1. The Support Comes From Its Band 

Cups would hold your breasts in place, but the support comes from the band (which is why strapless bras work!).

The straps are usually there to keep the cup fish with your body and for shaping your breasts. If both your band and cup fit amazingly, you won’t even need your straps! With that said, I recommend you focus more on your band size over the straps.

  1. Know Your Bra Size AND Sister Size 

The rule of thumb to find your sister size is as follows:

When going up in the band, you should go down a cup and vice versa. 

For instance, if your true size is 32C, then you may fit better when you choose a 30D or 34B. Or if you’re a 34C, you should also consider a 36B or 32D.

Knowing your sister size will help accommodate the size differences across different brands. After all, there are wide variations and there are different size standards that differ from brand to brand!

  1. The Equation for Cup and Band Size 

Our bra sizes are a ratio combining the measurement of our cup and band size, classified in letters and numbers, respectively. 

I highly recommend that you have a professional bra fitting at least once, so you know what your exact size is. Or, you can measure your bra size as well with measuring tape.

Measure around your back and under your bust, which will be your band size. Then, measure around your back and over your nipples for the cup size. Subtract the difference to get your measurements.

  1. Two Different Sizes?

It’s normal to have one breast size smaller or bigger than the other! However, it does make bra shopping a bit more complicated. 

With that in mind, you can even out your breasts’ appearance by rounding up your bra size and adding a bra cutlet for the smaller breast. Or, you can get a bra with removable pads so you can take out the pad from the bigger breast. 

  1. If Your Bra Straps Dig Into Your Shoulders…

Are your breasts spilling out of your cups? That means they’re putting a bit of weight on your straps, which is why you have to pull them to feel some comfort. This means you’ll need a bra with larger cups!

Another reason why your straps dig to your shoulders is because you have a larger band. If you have a loose band, your straps end up doing all the work!

  1. Your Band Should Be Snug

Your band is small if the underwire squeezes or digs into your breast tissue. However, the looser doesn’t mean better or more comfortable! 

When testing if you have the right band size, you should fit your finger between the bra strap and your back, with only about one inch of stretch. 

  1. Different Name Sizes Have Different Meanings

There are various terms bras advertise as, such as:

  • Full bust
  • Full figure
  • Plus size

It’s great to see bra brands offering larger sizes, but take note that these terms mean different things. Here are the reel meanings to take note of, whether you want front opening plus size bras and the like:

  • Full bust refers to women who have a small band and larger cup size. For instance, you have a DD cup or larger with a 36 band or less.
  • Plus size bras are for women who have a band size of anything larger than 38.
  • Full figure bras are for women who have both larger cup sizes and bands. If you have a DD+ cup with a band larger than 38, these are for you. 
  1. Are Your Straps Slipping?

Bra straps slipping is irritating, but can also be a sign that your cups are too big. Another way to tell if your bra cups are too big is if the center gore, which is the center panel on the front of your bra and between the cups, start to float away. 

Your center gore should lay flat and against the middle of the chest. Another obvious sign is if your cups are gaping since your breasts aren’t filling them entirely. You’ll need to go down cup sizes.

Wrapping It Up

Besides these tips, you should also know when to replace your bras. After all, even if you have the right bra size and fit, they won’t last forever and won’t give you the support once it’s time has come. 

With that said, do replace your bras after a year or so. Bras can last for this long provided you wash them gently (every four weeks), rotate your bras, and care for them properly. That way, your breasts will always stay supported and upon replacement, it shows if there are any changes in your bra size. 

So start your search for the right bra and cup size with these tips now!