Bra Fit Guide Bra Fit Guide
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bra guide

How to find your perfect plus size bra

The perfect bra fit isn't the holy grail, but it's almost as hard to find. Most women would agree that it's harder to find the right size in a bra than in any other clothing item. In fact, research shows as many as 75% of women wear the wrong size bra. Plus size bras are no different. In fact, it may be even more frustrating to find the perfect fitting plus size bra.

There's no fail-proof bra size calculator, but finding your right size does start with taking your measurements. It only takes a few minutes. Really. There’s always going to be some trial and error involved, but our guide to how to measure bra size should provide you with a comfortable fit.

When your bra size is right, you look taller, your waist looks thinner and your clothes fit better. The right bra size may even relieve shoulder and back discomfort. So just do the measuring, okay!

Measuring your bra size

Stand in front of a mirror with a tape measure. Some people prefer to have a friend help them measure. Be sure to wear a bra that fits you well.

1: band size

Find your band size
Pull the tape measure around your chest, just below your underarms. You want the tape measure to be firm against your body, but not squeezing you. This measurement is your band size. If you get an odd number, round up.

2: bust measurement

Find your bust measurement
Now measure loosely around the fullest part of your bustline.

3: cup size

Your band measurement subtracted from your bust measurement will give you your cup size. Just find the right number on this bra size chart.

Example:

For instance, let’s say you measure your bust at 51 inches and your band size is 46 inches.
51-46=5, so using the chart below, you are a DD cup.
You will want to shop for size 46DD bras.
1"= A 5"= DD  9"= I
2"= B 6"= DDD & F 10"= J
3"= C 7"= G 11"= K
4"= D 8"= H  
Eureka. You found it! See, wasn't that easy?

Bra Size Chart for International Customers

The chart below compares bra sizes used in the United States with bra size conventions in other parts of the world. You will need to use both the cup size and the band size parts of the chart.

International Band Size Guide

USA UK Europe France Italy Australia Japan
30 30 65 80 0 8 65
32 32 70 85 1 10 70
34 34 75 90 2 12 75
36 36 80 95 3 14 80
38 38 85 100 4 16 85
40 40 90 105 5 18 90
42 42 95 110 6 20 95
44 44 100 115 7 22 100
46 46 105 120 8 24 105
48 48 110 125 9 26 110
50 50 115 130 10 28 115
52 52 120 135 11 30 120
54 54 125 140 12 32 125
56 56 130 145 13 34 130
58 58 135 150 14 36 135

International Cup Size Guide

USA UK Europe France Italy Australia Japan
A A A A A A B
B B B B B B C
C C C C C C D
D D D D D D E
DD DD E E DD DD F
DDD/F E F F E E G
G F G G F F H
H FF H H FF FF I
I G J J G G J
J GG K K GG GG K
K H L L H H L
Bra size checklist
Bra size checklist
Okay, you have your size. Here's how to double-check that a specific bra is fitting you correctly. Look to four parts of the bra to ensure that your bra fit is correct. You may want to apply this checklist to all the bras in your drawer to see if some of them need replacing.
Band
Band
You may be surprised to learn that the band is the main support feature of your bra. When your band fits well, you will get the support you need. When you buy a new bra, fit it to the loosest row of hooks, so you can tighten it as the elastic loosens over time (and washings).
  • Is the band secure but not tight? If you can't fit a finger between the bra band and your body, the bra is too tight.
  • Is the band too loose? If there are gaps at the bottom of the cup, the band is too loose and the bra will ride up. The last thing you need to spend time doing is stopping by the restroom to pull your bra down.
Center Gore
Center Gore
  • Does the center gore (the little area between the cups) lie flat?
  • Can you stick a finger under the center gore? That's a bad thing. The center gore should be tighter than that to keep your boobs from slipping out the bottom.
Check the fit of your bra in four areas: straps, band, cups and center gore.
Cups
  • Do you see "empty spots" in the cups of your bra? The cups should look full and smooth. If there are pockets in the fit, you need a smaller cup size.
  • Are you seeing spillage on the sides (under your arms) or the top of the cups? If so, you need a larger cup size or a bra design with more cup coverage and/or higher sides. (Look for Extra Coverage in the name or just look at how the bra fits the model on the website.)
  • If you wear an underwire bra, is the underwire flat against your chest without pinching? If the underwire is riding up, you need a larger cup size. If it's pinching or poking, you need to throw it out and buy a new bra.
Check the fit of your bra in four areas: straps, band, cups and center gore.
Straps
Look for adjustable straps so you can tighten the strap over time as the elastic loosens.
  • Do your straps rest comfortably on your shoulders without pinching or digging? If you can see a reddish imprint of the strap when you take your bra off at the end of the day, don't accept that. Adjust the straps, switch to convertible straps, or try a different band size.
  • Do the straps slip off your shoulders? That's a deal breaker. If adjusting the straps doesn't fix the problem, toss the bra. Either the elastic has lost it or you need a different size.
Learn which Brand is best for you.
Try different brands to get your best fit
Not all bra brands fit the same way. You may find bras you love in several brands that fit you wonderfully, but they probably won't all be the same size. You may need a different size in a Bali bra than you do in a Glamorise bra. (That's just how it is.) All the bras on JMS.com are designed for fuller figures, but the size profiles vary.
Bra size checklist
Okay, you have your size. Here's how to double-check that a specific bra is fitting you correctly. Look to four parts of the bra to ensure that your bra fit is correct. You may want to apply this checklist to all the bras in your drawer to see if some of them need replacing.
Bra size checklist
Band
Band
You may be surprised to learn that the band is the main support feature of your bra. When your band fits well, you will get the support you need. When you buy a new bra, fit it to the loosest row of hooks, so you can tighten it as the elastic loosens over time (and washings).
  • Is the band secure but not tight? If you can't fit a finger between the bra band and your body, the bra is too tight.
  • Is the band too loose? If there are gaps at the bottom of the cup, the band is too loose and the bra will ride up. The last thing you need to spend time doing is stopping by the restroom to pull your bra down.
Center Gore
Center Gore
  • Does the center gore (the little area between the cups) lie flat?
  • Can you stick a finger under the center gore? That's a bad thing. The center gore should be tighter than that to keep your boobs from slipping out the bottom.
Cups should look full and smooth.
Cups
  • Do you see "empty spots" in the cups of your bra? The cups should look full and smooth. If there are pockets in the fit, you need a smaller cup size.
  • Are you seeing spillage on the sides (under your arms) or the top of the cups? If so, you need a larger cup size or a bra design with more cup coverage and/or higher sides. (Look for Extra Coverage in the name or just look at how the bra fits the model on the website.)
  • If you wear an underwire bra, is the underwire flat against your chest without pinching? If the underwire is riding up, you need a larger cup size. If it's pinching or poking, you need to throw it out and buy a new bra.
Get the right straps.
Straps
Look for adjustable straps so you can tighten the strap over time as the elastic loosens.
  • Do your straps rest comfortably on your shoulders without pinching or digging? If you can see a reddish imprint of the strap when you take your bra off at the end of the day, don't accept that. Adjust the straps, switch to convertible straps, or try a different band size.
  • Do the straps slip off your shoulders? That's a deal breaker. If adjusting the straps doesn't fix the problem, toss the bra. Either the elastic has lost it or you need a different size.
Try different brands to get your best fit
Not all bra brands fit the same way. You may find bras you love in several brands that fit you wonderfully, but they probably won't all be the same size. You may need a different size in a Bali bra than you do in a Glamorise bra. (That's just how it is.) All the bras on JMS.com are designed for fuller figures, but the size profiles vary.
Playtex bras are the most popular brand at jms.com. Fuller-figure women looking for support and coverage in wirefree bras love Playtex 18 Hour bras. Playtex Love My Curves and Playtex Secrets bras are designed to fit your curves, feature contemporary styling and come in a mix of underwire and wirefree styles. For active bras with some sports bra features, chose Playtex Play bras. If you are pregnant or nursing, Playtex has bras for this special time in your life.
Playtex 18 Hour: 32C-54DDDShop Playtex 18 hour Bras
Playtex Love My Curves & Secrets: 34C-46DDShop Playtex love My Curves
Playtex Play: S-2XLShop Playtex Play
Playtex Nursing: S-3XLPlaytex Nursing
If you are a fan of Just My Size panties, apparel and legwear, you'll love JMS bras. JMS bras offer comfort, fit and support at value prices. Now available in wirefree and underwire styles. Try JMS Modern Curvy bras for contemporary styling.
JMS: 38C-54DDShop Just My Size Bras
If you wear a hard-to-find size and need excellent support, Glamorise bras may be right for you. Glamorise bras also offers plus size sports bras.
Glamorise: 32C-58KShop Glamorise Bras
Beautiful and sophisticated Bali bras fit average and full-figured women. Lilyette by Bali is designed to offer fit and support to larger busts. Both brands have an outstanding collection of minimizers.
Bali: 32B-50DDDShop Bali Bras
Lilyette by Bali: 34C-44DDShop Lilyette by Bali
Leading Lady bras specialize in hard-to-find sizes, such as small cup sizes with large band sizes. These seamless bras offer excellent support and great fit, even for women who need challenging sizes.
Leading Lady: 38A-54GShop Leading Lady Bras
For workouts, running and other strenuous exercise, look to Champion bras for the support you need. You’ll love the colors and the sporty styling. If you sometimes find exercise uncomfortable because of bounce, a Champion sports bra can solve that issue for you.
Champion: 34C-42DDShop Champion Bras
Measure bra size frequently
One more thing:
If you haven’t been measured for a year or more, your bra size may have changed. Along with the brand you choose, exercise, aging, pregnancy and weight changes may affect your bra size. Pick a month and try to remember to measure yourself during that month every year.
What's in your wardrobe?
No one bra can fit every part of your lifestyle. There are everyday bras but no all-occasion bras. You'll enjoy having some of these bra styles in your bra collection. Find your bra wardrobe.
Create a bra wardrobe
One more thing:
If you haven’t been measured for a year or more, your bra size may have changed. Along with the brand you choose, exercise, aging, pregnancy and weight changes may affect your bra size. Pick a month and try to remember to measure yourself during that month every year.
What's in your wardrobe?
No one bra can fit every part of your lifestyle. There are everyday bras but no all-occasion bras. You'll enjoy having some of these bra styles in your bra collection. Find your bra wardrobe.