breast? you stop at a G, but does it go to GG then H and HH or G H I J K L?


I wore a 36C for years, but age takes its toll. I find a bra that feels right, 38D, but I have the dreaded spill-over affect. If I get a bigger cup size, then I droop (even though I wear underwires). I also have a short waist (33) and long legs (35 inseam). I'm 5'10" and could stand to lose 10 pounds, but my breasts make me look like I'm obese. Can someone help me sort this out?


this doesn't work for me I'm very big breasted and the test shows I fit a B, but I fit better in C's.


i have the same problem. I've been looking for the last two years for a bra that actually fits me without either cutting into my back or my boobs aching. i tried to buy (i think) a 36 c. i thought it was my size, but my breasts are huge. we're talking at least d cups, so any advice anyone could give me on this would be welcome.


The comments this guide has received goes to show one thing: that the majority of the population cannot determine their bra size through measurements.

Ladies, you have to understand how bra sizing works. Let's look at five different bra sizes: 38A, 36B, 34C, 32D, 30DD. Five different band sizes, and five different cup sizes. But guess what? Each of these holds the same volume of breast as the rest.

That means that a woman who wears a 30DD bra has the same size breasts as one who wears a 38A bra (the only difference is in the band!)

That means, if you try on a 36C in the store, and find that the band is too loose but the cups are just right, you should try on a 34D next, rather than a 34C (because the cups on a 34C would hold the same volume as the cups on a 36B). Is the band still too loose? Then try the 32DD.

Understanding this concept should make finding a bra that fits much easier, and should help the confused ladies understand that this guide might not be as 'wrong' as they had originally thought.

One last thing to keep in mind: Not all bras are made the same, so they won't all fit you in the same way. It's important to try on a bra before making a purchase, because one brand's sizing might not run the same as another's.


this is so wrong it's funny. this says i am a size A lol, and I've been a C all my life. and a C sometimes fits me small.


well I'm a 28 C according to these techniques lol so I guess it just stinks to be me because bras don't come in that size.

I usually wear a 34 B and many of them fit me okay but some do not even if they are the same brand. For me it just depends on the style like I need a demi bra because my boobs are shallow.


omg! this helped a lot! I used victoria's secrets measurement system and they told me I was a B! There is no way I'm a B when I have these two huge cantaloupes sitting on my body. I have been wearing a DD but my cups are full and I'm kind of getting some "spillage" over here lol.

Anyway, I'm going to move up to an F - I think it will work better. I need just a touch more room.

Thanks so much to whoever posted this, you're a life(boobs) saver! lol.

And if you're getting incorrect measurements you're probably doing it wrong. READ it again. It works!


This does not work. According to this, I should be wearing C cup, which is impossible, because a B sometimes is too big, and an A is sometimes too small.


I tried this and other methods just don't add up. for years I wore a 36C, but now a little weight gain I am wearing 38D. With this way of measuring I keep getting a 39C, which doesn't exist. I am comfortable in a D cup as long as it has full support. anything else I spill out of the sides and the top. I have become so frustrated because I don't know my size.


this is stupid. I measure 28 across the ribcage. + 4 makes that 32. my bust is 32. I'm pretty sure that I have something there.


This is complete bunk - a 40" band would just slide all the way up my back, and even the 38 is loose. Plus, if I spill out of a DD cup, I somehow doubt a B would be an improvement.

The reason most women wear the wrong bra size is that we're told to add 4" to the band, and end up with the band too big and the cup too small. Band rides up in back, cups don't fully encase boobs, there is no support - but everyone assumes women are underestimating their band size and inflating their cup size out of vanity or something. Yeah, it's vanity, in that I want a bra that actually gives some support.


this is incredibly inaccurate. I wear a 38 DD and i got a negative 1 as my cup size number. What's up with that?


Now I'm really confused. i haven't been to any store to measure yet but my mum bought me a 36C which is kind of loose at the band and quite small. my measurement is 31 at the band, and 38 at the bust, so what should i wear?


anon46542: Obviously it's possible to have a negative number. In step one, you add four inches to your band size. So yes, men, unless they have four inches of random fat floating around up there, would end up with a negative number. Duh. Gosh.


According to this I am a 36 A. This this is completely inaccurate. I'm sitting here in a 34 D and my boobs are literally spilling out of the cups. My bathing suit is from Victoria's Secret and the top is a size 36 DD and that fits perfectly. I wouldn't trust this form of measurement.


I can only guess that the cup size goes up a letter for every inch. I used to be a 32DD. I'm three months pregnant with twins and can expect to grow much larger than I have thus far. If I'm doing the math right I am a 32 J now.

That's just scary to think I will need at least a 34-36 K or L size maternity/nursing bra.

Do they even make those? I feel like a pregnant version of Dolly Parton!


Everyone who is saying that this is wrong, you're probably the one who is wrong, because you're probably measuring wrong. I did this four times to make sure i was right because I'm going bra shopping in a couple of days. My boobs have been popping out of the top of my bra, a lot, and i figured i was a D cup, and i wasn't exactly sure, so i went online and found this website. Now, the result i got was a 32D and this is right, because the band on my bra now is a 32, and it's not too tight and not too loose -- it fits me perfectly. All i needed was a bigger cup size, since obviously C is not working for me. i thank this method because it worked for me.


Arghh it doesn't work. I can't ever find a bra to fit me. according to this I would be a 32 C, but if i wear a 32 I can fit my whole fist inside the band, it's that loose, and the cups don't even cover my nipples.


You have to add four or five inches to the rib measurement. I measure 28 inches around my ribs and wear a 32 or 34. I am 36 inches around my bust, which puts me at a B cup. If I didn't add the four inches my measurement comes out to a 28 F, which probably doesn't even exist.


according to this i should be wearing 28D and that is not right as I'm wearing a 32D at the and the back is only slightly big for me (could do with 30 back) and my current cup size is too small.


At what age do most kids start wearing a bra? My child is 12 years old, and her chest is almost completely flat! She doesn't wear a bra. It's probably because she's vegan, but she's been taking vegan calcium chews, but they're not working! So again, at what age do people usually start wearing a bra?


I think a lot of you are doing this wrong, because the guide's worded a bit bizarrely. The cup size is determined by the difference between your underboob and overboob measurement. For the bad size, you then add 4/5 inches on depending on even/odd. That should probably work better, but again, it's just a rough guide.


I want to make a correction to this formula. it says that to determine your cup size you're supposed to subtract your band size from your chest measurement. The correct way to do it is to actually subtract your underbust measurement (before you add the 4 or 5) to your chest measurement.


Underbust: 30


Your band size: 34

Cup Size: D (34-30)


This does not work. The only way to find out your bra size is to try on bras in different sizes and see which ones fit the best. You cannot figure out your bra size with a tape measure any more than you can figure out which size jeans will fit you without trying them on first.


"Clearly this doesn't work. according to this I'm supposed to wear a 44-c and i fit into a 36-b perfectly. doesn't work for me!"

Are you sure you aren't just kidding yourself and you really can't fit into a 44 c?


Girls you have to remember: bra cup sizes are proportional to the band. A 32DD, 34D, 36C and a 38B have a similar cup but different band. The right bra will make such a difference in how clothes fit. Don't get hung up on being a certain size. These measurements are a fitting guide, designed to help you find a starting point.


Ladies, please allow me to suggest you not obsess over what your bra size is! Try on several different sizes and styles, see what feels the most comfortable and what makes you look your best. Wear that style and size. Period.

Let's not be guys about this, comparing ourselves with each other, and worrying about it. Let's be beautiful, individual, mysterious females who wear what makes us feel good.


Right. I'm wearing a 34 b but on some websites I'm a d? and the others I'm a b? but i can fit into a b. and i can just fit into a d. I'm really confused. Help!


Argh!!! I tried this and it says I'm a 32AA but i have like four boobs when i wear that size! I think I'm a 30 or 32 B so i guess not that big a difference. i guess this works as an approximate.


Clearly this doesn't work. according to this I'm supposed to wear a 44-c and i fit into a 36-b perfectly. doesn't work for me!


I am new to this and thank you for your help, but, my breasts are not fully developed and the size seems too big.


When I measure around my ribcage, I get 27 inches. Add 5, like the instructions say, and I get 32, which is my correct band size. According to anon53921's method, I'm a 28C? Well, I suppose that could be comparatively similar to a 32B.


I measured myself and came up with 38AA, which is my correct size.


I do not agree with this at all. It tells me that I am a 36B, but in my 34D bra my nipples are out! Umm, that can't be right.

I agree with what some of you said. I measure a 32 for my band size and 38 for my cup size. I normally wear a 34 because it is more comfortable for me and for cup size right now I am in a DD. I have gone to Victoria's Secret and they measure like this site says to and told me I was a 36B! So just for laughs, I tried one on and it barely covered my boobs! I then tried on a 34DD and viola! It fit like a glove.

All the girl could say was, well some bras fit differently. I was tempted to tell her to bring me a 36B bra in every style and I will prove their method is wrong! Basically ladies, don't listen to what other people say you should be, listen to what your breasts tell you they are comfortable in!


The add 4-5 inches rule is outdated and will result in incorrect sizing!

When will these "helpful" sites get this through their minds?

Correct way to fit a modern bra:

Measure your ribcage. Round up to nearest even number. This is your band size! (1)

Measure your bustline at its fullest point. Round up or down to nearest full inch, depending on your breast shape (round = round up, shallow or pointy = round down). (2)

Subtract measurement (1) from measurement (2). This is your difference. Each inch of difference = 1 cup size.

Example: Madame X has a ribcage measurement of 29 inches. This gets rounded up to nearest even number (30).

Madame X has a bust measurement of 35 inches.

The difference (35 - 30) is 5 inches.

Madame X wears a size 30DD (US) or 30E (Europe).

You're welcome!


At what age do most girls get their first bra?


I will agree with everybody else - this formula does not work. Under ribcage = 30in + 5 per instructions = 35. fullest part of breast = 35. So 35-35=0 which is what "AA"?! I completely fill out a 34DD bra! Go figure! (but not by these directions). I am surprised that nobody has posted real instructions that results in real sizes!


OK I have been wearing a 38B. I am post menopausal and have noticed my boobs are bigger now, spilling out over and under my bras. I measured and am 38-42, could this be that I have spent all my life in a B-cup and now suddenly I am a D? Did I read it correctly? Go figure-- now that I am too old for it to matter, I got boobs!


whats the difference between AA and A?


I have a very small chest, like really small, and i think I'm wearing the wrong bra size, i measured in centimeters, above my chest is 79. the middle is 82 and under, which is under my breasts is 75, what do you guys think?


I got measured in Debenhams a 34C and the same here on this site but i can't even get that size on ..I wear a 34 dd or E and it's comfy, supportive and fits me!


this measurement system is ridiculous. according to this, i am a 34AA and that is simply not true. every time i go to victoria's secret they tell me i am a 32 or 34A and when i try those bras on the fit is atrocious. i bulge out of the sides and the top and my nipples are always popping out. and this system is telling me to try something even smaller!

i feel more comfortable in a 32b, 34b or 30c, but i still have issues with my nipples popping out.


This old system is the only one that has ever worked for me. If I go to a shop and get measured they say I am a 32b they then go off and get some to try resulting in my boob bulging out top sides under arm pits so then they get a 32c which again i am bulging out of so finally they get me a 32d which is my size. They say I shouldn't be that size by the guide but it's the shape as well. i am very round and don't sag so i need a rounder/underwire so not to squash my boobs.

So I would say that you can get a rough idea from these measuring guides but really you need to go in and try some on.


This way is bogus. If I measure rib cage and add 5 inches, I should be a 40 (way too big) then it says I should be a B cup. I currently overflow a D so this is wrong.


Yeah this didn't work for me either. I'm usually a DD to an E and this result gave me an A?

It all comes down to different shapes and sizes. There is an online calculator that works for me. It refers to me as a 32E, not a 36A. Much better.


Haha. This does not work. I'm originally wearing a size 38C,D, i believe? This says I'm like a A. I got like, almost negative. If i even try to wear an A, if i even get it on, it basically just breaks. This did not help.


there are way better charts online where there is no "adding." If you are 32" around the rib cage and 34" around your boobs, you are a 32B, plain and simple, like at the store. Two charts take you all the way to H cup, and scroll down for I's and J's.


I always been confused by the old 'add 5 inches' sizing. Because I measure 31 inches around my chest and that puts me up to a 36 band. I measure 32.5" around my busts, which comes out to a -3.5. I've never filled out an A cup even, so this old sizing which puts me at AAA or AA (funny they don't even bother telling you other than saying 'abnormally small-deal with it').

New sizing puts me at a 31 (I guess 32?) A? I own a bra that's 32 and it's excruciatingly tight. I think the US (Actually I'm in Canada) sizes still all do the 'add 5 inches' thing even if it is outdated. That means the 32 I am trying on is really a 27 or 28 inch chest, and since I measure at 31 it is contstricting. So confusing!!


Same here. I am a 34C and this tells me I am a 36A. what do I do with my breasts in an A?


to anon46542, you are wrong. Don't tell me I'm measuring wrong because I get negative no matter how or by whom I am measured. It's salespeople like you who cause me to buy the wrong bra size. I wish I weren't negative.


I talked to representatives at two lingerie stores, and they told me that adding four inches to the band size is outdated (unfortunately). It makes kind of a huge difference. I even tried on one that's my size, according to this article (a 38), and the band size was way too big.

I'm a 34 inch band size (fortunately), but my bust is 41 inches. Hate it.


i have been wearing 34B's for years, but I'm falling out now! And now it's telling me I'm a 30D? What?


I have come across many different measurement techniques:

First technique: measure overbust and underbust and check the difference in cm, if the difference is:

12-14 -A cup,

15-16 -b cup,

17-18 -c cup,

19-20 -d cup,

for band size with this method see what your underbust measurement is, if it is:

63-67 -30 band size

68-72 -32 " "

73-78 -34 " " etc

Second technique: This is similar to the one mentioned on this site except for when you measure the dig in inches they are as follows:

0" -A cup (not 1 inches it says on this site)

1" -B cup

2" -C cup

3" -D cup etc.

Third technique: I read this somewhere and it seems to make the most sense. My source said that the adding of 4-5 inches to the underbust measurement is old-fashioned, and bras nowadays are not made to fit with that way of measuring.

The correct way to do it is you measure your underbust in inches e.g. 30" and that is your band size (without any adding), and if you are an odd number you round to the next even number. For example, if you measure 29 underbust then round up to 30 inches for your band size.

There are more and more shops selling bras in smaller band sizes such as 30 and even 28.

This is why someone who is apparently not even an A, fills out a 32c -because they are probably are 28DD or 30D.


this is my first bra and with the help, i got the perfect size (well the closest to perfect, but nothing is perfect):):o :) :) :);) It's a 30b. i know it's small but this is my first bra ever!!


This didn't help me at all! I'm a 32C but it says I'm a 32AA.


my breast size is 32cm. i think it is big in size. my would be also told me about this. how can i lose my breast size and what is the correct size bra for me? please anyone help me.


This isn't working for me. I'm 38 under and 46 chest/breast. Appearntly I'm a G? No I don't think so.


I have tried these formulas too, and they don't work for me. I get told I am a B cup, but every time a I wear a B cup, my boobs don't get covered up. they stick out. I think I am a C cup. its comfy and nothing falls out.


This is stupid! If I go by this i apparently don't even have A sized breasts but I fill out 32c bras.


I've looked at several sites giving formulas for determining bust/bra sizes. One thing I find interesting: There is an added step that used to not be in the formula. When did "add 5" to the rib cage become part of the formula? I had an older seamstress measure me years ago. She showed me how to determine cup size, etc. and she also "checked" her measurements by measuring me from the ribcage up the underside of middle of my breast to the nipple to determine inches difference. She said this was important because some women's breasts are shaped differently, being fuller underneath than on top. Using her formula, I check out at a 36 DDD (E). Using the one posted here, I check out at a 36 C. As many of the others have posted, there is no way I could squeeze my breasts into a C cup. Maybe try the formula WITHOUT adding the 5 to the rib cage and then see what you come up with, ladies. See if it is more true to what is comfortable for you.


My underbust is 38" and overbust is 42" if I add 4 inches to underbust, the difference is zero, an A cup. However, I'm wearing a 40C at the moment - the strap is on the tightest loop and the cups are a little too small. Without adding the extra 4 inches, my size would be more accurate I think (38D).


to anon28378, this means you are measuring wrong. I am an employee at Victoria's Secret, and I have not in my 13 years working there, ever seen a negative number. It is impossible unless you are too loose measuring under your bust, or are caved in at the chest, having no chest at all. Even men have an equal or positive number, hun.


These instructions for determining bra size are just guidelines for a starting point. When do any ladies' sizes actually match anyone's measurements? It's the same with bras. If you go to a department store that has a lingerie section and a real fitter, get measured and fitted there, and you'll have a good idea of what you wear. However, a 38B in a Bali is not necessarily the same size bra as a 38B in a Playtex. The easiest method is to get sizes close to what you measure in styles you like, try them on and see what gives you the most support and feels comfortable. Also, different styles may fit differently even if they are the same size. An underwire bra may fit very differently from a soft cup, or one with padding or a push-up design. Unless you buy the same brand, style and size every time, making time to try on the bras is usually the best way to find the best bra for you.


this does not work at all. according to this i'm less than an a, however i have bras with cup sizes a and b, both of which i fill out.


hi what can be the bra size 32a or 32a93?


i don't think this thing works. presently i wear a 34B and i find the fit a bit tight. according to your table my measurements are, 70.5 cms (without adding 10.2 cms) under bust and 84.8 cms over bust. the difference comes to about 4.1 cms. i am surely not that small.


help. i'm a 38 across my breasts and 33

underneath. how do i find my bra size?


i measured and got 51, 45. so what does that make me? it's very confusing! i thought i was a 42DD? but i have no clue for sure. someone please help!


To Lady anon38174: in your case I think it would pay comfort dividends to get a professional measurement. (Many ladies boutiques do this complementary and privately in the fitting area) or at least get a galfriend to help. That way you know the dressmaker's tape is flat and routed correctly. Also check the above and below bandsize locations, and if they disagree go with the lower. That is, after all, where the band will be. Best of luck, dear!


according to this site, i would be some where between 32AA or 32A, which is impossible because I am not that small. this formula does not work.


well I guess that I am a 30D. This is interesting. I don't think I have ever seen a bra that size.


Using this system, I would be a 42A, which is hilarious - I couldn't get my chest into A cups if I tried. This doesn't work at all.


i was size 34c but now when i am wearing the bra my breasts seem to pop out? why?


I wear a size 36DD and have suspected for a while that this is not my actual size...but 36G? It is hard to believe I am that far off!


I got 32B but I'm defintely not that because I'm wearing one right now and it doesn't fit me at all. I'm popping out of it. My sister gave me a 34B but that didn't fit me either? What size am I? I think I need to try the sizes around 34A or B or move onto a 36. This website did *not* help me. It just made me even more confused.


I always get a negative number doing this as well. Does that mean that I'm a AA, AAA? My band size is 36 and the measurement around the fullest part of my chest is 35. Therefore, the cup size is -1, lol.


This gave me a negative number! AHHHH! And I know I'm not that tiny. Guess I'm just abnormal...


Thanks it helped a lot though now I know my size.


this helped a lot thank you for the info

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