Ladies, this isn't something there is more than one right way to do. There are many, many sites (Even manufacturer's websites!) that will tell you the incorrect way of measuring. Many will tell you to measure your band size above your boobs, or to add 5 or 6 inches to your band measurement. This is absolutely, positively, NOT CORRECT. Don't do it. Just don't. I don't care what they tell you. It's not correct. Here's how to do it right.
It would help if you can enlist somebody else to help you measure. If you can't I find it helpful to measure in front of a mirror so that you can tell better whether you are holding the tape straight or not. You will need a cloth, non stretchy, inch tape measure.
- Put on your best fitting bra. It shouldn't be padded but a bit of molding is probably fine.
- Measure around your rib cage, right under your breasts. Keep the tape as straight and parallel to the floor as possible. Measure this tight! You don't need to be straining to pull it tight as a corset, or leaving marks on your skin, or anything like that. But you should measure this much snugger than you would normally measure another part of your body. Write down your rib measurement.
- Measure around your breasts. Measure loosely this time. It might help to lean forward, especially if the bra you are wearing isn't particularly supportive. Write down this measurement.
- The rib measurement you wrote down is your band size. If it's a fraction, just round to the nearest whole number. If it's an odd number, say 31, you should try both band sizes around this (A 30 and a 32.)
- Now take the breast measurement you came up with. Subtract your band size from this number. (For example if you measured 29.5 and you were going to start with a 30 band and you measured 36 inches around your bustline, then the result would be 6.)
- Each number is a cup size. It generally goes: A,B,C,D,DD,E,F,FF,G,GG, H,HH,J,JJ,K,KK... But, brands can be slightly inconsistent. Some brands might skip some of those, or substitute DDD for E, or something, so double check to make sure that you are buying the size you think you are! In addition, some brands or styles may run large or small and you may have to adjust accordingly.
- If you thought you were a 36DD, and you come up with something like 30H, don't freak out! You aren't weird, I promise. So many people are wearing the wrong size that we have a really distorted idea of what a “normal” size is. Just give it a try. It's only a number!
Once you have figured out our size according to the above methods, remember that it's only a starting point. If you try that size and you are still seeing signs of a poor fit, it may because you need to go up or down in the band or cup. Or it may even be because that style or brand of bra is incompatible with your body or breast shape. Keep trying until your find the perfect fit!