Getting Measured for a New Bra | What to Expect

While conducting a style talk at a secondary school last week, I was asked a great question by one of the students, which was; what to expect when getting measured for a new bra.  This is an excellent subject for a question and one that I was very keen to address as, most often, the reason why women avoid getting professionally measured for a new bra is ‘fear of the unknown’.

First thing’s first, there’s absolutely nothing to be nervous about.   The shop assistants in specialist lingerie shops and department stores are thoroughly trained in the area of bra measurement.  These ladies are discreet, efficient and highly professional, and at no stage will you be made to feel uncomfortable or self-conscious.



Step 1: The shop assistant will have a brief discussion with you as to your requirements.  The type of bra you select will depend on the following: the function (e.g. work, sport, bridal, lingerie, maternity etc.), any physical issues that you have (e.g. uneven cup sizes, shoulder problems, medical problems such as a hiatus hernia [see note below], mastectomy etc.), size (i.e. large bust size, small bust size, maternity etc.) personal tastes (colour, fabric, fit, style and shape) and any other relevant information.

Step 2: You will step into the changing room and remove your upper clothes, leaving your bra on.  Remain fully dressed from the waist down.  When you’re ready, the shop assistant will step into the changing room, draw the curtain closed fully so that you are in complete privacy, and take your measurements with a measuring tape.  Remember, you will be wearing your current bra while the assistant takes your measurements so there’s no need to feel  uncomfortable.  She will first measure your band size, which is the width of your torso immediately underneath the breasts (i.e. 30″, 32″, 34″, 36″, 38″ etc.)  She may then take your cup measurement by wrapping the tape around the widest point of the breasts and around your back to get an idea of your current cup size.  Some assistants prefer to go by eye and bring you a selection of cup sizes.

Step 3: The assistant will choose a number of bras from the shop floor and bring them to you in the changing room.  She will then leave you to try on each bra, one at a time, on your own.  Once you have a bra on, call the assistant and she will check whether the bra fits you or not.  Most likely she will ensure that the band is fastened on the loosest clasp and the straps are suitably tight.  She will visually check the cup size to see whether it is too tight, too generous, or just poorly fitting.  Click here for more information on choosing the correct bra size.

Step 4: You may decide to purchase some or all of the bras that fitted you best.  You are under no obligation to buy the bras selected for you, but note that some shops change a fitting fee (which is redeemable against purchases).

I strongly suggest that you and get professionally measured at least every year, or more frequently if your body shape is changing (e.g. weight loss/gain, menopause, pregnancy, medical issues etc).   You will really feel the benefit of having been professionally measured.  For example, I was recently diagnosed with a hiatus hernia, which essentially means that I experience discomfort right at the top of my stomach, which is where the two cups of a bra join.  Thanks to a professional bra fitting last week, my discomfort has eased dramatically and I feel much happier and healthier as a result.

Hope this information helps!

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