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How to Find a Bra That Actually Fits

You may think a properly fitting bra only matters if your boobs are so big that your back hurts, but even smaller busts can benefit from form-fitting support!

Now I know plenty of people who don’t wear bras at all. I often don’t after my breast reduction! (My back thanks me every day)

But if you don’t wear bras because you never felt comfortable in them due to wires poking you, straps digging into your shoulders, or the cups fitting funny – you are likely in the wrong bra size or shape. 

Finding the right bra size AND shape (I’ll talk about both) is often the secret unlock code to bras you can wear all day without feeling like you need to rip them off the second you get home from work.

I got really nerdy about bra fitting when I was in college and just never felt comfortable with my boobs. I felt like I could pop out of my bras if I leaned over a little, I was constantly adjusting, the boob sweat in the summer sucked, and I wanted to look professional for my first office jobs (and not have to worry about a nip slip at work!).

I was wearing a size 32D padded bra because that’s the closest thing I found to “fit” at the store. 

I should’ve been wearing a 30H. 

And when I eventually found the right size, shape, and brands for my bust, I felt more confident, comfortable, supported, and sexy in ALL my clothes. 

I never worked out because I hated the bounce – it hurt!! Or again, worried about a nip slip.

When I figured out sizing & shape for sport bras, I was able to expand my physical horizons and feel comfortable & contained when I practiced yoga asana, did acroyoga, goofed around at the park, and tried out different workouts. 

Read on to see how you can feel this kind of freedom & support too!

Step #1 Find Your Bra Size

The Easy Route: Get Fitted by a Professional

Go to a shop like Sol Intimates in Cherry Creek, where they have professional, career bra fitters who will put you in the most beautiful, supportive, and well-fitting bra you’ve ever worn. 

You will pay $120-200 for a single bra, and you’ll take home a gorgeous & high quality French bra and skip SO much of the “trying to figure out your size” process.

If you don’t live in the Denver area or don’t want to spend $150 on a single bra:

  • Go on Google Maps and search for “bra fitting” in your area. Check the websites to see if they offer a wide range of sizes, like 28AA-42J, for example. If the shop lists a very narrow size range like 32A-38DD, don’t go there.
  • Nordstrom for bra fitting is actually pretty good at most stores. They don’t have the widest size range, and their bras are a little on the plain/frumpy side, but they will probably be able to help you narrow in on the right size and walk away with a well-fitting bra.

Just please, I beg you, DON’T go to Victoria’s Secret. 

TIP: Bra sizes vary by country

French brands, UK brands, US brands, Australian brands, Polish brands, etc – there all use a different sizing system.

The good news – it’s pretty easy to convert between them!

The DIY Route: Measure & Size Yourself 

There is trial-and-error involved in this process. It will take longer than having an expert figure it out with you. 

But it’s not impossible! This is how I found my correct size, it just takes more patience and commitment to the process. 

TIP: Your bra size is made up of 2 parts – the number  is the band (ribcage) measurement and the letter is the cup measurement.

A fun fact that is explained in detail in any of the fitting guides I linked above!

Step #2: Find Your Shape & Brands

A huge misconception about bra fitting is that your bra size is all you need to know. I wish it was that simple. 

Breasts vary in size, but also in shape – fullness, projection, density, root size, post-breastfeeding, post-surgery, etc. (Don’t get hung up on those terms – I linked a great explainer below.)

Different styles of bras are built for different shape boobs. The same style of bra, across two brands, can be built for completely different boobs.  

If you go to a shop like Sol Intimates, you will find shapes and brands that work for you. But even if you can afford $150 for a single (incredible) bran, you may not want to spend that much on every bra you buy.

Here are the steps I used to find the specific bra brands & models that fit my size AND shape best. 

  1. Check out the A Bra That Fits! Shape Guide: https://www.reddit.com/r/ABraThatFits/wiki/shape_guide/
  2. Get a general idea of what shape you might be
  3. Buy 2-5 bras that work for your initial size/shape from an online retailer that does free returns (Amazon, ) – don’t let perfectionism stop you here. Know that you probably won’t find the perfect bra in your first or second haul. The purpose is to give you a starting point to identify fit issues and get closer to finding your perfect fit.
  4. Post in one of the online communities I list below to get help finding your perfect fit!

Bra sizing yourself alone – especially the shape part – is tough. 

I highly recommend joining a community where you can post your measurements and get suggestions on specific brands/models to start ordering!

In these groups you can also post images of the brands you ordered to get fit feedback, but make sure to read the group guidelines first. 

I personally found this step to be the most time-consuming but WORTH IT. 

Step #3: Feel the Support, Lift, Comfort, and Confidence of a Properly Fitting Bra!

It is totally GAME CHANGING when your bra fits right. Especially the bigger your bust is. (The more you’ll benefit from better support!)

But for some reason, the US sucks for bra sizing and good ranges of sizes. 

Most US brands, when they do make larger sizes, make them SO frumpy and dull that you never want anyone to see your bra. 

Back when I was buying those 30Hs, I mostly purchased bras from UK and Polish brands. Some of my favorites were Panache and Freya. 

I was wearing beautiful designs, cute colors, and pretty lace bras even at a large size. So no, it’s not impossible to find pretty, feminine, show-off-able bras in big sizes!

I’ll be back with Part 2 next week featuring some of my favorite retailers to find these bras!

In the meanwhile, are you wearing the correct bra size? Comment below, I’d love to know how many people feel like they’re in the right size!

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