From the time I actually needed a bra, I have been wearing the wrong size. And if I can guess, you probably have been too. Bra companies (especially in the US) make and sell such a small selection of the variation of sizes that many women feel they have no good options. And to make matters worse, employees at stores like Victoria Secret will fit you in the best size that they carry in stock. Which is basically the worst.
After ordering my third 32DD and having it be comically small for my chest, I got desperate. When I fit myself (using this video and this post as guides), I discovered I should be wearing a 30F. And I was mortified. Why? Because our culture tells us anything larger than a DD is freakishly large and something to be embarrassed of. Well, I refuse to be embarrassed. As an embarrassed consumer, we agree to put on ill fitting bras that make us feel normal (and have terribly sad boobs). Can I make do with a 34D? Yes. Should I? Absolutely not.
It is so easy to do this simple fitting, you'll be amazed you haven't tried it sooner. All you need is a bare chest, a measuring tape & something to write with.
s t e p 1Exhale and measure your ribcage just below your bust line. If the number is odd, such as 29, round that number up to the next even number. In this case, 30. This is your band size.
s t e p 2Lean forward at a 90 degree angle (see picture above). Measure around the largest part of your bust. Write this number down. Mine is 36 inches.
To calculate your cup size take your bust size and subtract the band measurement
36" - 29" = 7"
Now use this number to determine your cup size below.
Great! I am a size I have never laid my eyes on at the store. What do I do? Well, firstly, you start shopping online. I have had the best luck finding my size at prices that aren't crazypants at ASOS.
Here are some of my favorite finds:
If you are looking at ASOS, make sure to use your UK size because they are a UK company (and frankly, if you are above a DD, just use UK sizing. All stores that carry larger sizes seem to use UK sizing). ASOS carries band sizes as small as 28 and cup sizes up to J & you can search by size which is a total necessity.
Do the bra fitting! I promise you won't regret it. In the comments, leave the size you actually should be wearing & the size you have been wearing. It's cathartic (at least, that's what I have been telling myself).