Why I am adding inches when brafitting (or: my approach to brafitting)

The boobosphere is still getting a lot of uproar since Linda the Bra Lady's interview on ABC Television.
You can read all about it at Treacle's great post and follow up interview on the lingerie addict.

First: since I'm from Austria, I normally keep calculating in cm rather than in inch.
I learnt about brafitting in the german community busenfreundinnen.net, which fits using the same standards as the polish communities.

Since we don't calculate in inch we start with these sizes:
60 = 28
65 = 30
70 = 32
75 = 34
80 = 36
85 = 38
90 = 40
95 = 42
100 = 44

I wrote a three part series about bra fitting for smaller busts, you can check it out here:
Overview - Bras for smaller busts Pt. 1
Strategies - Bras for smaller busts Pt. 2
Shopping Tips - Bras for smaller busts Pt. 3

First I try to get to know the person who should be fitted – what's their shape, how's their body like? How old are they? Are there any special things I need to know? Are they pregnant? Are there any medical conditions that need a different approach to brafitting? Any breast surgeries? (Arthritis, diabilities that can keep you from closing a bra comfortably, etc...)

Ok. Then I start with taking measurements.
First the underbust measurements are taken without squeezing.
Then I'm taking the measurements with squeezing hard, so to say to find out how squeezable the person's body is. Especially very muscular people are often not very squeezable at all!

Then it's important to take the bust measurements, ideally whilst standing tall and whilst bending down your back 90° (to see if there's any „hidden potential“ ;) )

These four measurements will provide a starting point for our bandsize.

If there's a big difference between the loose underbust measurement and the tight one, that means the person is rather squeezable.
If there isn't it means that there aren't any cushioning layers between the ribs and skin, and you have to pay a bit more attention to tight bands.

Ok, now I start out with a bandsize roughly the same as the tight underbust measurement. (I'm still calculating in cm!)

For example:

  • Small bust (approx. A-DD)
    Underbust: 67-71
    I would start with EU 65 bands or tight EU 70 bands. Then I „translate“ it to UK sizes, which leads to a starting size of UK 30, tight 32.
  • Medium bust (approx E – G)
    Underbust 67 - 71
    I would start with EU 65 bands or tight EU 70 bands or loose EU 28 bands. Then I „translate“ it to UK sizes, which leads to a starting size of UK 30, tight 32, loose 28 bands.
  • Large bust (GG and up
    Underbust 67 – 71
    I would start with EU 65 bands or maybe EU 28 bands. Then I „translate“ it to UK sizes, which leads to a starting size of UK 30 or maybe 28 bands.

If you translate the underbust measurements in cm in inches, you will see that I'm NOT deducting any inches.


Because there's no rule that a bandsize 30 should fit someone with a 30 inch underbust. There is no rule either that a 30 inch bra has to have a 30inch long band stretched or unstretched.

The bandsizes were invented in usage of the + 4 rule, yes. And now they keep changing.

A bandsize is not a standard size anymore, for example:

This bra is supposed to be a size 28DD. it's 49cm long (note: I could fit it around my thigh, but not my body.)


Most of my old UK 28 bras are unstretched about 57cm long. That's a huge difference and makes it obvious that bandsizes are unfortunately only a starting point!

I think that in your first happiness to find new bras that fit one can often fall for the socalled „reverse Letterphobia“ - thanks again george for that wonderful wonderful post!

This is what happened in the german (and I think polish?) communities a couple of years ago.
Some were wearing their bands too tight, they wore out rather quickly and the shape and support wasn't the same anymore.

I really think it is worth a try to rethink your own fitting strategies from time to time.
Me too I used to wear my bras much too loose at first, then much too tight and now they are absolutely perfect.

I don't want to say that people should wear their bands totally loose – they should be snug. As a rule of thumb: The bigger the bust and the more squeezable the person the tighter the band should be – as a very general rule. (Of course brafitting is a very very personal thing, the most important thing is that the person wearing the bra is comfortable and supported!)

Plus: The sizes are really just a rough info the brands provide. I've got 32 bands that are as long as 28 bands. True story.

Well, in the end I think it all comes down to this:

Bra fitting is personal. Very very personal.

We are all beautiful and wraught in our own way, there is no perfect measuring method to find your brasize.
It all comes down to see whether your bra fits:

Is the band snug? Yes
Does it ride up in the back? No
Do the cups ride up in the front? No
Do the cups fall down in the front? No
Are the wires enclosing your breast tissue? Yes
Is the center gore laying flat? Yes
Are the bra straps digging into your shoulders? No
Are you comfortable? YES

I think that we just shouldn't concentrate so hard on the numbers and letters but rather on a good fit.
Just by looking at one picture of a girl in a bra it's impossible to say her perfect bra size.
It depends on body features, personal preferences, the brands they want to wear.

So, if recommending bra sizes to a follower, friend, stranger it's always important to tell them:

  1. This is only a starting point. You have to look for yourself which bras you prefer, which brands, how tight, which styles.
  2. Brands have their own sizes. If you know which brand your inquirer wants to buy, you can maybe tell him a bit more about the brand. (Freya, Curvy Kate? Not working after +4 anymore. Kiss Me Deadly, Fräulein Annie? Working with +4) etc.

xoxo denocte