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Are You Wearing the Right Sports Bra?

A Guide for Women of All Shapes and Sizes


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  • I've measured by this method as well as others and every department store has their own way. Once they get the size "they" think I fit, and pull out different brands with those size numbers, what they claim is the right size, the bras do not fit and are uncomfortable. Farther more I've discovered that I will have GERD as soon as I have on a bra, even if I haven't eaten. I take the bra off, no GERD, can eat a huge meal, and still no GERD or similar heart burn effects.

    So my best bet these past few years is to either wear like a snug ribknit tank top under my blouses or a cami top in like a 2x or 3x (again, depends on brand - some brands I have to size up, some I have to size down. ).

    I've looked at the website for Decent Exposures where they will make them for you and adjust whatever you want. I have also figured out that my trunk must be a "petite" in terms of the distance from the front of the breast over my shoulder to the back band. Every bra I've purchased the straps are always too long. The adjustable ones always slide out from their buckle. And I don't want to stop and sew up all my straps. So I have no incentive to buy a bra just to go back and stitch it to fit. I might as well be making my own from scratch. I had the same probably with strap proportions years ago when I lost 30 pounds and had to get smaller bras around the band - straps were too long. So that's my guess is that my boobs are closer to my armpits then most women my height? (My hip to waist ratio in pants is also different for the "Misses" sizing and is more in line with Junior Misses sizing - but junior misses plus usually stops at size 17 or 19, and I'd probably need a 23 or 25.)....

    I guess we all have different sizes!!

    I've also been told by bridal shops that women's breasts tend to enlarge once they go on the Pill and never go back. I never went on the pill, partly for that reason and partly for other reasons. So that might be a factor in some who need a smaller band but much larger cup sizes? Just a thought.

    So for now, I'm generally braless and wearing a tanktop underneath, or I am wearing camisole with the built in bra. One of these day
  • I'd say to all those ladies who are finding the sizing hard/doesn't work out right, even if you go to a store & get measured, I had a revalation some years ago that has completely changed my understanding of bra fit & sizing.

    I *thought* I was a 36D, till I realised I needed a DD. Went to that, it was 'ok' but not great. Then the boobs expanded again, and I needed an E. And the back was riding up at the back, and the support wasn't great. I assumed it was because, well, an E is huge, right?


    My back size was too big.

    But I can't get a 34E done up, I wailed (I tried).

    Well. I abandoned all ideas of what size I thought I was. I went and got several band sizes up AND down from what I had been wearing. Yep, I got 34, 32, 30's. And I got different cup sizes up and down too (mostly up, since I was tending to spill out of the bra I'd been wearing).

    Ladies, I discovered that if you get the cup size bigger than you think you need, the bands appear looser around your torso. And this means you size down in the band size.

    I am now wearing the right bra size for me (I've a small ribcage but plenty of padding right now) - it is a 32H.

    Yes, you hear that right, A 32 H.

    The band is snug, it doesn't ride up. The H cup contains the boobs perfectly, no overspill, no loose wrinkled fabric.

    I can wear a 34 GG, but the band rides up. I can wear a 36 G or F, but the band rides up loads.

    As soon as that band starts riding up, it's a sign the band is too big for you. ALWAYS go up a cup size - at least one - if you are dropping a band size down.

    Fit the band first and err on the side of cups being too big, THEN size the cups down till you fit perfectly.

    Chances are, you'll be in a smaller band and a much larger cup size than you expect, and while it will likely feel weird after wearing a too large band size with too small cup size for so long, it is amazing once you've tried it for a couple of days. Support is so much better. The girls point forwards, and they're not squashed flat, or trying to escape around any of the edges.

    And a word to the wise - I've been measured in shops a few times, and they have ALL got it wrong. They ALL over-estimate the back size, and ALL under estimate the true cup size.

    There's a lot of videos and blog posts out there now that cover bra fitting and illustrate the good/bad fits with 'if this happens then this is the cause' which are just brilliant to help understand how all this works.

    Don't give up - it took me almost two decades before I realised how ALL these stupid 'measure under bust and then over fullest bust subtract one from other' sizing charts to find your size are actually completely useless if you're anything over a D cup or carrying more than a few mm of padding around the torso.

    Good luck!
  • I went to a bra store to be fit. Yes, it is pricey and I know some can't afford the expense, but for me it was what really needed. I take 48DDD ! I HOPE as I lose that'll go down. Even in the bra store it was HARD to find my size, but they did in a 42DDD and I bought an extention. Fits GREAT !!!! For a regular bra the above does help. One should never have anything falling out on the sides the cup should never have any extra space. if you are in between (I am currently) I'd go with the smaller cup. Especially if losing. Now if ONLY i could find some PRETTY Bra's in my size !
  • I am a double d therefore the only fabric I can feel as supportive enough is cotton. As for having to get new ones that frequently, would bust my budget to pieces.; I did learn other god things from this article. Thank You.
  • Once again, SparkPeople article has missed the mark . . . . if they would consider how many women here are over 38 inches bust size . . . . most of us are way over that.
  • Fruit of the Loom Microfiber Stretch bra, 3 for $12 at the Walsmart, and I wear two at once. Can't go wrong.
    I tried on some $70 contraption at Victoria's Secret, but all they carry are the racer back style. I wear a 36DD, and racer back bras put pressure on my upper spine and cause back pain. I tried explaining this to the A-cup salegirl when I handed the bra back to her, telling her I didn't want it, and she looked at me like I was nuts.
  • SHAHAI16
    I'm not sure this article was all that much help...I always have a hard time finding clothes that fit me, but bras are by far the worst, usually I just get a compression one in the largest size a store has. Most the stores I go to don't carry my size, or charge a ridiculous amount for one that is my "measured" size but still uncomfortable. Every place I go I'm measured a different size. I don't know if I just have a very thick body shape or if I'm just going to the wrong places. I can't afford to spend $70+ on a bra, assuming I even find my size. According to the guide in this article, I need a 42 DDD/F. I have a strapless/convertible one I got for a wedding from Lane Bryant that is uncomfortable but best I could find, it's a 44B. only found 3 bras it could recommend for me that are available in my size and they are All $70 or more. Ok, rant over.
  • I really like the Moving Comfort Maia bra. It is comfortable enough for everyday wear, but I am not bouncing all over the place when I am on the elliptical or doing sprints on the stationary bike. I order them on-line from Brooks Running, and they have a 90 day trial period. If you don't like it, you can return it for free, no questions asked. They have free shipping, even to Hawaii (and yes, this is a big deal). They are expensive, but definitely worth it, to me.
  • The article should have mentioned that the best place to shop for bras (sports and any other kind) is at a lingerie shop or high end department store. Especially if this is the first time you are really going to look for a bra that fits properly, trained staffers that can help you judge the fit are key. Many women wear the wrong size bra. Find the right size for you and you will be so much happier and more comfortable.
  • I have found that Victoria's Secret has THE BEST sports bra. Wide bra straps, hidden underwire, some zip up the front (which I think is the best option for the busty ladies, like myself), and of course they're nicely colored. Look for sales! When we bought mine, they were buy one get one half off. They might be pricey but they are SO worth it. Any VS bra I have purchased lasts years! And the best part...we spent at least $75 so we got the free tote, lol. I love the free totes.
  • With all of the technology we have today, you would think someone could make a bra that really fits and offers FULL coverage, I hate boob muffins!!!
    I just want a bra that covers ALL of me and keeps my breasts from falling out of my bra when I work out.
    Come on America, lets do this!!!
  • I have tried many times over many years to measure myself using this method and i order a bra and it never NEVER fits.
    I finally broke down and ordered the Enell sports bra and it is the only bra I wear now.
    and No I DONT work for them, I am not paid to tell this.
    I dont buy or wear any other kind of bra
    I keep two for every day wear and two for workout.
    get different colors to keep track of them.
    They are expensive, but you can find sites where you can get 5 dollars off per bra if you order two.
    I long for the day when I can buy a bra off the shelf or measure myself and order a bra according to the measurements and have it fit.
    I have been trying for a decade to get br surgery and my ins wont pay.
    I live in pain every single day of my life.
    Yet, they wont pay, they say its cosmetic.
    I struggle, but the enell bra does offer me some support and relief.
  • RBYRD5
    This doesn't help. All the sports bras I see are Small, Medium, Large, etc. Nobody measures sports bras in the same manner as a regular one.
  • All of these bras are crazy expensive! Doesn't duct tape work just as well?
  • I absolutely do not agree with this method, or something is missing. My bust measurement is 35 the band width is 32, but I can barely clasp most 35's. And the difference between my bust and band is 3", but I am not a C cup. I often have to go up to a 36 for comfort and then have to get an A cup. If I can find a 35 that fits right I usually get a B cup. Also a lot of sports bras are S, M, L, XL so not #s

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