Gentlemen - If you are at all unsure about the size of bra to buy for your wife or girlfriend, the best advice is to check the size of one of her existing bras that you know sits well on her, and which she finds comfortable to wear. If you do order the wrong size - don't worry, we offer a full exchange or refund on returns.
A correctly fitting bra is essential for comfort and support and to help promote good posture. Many women wear the wrong size bra, but a few simple checks can help to ensure that you are not one of them.
The key to a well fitting bra is firstly to ensure you have the correct band size. The band is the section that goes around the body, beneath the breast (the back strap). Many people think a large bust must mean a large band size, but this is not necessarily so. The band is measured around the back, and beneath the breast, and is therefore a measure of the ribcage rather than the bust.
With a well-fitting bra, the band should sit nice and level all the way round. If it rides up at the back this may mean you are wearing too large a band size. Where the shoulder straps sit on the back. they should be parallel to each other, or slightly "V" shaped. Shoulder straps should not dig in to the shoulders. About 80% of the support is provided by the band, and only about 20% by the straps. If the shoulder straps dig in, this may mean that too much support is being provided by the straps, and the band may be too large.
At the front, the centre of the bra should sit snug against the body. The under-wire should sit flat against the body, in the natural crease below the breast. Again, if the front is pulling away from the body, this may mean you are wearing too large a band, and/or too small a cup.
If the under-wire has a tendency to slip down, away from the natural crease beneath the breast, it may be that the band is too small, causing the under-wire to slip down to the narrower part of the rib cage.
If the band is too small, it may also cause bulging to the side area.
Having found the correct band size, you should then look at cup size.
The breast should be fully encased by the under-wire, which should follow the natural crease below the breast.
The cups should sit without gaping, and without bulging over the top.
If there is gaping, this may mean the cup is too large. If there is bulging of the breast at the top of the cups, the cups may be too small. Similarly, if there is bulging at the sides, or if the under-wire does not fully encase the breast, this may mean the cup is too small, although bulging at the sides can also indicate too tight a band.
It is important to realise that band and cup size are inter-related. The cup on a size 34B is not the same as the cup on a 32B, or on a 36B. generally speaking, if you reduce the band by one size, you must increase the letter for the cup by one size, to give the same volume of cup. A 34B cup would accordingly have similar volume to a 32C. A 36C would have similar volume of cup to a 34D cup. If you are wearing a 34C and are happy that the cup size fits nicely, but feel that the band is riding up at the back and may be too large, you may wish to try a 32D. Be prepared to be surprised - you may be more busty than you thought!
Nothing can quite compare with the benefit of trying on a few different sizes. Try firstly one size below and above your usual size band to see if you can achieve a better fit. Perhaps the most common mistake is to wear too large a band size. If you go down one band size, don't forget to increase one cup size - and try a couple of cup sizes. Don't worry about asking to try on a number of different sizes - all good shops will be happy for you to try on a number of sizes to ensure a good fit.
Don't forget that different manufacturers will also tend to vary slightly in terms of cut and fit, and you may find that one particular brand will suit you the best. It is also important to remember that different styles of bra will sit differently. Different styles are designed to achieve different results - Push-Up Bras will enhance cleavage, whilst Soft-Cup Bras will give a more natural contoured look. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable and confident.