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Choosing a bra

Choosing a bra
Wearing the right bra can make all the difference to the impact of all those tops and dresses in your wardrobe. To find the perfect bra, it’s vital that you know your size, then choose one that will give you maximum support…and the sexiest cleavage!
Wearing the right bra can make all the difference to the impact of all those tops and dresses in your wardrobe. To find the perfect bra, it’s vital that you know your size, then choose one that will give you maximum support…and the sexiest cleavage!
Size
In inches, measure around the fullest part of your breasts, this is your bust size. Then, measure around your body directly under your bust. If the measurement is an even number add 4", if it’s an odd number add 5”. This is your bra size. The difference between the two sizes indicates your cup size. If there is no difference you are an A cup, if there is 1" difference you are a B cup, and so on and so forth.
For example, if your bust size is 34” and your bra size is 32" you need a 32C.
DifferenceCup
0”
A
1”
B
2”
C
3”
D
4”
DD
5"
E
If you’re hesitating between two sizes, always go for the larger one! As the sizes go up by 2 at a time, you could quite easily be in between two sizes. The hooks on the back allow you to finely tune your bra.
If your bra size is 30-32, A or B cup, you’re in the small-chested club. 32-34, A or B cup, yoursize is average. Above 34, and a C, D or bigger cup, you have a generous bust.
Shape
- The classic underwired bra ensures comfort and support for almost all chests, cup sizes A to D.
- The non-underwired bra is less chic but more comfortable. It suits all types, even the most ample bosoms, with large supportive shoulder straps.
- The balcony bra (or balconette) has a rounded cut that reveals the top of the chest while the underwiring supports it. It’s suitable for all sizes, lifting small breasts and keeping larger ones in.
- The sports bra provides optimal support for active types. It supports the chest without underwiring, through large elastic bands under the cups and in the back.
- The bustier is chic and sexy for big occasions for that femme fatale effect, but is limited to A, B or C cups.
- The half-cup bra reveals a lot of the top of the chest and has underwired cups for lift. Ideal under a plunging neckline, it comes in A-D cups.
- Triangle bras are for small chests only: they’re youthful and flattering worn on slim figures.
- The bandeau bra is only recommended for A cups.
How to cheat a bit...
- Padded push-up bras add curves to small chests.
- Padded balcony bras are suitable for all petite chests. Their padding discreetly lifts the breasts.
- Minimiser bras are reserved for C, D, E and F cups. They hold breasts in, reducing their size without squeezing them.
What you need to know

Avoid materials that stretch a lot, such as lycra and elastane. They’re comfortable but don’t give much support.
The straps shouldn’t cut into your shoulders. Once they're adjusted in the right position, stop them from moving by sewing them into place.
The underwiring in a bra should never irritate you.
Wear a proper sports bra when you exercise. It might not be that sexy but it gives you a lot of support when you need it!
Published by editorial staff Fashion
7 Nov 2007
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