Using the right bra size calculator for the UK is incredibly important for your comfort and health. An estimated 88% of women in the UK are wearing bras that are the wrong size and it is causing them all sorts of problems. In this bra fitting guide we will explore the ins and outs of bra fitting and also explain how to calculate bra size for yourself.

Health Problems Associated With Not Having the Correct Bra Size

Not having the right size in sports bras or home lingerie can be more than just a pain in the back, it can cause some serious health problems. Bruising from straps that pull into the skin and tissue damage from incorrectly fitted maternity bras can leave ugly scars and marks that can become permanent over a prolonged time. Sore backs, shoulders and necks are also common side effects of not having the right size bra and, again, many of these effects can become permanent if left unchecked.

How Often You Must Check Your Bra Size?

Contrary to popular belief, you do not simply check your bra size once in your adult life. Your body changes quite a lot every couple of years, even if you do not happen to put on or lose much weight. As such it is a good idea to have yourself professionally fitted at least once every three to four years. In between professional fittings it is also a good idea to use a home bra size calculator yourself to make sure that your current sizing is correct and is not doing you any damage.

So, How do You Measure Your Bra Size?

There are three ways to find the perfect fit, and these apply whether you need big bras or small bras. Firstly, you can get a professional fitting done. Secondly, you can consult a bra size chart to try and see where you are on a sizing scale. Thirdly, you can use a home bra size calculator.

Professional Fitting

It is recommended that you see a professional fitting expert every couple of years and on your first time. If you have never seen a professional fitter before then you should do that first, as your bra is likely incorrectly fitted. You can find experts on fittings at specialist lingerie retailers and at women's outfitter. Most of the time fittings are free and the experts will be able to find you the perfect bra size and type for your body.

Bra Sizing Chart

Pre-made charts are handy tools but they are not quite as accurate as a professional fit. This is because they have to make some assumptions in terms of your body shape. Charts can also be unhelpful if your measurements lie somewhere in between two sizes. Nonetheless, bra sizing charts can be a handy tool when comparing sizing from different countries too, as you can use them to find out the sizing differences between the UK and the USA (or other countries). This can be especially helpful if you are buying online from overseas.

Home Bra Size Calculators

These online tools are great for people who want a quick, easy and private way to calculate their bra size from the comfort of their own home. To use one of these tools you are required to take three measurements: one below you bust line, one around your bust line and one above your bust line. You can do this with a simple store bought tape measure, the kind used for dressmaking are perfect. Once you have your three measurements simply input them into the calculator and click 'get size' (or similar). Most calculators will then return your perfect bra size in multiple countries sizing schemes. Although these calculators are quite accurate there is always the risk that you do not measure yourself correctly or that you require a more specialized fitting service. If you suspect this to be the case then it is a good idea to consult an expert instead.

How to Calculate Your Cup Size

Using a basic calculation you can calculate your cup size from your bra size in inches. The first step is to measure around your back just under your bust line. If this number turns out to be an odd number (for example 31-inches) then you should round-up to the nearest even number (for example, 32-inches). Then, the second step is to measure around the largest part of your bust line. Now, simply subtract the bust measurement from the back measurement and the number you end up with is your cup size in inches. Now you just have to convert this into cup sizes using the following scheme: Smaller than 1-inch is a AA cup, 1-inch is an A cup, 2-inches is a B cup, 3-inches is a C cup, and so on. Note that there is an extra size in between D and E that is called a DD cup and it is 5-inches.

How to Tell if Your Bra is Incorrectly Fitted

There are a few things you can look at to tell if your bra is incorrectly fitted. The first giveaway is the positioning of the back band. The back band should sit just under the shoulder blades and should be an almost straight line. If it goes over your shoulder blades or forms an arc shape then it is too small. The next thing you can look at is the bridge between the two cups on an open cup bra. It should lie flat against your chest on a correctly sized bra. If it is sitting off your chest then the bra is likely too small. Another tell is simply baggy cups. If you have baggy cups then the cup or back band size is too large. The final thing is if the cups fit differently. Most women have breasts that aren't exactly the same size and if you are noticing that one of your cups is baggy or too tight then you can fix this by having a custom-made bra or by pulling one of the shoulder straps slightly tighter than the other.

So as you can see there is a fair bit you can do yourself to ensure that you have a correctly fitted bra. A correct fit is going to make you more comfortable, confident and can prevent health problems in the future so it is very important that you get it right. Remember to consult an expert if you are unsure and to make sure that you always use the right bra size calculator for the UK to ensure a perfect fit.