The Art of Bra Fitting

by Brittany on July 1, 2013

in Style & Beauty

Bra fittings are like snowflakes… there are no two alike.bra fitting

And surprise, that shouldn’t be the case.

Being fitted for a bra isn’t the most exciting moment in a girl’s life, but it is, however, a necessity. The right bra can be life changing, from making your clothes look awesome to saving yourself from some serious back pain.

If you’ve ever experienced a bra fitting and still had doubts about the bra you found yourself in, you may not be entirely off base. CGG reader Jacki Wilson pointed me in the direction of an amazing video that might just change your life… or at least your boobs.

I previously had been wearing a 36 DD from Lane Bryant, and according to this video, I should be 36 L.

How did you measure up?

Continue the conversation online, join the Curvy Girl Guide Community now!

BecW July 1, 2013 at 8:14 am

My best internet friends in the world and I found this video a few weeks ago and there’s been a flurry of online bra buying on our little forum. I went from a 38D to a 36G, and my new bras are AMAZING. I’m preaching proper bra fitting everywhere I go now. It’s hard to imagine your whole world changing just because your ta-tas are happily fitted in the right bra, but it’s true!

Stephanie C. July 1, 2013 at 8:23 am

L?! Damn woman! I’m sure those aren’t hard to find AT ALL.

Speaking of bras – do you have any recs for good strapless bras for us ladies with big boobs? Thanks to a wedding next month I can’t avoid wearing one any longer!

Krystal July 1, 2013 at 9:08 pm

I got this ( http://www.ashleystewart.com/product/567/AS-023820_ASB-82BE/black/Convertible-Strapless-Butterfly-Bra/) bra for a wedding I was in last year and loved it. The double back straps really held my girls in place all night. Plus it’s pretty cheap!

LouisianaMeredith July 1, 2013 at 8:32 am

Once we find our correct size, any on line recommendations for shopping for big breast bras? My local department stores only do up to DD and Victoria’s Secret doesn’t even go that high, I don’t think.

Any direction would be appreciated!

Amy July 1, 2013 at 9:03 am

figleaves.com has the best selection that I’ve found.

Stephenie Horman July 2, 2013 at 11:53 am

brastop.com offers a variety of brands in D-K cup sizes. It’s in England, but even with shipping, it’s affordable. Just be sure you order your UK size, which is one cup size larger. (I’m a 38F in US sizing, so a 38G in UK.) Good luck!

erin July 6, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Soma Intimates.

http://www.soma.com

Amy July 1, 2013 at 8:36 am

I used to wear a 38DD, but then after fitting a few years ago I am a 36G (never believe what they tell you at Victoria’s Secret, they’re way off!). The bras I can find at that size are super pricey, but much better fitting. After a few weight swings, I think I’m actually bigger than a G, but after investing several hundred dollars on my bras, I don’t want to change sizes. Plus, its super hard to find anything about a G (its like another drop off after a D).

For those of you looking, Nordstroms has a good selection of larger sizes and they do a great job with fittings. They are a little “old lady” if you ask me (I’m 26) and expensive (be prepared to drop $75 each). Once you know what size and styles you like, check out Nordstrom Rack if you have one, or Figleaves.com. Their clearances are amazing, especially for bathing suits.

Also randomly, ideeli and BeyondTheRack have large sizes for a great price. I’ve found bras for under $25!!!

Mandy July 1, 2013 at 8:42 am

That was a great video!

I have to second her recommendation of Nordstrom. I’ve always had excellent service and fittings there. If any of your readers are Michigan locals, I can also recommend Harp’s Lingerie in Birmingham, Mich. I could never find a comfortable strapless bra that would stay up (I’m a small-breasted chick) and Harp’s hooked me up with an amazing strapless bra that I wear all the time, especially in the summer!

Rachel July 1, 2013 at 8:42 am

I saw this awhile ago, but where am I going to get a 40 I?

Amy July 1, 2013 at 8:48 am

figleaves.com

CoftheU July 1, 2013 at 9:10 am

My husband measures me a couple times a year and gets mine from barenecessities.com. They have L’s and larger there too. They go all the way up to 56J

Carolyn July 1, 2013 at 9:52 am

After trying on over 30 bras (seriously) with a fit specialist at a high end bra boutique, I bought a 34 H and I’m still not totally happy with it. Jockey just cam out with a new sizing system that looks promising. I got my fit kit but I haven’t ordered one yet, but I will today. I think I’m a 33 9 or 10 in Jockey’s system. You should try it and report back. http://www.jockey.com/brastory

Pam F. July 1, 2013 at 10:06 am

According to this I should be a 38G instead of a 42D. I’m excited to try it out and have been calculating how soon I can drive to Nordstrom Rack. :)

jennifer J July 1, 2013 at 10:30 am

I love Elomi, a British brand, specializing in beautiful large cup sizes (I’m a G). My local bra shop carries them. Their sports bra Energise is amazing for running and everything else. It supports by encapsulating the breasts, not squishing them flat. Yes, good bras are pricy (you can’t buy from Walmart every ten years, gals) but they help make less expensive clothes look great. Spend your money on bras and fewer clothes, rather than a lot of clothes that won’t look right with a bad foundation.

Lugina July 1, 2013 at 11:07 am

I’ve been wearing 38/40, D/DD. My new measurement is 38J. I tried a GG (UK version of J) a while back. It did fit really well, but I’m short with narrower shoulders so it kind of pushed the girls towards my armpits. Going to try a different style.

Megan July 1, 2013 at 11:30 am

Bending over? Holy crap, I learned something new!

Mary July 1, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Thank You for making the best video I have ever seen.
You were so very informative, I only wish I had seen this years ago. Now I’m 70, andit’s still very useful.
I just had to write you and thank you.
I’m sorry but just where did you say the charts were? Also the best online sites?

Mary

Samanth July 7, 2013 at 1:07 am

Mary, click on the YouTube button on the bottom right corner, this will take you to the original video. Then below the video there is a button that says Show More, click it. Then scroll down and there are links to the chart and websites to order from. Hope this helps!
Samantha

Jenn K July 1, 2013 at 12:41 pm

For those who like to shop online and try them on at home, Zappos.com also has a wide range of sizes plus free shipping and free returns! I order several bras at once, try ‘em on and ship back the ones I don’t like. So easy!!

shannon July 1, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Okay so last time I was measured was by my mom in 1985. I have been wearing a (uncomfortable at time, yes) standard 36B.
NOW it’s been, like what, 27 years later and I see I am really a 34 F/G? Wowzer! I have hardly changed in my body size all these years (just last night I put on my jr. and sr. prom dresses, and they almost zipped, well, except for the fuller boob area) so I guess I have been wearing a bad bra for 27 + years! ?
I live in Maine. My choices are Lady Grace and Macy’s at the one and only mall we have. Other than that, I have TJMaxx. I don’t think I will find a F or G there?

Stephenie Horman July 2, 2013 at 11:51 am

Do you shop online? That will really broaden your options and they usually have great return policies for most online bra shops.

Jacki W. July 1, 2013 at 1:51 pm

I couldn’t believe how much of a difference getting a proper fitting bra would make. For years Victoria Secrets and Lane Bryant had been putting me into a 38D and something just didn’t seem right. Well after watching this video and going to Dillard’s to get fitted, I am now officially a 34H. I’ve only had my new bras for a few days, but the difference is BIG. My posture is better and my back isn’t hurting. I am in no way trying to market for Dillard’s, but let me tell ya my experience was phenomenal. The lady there helped measure me (at home I measured a 36G) and then helped me shop for bras that would best suit my needs… for over an hour. It was like I had a personal shopper…. all for FREE. They had a huge clearance sale going on and I was able to get 7 bras for $100. So for all you ladies out there wondering where can I buy these unheard of sizes, Dillard’s is a great place to go and has some great prices. Usually these sizes can cost some money, but you’re not really going to spend more than you would at Victoria Secret’s or Lane Bryant. Go get fitted, find what you like, and then search online for it for a cheaper price. I was able to order one of the bras I love yesterday from Macy’s for $10. When you’re on a budget that’s a big deal. So don’t deprive yourself thinking you can’t afford the size you truly need. Good luck everyone! Here’s a great website that I found while learning about all these new sizes and what works best for your type of breasts. There’s even a help section for parents of large chested daughters. http://blog.butterflycollection.ca/?m=0

Lisa July 1, 2013 at 2:48 pm

I loved this video!! I never thought of leaving over to measure my breasts! But it makes total sense!! I actually am wearing the right size bra after having a proper fitting at the local bra store. If you live in the San Gabriel Valley, the best place to go get measured is “Creative Woman” in Monrovia. But their bras are quite expensive. They are great for specialty items such as strapless, special event, masectomy, or brestfeeding bras. As for me, I have been buying Lane Bryant bras for at least 15 years, and I am very happy with them. They are resonably priced ($26-$60) and even better when they have their BOGO 1/2 off and their real women dollars. The only down fall is that most of the stores carry 40+ band sizes. So, if I know something will fit I’ll just order it on line. Their bras keep their shape for years with proper washing. I’ve just recently had to replace bras that I bought about 5-7 years ago! Now that’s a great CPW!! (Cost Per Wear). My size ranges from a 38DD-38DDD depending on the cut and material. Recently their bras are including a cushion on the bottom to help lift the boobs to give you a bit more lift and cleavage. My breast are a bit saggy after my two childred literally sucked the life out of them when breastfeeding. So, that little pillow cushion is a life saver until I can save enough money to get a lift!! Hope this helps!! :)

Sunny July 1, 2013 at 7:58 pm

So here’s my question: where do I find a properly fitting 34G bra without underwires? I checked Nordstrom’s as she suggested and all the bras are underwires. I have serious fibrous cystitis in my breasts and underwires are really painful. Suggestions?

Jacki W. July 1, 2013 at 9:56 pm

Hi Sunny I just checked and Macy’s, Dillard’s, and Kohl’s has some 34G wireless bras. There aren’t very many to choose from so you should also check out figleaves.com their selcetion is a lot bigger. Just make sure to remember that a 34G is 34F in UK sizes so check to make sure you’re getting the correct size before ordering. Hope this helps :)

Kat July 1, 2013 at 8:47 pm

I had been wearing a 42D from Lane Bryant. According to the measuring instructions in the video I should be a 40G (UK) or a 40I (US). I ordered two Curvy Kate bras from Brastop.com in a 40G, I’ll be sure to report back!

Stephenie Horman July 2, 2013 at 11:29 am

I also ordered the 40Gs from Curvy Kate at brastop.com. I really like one, the other digs into my arm pits and side. So it really varies, but overall, I love the fit. Good luck!

brooke July 1, 2013 at 8:48 pm

I’m a 38G (or I was until I had a baby at the end of May– now I’m a 38I and noooo oo those aren’t hard to find at ALL. (). I found a style of bra at Macy’s that fit me right and was comfortable and didn’t push my boobs into my armpits, but it was $58 and I just don’t have that kind of cash, so I looked in the tag for the name/style number (Wacoal Delicate Notion if you’re wondering) and searched for it on eBay. For years I’ve found them for right around $20-25 and that’s way easier on the wallet. Now if I could find a nursing bra that doesn’t give me Madonna cone boobs, I would be all set. :/

Marcia July 2, 2013 at 12:03 am

bust measurement? she said to lean over, does she know that my tits hang down to my knees, and I’m to scared that the measuring tape wont fit all the way down there.

Anna July 24, 2013 at 11:15 am

Hahahahahaha!

Carrie July 2, 2013 at 8:10 am

You are seriously my hero! Thank you so much for posting this!! I dragged one of my friends to Nordstrom’s last night … besides having the best time making boob jokes, I found out some SHOCKING news! I’m a double D!!! I’ve been carrying these girls around in a B cup. A B CUP!!! Life, officially, changed!!
Thank you!!

Stephenie Horman July 2, 2013 at 11:24 am

I too, was enlightened in the art of bra fitting. In fact, earlier this year you said your bra size on your blog and I thought “hmmmm…”. I learned about proper bra fitting through fullerfigurefullerbust.com, a site run by a stunning curvy chick named Georgina Horne who is big into properly fitted bras, corsets and shapewear.

gina July 4, 2013 at 2:24 am

So I did this and I’m not a believer. I’m a small busted big girl who never feels right in her bra. I am wearing a 40C and the band is too big and if there isn’t padding the cup is too. According to this measuring technique I’d be a 40F/G and there’s no freaking way. Especially since, like I said, my 40C is too big. This may work for the bigger busted ladies but I’m skeptical. For the sake of wanting a proper fitting bra I’m going to look for this size in a store somewhere that I can try on and for once in my life I hope I’m wrong. We shall see.

Jennifer July 11, 2013 at 6:35 am

Gina,it could be your band is too big …my underbust is around 38-41″ depending on the day and exhaling or inhaling.I normally need a 34-38 band,but 36 often works best.If you have a “squishy” ribcage you often need to size down.I went from a 38D (sister size of your 40C),to a 38G/36H/34H,and my 38D’s had gapping in the cups.I thought that meant my bra was too big!But then when I googled it,I found out,sometimes it means the cup is too small.One great way to find out that’s really easy,is to take your cup and move it over to the side and more under the armpit..first a half inch,then an inch,then on and one until the cup is encasing all your breast tissue and it feels comfortable.I think you will know when it’s at that place,it feels so much better,though you may have a lot of overspill now.lol.Usually for every half inch you need to move the cup over,you need to go up a cup size.I didn’t know the wires were supposed to be so far over and so it was on my boobs and was very uncomfortable.So even though it may seem big,when you get a bigger cup,it wraps all around your boobs and so there’s more to fill it.Also,you need to do the swoop and scoop.Often times you find yourself needing a size up after that.I would try a 38E or (38DDD,you may be able to find one in a VS store),a 38F,a 36F,a 36G,and go from there. :)
Different styles also affect fit and what kind of boobs you have too..there’s lots of bloggers who talk about this and trial and error really helps.It sometimes takes some mistakes,but it’s really worth it.I started by ordering bras off Ebay UK,sometimes you can get a good deal there.
Good luck and I really hope you find your perfect bra,it helps a lot. :)

Jenn July 4, 2013 at 6:31 pm

Pre-kid I was a 36 B. Always and forever. After baby #2 I moved up to a 36 C. Then yesterday I finally got so tired of my band riding up, my side-boob, and back fat I wanted to fling my bra like a rubber band out the car window. Cue your post.

Apparently I am a 34G. Yes. My mother said there was no way. So I skipped on over to Nordstrom to try a few on and couldn’t believe my eyes. I tried on a 34 DDD and E since I thought there was NO WAY I was a G. And quad-boob ensued. The lady at Nordstrom was hovering, but unhelpful so from the privacy of my own home I ordered 2 34 G’s. All I can say is THANK YOU!

Kate July 5, 2013 at 12:44 pm

I can’t see the video!! :(

Randi July 5, 2013 at 4:45 pm

So Ive been wearing a 36B for awhile now and depending on the cut a B can be too big, and an A to small. So I was hoping for a good answer with this video, but it has left me more confused. According to these directions I should be a 36D…that is not possible…what am I doing wrong? It was measure under the bust and then bend over and measure the bust. I got a 35.5″ band and then 41″ bust measurement. What did I do wrong?

Randi July 9, 2013 at 9:12 am

HOLY CRAP I can wear a 36D.

K July 5, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Hmm. During the winter I regularly wear no bra at all, just a cami underneath my shirts, and during the summer I default to the BarelyThere line that sizes in XS/S/M/L/XL, wearing their S size, which is supposedly encompasses 32-34 A-B. The one conventionally sized bra I still have and rarely wear, sized by trial and error for comfort on my part, is a 32B. I guess it does not fit correctly according to the indicators in this video – though the band does lie parallel, it’s the cups that are too small. The video sizes me at 30E. It’s hard for me to imagine wearing such a tight band, that is why I gave up on conventional bras because the bands have to be SO restrictive in order to get enough support! I would feel corseted within an hour and dying to get out of the thing by the end of the day. I prefer stuff that is just springy enough to keep my boobs from bouncing around and otherwise is hardly noticeable.

Kat July 6, 2013 at 8:44 pm

I can’t find the link to the video!

Niki July 9, 2013 at 6:11 pm

Around the time I graduated high school, they had me wearing a size 36C. Now, I did put on some weight afterward, but not so much that it would affect my cup size that much. I finally got resized when I was 27, and I came in at a 36DD. Two years later (now), now that my breast tissue has migrated to where it belongs, I come in at a 34FF/G (depending on the flexibility of the cup, as a have very small shoulders, making molded cups warp a little bit).

Yup. Now I know why my back hurt back then. Of course, now it hurts for injury reasons, but at least it’s not my boobs’ fault anymore. ;)

Niki July 9, 2013 at 6:11 pm

*as I, not as a.

Jennifer July 11, 2013 at 6:40 am

I left a comment for gina and I hope it made it onto here. :/

Zaniiaim July 15, 2013 at 11:24 pm

What is video link or name
Please? Isn’t showing :(

Catherine July 18, 2013 at 8:36 am

According to her I should be a 36 F,G, or H. Money’s been tight, though, so I haven’t tested that out.

Catherine August 13, 2013 at 8:27 am

I went to Macy’s and got fitted. The first thing she did was measure above my breasts, but she got the same band size I did. I’d been wearing a 38D and am now in a 34G. I bought two new bras on ebay, one fits great, the other’s too big because I didn’t pay attention that it was UK sizing.

Eileen July 26, 2013 at 9:53 pm

I went from a 44DD (lane bryant crap) to 40GG. Now I’m pregnant and having to go back AGAIN. Oh fun times. My poor boobs are sick of all this abuse!

Hollis August 8, 2013 at 6:31 pm

I was once deemed a 38DD in reality I’m a 34GG, I have found the best place for me to get a bra is http://www.brastop.com it’s british but really cute bras, a good amount of options and good prices.

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