How to buy a bra – How To Buy A Bra — Find The Right Size Bra

How To Buy A Bra — Find The Right Size Bra

2 min read

No two women are the same! Your bra needs can be different from women who even have the same size as you. That’s why it’s so important to know how to buy a bra that is perfect for you. We’ve listed down a few steps to make sure that the bra you are buying is something you will enjoy wearing.

#1 Know Your Size

It’s very crucial to understand your size before buying a bra of any kind. If you think the bras you wear now are not comfortable, then you’re probably wearing the wrong size. Head to a Zivame store to get yourself fitted or measure yourself with our size calculator.

#2 Head To A Reputable Store

Smaller lingerie stores in India will not be able to get you your right size. Head to a known retailer that specialises in lingerie. Zivame has 28 stores across the country (and counting)! Find store near you!

#3 Try, Try, Try!

First try on a couple of sizes to make sure you have the right fit as different brands may vary in size slightly. Then try on all kinds of styles so you know which one you’re most comfortable in. Whether it’s wired or wirefree, padded or non-padded, push-up or high-coverage, there are many styles to choose from!

#4 The Move Test

With every bra you try on, put your hands above your head and twist left or right at the waist. If the band slips up, it’s too loose, and if it hurts, it’s too tight. Next, bend over like you’re picking something up from the ground. If you slip out of the bra, then it’s too loose.

#5 The Fit Test

If you’re still not fully convinced, read our article on how to check if your bra fits right. Follow these steps and you’re sure to find a bra that’s just perfect for you!

Now that you know how to buy the right bra for you, you can explore our collections online too!

How to Buy a Bra in Your 40s



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Am I Doing This Wrong? How to Buy a Perfectly Fitting Bra

For most women, bras are a fact of daily life. So we were downright shocked to find out that eight out of 10 women are wearing the wrong size! With so many shapes, sizes and styles (think: everything from a sexy mesh balconette to finding bras for tricky necklines), it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Not to mention that each of us has different needs when it comes to finding “the one.” Some ladies are narrow but busty, while other may be broader but less ample up top. With the help of lingerie whisperers Journelle CEO Lyn Lewis and Teddies for Bettys founder Ashley Kelsch, we’re sharing common bra shopping mistakes and misconceptions, as well as the best advice and top tips and tricks to help you find the perfect fitting bra (yes, even strapless!).

1. A well-fitting bra can and will make you feel good: “Bras that fit correctly truly improve your day. It’s not that wearing a quality bra in your right size will feel good, per se — because really you won’t notice it… and that’s the point,” explains Lewis. (Photo via Getty)

2. Signs that you need a new bra: 1) Spillage out of the top and or sides. 2) A bubble or air pocket at the top of the cup. 3) You’re on the tightest hook eye closure and your band keeps riding up your back. 4) You find yourself pulling it down constantly. (Photo via Cosabella)

3. It’s worth it to get measured: Most women are wearing the wrong bra size. “I talk to petite women all the time who believe that they are a 34 or 36 band when they would be much better off wearing a 30 or 32 band.” You don’t actually know your size until you measure yourself or get measured in a lingerie store. Here’s how to measure: You can either go to a lingerie store and enlist the help of a professional, grab a tape measure and head to YouTube, try the ThirdLove app or call Journelle customer service (the customer care team walks women through at-home fittings every day). Kelsch recommends getting fitted every six months if you can (our size can change depending on weight loss, pregnancy, exercise).

4. Your uncomfortable bra is a capitalist invention: “One of the reasons so many women are wearing uncomfortable bras (in the wrong size) has to do with the cost structure of producing lingerie,” explains Lewis. “It’s way cheaper for big factories and big lingerie companies to make just a few sizes (32-36, A-DD), than it is to produce a given style in a wide size range. As a result, vendors produce only the most popular ‘average’ sizes, and try to fit all potential customers who come through their doors into those items.” Interesting fact: At Journelle, only half the customers fit into mass-market sizes. “It’s not that we target or even attract women who are looking for non-standard sizes — it’s just that we talk women though fit, so they find their true size.”

5. Not all breasts or bra styles fit the same mold: Kelsch recommends spending some time trying on different bra styles and silhouettes. There are TONS to choose from and can be deceiving on a hanger or mannequin. “Depending on the shape of your breast and where your tissue lays you will find that a certain style (e.g., demi or sweetheart) may or may not fit you well. A common misunderstanding is that, insert any bra size, will fit the same. This could not be further from the truth. For example, some brands are made for full cups and would swallow a woman who doesn’t have a lot of breast tissue on top or on the sides.”

6. There is no such thing as being a “C-cup” or any other cup size: The cup size only has meaning when paired with a band size (#mindblown). “The breast-tissue-mass of a woman wearing a 32D is equivalent to the breast-tissue-mass of a woman wearing a 34C and a woman wearing a 36B,” explains Lewis. Don’t believe us? According to Lewis, the plastic underwires in these different sized bras are exactly the same piece of material!

7. When it comes to underwire, remember to “scoop and swoop”: “The underwire or mold should hit just below your underarm and all your breast tissue should be pulled forward (This method is often referred to as the ‘scoop and swoop’),” says Kelsch. If you notice your breasts are pouring out the front or the sides of your bra cup, you need to go up a size. (Photo via Nude for All)

8. Straps shouldn’t slide: Make sure your straps are adjusted properly and the center gore lays flat. Pro tip: When a bra fits, the straps won’t slip down, require any yanking or re-positioning or leave you with red marks. (Photo via Stella McCartney)

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(Featured photo via Getty)

When to Buy a Nursing Bra & Proper Bra Fit for the Nursing Mom

The famous Body Silk Nursing Bra by Bravado

During pregnancy, when your regular bras start to feel tight, it’s time to buy a maternity nursing bra to ensure maxiumum comfort and support. Most women buy maternity nursing bras during their second trimester. You will most likely need to buy a bra that is one band size larger and 1-3 cup sizes larger than your «regular» bras. Maternity nursing bras are especially made with extra stretch in the cup and will grow with your changing shape throughout pregnancy. Please remember that once you give birth and begin to nurse, your cup size may even increase more as your milk is coming in. Some moms need up to 4-5 cup sizes larger than their regular bras! Our selection of nursing bras fits up to cup size N, so you can be sure to find a nursing bra that fits no matter what your size is.

So, what type of bra does a new mom begin with? During pregnancy, most moms love the idea of still wearing an underwire nursing bra, this is fine as long as it fits properly and has enough stretch in the cup to grow with you. Our most popular underwire nursing bra during matenity for support is the Smoothing Support Underwire by Elomi which fits up to cup size K and the most popular underwire nursing bra that reminds moms most of their «regular» bras is the Anita® 5068 Seamless Underwire Nursing Bra which fits up to cup size I.  

Other popular types of maternity and nursing bras are called comfort nursing bras, the sizes are usually small, medium, large, etc….. These bras are designed for a variation of size ranges and made especially for times when you want to wear a less structured bra. Comfort nursing bras are easy to love and you will continue to wear them throughout your pregnancy and nursing journey. Most popular comfort nursing bra styles are the famous Body Silk Nursing Bra and the The Original Nursing Bra both by Bravado Designs. If you are fuller in the cup, try The Original Nursing Bra Full Cup or Cake Lingerie’s Rock Candy Nursing Bra. 

Another popular, transitional bra style is called a sleep bra. These bras are great for nighttime nursing or at home with baby when comfort is key. Sleep bras are soft elastic, criss-crossed style bras that allow the breast to come out by moving the fabric over to the outside of the breast, commonly called a “pull aside” for nursing access. They are very comfortable, however offer little “suspension” which can make the breasts look a little “saggy” when going out. A sleep bra is a better choice for lounging at home and sleeping, of course. Sleep bras also do not offer a lot of support to our ample-breasted sisters, however you can buy plus sized sleep bras all the way up to size 3X here at Nursing Bra Express. 

Something else that is all the rage, right now, is the nursing tank. We love this option. There are different styles and the sizing is transitional sizing, as well, like that of the comfort bras. They offer good support and work well on their own top on hot days or as a second layer on chilly days. They are perfect for layering under your favorite non-nursing tops to keep your tummy covered while nursing.  Most have quick release clasps or pull aside cups for easy and discreet nursing. The Dream Nursing Tank by Bravado Designs and Toffee Shaping Seamless Nursing Tank by Cake Lingerie® are our top picks for comfort and style for pregnancy and nursing. They both «grow» with your ever changing figure and will keep you comfy!

Measuring Yourself for a Fitted Nursing Bra

How to measure:

Step 1: Determine your band size (i.e. 36, 38, etc).  To do this, measure yourself around by bringing the measuring tape around your back, under your armpits and up above your breasts.  Round all fractional numbers to the nearest whole number. 

Step 2: Determine your cup size — Now measure yourself around the same way but this time around the center of the breast (the fullest part of your breast), rather than the under the armpits. Round all fractional numbers up to the nearest whole number. Subtract your band size circumference from the mid-breast circumference to find the cup size.

Example: If your band size is 36 and you have a 40 inch mid-breast circumference, then you have 4 inches worth of cup size. Each cup inch stands for a bra cup size…. A, B, C, D, etc. You would be looking for a bra around 36D.  If you measure between cup sizes, always size UP.

If the Difference is:Your Cup Size is:
1/2″ — 1″A

We are here to help you! Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any assistance with measuring yourself or determining your bra size! We’d love to hear from you!

call us (855-528-7600)

Email Customer Service

The way the bra fits is the true indicator of size, however. Try the bra on (preferably with a dry breast pad) to make sure the band is not binding, too loose, or that any underwire does not cut into the mammary tissue. An improper fit to your nursing bras can lead to other lactating breast issues (see common lactation problems).

Good luck on finding the perfect nursing bra right here at Nursing Bra Express! We have a wide variety of nursing bras and we want you to find your perfect fit right here, please feel free to ask us any questions you may have and we will be glad to assist you during this precious time in your life.
Call  855-528-7600

Email Customer Service

How to buy a bra online

Bodywise Underwear aims to make fitting and purchasing a comfortable wire-free bra an ‘uplifting’ experience with the best possible outcome being a bra you don’t want to rip off the moment you get home.

Everyday at Bodywise, we speak to women across a range of sizes from 8 to 30. No matter whether you’re a size 12, 18 or 28, have a cup size of A to H, you need to find a way to fit yourself properly so that your bra gives you support and makes you feel comfortable and confident.

Where to start?

Check your size

Use our bra size calculator to check your size. Don’t just use the size of the bra you are currently wearing. Research conducted by the University of Wollongong shows that 85% of women are wearing the wrong size bra.

Watch a You Tube

Yes, really! There are some great videos on how to measure for and fit a bra.

Check out the bra you are now wearing

Stand in front of a mirror and have a good look at the bra you think fits best.

Check the midriff

A bra must be firm but not too tight around your midriff. The bra is what should do the work of holding up the bust, not the straps. So you need to find a midriff size that is firm but still comfortable, and that doesn’t rise up at the back.

Check the cups

Firstly, place your right hand inside the left cup and lift the breast up into the cup. Then do the other side. Is the cup wrinkling? Then the cup is too big. Are you spilling over the top? Then it’s too small. Ideally, the cup should fit your entire breast and the u-shape at the bas of the cup should sit on the chest, rather than on the breast.


You should now have a good idea of what size you need and be ready to explore the range of bras available on our website. If you need more information check out our fitting guide.

Don’t worry if you get it wrong

Our customer service policy means you can order knowing that if the size isn’t right, you can return or exchange goods. We are very happy to post bras to you to try on in the comfort of your own home. You can then tell us what fits best and return the items that aren’t correct as per our return/exchange policy.

It’s the hassle free way to shop! And for many women it’s less confronting and embarassing than going to a lingerie shop.

How To Buy a Bra That Fits

Uncomfortable bras can ruin your whole day. They pinch, they squeeze, they ride up, and they don’t look good. But unless you’re planning to go braless, you’re going to need to learn how to buy a bra that fits. Here are some tips to bra buying so that you, too, can feel better in your lingerie!

  1. Get ready. Measuring is easier if you are braless and have someone help you, but if you are modest, wear your best-fitting unpadded bra. You can measure on your own but it is much more difficult. Always use a soft measuring tape.
  2. Measure your «band size.» Using this soft measuring tape, measure around the rib cage, right under the bust. The measuring tape should be at the same point on your back as your lower bra band. Make sure that the measuring tape is not slack or twisted. Next, add five inches to the measurement (to the nearest inch) around your rib cage. This is your band size. For example, a 31-inch measurement becomes a 36-inch band size. If you get an even number, you are more likely to fit the higher size band, but you may wish to try the lower size band also.
  3. Measure your «cup size.» Now, use the soft tape measure to measure around your bust at the fullest point. Don’t pull the measuring tape too tight, but don’t let it become slack either. The difference between this bust measurement and the band size is the cup size.
  4. Adjust your cup size from numbers to letters. The difference between your band size and your bust measurement determines your cup size.
    • If the difference is less than one inch, you wear an AA cup.
    • If the difference is one inch, you wear an A cup.
    • If the difference is two inches, you wear a B cup.
    • If the difference is three inches, you wear a C cup.
    • If the difference is four inches, you wear a D cup
    • If the difference is five inches, you wear a DD or E cup.
  5. Check this size with actual bras. Now you have your ideal bra size — but we all know that we do not live in an ideal world, even where bras are concerned. Bras and bodies both vary, even within a given size. Use the measurements you got as a starting point, and adjust up or down as needed.
  6. Think about underwire. Some women hate underwire and some love it. Generally, underwire bras provide better support, but this depends on the brand and style of the bra.
  7. Consider padding. There are various levels of padding, from bras with almost none to bras that are almost all padding. Try a few different styles, including lightly padded, which is a popular choice, and see which style looks best under your clothing, as well as which feels most comfortable.
  8. Think about the outer clothing. Get a bra that will work with your outer clothing. For the gym, a sports bra may be best, but it might not look quite right under a sexy shirt for clubbing. Color is important also, as you don’t want to commit the dreaded error of wearing a black bra under a white shirt!
  9. Remember your favorite brands and sizes. If a bra works well for you, write down the name brand and size! It may come in handy next time.
  10. Get fitted each year. Yes, our bodies do change, so it is important to remeasure every year.

With so many styles and makers of bras now, you’re definitely going to find one that you like, even if the search is frustrating. Don’t settle for a bra that doesn’t fit, because you won’t look or feel your best. Another way to guarantee good fit is to go to a lingerie store and get professionally fitted. Once you begin wearing bras that fit, you might even want to branch out (see «How To Wear a Bustier» if that’s the case.) No matter what, enjoy your new life of comfort.

How to buy bras on Bratabase

Please note that Bratabase is not a bra store. We do not sell bras. The Listing sections allows for Bratabase users to sell their bras to other users.

In the listings section you can easily search for bras that might be interesting to you. You can choose a brand, type of bra or a size from the drop down menu to the left and sort the bras according to most recent date or cheapest price.

When you click on a bra, you see the measurements for the bra and also other information that might be of interest and that might help you in deciding if this is a bra for you.

Listing prices usually don’t include shipping costs and sometimes bras are still listed, even tough other users may have asked for them recently.

Contact the seller and ask her if the bra is still available and provide information to estimate shipping costs, your country or region should be enough at this point.

If you have any other doubts about the bra, this is a good opportunity to ask any additional questions about it.

The seller should get back to you with instructions and availability information for you.

If everything is good to go, proceed to make payment arrangements.

So far, it is safe to say that all transactions have been closed via Paypal so it is recommended that you get an account to make payments easier.

The seller should provide you her Paypal account email, so you can transfer the money to her or you could give her your email and she can send a payment request to you. Either way works.

Make sure you select the option to pay for goods and services. This will allow you to file a Paypal dispute in case something goes wrong.

After you make the payment, it is a good idea to contact the seller to inform her and also give her the mailing address where you want the bra sent to.

The seller should reply back to you about when she will or did send the parcel your way.

Delivery methods

You and the seller should agree on a delivery option that matches your budget. It is recommended to pick something that provides a tracking code to help resolve any situation in the future.

Time estimates

In the case of international packages, it’s been reported to take no less than 2 weeks and up to 5 weeks in some cases for the bra to arrive with standard delivery.

If you need your bra sooner, coordinate with the seller for a quicker delivery.

You must have accepted the buyers’ agreement in order to be eligible to buy a bra.

The seller will mark the listing as being sold to you (a Bratabase user) and upon closing it, the bra will be transferred to you.

Once you receive the bra, you can accept the transfer and it will be added to your bra list.

Now you can enter your own measurements, review and fit information for your new bra.

Once you get the new bra, please add it back to the site as much as you can. This is in compliance with the buyers’ agreement.

This will enhance the site’s information, diminish measuring errors and provider higher reputation to you and the seller.

  • If more than one user contacts the seller, she has the liberty to pick the most suitable buyer according to her. The first person to ask for a listing is not necessarily the one to get it.
  • It is a good idea to build a little reputation on the site or add a few bras to show that you will provide a good home to the bra
  • Check the bra measurements and other reviews to double check if the bra is a good fit for you. Don’t just grab bras because they’re cheap to re-sell.

Interested in listing your bra?

Sadly, I cannot be responsible for the listings made here, so please make sure you trust the other party and check for the bra to be in the desired condition. Bratabase can not offer coverage in case the bra gets lost or the listing doesn’t work out in some other way.

Getting the bra for someone else?

Some of you may be interested in getting bras from the site for your mom, sister, etc. Please don’t make that a reason not to add the bra on the site again, please measure it, take pictures and add all the information you can, then you can mark it as «Not owned» but still contribute back to the site . This would not affect your recommendations.

Even better, get your friend/relative to sign up. ned» but still contriThat will provide better information for her and for the rest of users .

Getting an exchange?

An exchange will work like a double give away, when you decide which bra you will be exchanging for the one you’re interested in, you will need to make a listing for it and immediately close it in order to transfer it to the other user. This ensures that both bras are entered on the site twice (old and new owner) which is exactly what we need!

Shipping is covered for exchanges too.

Both bras must have been listed as «Exchange» and transferred through the site.

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