Fitting Tips and Guides
Having worked with bras for over 15 years I have come to the conclusion that it could only have been a man who decided on the sizing and fitting method for bras. It really does confuse everyone, meaning that the vast majority of women I see are wearing the wrong sized bra.
But don't worry, I have created a "Bra and Breastform Size Calculator", which should take much of the pain out of understanding what size you should be. Just click on the tape measure icon on the left hand side of every page.
This page is here to give you a bit more information and tips about fitting.
So lets start with breastforms....
1. Breastform Fitting
You should always start with your breastforms, as this will dictate the size of bra you need. If you have already purchased yours (and are happy with them) skip onto the Bra Fitting section.
A lot of the ladies I have seen have had a single mastectomy, meaning fitting a breastform requires matching it to the "surviving" real breast. Most people on this website have the luxury of choosing the size you want to be - thats great - but where do you start...
To make things easy I have created the "Bra and Breastform Size Calculator" this will calculate the size of bra you need for a certain "look", and the size of breastform you need (which is different for each manufacturer) to perfectly fill a specific bra size. Just click on the tape measure icon on the left of every page. If you already have your breastforms then you should still use the calculator and measuring guide to make sure you are in the right sized bra.
I have put information on types of breastform in the "Breastform Types" information page (on the top menu bar). I will not repeat that here, but will provide some important information on fitting.
- You really need to first decide on the sort of look (or looks) you want to create. Is it something subtle, or more "stand-out" from the crowd. I like to think of breast size in three bands "demure", "curvy", and "voluptuous", which roughly match to a "B" cup, a "D" cup (still quite big, but now the UK's average cup size), and an "E" cup. These looks are coded into the size calculator.
- When deciding how big you want to be you MUST consider your clothing and what size dress or blouse you want to wear (i.e. 12 / 14 / 16 / 18 etc). This is where it can pay not to go too big on the size of your bust. Generally speaking, any cup size above a "D" will make the majority of ladies clothing a little tight on the chest. Stick with a "demure" or "curvy" size and you should be fine. if you want a "voluptuous" look then you need to make sure you can get hold of clothes that can cope with larger bust sizes.
- Next you need to consider shape. Personally I have found triangular / symmetrical breastforms to be the most popular and versatile - but it is a matter of personal taste. Please read my advice pages on bra styles, and breastform types for more information.
- You must also consider the weight. Large breasts are heavy ! The breastforms that seek to accurately imitate breast tissue can also be very heavy at the larger sizes. This is also a matter of personal taste. Some people prefer a truely life-like experience, some people prefer to use a lighter weight breastform. One of the most popular breastforms is a model that is 30% lighter than the "full weight" version.
2. Bra Fitting
Having decided on your breastform or the "look" you want to create, you can look at getting the perfect bra.
- Bras are meant to fit quite tightly, tighter than most women have them (hence the wrong sizing - most women I see are wearing too large a back size, and too small a cup). The reason for this is simple, the band of the bra has a huge role in supporting the weight of the breasts, that is not just a job for the bra straps. If your bra is too loose the band cannot help support the weight of you breasts, and you are likely to get sore shoulders around the bra straps. A loose bra will also "ride up" over time and your breasts will be completely out of position. This is even more important when using breastforms, as more support is required than with a natural breast.
- New bras are supposed to be fitted on the set of hooks that give the largest size. The different sets of hooks are not there to allowed for poor measurement / fitting. The eyelets are there because as you wear and wash your bras they will slightly stretch as the material relaxes. As this happens you can move to a tighter set of eyelets to retain the support you need. This will extend the life of your precious purchases.
- Your bra band size is not your typical "male" chest size. It is measured at a lower point on the body (which will give a smaller size), it then goes through a calculation, which either adds 2 inches, if it is an even number, or adds 3inches if it is an odd number (I told you it was crazy). Don't worry, I have built all this into my size calculator (including tips on exactly where to measure).
- I have found that when measuring a man's chest, you have to make sure you pull the tape reasonably tightly around the chest to get the right measurement, this is different to women. This is to do with the shape of a man's chest and the balance of flesh and muscle.
I won't bore you with the intricacies of measuring for the right cup size as most ladies on this website will have the luxury of choosing their chest size . The term "DD cup" seems to have become associated with large breasts, but few people really understand what this means. "DD" does not refer to a specific size of breast, but rather the size of the breast realtive to the chest size. So the size of a "DD" breast for someone with a 34" back would be much smaller than a "DD" breast on someone with a 42" back. To put this into context, the Amoena breastform size to achieve DD for a 34" back would be a size 6, while for a 42" back would be a 10. If you put the size 10 breastform on someone with a 34" back they would need a G sized cup bra - which for someone with that backsize would be ludicrously oversized.
- Finally, different country's have different cup sizing methods. British sizing goes AA, A, B, C, D, DD, E, F, FF, G, GG, H, HH, J, JJ - hopefully you wont be looking at anything beyond that size ! I have based my sizing calculator around the British system. Many European manufacturers use a system which does not include the "doubles" (DD, FF etc)merican sizing includes sizes such as DDD, which the British don't use. So a Eurpoean "E" is generally either a UK "DD" (or possibly a UK "E" depending on the manufacturer). So you can see how difficult it is to get the right size. Don't worry where I have used European "sized" bras if there is a difference in the sizing you will see both sizes displayed in the product selection box ie. both the European Size (which will be on the label, and the equivalent UK size). If there is only one size shown, then you a re safe to assume this is the UK size.
3. Underwear Fitting
Just being written...