There is no better feeling than when you find a bra that fits you properly, but understanding bra sizing can be confusing – especially when sizes vary from brand to brand and country to country. With the help of Calvin Klein’s fit experts, learn how easy it is to measure yourself at home so you can shop online with confidence, and uncover what a good bra actually feels like. Watch the #CKunfiltered: bra talk video above for a visual guide on how to fit yourself, and read on for answers to commonly asked questions.
What’s with the letters and numbers?
Bra sizes accommodate for two different measurements: the band and the cups. The band goes around your ribcage under the bust, and provides the most support. In UK and US sizing, it’s measured in inches in even numbers (32, 34, 36 etc.). In AU sizing, it’s measured in standard AU sizes (8, 10, 12 etc.). In EU sizing, it’s measured in centimetres in increments of five (65, 70, 75 etc.).
The cups reflect the volume and are measured alphabetically (A, B, C etc.), however, only in EU sizes do they go from D to E to F and so on. In UK, US and AU sizing, you’ll find letters double up (and even triple up or more), for example, DD, FF, GG etc. The more letters, the bigger the size, except for AA, which is actually smaller than an A cup. Confusing? We know, but once you know your measurements, it all becomes easier.
Calvin Klein size guide on THE ICONIC
So how and what do you measure?
The Calvin Klein video above shows you exactly how to measure yourself (or a consenting friend) using the ‘under over method’. Before you begin to measure, it’s recommended to wear a lightly lined t-shirt bra and avoid wearing anything heavily padded. You can keep a t-shirt or a light camisole or vest on, you don’t need to strip to get an accurate measurement.
To find your band/underbust measurement, wrap your tape measure around your ribcage under your bust. To find your cup/bust/overbust measurement, wrap your tape measure around the fullest part of your bust. Note those measurements down (in centimetres and inches, just in case), and when you shop online for bras, simply check the brand’s size guide and match your measurements.
What are the signs that your bra doesn’t fit?
- The band rides high at the back
- You have boob spillage
- The underwire digs in
- The straps leave marks
When you’re trying on your bra, you want to ensure the band is on the loosest fit. By doing this, you’ll be able to tighten your bra as it loosens over time, which it naturally will with wear. The band should also sit parallel to the floor, and not be riding up your back. If your bra has underwire, the wire should sit to the chest and go behind your boob. Your boobs should sit within the bra. If you find yourself spilling out, i.e. you have double boob, you might need to go up a cup size. Adjust the straps so that they’re comfortable – they shouldn’t be digging in and leaving red marks, nor should they constantly be slipping off your shoulders. Most of the support from your bra actually comes from the band – if you were to remove the straps, your bra shouldn’t move that much. The band should be firm, but not uncomfortably tight. The centre of the bra should be sitting flat between your chest – if you find it’s being pushed out by your boobs, it may mean your cup size is too small.
According to Calvin Klein, ‘sister sizing’ is the best method to find the bra that fits you. Put simply, the system is one up, one down i.e. if you decrease your band size, you need to increase your cup size to accommodate space for your boobs.
Keep in mind these measurements are a guide to help you get as close to your correct size as possible, but it all comes down to trial and error. Different factors, like fabrics, cuts, styles etc., could change your bra size, so it’s always a good idea to try on a few different sizes. Thankfully we offer 30 day free returns – always check individual products for specific return policies and find out more about our return policy here.
Of course, like the rest of your body, your boobs can change shape over time, so remember to check regularly and adjust accordingly.
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