Fitting Guide

Points to consider when purchasing a bra

The Underband

Always fit a new bra on the loosest hook at the back as bras tend to stretch with wear and you will inevitably need to make the back tighter once it does. The underband is responsible for providing the majority of the support for the bust.

The underband around your body should fit firmly but still comfortably. You should be able to still run your finger under the underband. If the back is too tight try the next band size. If the underband feels too slack and wants to ride up the back it is too big and you will need to try a smaller band size.

Standing sideways and looking in the mirror, the back of the bra should be even with the front or slightly lower. The back strap should never sit higher than the front as support should come mostly from the lower back.

The Centre Front

The centre front of the bra should sit flush against the breast bone and should not poke forward. If it does push forward you should consider a larger cup size or a style that has greater separation between the breasts.

The Wires

The underwires should sit flat against the chest and should not dig in at the sides or under the arm. The wires should enclose the entire breast and there should be no bulging at the sides.

The Cups

The cup should fit smoothly with the breast fitting entirely in the cup. There should be no spillage over the top. If you do have spillage try loosening the straps which may be too tight. If the problem persists then try a larger cup size as it is too small. Also there should be no creases or gapping. If there is the cup is too large and you should try a smaller cup size.

The Straps

The straps should be lengthened to comfortably support the bust without excessive pressure. They should not be so tight that they cut into the shoulder. If they are too tight, simply adjust the strap until it feels comfortable. If the straps fall off the shoulder then they are too loose and you need to tighten the strap.

How to determine your appropriate bra size using a tap measure

Using a tape measure to determine your size will be just a guide. As various styles differ in whether they are a small fit, true size or a generous fit you may not be the same size in every bra. This certainly has been true in all our years of fitting bras in store.

Procedure One

With a bra on, measure your underbust firmly, round up to the next 5 cm. This will enable you to determine the bra size eg:

70cm = Bra size 10
75cm = Bra size 12
80cm = Bra size 14
85cm = Bra size 16
90cm = Bra size 18 and so on

Procedure Two

To determine cup size, measure around the fullest part of the bust, still with your bra on and placing the tape measure over the nipples. The difference between the underbust meaurement and this measurement will give you the cup fitting eg:

13cm difference = A cup
15cm difference = B cup
17cm difference = C cup
19cm difference = D cup
21cm difference = DD cup and so on

NOTE: The fitting chart can help you narrow down your size however it should be noted that there may be other factors which can affect your cup size. For example a broad back may take up a lot of the overbust measurement and not necessarily the bust hence the cup measurement may differ from what is recommended by the guide.

How to fit a bra

  • Extend the shoulder straps, slip your arms through the shoulders straps and lean forward slightly to enable the bust to fall naturally into the cups.
  • Fasten the closure and then stand up straight again. The bra should be fitted on the last hook or at the most, the centre hook. This will allow you to bring the bra in tighter once it stretches with wear.
  • Lift your bust using your opposite hand into the cup eg left hand into the right cup. This should be done to ensure the breast is correctly positioned and centre in the bra cup as well as making sure that the breast is not sitting behind the underwire at the underarm or under the diaphragm.
  • Adjust the shoulder straps so that they give a firm but comfortable uplift to the bust.
  • It is normal for one breast to be slightly larger than the other, always fit the larger breast.

How to fit a maternity bra

Most pregnant women will find they will no longer fit their bras at around month 3-4. It is usually at this time for a woman to need a new bra. A maternity bra will provide extra support to the breasts during pregnancy as well as the flexibility to allow for slight size fluctuation due to fluid retention. During pregnancy it is advised to avoid wearing underwire.

  • At 3-4 months, the nursing bra should be fitted on the tightest hook. On average the diaphragm expands approximately one hook per month to make room for the growing baby. Maternity bras usually have 6 hooks instead of the usual 3 hooks at the back. By fitting it on the tightest hook at 3-4 months you will have a hook for each remaining month of the pregnancy to let out.
  • The lower section of the cups should fit well for support
  • There must be no restriction over the nipple area allowing room in the upper cup section for the extra fullness of the bust when lactation begins.
  • As the bust expands the shoulder strap should be loosened to avoid restriction, making sure there is still ample support.

How to fit a prosthesis bra correctly

  • A snug fitting around the diaphragm position of the bra will establish body size.
  • Whilst wearing the prosthesis and a bra measure for cup size. We measure the size of the natural breast by measuring from the centre back to the centre front over the fullest part of the natural breast and double the measurement.
  • The difference between the diaphragm measurement and the overbust measurement indicates the cup fitting (refer to the fitting chart).
  • It is recommended that a soft cup (wireless) bra is worn although the correct fitting underwire bra can also be worn comfortably and often will provide a younger figure profile.
  • If a woman has had both breasts removed her cup size is determined by the size of the prosthesis worn. The underbust and overbust measurements are taken whilst wearing the prosthesis to determine the correct bra fitting.

The bra must be firm and hug the chest wall.
It must hug underneath the arm and support the undercup.
The diaphragm fit should be firm enough for comfort but should not ride up.