Hi guys I’m obsessed with this shit lately because I don’t want anyone to have unhappy, unsupported boobs like I did. Even if you think your boobs and bras are fine, try it. It will make a big difference in comfort, support, and shape, even if you have small boobs or big boobs. A proper fitting bra can fix back, shoulder, and neck pain, along with breast soreness – and it can help you look 10lbs lighter, and your breasts a hell of a lot perkier. This guide also works for proper-sized bikinis and bathing suits (many online stores linked to below sell both- sometimes for as low as 10$!)
Don’t just like this, REBLOG IT. EVERYBODY WITH BOOBS DESERVES A PROPER FIT. Even if you don’t wear bras yourself, spread it around to tumblr or with your friends or family.
Grab a soft tape measurer (use inches) and get nekkid – don’t wear a bra or shirt please, you don’t wear a bra or shirt underneath your bra, do you? This part is fast and easy, and will help you find your ‘Starting Point’ bra size – you may not end up in this exact size, but it will get you in the right ballpark.
How to Measure:
- Measure your underbust – go right underneath the root of your breasts, but make sure the tape is straight/parallel to the floor. Take a firm, snug measurement – if you have chub, take it tighter.
- Measure your bust bent over – bend forward so your back is parallel to the floor and your boobs are hanging so you have access to all that beautiful breast tissue that is now brought forward. Measure very loosely around the nipples, keeping tape straight/horizontal/perpendicular to the floor.
- If your breasts are kind of empty and/or have a lot of sag, this method may overestimate your cup size. Instead, take your bust measurement bent over, standing, and lying flat on your back, and take an average of those three measurements and use that for your calculations.
How to Use These Measurements to find your ‘Starting Size’:
- Round up your underbust measurement to the nearest even number. If you are only half an inch or less away from being a lower size, use that instead (unless you have a bony ribcage). This is automatically your band size. No BS. There is no adding imaginary inches here.
- The difference between your underbust measurement and your bust measurement dictates your cup size. Every 1 inch in difference represents a cup size, so 1 inch = A, 2 = B, 3 = C, 4 = D. As you can see here, a true D or DD cup is actually pretty fucking small.
- CUP SIZES ARE NOT STANDARD, UNLIKE COMMONLY THOUGHT (AND TOLD TO US BY ASSHOLES LIKE VS). They are TOTALLY relative to band size. The cup on a 30D has 4 inches less volume than the cup on a 34D. A 30D is actually the same cup size as a 34B!
- No one has their shit together on the lettering for each cup size, so here’s a handy dandy chart. Remember to go with UK measurement as they somewhat have their shit together (and because American companies do not make much above DD, so there’s literally no point in knowing it, but the European sizing may come in handy)
- I DON’T CARE IF YOU LIVE IN THE USA, DO NOT USE THE AMERICAN MEASUREMENTS, FFS. YOU’LL ONLY MAKE THINGS HARDER AND MORE CONFUSING FOR YOURSELF. ANY BOUTIQUE IN NORTH AMERICA WORTH GOING TO, AND 99% OF ONLINE STORES, IS GOING TO SELL PRIMARILY BRITISH OR EUROPEAN BRANDS AND WILL GO BY THEIR SIZING. THERE IS LITERALLY NO POINT IN KNOWING AMERICAN SIZING
- DO NOT USE AMERICAN SIZING
- DO NOT USE AMERICAN FUCKING SIZING
- EVEN IF YOU ARE AMERICAN
- AND LIVE IN THE US
- USE THE BRITISH SIZING
- For example, I have a 29.5 inch underbust and a 38 inch bust when bent over. So, I should take a 30 band and then there’s an 8 inch difference. So I am a 30FF in UK sizing. This is just my starting point when looking for bras, and I may not always end up with this exact size
- Do not pull the ‘omg no I’m not a G cup my boobs aren’t that big you’re more stupid that the idea of vegetable bread’ shit with me ok? You drank the Kool-Aid and now you need to piss it out. CUP SIZES ARE NOT STANDARD. A 34D IS BIGGER IN THE CUPS THAN A 30E. Here, take a look at a chart of cup volumes and see what I mean.
- Also… not all ‘big cup’ bras are ugly and granny-like. Just check out brands like Freya or Gossard or Gorteks or Panache or Cleo! They are gorgeous!
Trying it on: What a proper fit is like
- ALWAYS SCOOP AND SWOOP BEFORE ASSESSING WHETHER IT FITS OR NOT. What does this mean? This means bend over, hike up your bra so that it sits right under the root of your breasts. Then, start smooshing all your back fat and armpit rolls or any loose tissue thats underneath or to the side of the cup, INTO the cup. All that stuff is breast tissue that got pushed around from your shitty bras, no I am not bullshitting – after a few months of wearing better bras, many people end up having to get a bigger cup and sometimes even a smaller band too, as all the smooshed breast tissue migrates back to the boob, where it should be. Not kidding. So get everything in there and make sure the wire is positioned perfectly under your boobs. Then stand up and assess the fit. If it seemed to fit before scooping, it won’t fit now.
- THIS IS JUST A STARTING POINT. Try on your starting size and work from there. You may need to go up or down a band size, or up or down many cup sizes. Not all brands or even models in that brand are made the same way, and the shape of your boobs also helps determine the size and fit, so don’t try on JUST the size you calculated, say “it doesn’t fit”, and then give up and go back to your 36Cs. You aren’t doing yourself any favours. If you don’t feel comfortable in your ‘starting point size’, go ahead and try a size up or down in bands and/or a size or two or even three up or down in cups as needed.
- ALWAYS start on the loosest hook. If you need to start on the tightest hook, go down a band size. The point of hooks is simple – as your bra gets used, it gradually loses its elasticity and gets loose. So, you use your hooks to bring it in, and when you reach the last hook, well, be prepared to get rid of your bra in a few months (unless you invest in a band tightener like the Rixie Clip)
- A proper fit means the bra band is straight and parallel to the floor. If it isn’t, and seems to be getting pulled up, its too big and isn’t supporting you. Get a smaller band. You shouldn’t be able to stretch it more than a couple inches off your back. It may feel tight at first, but bras do need ‘breaking in’ and you are used to wearing things that do not fit correctly, so give it a chance. Of course, it should not hurt either!
- A proper fit means your bra straps are not digging in.
- A proper fit means the gore (the little centerpiece of the bra where the wires sort of meet) MUST tack/sit firmly against your chest. If it doesn’t, then the wires are not truly fully underneath your boobs and so are not giving you the proper support.
- A proper fit means your boobs must fit smoothly into the entire cup (after scooping and swooping). The wire should totally encase all your breast tissue (this includes armpit fat and stuff). There should be no empty space at the bottom or top of the cup. Your boobs should not be overflowing from the top of the cup. If there’s overflowing or uncontained tissue after scooping, or of it feels tight, get a bigger cup.
- A proper fit means you should be able to lift your arms over your head and jump around without the band or underwire budging or exposing underboob.
Size Tweaks/Troubleshooting (make sure you scoop and swoop first):
- The band feels tight: Is the gore tacking or not? If not, go up a cup size or two (or maybe even three or four). Even if the gore is tacking, try this first. The band may be tight because the cups are too small, so your boobs are stretching the band out too much to overcompensate for lack of cup depth, making it feel tighter. If after trying larger cups, it still feels uncomfortably tight, go up a band size (and down a cup size if the first size fit well in the cups – remember, cup is relative to band, a 32DD is the same in the cups as a 34D). Remember though that it takes a few days to break a bra in, so it may feel tight or perfect at first, and then comfortable or too loose later.
- The band feels loose/band is riding up and not remaining parallel to the floor: Go down a band size (and up a cup size or two because blablah relativity).
- The gore is not tacking, but band is not tight: Band size is too big, or maybe fits just right – but the cups are too small. You know what to do.
- Boobs spilling over: Go up a cup size. Check first though that the bottom of the cup is not empty, and hike it up if it is!
- Empty space at bottom of cup: Hike that shit up so it gets right to the roots of your breasts. This may fix bulging/spillage. If you can’t get it higher, then you need a smaller cup or this make of bra is just not suited to your shape.
- Empty space at top of cup: You need a smaller cup, or this shape of bra just does not suit you your breasts, especially if your breasts are not very full on top. Or you need to scoop and swoop!
- Straps digging in: Loosen them. If your boobs suddenly sag, then the band is not supportive enough, and you need a tighter band.
- Armpit rolls: Bigger cup and/or scoop and swoop that shit. The cut of bra may also just not be for you (for now anyway – your armpit rolls may migrate back into the boobs and disappear eventually!)
- They don’t even make my size!!: If you’re in a 28-48 D-KK (UK sizing) cup, you will find your size online easily enough. however, if you have a smaller band than that or need smaller cups, they are hard to find – message me and I’ll try to help you with a solution!
- So, for example, my starting size may be 30FF, but I may end up wearing a 28G or H if the band of that model is too loose and the gore not tacking. Or the band may be fine and I may need a bigger cup so I’ll get a 30G. Or The band may be good but the cups too big, so I’ll get a 30F or E. Or the band may be too small to be comfortable and I’ll wear a 32F or E (same cupsize-ish as 30FF!).
What Not to Do:
- NEVER PUT YOUR BRA IN THE DRYER. AND PREFERABLY, WASH IT BY HAND. The heat and twisting ruins the elasticity of the bra and reduces its life! This is the best way to ruin bras, don’t do it.
- Do not add 3 or 4 or 5 inches or whatever to your band measurement. That is BS that American companies use so that they don’t have to manufacture a larger range of sizes – they use it to fit you into their stock, not their stock onto you. The band will be too big and unsupportive. Those 4 inches they add to the band are 4 inches that should be in the cup size, so no wonder people think anything over DD should be huge.
- Do not measure your ‘overbust’ cause really what the fuck does that have to do with how large you are underneath your boobs, come on
- Do not do the above because 80% of the support comes from the band, which needs to be firm against you and not be sliding or moving around.Would you wear underwear 4 inches bigger than your hips? No, so why would you wear a bra band 4 inches bigger than your ribcage that gets pulled up and stuff and would fall off if not for the straps, while expecting it to support the boobies at the same time?
- Do not go down a band size and then forget to go up a cup size or two. Again, cup sizes are not static. A 30FF is the same cup volume as a 32F or E. If you don’t do this, no shit the bra will fit badly or feel tight.
- Do not go straight to Victoria’s Secret or La Senza or whatever, even if you are lucky enough to fit in their small range of sizes – they don’t seem to follow sizing very well. Still, try, by all means, but be aware that their bras may be odd compared to others.
"But where do I get these Bras? I’ve never even seen these sizes!“
Luckily, the internet makes this shit really easy. Buying bras online is nearly always way cheaper, even with shipping, and even if coming from somewhere in Europe! But of course, its best to try on stuff first, to avoid the hassle of return shipping (even though its still not that expensive – just annoying). So what I advise is to find a store near you, try stuff on there, note down the Brand, Model, and Size, and then buy it online for up to a quarter of of the in-store price.
If you can’t find a store near you, online ordering is still extremely cheap, even with return shipping. Instead of getting a whole bunch of bras in only 1 size each, pick out a few models and order a few sizes of each. Ex: one with a bigger or smaller band if your measurements are close to needing a bigger or smaller band size, and then some up or down a couple cup sizes so you can compare the fit. When you have the perfect fit in one bra, it will be easier to go on Bratabase or r/ABraThatFits and have them suggest bras that give similar shape or suggest a different size to you as a model you’re interested in may run large or small.
So, Where to Find:
- Note: You can find proper-sized bras as low as 10$ US online (particularly from ebay or brastop.com) and most average 30-45$.
- List of Online Retailers from BustyResourcesWiki: A complete list of online retailers around da world. Many ship internationally so take a look at all of them (particularly the UK ones)
- Ebay, Etsy, and Amazon all have bras inexpensively.
- List of Offline Retailers from BustyResourcesWiki: List of chain-stores (not of privately owned stores)
- If in Canada, look for a Change Lingerie near you to try on bras. Note that they only carry their own brand.
- If in the USA, look for a Nordstrom or Nordstrom Rack near you to try on bras. They carry all sorts of brands and have an online store as well (and also ship to Canada!)
- Use a store locator from the webpage of a bra brand company to find non-chain, privately owned stores – if they have one of these brands, they’ll have others. Here’s the locator for Freya, Curvy Kate, Fantasie, Chantelle, Panache, and Affinitas. There are more than just these of course.
- If you are small in the band AND in the cup (under a D cup) look at the Little Bra Company.
- Ask around on Bratabase or r/ABraThatFits for stores near you.
- WOMAN, YOU HAVE THE INTERNET! GOOGLE! YELP!
WARNING: There are many chain stores (Nordstrom, Lane Bryant, Mark and Spencer, Change etc) that do bra fittings and have a good reputation. However, each store is different – some measure correctly, and some use the stupid VS method. Every store has a different team of employees and knowledge. DO NOT GO IN WITHOUT HAVING MEASURED YOURSELF FIRST, JUST IN CASE THEY ARE ONE OF THE BAD STORES. DO NOT TRUST ALL BRA FITTERS, EVEN IF SOMEONE RECOMMENDED THEM TO YOU. If your fitter gives you a measurement different from this one, be mentally prepared to have a difficult time getting them to help you find the right bra.
I had the fitter at Change help me, and when I mentioned that the gore did not tack, she said “Oh, the gore never touches the chest with these bras”. I was like HAHA NOPE BRING ME A LARGER CUP WOMAN. And lo and behold, 2 extra cup sizes later, the gore tacked (and my boobs stopped spilling out). She was very nice otherwise but if I hadn’t known better that could have been bad.
- r/ABraThatFits: forum for bras, they will help you with sizing, fitting, and finding the right model for your breast shape – they have links to a lot of resources, such as online stores, used bra listings, etc.
- Busty Resources Wiki: Great resource for fitting tips, diagrams, explanations, styles.
- Bra Band Project: an online gallery of what various sizes look like! Dump your disbelief!
- List of Online Retailers: Online is MUCH cheaper and shipping is usually cheap too, even from Europe. Try bras in a store near you , pick out what you like, and order them online instead.
- Bratabase: Database of bras, with user inputted measurements of each bra model in its size – bras may be marked the same size, but with this you can see which may have bigger or smaller bands or cups, or what style may suit what shape of breast, all of which helps find the perfect fit for you!
- Great Youtube Video on Bra Fitting: This is one of the few people on Youtube who knows their shit about bras. Great for the visuals to help you understand what a bad fit and proper fit look like.
- Venusian Glow is a great bra blog – SO MUCH INFO. Suggests bras based on your boob shape amongst other things.
Reblogging to pass this information on.
I have seen many patients with back pain that could have been helped with properly fitting bras.
Or that people spent 30 billion dollars they didn’t have to begin with.
overdraft fees are just another way to punish people for being poor or tight on money.
So, just in case someone doesn’t actually know, your typical overdraft fee works like this – if you have 25 dollars in your account, spend 26 dollars, the bank will process that amount but then charge you a fee of (typically) 35 dollars.
They’re also prone to doing really shady things like, if in the above situation you put in a deposit of 26 dollars to try and cover the amount, they will process the debit before the credit and you’ll still wind up in the hole.
So this isn’t a situation where people are spending 30 billion dollars they didn’t have. It’s a situation where people who literally don’t have the money to spare are being used as a source of profit.
I got hit like that when I was really broke I put in money then got gas but it processed the gas first but It took me a while to figure it out because the bank I was at put the overdraft fee on the savings the next month which caused an overdraft fee to go to the checking the next month which caused two overdraft fees one from the overdraft fee and one from an insufficient funds fee the next month on the savings. This was all after getting my account set up Specifically to refuse a transaction if I didn’t have the funds in an attempt to avoid overdraft fees.
Working for Wells Fargo was the biggest eye-opener I ever had. There’s this misconception that you can set up your card to refuse a transaction if there are not enough funds on your account. What I discovered was that it’s kind of difficult to stop overdrafts. That’s because it’s not just the banks–the vendors complicate the process, too. Let me explain.
Now, you can set up your card to refuse a transaction if there isn’t enough money on it–at that particular moment in time. Vendors do not always request payment at once–they can request 5-7 days later! Here’s a reasonable example.
Notice how the payment actually went through on the 22nd, but it says the payment was authorized a day prior? This is typical. Usually it’s processed within one business day, and you may see a pending transaction reflected in your balance. However, sometimes no pending transaction shows up–the finalized transaction will simply materialize the following day, arms flung open, crying, “WHAT NOW.” This is further complicated on weekends and holidays, when nothing is processed and it’s up to you to keep track of your funds. (Remember, weekend purchases are processed on Monday night, so you probably won’t see them until Tuesday morning!) Even better, different companies will request payment at different times. Starbucks and Subway are particularly bad about charging later rather than sooner (sometimes as late as a whole week!), whereas Wal-Mart requests payment instantaneously.
So if your account currently has $10 in it and you try to spend $25, the vendor should decline your card. Cool. But what if you have been shopping all day, and the vendors haven’t processed all of your transactions yet? Your account will look like it has $100 on it and when you swipe your card for that $25 purchase, it goes through. Then the other vendors ask for money the next day. Wham, bam, overdraft fees. You know what makes this better? When the vendor’s payment request is denied, so the vendor REPEATEDLY ASKS FOR THE FEE TO BE PAID. Usually they stop requesting after three attempts, but there are some vendors who will request far more often. So even as you’re scrambling to cover the overdraft fees you got hit with the previous day, you may get hit with MORE payment requests, which cause MORE overdraft fees.
Just as importantly, purchases involving the manual entry of your debit card number–such as online payments–won’t always decline. Yeah, even if you don’t have enough in your account! I don’t know why this is. It seems to depend on the company.
Long story short, DON’T RELY ON YOUR ONLINE BANK STATEMENT ALONE. You’re only safe if you manually keep up with your funds yourself. I highly suggest keeping a check register, which you can print out for free here, download as a free app for your iPhone, or receive for free at your bank. It definitely takes more time to log each purchase, but it’s very easy to forget how many payments you’ve actually made–and much easier on the wallet than overdraft fees.
((By the by, I wanted to add my support to the sentiment in this post–overdraft fees are absolutely horrific. One $35 charge is bad enough. Just being in the RED is bad enough. But then they stack. At Wells Fargo, they can stack 4 a day, and if the customer isn’t paying attention it’s like getting hit with an atomic bomb. The fuck does Wells Fargo need $35 per overdraft for? It pays jack-shit in interest for your savings and CDs–like one or two cents per month, no lie!–makes money hand over fist, and then hammer-kicks its poorest customers in the teeth. If you’ve ever had to sit on the phone with a person weeping bitter tears because a paycheck bounced and they got hit with $280 in fees–fees you can’t completely return due to bureaucratic red tape–let’s just say that you stop parroting the “lol well be more responsible” party line.))
Wow thanks for the info!!
there’s also how some banks are reordering your transactions largest to smallest…. which will increase your chances of overdrafing and doing so multiple times.
so let’s say you check your account and think you have $65 left. you, being responsible, put $30 in the car to fill it and $20 on groceries. But… you forgot you used an atm from another bank at some point… so your bank charges you $3 for that. oh… and you were under the daily minimum, so they charged you $5 for that (so, you really only had $57 to begin with). Then you picked up a bag of chips and soda to contribute to the food for the weekly football game with your friends…$5. You think you’re still in the black with $10 and you’re only half right. you’re in the black with $2….
but then something happens… maybe your heater breaks down. your roommate scores a cheap as hell space heater and you need to give them half on it… $30.
you’ve officially overdrafted. but you should have only done so once… with the last $30. Instead, what these banks will do is charge you $30, $30, $20, $5. So now… since you only had $57, the only one that doesn’t incur an overdraft fee is the first $30.
so now you’ve been charged $35 three times ($105) when you should have only been charged once for something out of your control. so now on top of already struggling with money, you suddenly owe the bank $105 in addition to the money you “didn’t have”, $28 ( = $3+$20+$5) and also have asshats who would rather paint you as irresponsible than consider perhaps banks may need to adjust their policies/algorithms/whatever if people are being punished for using money they actually had.
Every time this post comes around I want to drink heavily.
Once upon a time, banks needed deposits from people in order to make loans. You deposited money into savings and checking accounts, and then, the banks loaned that money out, minus an amount they had to keep on hand, and this percent changes depending on current law.
But, that is not how banks make money now. They make loans, and sell the loans on Wall Street. The loans are serviced by branches of some huge financial conglomerate which may have ties to the bank. Wall Street pays them for the loans, and pays servicing fees…
And this habit of making money on fees was spread to individual depositors. The system is set up to maximize income to the bank, through fees and charges, except where the laws limit this.
So. The main control on how much money the banks can charge and when is federal regulation. Some of it is laws passed by the house and senate, and signed into law by the president, and some of the regulations are controlled by certain federal departments. Therefore it matters who is president because who they appoint to be in charge changes the way the regulations are written and enforced.
You may have noticed a change a few years ago in how credit cards had to reveal charges, how long it would take to pay off an amount, and also how long they were required to give you to pay? There was also a change in how the banks were permitted to raise interest rates and when the rates had to go back down. You may thank the democratic president for that, and the people he appointed.
Depository banks are largely also fee-based in their money structure. They exist to predate on people with fees. I could write a book about my time in a bank. I keep saying I should. Ugh.
I WISH that I could have truly known, understood and internalized this when I was younger. I HATED myself for my “irresponsibility” and “stupidity” and sincerely lost faith in myself for not being able to stay ahead of overdraft fees. I had no idea how Machiavellian the system was, how intentionally broken.
I mean, I still wouldn’t have had enough money, but I wouldn’t have hated myself.
It’s so much worse than even these posts. I wrote a response to this once. I think it’s under my posts tagged banking. Or something. I can’t stand to keep rewriting it.
I literally feel like I lost part of my soul when I was in banking.
Much worse. The bit that I wrote above is the short version of one of my rants. The rant I have to keep a lid on or go on for hours is the corporate outsourcing of responsibility one.
Lo, these many years ago, when I was out on my own for the first time and had my first paychecks going into my first bank account, I was very aware that I had to be careful with money! I didn’t have much, after all. And electronic balance checks were free! So on payday, I would check my account to make sure that my pay had been deposited, and I wouldn’t withdraw any money until it had. Like, I would check in the morning and it would say my balance was $35 or so, and then I would check in the evening and it would say my balance was several hundred, and I would say “Yay!” and withdraw $50 and go do my grocery shopping.
Then my account statement would show up and say that I had withdrawn that $50 first, and gone $15 into overdraft, and then my pay had been deposited. And they would charge me an overdraft fee. And when I went into the branch and complained, I was essentially told “lol no that is not a thing that happens, clearly you did not check and are now lying to try to get out of the fees, be more responsible in future you slack slacker!”
Yeah, I didn’t stay with that bank for long. And I was way, way more cautious with my next bank.
Credit unions. Credit unions. Credit unions. Go get yourself a fucking credit union account. You will be in much better financial shape even if you are still flat broke.