Cracking the Code of UK Bra Sizes: How to Measure Your Size with Numbers
Understanding the correct bra size can be a challenging task for many women. With various sizing systems and inconsistent measurements, it often feels like trying to crack a secret code. In this article, we aim to provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to measure your bra size accurately using UK sizing, helping you find the perfect fit for yourself.
Bra sizing in the UK follows a unique numerical system that can confuse those unfamiliar with it. To measure your size correctly, you will need to take two crucial measurements: the band size and the cup size.
The band size determines the circumference of your ribcage just beneath your bust. To measure it accurately, wrap a soft measuring tape around your ribcage, ensuring it is snug but not too tight. Make sure the tape is parallel to the ground and take the measurement in inches. If you end up with an odd number, round it up to the nearest even number. This number will be your band size.
The cup size, on the other hand, corresponds to the volume of your breasts in relation to your band size. To measure it, wrap the tape around your bust at its fullest part, while keeping it parallel to the ground and not too tight. Subtract the band measurement from the bust measurement in inches. Each inch difference represents a cup size, with A being 1 inch, B being 2 inches, C being 3 inches, and so on.
Now that you have the basic understanding of measuring your bra size in UK sizing, let’s address some commonly asked questions regarding bra fitting and sizing:
1. How often should I measure my bra size?
It is recommended to measure your bra size every six months or whenever you feel that your current bras are not fitting correctly anymore.
2. What if my band size and cup size don’t match the standard sizes?
If your measurements fall in between standard sizes, most bra brands offer half sizes or adjustable options to ensure a better fit.
3. Should I measure my bra size while wearing a bra?
No, it is ideal to measure your bra size without wearing a bra for accurate results.
4. Can I measure my bra size at home without professional help?
Yes, you can measure your bra size at home using a soft measuring tape and following the guidelines mentioned earlier.
5. Are there any signs that my bra doesn’t fit correctly?
Yes, a bra that doesn’t fit correctly may exhibit signs like the band riding up at the back, straps digging into your shoulders, spillage over the cups, or a gap between the cups and your breasts.
6. What should I consider when trying on bras?
Apart from the correct size, it’s important to consider the style, fabric, and shape of the cups that suit your body and provide the desired level of support and comfort.
7. How can I find my sister size?
If you can’t find your exact size, you can try going up a band size and down a cup size (or vice versa) to find your sister size, which has a similar volume.
8. Why do bra sizes vary across different brands?
Different brands may have slight variations in their sizing systems, so it’s recommended to use your measurements as a guide and try on bras from various brands to find the perfect fit.
9. Can pregnancy affect my bra size?
Yes, hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause breast size changes, so it’s essential to measure your bra size regularly throughout your pregnancy.
10. How tight should the band of my bra be?
The band should fit snugly around your ribcage without digging in or causing discomfort. It should be tight enough to provide support but not too tight that it leaves marks on your skin.
11. Do I need different bra sizes for different types of bras?
Not necessarily, as long as the band and cup size fit you well, you can stick to the same size for most types of bras. However, some styles, like sports bras or push-up bras, may require slight adjustments in size for optimal comfort and support.
12. Can breastfeeding change my bra size?
Yes, breastfeeding can lead to changes in breast size and shape, so it’s advisable to measure your bra size regularly during this period.
13. What should I do if I lose or gain weight?
If you experience significant weight loss or gain, it’s important to remeasure your bra size, as your body’s proportions may have changed.
14. How many bras should I own?
Ideally, it’s recommended to have at least three to four bras in rotation to extend their lifespan and ensure proper support.
15. How long should a bra last?
The lifespan of a bra depends on various factors like wear, care, and quality. On average, a well-maintained bra can last for about 9-12 months.
16. Can I wash my bra in a washing machine?
Washing bras by hand is generally recommended to maintain their shape and integrity. However, if you choose to use a washing machine, place them in a lingerie bag and use a gentle cycle.
17. How do I know if my bra is the right fit apart from measurements?
The right bra fit should feel comfortable, supportive, and not cause any pain or discomfort. Additionally, the wires should sit flat against your ribcage and the center gore should rest flat between your breasts.
18. What are some signs that I need to remeasure my bra size?
Common signs include changes in breast shape or volume, weight fluctuations, discomfort or pain while wearing bras, and your bras no longer providing adequate support.
19. Should I measure my bra size when I have my period?
It’s generally advised to measure your bra size when your breasts are at their normal size, so avoiding measurements during your period is recommended.
20. Is there a universal bra size?
No, there isn’t a universal bra size due to variations in sizing systems across different countries and brands. It’s essential to refer to the specific sizing system of the brand you’re purchasing from.
Cracking the code of UK bra sizes may seem like a daunting task, but with proper measurements and understanding of the sizing system, finding the right fit becomes much easier. Remember to measure regularly, consider factors like body changes and style preferences, and don’t hesitate to try on different brands and sizes to discover the perfect bra that provides comfort, support, and confidence.