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PlusSizeBras.info -- A Consumer Information Provider

Your Resource for Larger Cup Size Bras and Bra-Sized Swimwear
April 24, 2007


HOW TO MEASURE --
For greatest accuracy, have someone help you take your measurements. Be sure to use a non-stretch, cloth-reinforced measuring tape. You'll find them in notions/sewing departments. When measuring, it's important to keep the tape level all the way around. Keep pencil and paper handy to write down the measurements. You'll need them to figure out your size later.

WHAT TO MEASURE --
A total of five measurements are necessary, two with your bra off, and three with your bra on. The bra-off measurements are necessary to correct measurement errors caused by an improperly fitted bra worn during measuring. For example, if the bra worn during measuring has undersize cups, tissue is bulged at the tops and sides of the cups and is not accounted for in the bustline measurement. So-called professional fitters do not take bra-off measurements due to modesty issues. For the best results during measuring, wear your best fitting, non-padded, non-minimizing, non-sports bra during bra-on measuring. Measure the following:
  1. Abovebust with bra off
  2. Underbust with bra off
  3. Abovebust with bra on
  4. Bustline with bra on
  5. Underbust with bra on

Measure Abovebust & Bustline
ABOVEBUST & BUSTLINE MEASUREMENTS


Measure Underbust
UNDERBUST MEASUREMENT

BRA SIZES IN GENERAL --
A bra size is actually two sizes, the chestband size and the cup size. The size "38G" denotes a size "38" chestband and a "G" cup size. Since bra manufacturers can't agree on cup size designations higher than D, we've defined our own cup size system to permit grading by size regardless of brand name or manufacturer. Our TruSiz™ system is based on the inch system of measurement and the Latin alphabet. Cup sizes are determined by simple subtraction, the result of which is the cardinal number of the letter of the alphabet designating that cup size. For example, if the corrected bustline is 42 inches and the chestband size is 36, 42 minus 36 equals 6. The 6th letter of the Latin alphabet is F indicating F-cup. In this example, while the bra TruSiz™ is 34F, depending on the manufacturer or the brand name or the country, the label size might be 34DDD, 34E, or 34F. This is indeed very confusing. Please refer to our BRA FIT>SIZES chart to convert your TruSiz™ to a label size for the manufacturer or brand name of your choice.

Our sizing formula has been designed, developed, and proven after thousands of trials to provide a competent fit. In most cases our formula recommends the best chestband size and a cup size that's not more than one size low. In comparison the majority of manufacturers' and retailers' sizing formulas are poor at best. They typically recommend an oversize chestband and undersize cups. It seems to us these formulas were designed to minimize inventories rather than provide a competent fit. This may help explain why 75-80% wear the wrong size bra! Since all of us are unique, PlusSizeBras.info's size formula is not perfect, but it's been demonstrated to give excellent results. Please note that our system differentiates between standard bras with front or back closures as well as all-in-ones and longlines.


SIZE CALCULATION --
The size calculation procedures below are not trivial, and it's important to get them right, so if you find the following instructions challenging, please feel free to contact our master fitter to request calculation of your TruSiz™. We're here to help. Please provide all 5 measurements (inches or centimeters) and details about the bra worn during measuring. The recommended size will be more reliable if you tell us the brand name, type (underwire or softcup) and label size.

NOTE: ALL 5 MEASUREMENTS ARE REQUIRED.

Do NOT round off or otherwise modify the measurements. All information is kept private, including your email address. We don't lease, sell, or give out any personal information without explicit, written permission. As a further precaution we do not store any personal information on our website.

In the event you are located in UK, please contact our representative there who is also available for personal fittings. Send email to masterbratician @ plussizebras dot info Note that we've altered the address to minimize spam from spam robots. You'll need to eliminate the spaces and replace "dot" with an actual dot character.


CHESTBAND SIZE --
The chestband must be properly sized before even thinking about fitting cups. Cups CANNOT be properly fitted if the chestband is the wrong size. A properly fitted chestband will enable the bra to provide proper support to the bust while minimizing the load on the shoulder straps. Shoulder straps are primarily intended to adjust the height of the bosom, not carry it.

GENERAL NOTES
Chestband sizes are always even, whole numbers. When measuring, round up fractions of an inch greater than or equal to 1/2. For example, 35 1/2"; is rounded up to 36" but 34 3/8" is rounded down to 34". Measure to the closest 1/4".

CHESTBAND SIZE - STANDARD BACK CLOSURE
Round off your bra-off underbust measurement and add 2. If the sum is an odd number, add 1. The chestband size should be numerically the same or less than the bra-off abovebust measurement. It should never be greater. In the event that your bra-off underbust measures 33" or less, you'll usually get a better fit with a band size approximately equal to your underbust measurement. For example, if your bra-off abovebust measures 35" and your bra-off underbust measures 33", we recommend a 32 instead of a 34. In the event that your bra-off abovebust and underbust measurements are the same, we recommend the chestband size be numerically equal to, but not more than the measurement. For example, if your bra-off abovebust and underbust measurements are each 39", we recommend a 38.

Note that the smaller band size bra must be 2 cup sizes larger to maintain the same cup volume. Cups are proportioned to the chestband and accordingly decrease in "diameter" at the chest wall with band size. For example a 34F bra's cups have less volume than a 36F bra because the cups are smaller "diameter". However, bras TruSiz™ 34H and 36F have equivalent cup volume.

This is your chestband size for only a STANDARD BACK CLOSURE bra. Examples: 34" + 2 = 36, an even number. 33" + 2 = 35, an odd number, so add 1 to 35 to obtain 36. But since the measurement is less than or equal to 33, a 34 will likely be a better fit. A 36 could ride up in back.

CHESTBAND SIZE - STANDARD FRONT CLOSURE
Same as back closure above, but go UP one chestband size. For example, if your back closure bandeau chestband size is 36, your STANDARDFRONT CLOSURE chestband size is the next even number, 38. Be sure to go DOWN two cup sizes too.

CHESTBAND SIZE - ALL-IN-ONE AND LONGLINE
Measure around the waist. After rounding off the measurement, add either 4 or 5 to obtain an even, whole number. This is your chestband size for only an ALL-IN-ONE or LONGLINE. Examples: 36" + 4 = 40, an even number. 35" + 4 = 39, an odd number, so add 1 to 39 to obtain 40.


CUP SIZE --
In addition to the bustline measurement, two "abovebust" measurements are necessary: one taken without your bra and one taken with your bra. So called "professional" fitters don't take bra-off measurements because of modesty and related legal issues. Since you're measuring yourself in the privacy of your own home, it's not an issue for us.

[Why do I label them so called "professional" fitters? The term professional simply means they are paid for their services. Unfortunately that does not ensure competency. As a rule it's best to avoid fitters who work on commi$$ion. They're usually more interested in making a $ale than fitting you properly. It's also very likely they have no clue how to fit sizes higher than B or C.]

If your present bra is the wrong size, breast tissue bulging from cup tops and sides isn't included in the bustline measurement. In this case the two abovebust measurements will be different. The difference between them is simply added to the bustline measurement to correct it. If the difference is zero or less, the bustline measurement is not corrected. If the difference is more than 1 1/2", be sure to try on the exact same bra in the next higher cup size. An oversize cup is much more easily recognized than an undersize one since the cups will not be full and will wrinkle and pucker.

To determine your cup size, if your odd or even corrected bustline measurement includes a fraction greater than or equal to ½”, round up to the nearest whole number. Calculate the cardinal of the cup size letter by subtracting the chestband size from the corrected bustline measurement. A ½" to 1½" difference is an A cup. A 1½" to 2½" difference is a B cup, and so on, incrementing the cup size one letter for each additional inch of difference between the bustline measurement and the chestband size.

Following is an example where bra-on and bra-off abovebust measurements differed:
Bra-on, the abovebust measured 36", but bra-off, 34", a 2" difference. The bustline measured 39½". The difference between the two abovebust measurements, 2", is added to the bustline, correcting it to 41½" and is rounded up to 42”. For a size 34 chestband, subtracting 34 from 42 gives 8 and the 8th letter of the alphabet is H. The recommended TruSiz™ is 34H. Without the correction, the predicted cup size would have been F, two sizes too small.

If you're unsure of your size, please feel free to contact our master fitter to request calculation of your TruSiz™. We're here to help. Please provide all 5 measurements (inches or centimeters) and details about the bra worn during measuring. The recommended size will be more reliable if you tell us the brand name, type (underwire or softcup) and label size.

NOTE: ALL 5 MEASUREMENTS ARE REQUIRED.

Do NOT round off or otherwise modify the measurements. All information is kept private, including your email address. We don't lease, sell, or give out any personal information without explicit, written permission. As a further precaution we do not store any personal information on our website.


Refer to the table below for PlusSizeBras' TruSiz™ cup sizes. This is the size standard to which all bras in the buyer's guide are converted/listed. Other popular, but non-standard, systems are compared on our BRA FIT/ SIZES page. As of this writing, cup sizes from L to O are available in ready-to-wear in chestband sizes only up to and including 38. Above 38 the highest cup size in ready-to-wear in a conventional or nursing bra is L.

Difference
(inches)

to

to

to

to

to

to
10½
10½
to
11½
11½
to
12½
12½
to
13½
13½
to
14½
14½
to
15½
15½
to
16½
16½
to
17½
... 25½
to
26½
26½
to
27½
27½
to
28½
28½
to
29½
Cup Size E F G H I J K L M N O P Q ... Z ZA ZB ZC
The table could continue to higher sizes, but we think you get the idea...

Plus Size Bras - Plus Size Lingerie

Plus Size Bras - Plus Size Lingerie