How to measure proper fit for a bra size

Updated April 17, 2017

If you're a woman suffering from overall bad posture or pain or discomfort in your back or shoulders, the problem may lie in your bra. Wearing an improperly fitted bra may cause all these problems and more, which makes it very important to find your correct bra size. If you are not experiencing any of these symptoms, finding the right bra size now can help you avoid these problems for the future. UK bra sizes are based in inch measurements. If you see bra sizes above 60 in the shops these will be European sizes, which are based on centimetres.

Undress above the waist.

Exhale completely so your ribs are as small around as possible.

Wrap the measuring tape around your rib cage just below your bust. Read off the measurement in inches to determine your UK bra size.

Add either 4 inches (if the nearest whole inch on the measuring tape is even) or 5 inches (if the nearest whole inch on the measuring tape is odd) to the number on your measuring tape. This number is your band size. For example, if the measuring tape says 29 inches, you would add 5 inches and end up with a band size of 34.

Wrap the measuring tape snugly but gently around your back and around the fullest part of your bust.

Subtract the nearest whole number on the measuring tape from the final number you found in Step 4. For example, if your band size is 34 and your bust is 36 inches, subtract 34 from 36 for a result of 2.

Find your cup size by comparing the number you found in Step 6 to this list. Zero is cup size B. One is cup size C. Two is cup size D. Three is cup size DD. Four is cup size E. Five is cup size F. Six is cup size G. Seven is cup size H. Eight is cup size I.

Combine your result from Step 4 with your result from Step 7. For example, if your band size is 34 and your bust size is 36, your final result would be 34 D. This is your estimated bra size.


These calculations provide an estimate of your correct bra size, not a definitive answer. Try on a bra of the size you calculate to make sure it fits comfortably. The band should be snug but not painfully tight, and the cups should be full but not overflowing.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft measuring tape
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About the Author

Morgan O'Connor has been writing professionally since 2005. Her experience includes articles on various aspects of the health-insurance industry for health-care newsletters distributed to hospitals as well as articles on both international and domestic travel.