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How to measure yourself for the right sized bra

Article by Ceri Wheeldon

Tips for buying the right sized bra image

With most changing rooms closed following lockdown, and with social distancing in place, having a bra fitting when buying new lingerie has become a problem. Especially as most of us are now buying online.

Our shape changes continually and most of us need a bra that offers more support as we get older.  Wearing the right sized bra immediately helps us to look slimmer, our waists better defined, and clothes will just quite simply look better. There is no point in spending a fortune on that perfect dress, only to wear it with a badly fitting bra.

How do we make sure that we are buying the right sized bra.

I asked online lingerie retailer Figleaves for their top tips to ensure that we wear the right sized bra..

The easiest way to find the right sized bra

“Measuring yourself with a tape measure is not always the most accurate form of working out your bra size, especially if you have a D+ bust. The best and easiest way to way to find the right bra size for you is to take the bra that you currently wear and look at the fit to work out your true size. Simply looking at the following steps can help:

how to measure yourself right sized bra image 1

wearing the right sized bra image

Is your underband riding up your back? This is a sign the underband it could be too big. A perfectly fitting underband will sit on a horizontal line around your body and won’t ride up. Also if you are wearing the right size, then you should not be able to pull it out more than 4cm from your back. If it pulls out 4-8cm you need to go down an underband size, for example from a 36 to a 34, 8-12cm go down 2 underband sizes and 12-16cm go down 3 underband sizes.

measuring yourself for right sized bra

right sized bra image

The front of your bra should sit flat against your chest with no gaps, if the underwire drags at the front then the cups could be too small. If your breasts are spilling out to the side of your bra then explore going up a cup size or two.  A perfectly fitting bra should have no overspill at the cups or underarm so consider going up a cup size. If the cup is wrinkling or gaping then you need to go down a cup size. However, many of us have one breast bigger than the other and in this case fit to the biggest one – you can always choose a bra with a stretchy fit like a non padded lace one that has more flexibility size-wise.


Once you’ve found your perfect fit, you’ll wonder why you put up with ill-fitting bras for so long. Not only will a great fitting bra be more supportive and comfortable, it will help redefine your silhouette giving you more of an appearance of a waist.

right bra fitting straps image

To recap, your perfect bra should sit level without riding up at the back, the straps should be parallel at the back and the underband should feel comfortably snug. Straps should sit central on your shoulders without digging in.”


Thank you to Emma Cooke, junior buyer at Figleaves.com for providing the tips and images



Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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