How To Measure Your Bra Size - Guide for Asian Women  

Had enough of intimidating bra shopping, and ill-fitting bra? Don't worry, we're here to help you find your right bra size through 3 simple steps! Remember that you are not alone - this happens to a majority of women due to changes in lifecycle and general weight fluctuations. The rule of thumb here is to know your band size and cup size (bust size). 

How Do I Know If I'm Wearing The Wrong Bra Size?

Common indicators that you are wearing the wrong bra size are if you feel a pinch or chafe at the band, uncomfortable underwires poking into your flesh or rib cage, straps slipping off the shoulder, overspilling of breasts beyond the cups, or cups and bands that ride up when you lift your arms above your shoulders. That's the wrong size babe!

Finding the Correct Bra Size

You might have already found your perfect size a few months ago but now the bra doesn’t fit correctly. The following reasons can cause your perfect size bra to change quickly:

* Recent weight gain
* Weight loss
* Pregnancy
* Changes in your diet
* New workout regimen that builds muscle
* The bra shrunk when you washed it several times
* The band stretched out and is now loose
* The straps need to be adjusted to custom fit your size 

Try our Bra Fit Quiz here

Gather the Tools You Need

You may choose to have a professional measure you if you don't feel confident doing it yourself. Most bra companies with physical company stores offer free measurements as part of their customer service - which can be rather intimidating sometimes! Most women feel uncomfortable to have someone see them without clothes on and prefer to do the measurements in the privacy of their own home (yes to online shopping!). The tool you will need is a soft measuring tape/ tape measurer that is flexible and can stretch easily over your body.

1. Measure Your Band Size 

First, wear a lightly-lined top or non-padded bra and use the measuring tape to determine your band size. Place the measuring tape flat against your skin directly under your bust. The location should be around the same place where your current bra band sits. Meet the end of the tape with the other end to find out the size then choose the next number down on the measuring tape. 
Note: the band measurement will determine the comfort level of the bralette . Remember, you don't want a band that is too tight that squeezes your rib cage and makes it difficult for you to breathe. A tight band will also cause your skin to bulge and show through your clothing.

2. Measure Your Bust Size

Starting at the back at the band level, move the tape around the fullest part of your chest to the nipple area to determine your measurement. Do not press the tape too tightly against your skin, instead allow it too softly touch your skin. Take a few deep breaths and measure it at the part it feels most comfortable, but not too loose! If you have saggy breasts, it's best to take this measurement while wearing your current bra.


3. Find out Your Cup Size

The following calculation determines the size of your cup:

Your bust measurement – Your band size = Size of cup

Here’s an example: 37” inch bust – 34” inch band size = 3” inches

In American sizes, a 3” inch cup is equivalent to a size 34 C bra.

The Secret to Sizing Up or Down

When following the steps mentioned above to find your perfect bra size, keep in mind that each lingerie company cutting can differ slightly from your usual size. This means that you can find the perfect size 34C bra that looks and feels great from one lingerie company while the same size somewhere else might be too tight or loose.

You need to be prepared to size up or down to find a properly fitting bra. For example, if the cups in the size 34 C bra feel and look too big for you, you can move to a size 36 B. It’s best to try on a variety of sizes including your actual size, then one size up and one size down.

If you are making a purchase in the store you can ask to try on the sizes in the fitting rooms. However, if you are ordering online, it’s best to order a few sizes so you can try them on at home.

When ordering a few sizes and trying them on at home, make sure you understand the return policy correctly before making the purchase. Many women choose to keep all three sizes they order because their weight fluctuates a few pounds throughout the year and it’s convenient to have on hand.
Also, different types of bras can have different cuttings and sizings.

How to Make Sure Your Bra Size is Correct

* Put our new bra on and allow your breasts to gently fall into the cups then stand up and fasten the band. This technique will ensure the cup size is appropriate.

* A comfortable and well-fitting bra will allow you to place the tip of a pencil or pen between the band and your skin. However, if the pencil or pen falls out, the bra is too loose. Bras that are too tight won’t allow you to place a pencil or pen at all, which means you need a larger size.

* Shorten the straps to customize the fit to your body. Remember to always tighten the band before adjusting the straps.

* Once you put the bra on and adjust it for a custom fit, put on a fitted shirt to see how it looks under clothing. If the cups of the bra pucker or your breasts look like they are bulging out of the bra, you need to choose a different size. The goal is to allow the bra to be form fitting to reveal your shape comfortably and seamlessly. Keep in mind that lace bras sometimes show wrinkles under tight clothing. If you don’t like this look, choose a bra that has a smooth cup surface.

* Stand sideways in front of a mirror while wearing the bra. Your breasts need to sit exactly in the middle between your elbows and your shoulders. If your breasts don’t sit midway you need a bra that provides more support.

* Fasten the bra on the tightest hook to make sure you feel comfortable. The band tends to become loose with frequent use which means you will eventually need to use the tightest hooks for a proper fit.

Size Conversions

American sizes are measured by inches while Asian sizes use centimeters. Japanese and South Korean bra manufacturers use abbreviations such as Japanese (JP) and South Korean (KO) next to their measurements. For example, an Asian size label will read JP 65 B.

The measurement instructions listed in the steps above are the same worldwide. However, if you are located in the United States, make sure you use inches, and if you are in Asia, use centimeters.

Now that you know the secret to find your ideal size, you can feel confident making the right choice!
Ashley Summer Co is Singapore's leading online lingerie brand.

Try our Bra Fit Quiz here