Confused About Bra Fitting? Here’s the Perfect Bra Fit Checklist

“Although it’s sometimes immediately obvious that a bra you’re trying on doesn’t fit right, there are less obvious signs that a bra is doing absolutely nothing for your shape, or worse, is doing lots of things wrong. Even a bra that ‘feels right’ initially may not be giving you proper support or enhancing your shape.”
“Familiarity with our Perfect Fit checklist will help you choose bras that flatter and support. Take a few minutes to understand what a perfect fitting bra should look and feel like, and to recognize whether your bra is the wrong size for you.”

The Bra Fitting Checklist

The perfect fitting bra will pass these simple tests:

  • Smooth Fitting Cups
    If you don’t fill out the cups, you need a smaller size. If you are “overflowing” the cups, try a larger cup size or a style with a fuller cup design. The edges of the cups should also lie flat against your breast. If there is a gap (especially with padded bras), you should go down a cup size.
  • Center panel lays flat against your breastbone
    If it does not, this could be a sign that your cup size is too small, or the panel is not large enough to accommodate the separation between your breasts. Note: Minimizers tend to not rest against the breastbone, and this is fine.
  • The bottom of the bra in the front and back is parallel to the floor or slightly lower in the back
    The lower edge of the band should anchor below the shoulder blades. The lower the back fits, the better the support.
  • Straps stay put and don’t dig into your shoulders
    Consider a different bra style with straps closer together if straps keep falling. A smaller band size should reduce the strap’s strain on your shoulders.
  • Cup fabric should be stable
    The cup fabric should give support as well as a good breast shape.
  • An underwire should encircle your breast
    An underwire shouldn’t poke, protrude or pinch.
  • Good breast uplift
    The apex of your breasts should be mid-way between your shoulders and your elbows. Uplifted breasts look more youthful and give a slimming appearance.
  • Breasts face the front and do not sag or fall to the sides
    This breast position allows you to freely swing your arms.
  • A finger can be run under the front band
    Your bra should be snug, but not too tight. If it’s tight, you need a larger band size or a looser hook placement.
  • Feels comfortable when sitting
    Our ribcages tend to expand when we are seated. If you’re not sure your band is big enough, this quick test will answer your concern.
  • Consider an alteration
    Still not the perfect fit? We alter our clothes for a better fit, why not a bra? One woman in our office really measures to a 35 band size. She therefore buys a 36D and has a dart put in at the sides.
    An important point when zeroing in on your correct bra size is that when you try on a bra and go one cup size larger, you are keeping the band size the same and increasing your bust line by 1″.
    However, when you go up a band size (keeping the cup size the same) you are increasing your band circumference by 2″ AND increasing your bust line circumference by 2″ as well. The point here is that changing a cup size within a band size is fine-tuning your bra size. Changing a band size is a much more significant size change.