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Correct bra size

blingy | Posted in Gather For A Chat on

Again, I hope this is the place to ask this…how do you fit a bra?  I just bought 4 new bras, bras like I never thought I would never wear.  I tried them on in the store and was very pleased with the result.  It got the water balloons off of my waist and back on to my chest but when I put one on at home and went trhough my day, I noticed I had “muffins”.  I didn’t see them at the time I tried it on.  Just what causes the “muffins”?  Is the cup too small, or cut too low or is the width around my body not enough?  I went on line before I went to the store and at the Playtex site I followed their instructions for finding the correct size and that’s what I looked for in the store.  I am finding out that with the heft of these sagging water balloons, I can no longer where the cheap bras, I need much more support and modesty coverage.  Any suggestions before I spend a whole day trying on bras?





  1. marymary | | #1

    Blingy, not every company measures the same way to find a bra fit.  Some use the rib cage vs. bust measurement and others use the above bust measurement vs. the bust to determine cup size.  Even within a brand you will find the bras fit differently.  The relationship between the band size and cup size also affects the fit.  Example: if you wear a 36D, you can wear a 38C.  I have never found that to be true, but maybe it is for others.

    The best way to find a good fit is to shop somewhere where there is a fitter.  That is not always a guarantee that you will get a good fit, but it is a place to start.  I got fitted at Nordstrom and ended up having to take them all back.  The fitter just wasn't good at her job.  I walked into Macy's and the fitter was so good that I only had to try on one bra.  So, to answer your question about having to spend the day...maybe.  But, once you do it, it is worth it.

  2. sewluving | | #2


    For my son's wedding in 2003 I went to a specialty store that only sells lingerie.  It was expensive to buy a bra but oh my goodness it fit so well.  They brought me bras and they knew the ones they had that would fit me.  I have bought several since then even though they are expensive.  The one that fits me the best costs $100.  but Wow what a difference in how my clothes fit and it certainly raises the self esteem and the 'girls'.  I was a 38 DDDD but since losing weight over the past few years I now am a 34 DDDD.  These bras come from France.  If I take them back to the store within 6 months of purchase they will take them in if they have stretched.  AFter the 6 months it is $10.  to have them altered.  It has been so worth it. I can't even find ones in regular stores to fit me properly and after having these fit so well I just keep going there. 

    Heather in Calgary

  3. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #3

    Blingy, did you hook them up at the same hook you did at the store? Are you pulling them down in the back off of your shoulder blades? Most women pull the back strap down below their shoulder blades, instead of wearing the bra across the lower part of the shoulder blades. This causes the "muffin" you speak of. If you wear the back strap a little higher, it will support you better, and reduce this. It will also be much much better for your back. It will also reduce the strain on your shoulders. The straps on the shoulders is more to just pull up the fullness in the cup, not support the breast. When you try on a bra, you should be hooking it up in the middle hook. Try hooking it up there. If you have a little water weight, you can hook it up looser. Or if you are loosing a little stretch in the bra, you can hook it up tighter. Cathy

  4. Teaf5 | | #4

    I agree with the other posters: find a fitter! Specialty lingerie stores are the best, as department stores rarely pay enough to have experienced fitters working in any department.If you can't find a fitter or a specialty store, make sure that you try different brands of bras and keep a notebook or list of the brands and numbers of the ones you've tried already. That way, you can cross off certain brands and not waste time re-trying them. It's important to remember that you may need a variety of different kinds of bras for different purposes: underwire, comfort, exercise, tee-shirts, etc., and those may be from different companies and in different sizes.

  5. Tatsy | | #5

    One of my sisters was fitted by an expert while she lived in Birmingham AL, and she talks about things I'd never considered. Women generally do not point straight ahead. If the girls are "looking in", you need one kind of bra; if they "look out", a different kind. If there's space between, a front hook may be better.

  6. jei | | #6

    Check out http://www.zafu.com.

    When you input your measurements, it recommends bras for you - manufacturer, style # and size.  One of the questions you have to answer is regarding your 'girls' shape - round or more elongated resulting in extra fabric at the top of the bra.

    This site also suggests jeans and pants.  Big help when you go shopping and don't have to spend most of your time eliminating what doesn't fit.



  7. Ceeayche | | #7

    I agree with the recommendations for a professional fitting.... and buying good quality bras.

    Back in the dark ages when boys and girls were separated for life education classes, there was a film on how to put on a bra.  Because I am "richly blessed," it has always stuck with me... and I find if I do it the same way every time, not only does the bra fit more comfortably it helps everything fall neatly into place.

    1.  place bra on backwards with the rear facing hooks in front.  The bra should fit snuggly just below your breasts.  The film stressed buying bras that fit so that you can use the first hooks.

    2.  Spin the bra around so the cups are in the front.

    3.  IMPORTANT:  Lean forward at the waist so that your breasts swing freely and gently place the breast into each cup, raising the strap into place on your shoulders.  Adjust the straps so that the "girls" are nicely supported. Then straighten and run your fingers around the inside of the cups to smooth them over the breasts.

    I have found this technique helps the girls align appropriately every time-- and makes comparing bras during try ons a snap.

    1. gailete | | #8

      I was happy to find that once I found a comfortable bra that fit, I was able to buy they on line from the company. Now that I have lost some weight the cups are starting to wrinkle as not as much is in them. Someday when I have the energy, I will go to the store where they are sold and find what is my right size now and then order them on line in the amounts and colors I want (usually the store never has more than one available at a time and on line is cheaper). I realize that this doesn't have to do with fit, but I really wish that manufacturers would understand that even us big girls would like some pretty colored bras. I wish the kind I buy came in pink or red. I would love a pink bra for no other reason than I love the color pink! Same deal with red.

    2. mainestitcher | | #15

      I tell women this procedure all the time when they are being fitted for dresses. There is a lot of tissue that should be in the cup, and will flow into the cup, if you do it this way. I wear a 38 a-b though, and finding a 38 smaller than a c is a challenge. I guess manufacturers and retail just assume once you get to a certain diameter, you must go up in volume. Nope, not me. Menarche to menopause in an A cup. (*sigh*) I comfort myself that at my age, it's just less baggage to haul around. Slightly OT: My former employer used to have a collection of little bon mots relating to men being well dressed. One of them was, "Literally tuck yourself into your bathing suit. These details don't take care of themselves."

      1. Ceeayche | | #16

        re:  "Literally tuck yourself into your bathing suit. These details don't take care of themselves."

        Giggle!  The youngin's probably don't remember when men wore things like speedos!  It could be painful when your eyes landed on a gentleman who didn't know this little tip!

  8. Ocrafty1 | | #9


    I've had difficulty finding good fitting bras for years, but even more so since I lost 60 lbs. several yrs. ago.  I just found this online co. and absolutely love them.  I wear a 32DDD...not available in stores. Their site has a category about how to be sure your bra fits.  The most intensive I've ever seen.  Here's a link to the site....the 2nd link is to the fitting category.  Hope this helps.  You can also call and speak to a fitting specialist!




    1. User avater
      blingy | | #10

      Thanks, I will try them.  The bras I bought at Kohl's are driving me nuts!  I wonder why getting these things to fit is so difficult!




      1. Ocrafty1 | | #11

        The stores are only carrying the most popular sizes.  They don't find it profitable to stock sizes that are rarely used...like DDD cups and smaller band sizes with anything larger than a C cup. They figure we can 'get by' with what they have in stock.  I bought bras from Victoria's Secret for years, but they have changed the way they make their 'Body By Victoria' bras, and those no longer fit.  They think every woman wants a bra pushes her up and lets her nearly fall out of it.   My 'girls' don't like that style of bra so its been nearly impossible to find a new style of bra that will fit. 

        I did have to return the 1st bras I bought from HR, and it takes them about 2 wks. to credit your bank/credit card account, but the new ones I got fit perfectly!  Hope you have as much good luck with them as I have.


        1. gailete | | #12

          I remember going into a Victorias Secret in desperate need of a bra to go with my wedding dress 8 years ago. The clerk looked at me and asked my size and told me bluntly they didn't carry 42DD and to go check Lane Bryant. I about choked as all the VS models looked like they had huge bustlines but apparently I was too big for their stuff. It really surprised me. No I've lost over 50# and my bra cups have wrinkles in them, but until my weight stabilizes I'm not forking out for new bras they are just too expensive and I spend most of my time at home and can go without a bra if I feel like (more comfy to).

          1. Kbrane | | #13

            Just a note: I'm barely a 36 AA.....finding a pretty bra that adds a little to my figure, fits around my ribcage, etc is nearly impossible! I've been measured and they say, "oh, no, we don't have anything that fits anything as small as you are. Sorry" I was even measured for a nursing bra and they don't come in anything smaller than a B cup (well, my girls didn't grow at all in pregnancy....) Sometimes I'm tempted to go into the little girls department and get a training bra, but finding a 36 ribcage is pretty tough (and they generally have smaller sized cups in terms of length/width, not cup size. lol) And my nipples are particularly perky so I have to wear padding to keep from embarrassing myself and others...going without a bra, even as small as I am, is not an option. (sorry if that's TMI)Bra fitting is such a problem on Both ends of the spectrum!

          2. Ocrafty1 | | #14

            Try the HR site....I did a quick search for your size and there were at least 15 styles, starting in price from $15.  Considering that those of us who are well endowed (DD or larger cup) usually have a starting price at $35 or $40  that's not bad.  I wish I could find bras in that price range!  My favorite bra style/color is back ordered til Nov.5...til then, I have to wear the old stretched out ones...I can't wait to get the new ones!  LOL  Isn't it silly that a bra can make you happy or unhappy...LOL!!!!

          3. Ceeayche | | #17

            Re: Victoria's Secret

            My friends and I used to joke that "Vicky's Secret" was that she offers bras for those who don't really need them or wouldn't be wearing them long.

            We used to speculate that they put bras that were slightly smaller than the model would wear, use contouring body makeup and then airbrush the tell-tale lumps out.  We don't know but how else would you explain models who wear a size 6 or smaller oozing out of bras in their catalogue?  When you see the models in other clothing (like on the red carpet or in People magazine), they don't look like they are size D cups.  Okay maybe that's cynical of us.

          4. mainestitcher | | #18

            Chicken cutlets is the local colloquialism for the silicone push up devises that one can slide into the bottom half of a bra cup to make one's own tissue look fuller at the top. Two anecdotes:An actress in a community theater I worked for had purchased some to make her look more voluptuous. She was rather good-natured about the need to augment her bosom. She arrived at the theater, cheerfully and loudly announced, "I've got my new boobs. Wanna see?" Opening up the box she giggled to me, "Go ahead, you can touch them." The effect from the balcony where my elderly parents and I viewed the show was nothing short of extraordinary. It was the last show my Dad saw before he passed away. I'm guessing he enjoyed it.Another young woman I knew wore them a lot, especially going out at night. One hot humid evening, she bent over a pool table to take her next shot and felt her pad slide out of her bra, down along the inside of her shirt, and out of it onto the floor. Thinking quickly, she kicked it under the table and left it there.

          5. Ceeayche | | #19

            I love the pool table story!

          6. Ralphetta | | #20

            One night, immediately before curtain time, a producer brought me a new costume. It was a stunning, strapless evening gown, but the bust was enormous. There was no time to alter the dress so we looked for something to stuff it with. I found some giant shoulderpads from a suit and someone began sewing them in the dress. The stagemanager came by, stared down at what she was doing for a few seconds and then stepped into the hall. He loudly called to the other actors that in the event of a bomb threat, everyone was to stand behind me.

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