BRAS: Measure for a perfect fit. Be daring and find the best fitting bra for your shape.
Have you checked your bra size lately? Throughout life, our bodies change from adolescence to adulthood, college (freshman 15), relationships, marriage, motherhood and menopause to name just a few milestones in a woman's life. Yet many of us rarely check, and if needed, change our undergarment sizes. It’s a mystery. As woman, we remember to take care of the needs of others, in addition to our own. And, when it’s our shirt or pant size that needs changing, we do it–whether we like it or not. However, we seem to cling to the same old bra size as if it’s an heirloom or perhaps it's just a misguided sense of pride.
Ladies, let me tell you it’s time to change or at least, to check! Not only does a properly-fitting bra give you a more flattering silhouette and comfort, it’s better for your health. A well-fitted bra can alleviate strain on your back and shoulders as well as keep breast tissue from losing firmness needlessly. Moreover, it can boost your confidence, add a twinkle to your eye and make the most of your outfit. So, what's there to think about? Let’s get started.
Size Yourself Up
To begin, you’ll need a cloth tape measure and an open mind (smile!).If you don’t own a cloth tape measure and have a ruler or metal tape measure instead, be creative. Use a string, ribbon or belt large enough to measure around your breasts and then use the ruler or metal tape measure to calculate as precisely as possible your overbust and underbust measurements. You can then use our table below to look up your band and cups sizes. Please note we use centimeters in our chart for better precision, but feel free to take your measurements in inches. Just remember to include any fractional inches when recording your numbers. Don't worry about the math, we provided a calculator to convert your measurements from inches into centimeters (see conversion calculator underneath the image below).
Ready? It may sound strange, but wear your current, best-fitting UNPADDED bra without a shirt for this exercise. This is especially important if you have bottom-heavy breasts (i.e., breasts with some sag or droop). If you measure without a bra on, you will most likely get an inaccurate measurement of your true cup size. If you don't have an unpadded bra, wear one with the least padding possible. It will give you a rough estimate and you may also need to try on bras in the cup size smaller than your table reading and possibly larger (i.e., if your breasts look or feel compressed/flattened in this bra). Our goal today is to get an estimate of your size. Trying a bra on is still the best way to determine if the fit is right for you. Styles can also make a difference in fit, but we can address that topic later.
Step 1. (Band Size / Underbust Measurement)
Starting in the front, measure under your breasts and around your back (as shown below in the photo; line marked #1). Remember to keep the tape measure straight across your back and around to the front of your rib cage (near the sternum area). If the tape measure angles upward or downward, it can skew the measurement. Write the number down on a piece of paper. Make sure to take the measurement when you exhale (breathe out) to get the smallest measurement possible. Don't round up. Be as precise as possible (either using centimeters or inches including any fractions). If needed, add the number in inches to the Converter below the image and click on the blue "inches to cm" button. Now look for your measurement within the size ranges referenced in the table (entitled Step 1) below. Take note of the band size referenced above your measurement.
For example, if you measured 31.25 inches under your breasts, your measurement would be equivalent to 79.375 centimeters. Using the table below, this would make your estimated band size 36.
Since the majority of your breast support is provided by the band, let's do another quick measurement to double check the band size. For this one measurement, make sure ONLY to use inches. Starting under your armpits, measure around your back, pulling the tape measure toward your front - up above your breasts. Is this number in inches close to the band size you looked up on the BRA FIT table below? As bras are only available in even numbers, you will most likely need to round up this figure.
For example, if you measured 35 inches, the nearest even number would be 36 -- a figure consistent with the band size (i.e., 36) we looked up in the scenario above.
Step 2. (Cup Size / Overbust Measurement)
Now measure the fullest part of your breasts (straight around your back and across the center, fullest part or peak of your breasts as shown below in the photo; line marked #2 ). Write this number down. Now reference the table below. Follow the column down from your band size and find the row that includes your measurement. If your number is on the border between cups size, you may want to try both cups sizes to determine which one provides the best fit and comfort for your shape.
If we use the same model scenario above and you measure your overbust as 39 inches, your measurement in centimeters would be 99.06 centimeters. This would make your cup size a D. You should then try bras in size 36D. If your measurement had been 98 centimeters, you might want to try sizes 36C and 36D.
|Convert inches to centimeters (cm)|
|Don't sweat the math: While we use centimeters to size our bras, you can measure in inches and convert your numbers to centimeters simply by entering your measurement (value in decimal form) in the box to the left and click on the blue "inches to cm" button. (e.g., 34 3/8" = 34.375 inches = 87.3125 cm)|
Now that you have your size, let’s go shopping for comfortable, figure-flattering sexy bras! Remember: Keep your "girls" happy and well supported. Check your size at least once a year, especially if you've lost or gained weight. :)
GENERAL BRA FITTING TIPS
It may be a hassle, but trying a bra on always pays off in the end. Even fancy bras stay in the drawer when they don't really fit right. When trying on a new bra, lean forward and lift your breasts up one at a time and gently place them back fully into the cup. Now stand up and move around a bit. Put your shirt back on (preferably a shirt, not a sweater) and see if your silhouette appears normal. Your bra should not be overly noticeable to the eye. If it's comfortable, does not feel tight in the back or ride up, your breasts do not spill over the cup or out the bottom, the straps do not dig into your shoulders, and the material of the cups does not pucker, consider buying it. You just might be happy with your purchase and re-visit our lingerie shop again for either a practical or frivolously pretty new bra.
However, if you see gaps (puckering) or overflow (muffin-top or quad-boob effect) from the cups, you are not wearing the correct cup size. If you have gaps (wrinkles) in the cup, go down a cup size or try another bra style such as a demi-cup bra. If your breasts spill over the top of the cup, you need a larger cup size. The back band of your bra should lay straight across your back (level with the floor) and it should be anchored below your shoulder blades. If you need to tighten the straps so much so that the band rides up, you're probably wearing too large of a band size. If your breasts fall out the bottom of the bra cups, try going down a band size. Your underwire should rest on the natural crease of the breast and comfortably encase it. If your bra underwire over jets and goes under your arm, try going down a cup size. If the bra underwire cuts into your skin and stops a distance away from your arm, consider going up a cup size. If your straps fall down a lot, try tightening the straps. If you have to tighten them significantly and as a result the back rides up, go down a band size and up a cup size if your current cup size fits well. If this does not help, you may have narrow or sloped shoulders. You should try a different style bra. Avoid bras with wide-set straps and try bra styles with angled straps including multiway or convertible bras or racer-back bras.
If you have any questions about your size and want assistance with style selection and fit, please contact our bra fitter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PANTIES: Measure for the perfect panty fit and avoid common pitfalls, which can impact your comfort and fashion.
Avoid visible panty lines, droopy bottoms or just an uncomfortable fit, check your panty size by measuring both your waist and hips. With a few simple measurements, you might not need to look at your posterior so much to check for unsightly bulges. You'll know with confidence it looks smooth, shapely and fabulous. Embrace your curvaceous self!
You’ll need a cloth tape measure to check your panty size. If you don’t own one and have a ruler or a household metal tape measure instead, be creative. Use a string, ribbon or belt large enough to measure around your waist and hips and then use the ruler to calculate your measurement as precisely as possible. If you prefer to take your measurements in inches, make sure to include fractional inches. Use our converter above (see bra table) to convert the number into centimeters.
|Now take your measurements in centimeters and look for the size which best suits your shape. Do this for both your waist and hip. If you find that the table recommends two different sizes based on your waist and hip measurements, look at your shape. Our table assumes an hour-glass silhouette. If you have more weight around your waist or stomach, you may want to consider the size recommended in Step 1. If most of your weight is centered around your hips and butt, you may want to consider the size recommended by Step 2. The goal is to find a panty size, which is figure-flattering and comfortable.|
Panty Size Equivalents
For your convenience, we compiled a table of panty sizes common to the United States, Europe, United Kingdom and France and their comparative panty size equivalent on our site.
LAVINIA ACTIVEWEAR SIZES
Lavinia Activewear is made with microfiber, which stretches to your body shape. It's important to select the correct size so that you feel comfortable with the fit and how you look in it. If you select a size that is too small, the fabric will stretch too much and the garment will lose its opacity. Our activewear garments are available in either two or three sizes: extra small/small (XS/S), medium/large (M/L) and extra large (XL). In general, the XS/S size is equivalent to a 2-6; the M/L size is equivalent to a 8-12; and the XL is equivalent to a 14-16.
It's not unusual for two, size-10 woman to look different. As most women are proportioned differently, we recommend checking your measurements. Making it more difficult, manufacturers do not always define sizes in the same manner. Here is how we define Lavinia Activewear sizes.
ATTENTION GIFT GIVERS
If you don't know your special someone's size and have access to her drawer--that is, without getting yourself into trouble with her or the law, check to see what size she buys herself. Otherwise, guess!
CARING FOR YOUR LINGERIE
When washing your lingerie, try using a soda-based fabric wash. Regular detergents often contain harsh chemicals that can damage delicate fabrics. If you prefer to wash your bras in a washing machine, place them in a mesh lingerie bag. Make sure that you hook the back closure of the bras before putting them in the bag. This will keep them from hooking and damaging other garments in the machine. And, the lingerie bag will protect your bras from being wrapped around the machine agitator. Avoid putting your bras and panties in the dryer. The heat of a dryer can break down Lycra, spandex and elastic and as a result, you will find yourself replacing your undergarments more frequently. Rotate your bras. Bras do not need to be laundered after every wearing, but you should avoid wearing a bra two days in a row.