If you're a large-busted woman whose bra size extends beyond the average 34DD, you may find yourself largely ignored by the bra sections in most clothing and department stores. While ordering online can be appealing (to both your privacy and your wallet), the variances in sizing among many manufacturers may mean frustration as you find yourself returning bras you thought would fit. How can you determine your bra size once and for all and order bras with confidence they'll fit? Read on to learn more about properly fitting a larger bra without breaking the bank.
How should you determine your bra size?
Measuring bra sizes can become a bit more complicated with larger breasts, especially as not all bra manufacturers offer all cup sizes. To determine your band size, you'll want to use a flexible tape measure to span your chest just below your breasts. If the resulting measurement is an even number, this is your exact band size; odd numbers should be rounded up to the next even number. To find your cup size, you'll measure your breasts at their widest point while holding them up into the same position a bra would keep them. You may also want to take a measurement while leaning forward and allowing your breasts to fall downward.
Subtract your band size (the exact measurement -- not the rounded one) from your cup size measurement to arrive at a final number that will indicate your cup size. For example, if your band measurement is 40 inches and your cup measurement is 48 inches, your bra size will be 40H, whereas someone whose cup measurement is 44 inches will be a 40D.
How do you know whether a bra purchased online will fit?
While bra measurements are designed to be standard throughout the industry, ensuring that one manufacturer's 36F will fit just like another's, vanity sizing is alive and well in the bra industry just as in the fashion industry as a whole. Some bra manufacturers who deviate from these standards slightly will include their own sizing chart on the company website.
Your best bet may be to find a bra you love after being fitted in a local store and purchase several identical bras in a variety of colors. By rotating these bras on a daily basis, you'll be able to ensure minimal wear and tear over time while guaranteeing fit. You'll then be able to order replacements online with confidence that the fit and feel will be perfect.