How To Measure Your Bra Size When You Have Uneven Breasts
To help you find the best bra for your beautifully imbalanced boobs we’ve pulled together some tips and suggestions from experts who understand breast asymmetry and how to measure for bras with uneven breast sizes.
Measuring Tips For Bras With Uneven Breast Sizes
Here’s where we get to the bra measuring nitty gritty (or should we say, titty gritty)! We always suggest that you give yourself enough time to find the right bra fit. It can take a little trial and error to measure and find the perfect bra, especially when you have uneven breast sizes. It is a worthy quest though, as the benefits of wearing the correct bra size are vast! Set aside some time especially for this ‘breast quest’, be that at home or by booking an appointment at a lingerie shop. Don’t be disheartened if it takes a couple of sessions to find something that’s right for you and your boobs - it will be worth the effort. We’ve put together a step by step guide to help make finding a bra for your uneven boobs as simple as possible.
Measure Your Uneven Breasts For a Bra
Step 1 - Measure your bra band size
The band of your bra gives around 80% of the support for your bosom (a bit of bra science there), so it needs to be right. Ideally it’s best to get someone to take your band measurement, but if you are measuring yourself, ensure the tape measure is snug to the base of your breasts and level across the back below the shoulder blades.
How to measure your band size;
Place the end of the tape measure in your non-dominant hand on that same side of your body, and hold to the breast directly below your armpit (where the bottom of your bra band sits).
Hold the tape measure firmly in place with your non-dominant hand. Then, use your dominant hand to bring the tape around your back and back across the front at the base of your breasts.
Ensure the tape is flat to your skin and use your dominant hand to pull the measure tightly and snugly to meet the end in your other hand.
Take a note of this measurement in inches. If your measurement is an even number in inches, this is your band size. If it is an odd number you can round up or down (if you have a lean build, round down. If you have a fuller, softer build, round up).
**Top Tip** Remember that tape measures do not have as much ‘give’, so the band of a bra will be more forgiving when tried on. The most common bra fitting error is bra bands that are too loose, which significantly throws off the rest of the bra size. This results in a poorly fitting and poorly performing bra which does not support your breasts as it should.
Step 2 - Measure your Bust/Cup size
This is the juicy bit, as taking bust measurements can be a little different when measuring for a bra with uneven breasts. Whilst in reality ALL breasts have some level of difference, we are specifically talking about our beautifully imbalanced asymmetric bosoms here.
For slight asymmetry you may be able to use the traditional measurement method by passing the tape measure around the back and measuring across the fullest part of the bust (both breasts).
This doesn’t work so well for more prominent asymmetry, so instead we're going to share with you how to measure the larger breast only.
Bra sizing is based on the assumption of breast symmetry (we know, it’s bonkers!) so if you have a difference of more than 1 cup size, it can help if you measure to allow enough space for the equivalent of two of our largest breasts. This will ensure that your bigger breast is properly supported in the bra cup.
Place the end of the tape measure in your non-dominant hand directly below your armpit, to the side of your breast. This time we will be measuring the larger breast only, rather than all around the bust.
Bring the measure to the centre of your chest, between your breasts. Be careful not to squeeze the tape measure into the breast tissue, but rather gently rest on it. Here you are measuring from the between the breasts to the side of the breast, under your armpit (measuring only the larger breast).
Note this measurement in inches, and then double it.
Next, place the tape measure at the side of the breast again, and now bring it around your back to the side of your smaller breast under the armpit, taking a back measurement only (from side boob to side boob).
Finally, add these two figures together and this will be your bust measurement
Step 3 - Calculate your overall (suggested) bra size
Here comes the bra mathematics, or algeBRA as we like to call it!
Simply put, the bigger the difference between band and bust, the bigger the breast volume and therefore cup size.
For every inch of difference, your cup size will go up a letter. The smallest difference starts with an A cup, which is a difference of 1 inch between your band and bust measurement (or AA for less than an inch difference).
A difference of 2 inches is a B cup, 3 inch difference is a C cup and so on.
To complicate things a little, when you get past a D cup, there are some cup sizes which have double letters, including DD, FF, GG, HH and JJ. This differs internationally and also between lingerie brands, because essentially bra sizing makes very little sense. Here’s a bra size conversion chart if you need one.
Just remember, for each inch of difference, you go up a cup size/letter, so take a look at your local sizing charts and be prepared to try on a few cup sizes to find the perfect fit for you.
Here’s an example of calculating your measurements;
If you have measured a 32 band size and a 36 bust size. This is a difference between band and bust of 4 inches, which would indicate a D cup. Therefore your suggested bra size will be a 32D.
Step 4 - Get the best bra fit for your breast asymmetry
Once you’ve determined your suggested bra size, think of this as your starting point. Measurements are only a guide, and it’s important to try on some bras and look for signs of a good bra fit, rather than getting too hung up on your measured size. You may go up or down a little from your suggested size, and remember that our bra size changes regularly, so keep checking in for a good fit.
Here are some tips to ensure you’ve got the best fit possible.
Wear your new bra on the loosest hook when you first get it. As you wear and wash the bra, it will lose elasticity and you can move to the middle and finally the tightest hook.
Make sure your band fits snugly. You should be able to place two fingers under your bra band, but not pull the band out any further than an inch from the skin. If you can, it is too loose.
Straps aren’t as important as you may think as they provide only 10% of bra support. Straps should sit comfortably on the shoulders without digging in, and can be adjusted to allow your bra band to sit horizontally rather than riding up. N.B. If your bra is riding up at the back in between your shoulder blades, this doesn’t mean your straps are too short. It can be a sign that you are wearing a band size that is too big. Sometimes adjusting the strap slightly on your smaller side can reduce the gaping of the cup if you are not wearing a Bra Balancer™.
Get Evenly. If you have a gap in the cup on your smaller side, you can slip in one of our specially designed Bra Balancers™ into that cup to even out the look and weight of both breasts.
Get Fitted By Someone Who Has Seen It All Before
One tried and tested option for how you can measure for bras with uneven breast sizes effectively is to visit a professional bra fitter. This might feel a little intimidating, but please be reassured that breast asymmetry is very common and your bra fitter will be more than familiar with fitting uneven breasts. Your uneven boobs will be thrilled to find their perfect fit with someone who sees uneven breasts every single day. You can even book in with an accredited Evenly fitter or book a virtual fitting from the comfort of your own home with services like Brarista (who also can advise you on your best Evenly Bra Balancer™ fit).
Try Different Bra Styles and Brands That Work For Your Breast Asymmetry
When you’re confident with your measurements, there can still be several options to consider. Like with so many things we wear, bra fit and suitability varies with the style - think of your favourite brand of jeans vs. a brand that never seems to fit right, or the look and feel of high waisted vs. low rise. When bra shopping, allow a little extra time trying on bras in your newly suggested bra size in different styles and from different brands.
Understanding Sister Sizing For Bras
If you’re struggling to find a good fit with your suggested measured bra size, you may want to consider sister sizing. This means that you can find an alternative bra that has the same cup volume with either a smaller or bigger back size. If you need a tighter band, you can go down a back size and up a cup size to get your ‘sister size’ or if you’d like a looser band you can go down a cup size. For a more detailed explanation, see this fab blog post from Fleur of England.
Your Boobs Aren't The Problem, Bras Are!
Finally, it is super important to remember when you’re testing styles and brands that all bras are designed and made symmetrically (which none of our boobs are), so if you can’t find your ‘glass slipper’ straight away, please remember it's not you that needs fixing - it’s the bra!