Subtract your underbust size from your topbust size. The back of the bra should be level with the front. Adelle Kirk, formerly a manager at the global Kurt Salmon management consulting firm that specializes in the apparel and retail businesses, said that making bras is complex:. Catalog companies continued to use the designations Small, Medium, and Large through the s.
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If you're shopping for bras, this number is a good starting point to choose a band size. For most women, your bra band should be within an inch or two of this number.
Overbust measurements are taken above the fullest part of the bust, directly under the arm. These measurements are commonly used when sewing, rather than shopping. Seamstresses may choose a pattern size based on the overbust measurement and alter to fit, particularly for larger bustlines. Some women may find that the overbust measurement is helpful when choosing the correct bra size. While bust size can refer specifically to measurements -- like underbust, overbust or full bust -- it can also refer to bra sizes.
Bra sizes consist of both a number and a letter. The number refers to the band size, while the letter identifies the cup size. The measuring tape should be level and very snug. Round to the nearest whole number. If the number is even, add four inches. Your band size is the sum of this calculation.
So if you measured 32 inches, your band size is If you measured 33 inches, your band size is Wrap the measuring tape somewhat loosely around the fullest part of your chest at nipple level. Subtract your band size from your bust measurement and refer to chart. So how can you tell if a particular style fits?
Bend forward at the waist, then slip on the bra and hook it. This ensures your breasts are completely in the cups. The back of the bra should be level with the front. Make sure the bra is not too loose. You should be able to slide only one finger underneath the band. First, tighten the band, then shorten the straps. The measurements are made in the same units as the band size, either inches or centimetres.
The cup size is calculated by subtracting the band size from the over-the-bust measurement. Cup sizes vary from one country to another. The larger the cup size, the bigger the variation. Surveys of bra sizes tend to be very dependent on the population studied and how it was obtained. For instance, one U.
However, the survey sample was drawn from Caucasian student volunteers at a Midwest U. Bra-wearers who have difficulty calculating a correct cup size may be able to find a correct fit using a method adopted by plastic surgeons.
Using a flexible tape measure, position the tape at the outside of the chest, under the arm, where the breast tissue begins. Conversion of the measurement to cup size is shown in the "Measuring cup size" table. This principle means that bras of differing band size can have the same volume. For example, the cup volume is the same for 30D, 32C, 34B, and 36A. These related bra sizes of the same cup volume are called sister sizes. A study by White and Scurr University of Portsmouth compared method that adds 4 to the band size over-the-bust method used in many United Kingdom lingerie shops with and compared that to measurements obtained using a professional method.
The study measured 45 women using the traditional selection method that adds 4 to the band size over-the-bust method. Women tried bras on until they obtained the best fit based on professional bra fitting criteria.
When women wear bras with too big a band, breast support is reduced. Too small a cup size may cause skin irritation. They noted that "ill-fitting bras and insufficient breast support can lead to the development of musculoskeletal pain and inhibit women participating in physical activity. In , researchers published research on world-wide breast size. They gathered breast data by gathering , individual breast size measurements in different countries.
Only data from women in the age group 28 to 30 years. They found that women born in the United States have much bigger breasts than women in any other country. Their average bra cup size, when converted to the European measurement system, is substantially larger than "F". The mean cup size of women of Canadian origin is "E" according to the EU bra size. Their average breast size is "D". Women born in Africa and Asia, especially those born in East Asian countries, have the smallest breast volumes.
Asian women were found to have an average "A" cup size or even smaller. Bra-labeling systems used around the world are at times misleading and confusing. Cup and band sizes vary around the world. Bra-fitting experts in the United Kingdom state that many women who buy off the rack without professional assistance wear up to two sizes too small. Manufacturer Fruit of the Loom attempted to solve the problem of finding a well-fitting bra for asymmetrical breasts by introducing Pick Your Perfect Bra, which allow women to choose a bra with two different cup sizes, although it is only available in A through D cup sizes.
There are several sizing systems in different countries. Most use the chest circumferences measurement system and lettered cup sizes, but there are some significant differences. Many bras available come in only 36 sizes. The UK uses the inch-system, this means that the difference in chest circumference between the cup sizes is always one inch, or 2. Leading brands and manufacturers including Panache, Bestform, Gossard, Freya, Curvy Kate , Bravissimo and Fantasie, which use the British standard band sizes , and so on.
However, some clothing retailers and mail order companies have their own house brands and use a custom sizing system. As a result, their J-Cup is equal to a British standard H-cup. Their H-Cup is roughly equal to a British standard G-cup. Cup labelling methods and sizing schemes are inconsistent and there is great variability between brands.
This has introduced further sizing scheme confusion that is poorly understood even by specialist retailers. Bra-sizing in the United States is very similar to the United Kingdom.
Band sizes use the same designation in inches and the cups also increase by 1-inch-steps. However, some manufacturers use conflicting sizing methods. D1, D2, D3, D4, D In , underwear maker Jockey International offered a new way to measure bra and cup size. It introduced a system with ten cup sizes per band size that are numbered and not lettered, designated as , etc. The company developed the system over eight years, during which they scanned and measured the breasts and torsos of women.
Researchers also tracked the women's use of their bras at home. In very large cup sizes this causes smaller cups than their English counterparts. This system has been standardized in the European dress size standard EN introduced in , but was in use in many European countries before that date. They increase in steps of 2. Japanese sizes are the same as Korean ones, but the cup labels begin with "AA" for a 7. The French and Spanish system is a permutation of the Continental European sizing system.
Since it starts with size 0 for European size 60, the conversion consists of a division by 5 and then a subtraction of The size designations are often given in Roman numerals. Cup sizes have traditionally used a step size of 2. Manufacturers' marketing and advertising often appeals to fashion and image over fit, comfort, and function.
English mechanical engineer and professor John Tyrer from Loughborough University has devised a solution to problematic bra fit by re-engineering bra design Loughborough University. He started investigating the problem of bra design while on assignment from the British government after his wife returned disheartened from an unsuccessful shopping trip.
He theorised that this widespread practice of purchasing the wrong size was due to the measurement system recommended by bra manufacturers. This sizing system employs a combination of maximum chest diameter under bust and maximum bust diameter bust rather than the actual breast volume which is to be accommodated by the bra.
According to Tyrer, "to get the most supportive and fitted bra it's infinitely better if you know the volume of the breast and the size of the back. It's an instrument of torture. The average breast weighs about 0. If a cup is a hemisphere, its volume V is given by the following formula: If the cup is an hemi- ellipsoid , its volume is given by the formula: Cups give a hemi-spherical shape to breasts and underwires give shape to cups. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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Now measure around the fullest part of your breast. The tape should be loose-fitting, as when measuring for a bra. This number is your topbust. Subtract your underbust size from your topbust size. This number will give you your cupsize, according to the chart below. These measurements are approximate. The bust size is the loose circumference measured around the chest over the fullest part of the breasts, while standing straight with arms to the side, and wearing a properly fitted bra. The frame size is the firm circumference measured directly underneath the breasts. The bra size (also known as brassiere measurement or bust size) is the measure which indicates the size characteristics of a bra. Bra sizes are usually expressed as scales, with a number of systems being in use around the world. The scales take into account the band length and the cup size.