Our guide to bras

 

Most importantly, make sure you're wearing the right size bra - you’d be amazed at how many women don't! It’s been estimated that up to 80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra! We recommend you read our guide to bras to help you find your correct size, but just remember that sizes can vary between manufacturers and different styles!

Our guide to bras

Finding your correct bra size

It's important to make sure you get the right fitting bra – and here's how to do it! To find your correct bra size you need to take two measurements, your back size and your cup size.


Your back size

  1. Measure around your chest just under your bust – it's easiest to keep your bra on for this. Make sure the tape measure is level all the way round your body and pulled taut. Once you’ve got your measurement you’ll need to either add 4 or 5 inches to find your correct size as follows:
    • For odd numbers add 5 inches, so a measurement of 31 inches + 5 inches will give you a back size of 36 inches
    • For even numbers add 4 inches, so a measurement of 30 inches + 4 inches will give you a back size of 34 inches
  2. If your measurement is between two numbers (i.e. 30.5 inches) just round down to find your correct size (and then add either 4 or 5 inches depending on whether it’s an odd or even number).

 

Cup size
To find your cup size measure around the fullest part of your bust, again it’s best to keep your bra on for this. You should always round up this measurement to get your correct cup size, for instance 31.5 inches will become 32 inches. Now take away your back measurement from your bust measurement and the difference between the two measurements is your cup size, so up to 1 inch difference is an A cup, up to 2 inch B cup, up to 3 inch C cup, up to as per the table below:

 

Bust sizeBack SizeMeasurementCup Size
3433-1AA
34340A
35341B
36342C
37343D
38344DD
39345E
40346F
41347G
42348FF


If your bra is fitted properly then:

  • The central section between the cups should fit flat to your body.
  • Your breasts shouldn’t spill over the top of the cups, or bulge at the sides.
  • The cups of your bra should fit well without wrinkling or bagging, otherwise the cup size is too big.
  • The cup size is too small if your breasts overflow – try a larger cup size, or a different style for more coverage.
  • Your bra should fit snugly on the loosest hook (because this will probably stretch with wear and then you can move to a tighter fitting).
  • The back of the bra should fit straight across your back and not ride up. If you adjust the straps and hooks and it still rides up, try dropping down to the next back size, i.e. from 36 to 34.
  • If you’ve got the opposite problem and the band digs in, try a larger back size.
  • The straps should fit well and not slide off your shoulders or leave red marks. If they do, try adjusting the straps or opt for a bra with a different style of strap.

 

Taking care of your lingerie

Always wash delicates by hand, especially your bras! According to a recent survey of 2,000 women by cleaning firm Dr Beckmann, whilst we own an average of 16 bras we actually only wash them 6 times a year! We couldn’t possibly comment on that – or the revelation by Dame Vivienne Westwood that she never washes her bras!

 

Bra styles

There are lots of great styles to choose from and we’ve given you a quick guide to the best – these not only look great under your clothes, they look great without them too!


Full cup
This style is probably best for bigger cup sizes as it offers lots of support and shape for the wearer. But it still comes in lots of sexy styles that you’ll love wearing!


Half cup
Basically what it says – the cup on this bra offers less coverage and support than the full cup. It comes in a range of pretty styles and materials plus some styles may also have moulded cups for extra support and shape. The half cup looks great and is perfect for all occasions!


Balcony
Great for uplift and silhouette and looks terrific too! Perfect for low necklines.


Plunge
For sexy increased cleavage the plunge bra is perfect. Gives a great look under clothes and a very sexy silhouette.


Push-up
We think the name pretty much says it all! So for maximum effect (and cleavage!) you need a push-up bra – basically they create the effect of lots of cleavage by pushing the breasts together. Plus some may also have built in or removable pads to help create the look. They not only look fantastic but they’re perfect for low cut necklines and a sexy silhouette.