Bra Fitting Guide

Our bra sizing guide will give you all you need to ensure you find a bra that fits

A well-fitting bra can be life changing. It’ll make you look slimmer and taller, and feel more confident. Your breasts will also be better supported and feel more comfortable.

How often should you have your bra sizing checked?

You’re probably familiar with the rumour that 8 out of 10 women are wearing the wrong size bra. And it’s true! This is in part because us women are rarely taught how to measure ourselves, and in part because your body changes all the time. Weight, hormones, pregnancy and age all have their impact on the way your breasts look and feel, so it’s important to have your size checked regularly.

In-store bra fitting

Since there’s nothing quite like an expert fitting, we recommend you have your size checked by one of our specialists every six months. An additional benefit of an in-store fitting is that you can try on new brands and styles knowing we’re there to help you get the fit right. However, if you can’t get to us every time, you can use the following advice to check if your bra(s) still fits properly.

DIY bra check

Wearing the right bra is such a great feeling, just like a second skin! When finding that perfect fit, there are five things you need to look at.

Before you start, make sure you’re wearing your bra properly. This means it should be on the right tightness setting. If your bra is relatively new, you should be able to wear it on the loosest hooks. As the elastic of your bra wears and stretches over time, you can use the middle and tightest hooks to secure your bra.

Your straps should sit snugly on your shoulders. If you find your straps are digging into your shoulders and leave marks on your skin, you need to loosen them by adjusting the clasps. On the other hand, if your straps slide off your shoulders, they need to be tightened. It’s best to check every few weeks if your straps are still in the right position. If they still slide off your shoulders, it may be that they sit too widely on your frame. This may require a further fitting, and/or a different brand.

All you need to do now is bend forwards and jiggle your breasts to make sure they sit snugly in your cups.

Now Let’s Check the Fit of Your Bra

Bra band
It’s important to get the bra band right as it plays an important part in supporting your breasts. Your bra band should sit as a straight line around your body and fit snugly but not too tight. You should be able to get two fingers between your body and bra band. If you can easily fit in more than two fingers, it’s too big.

No one wants their cups to be half full! Your breasts should form a smooth curve with the edge of your cups. There shouldn’t be any empty space (cups too big) or bulging over the top or side (cups too small).

The wires of your bra should lie flat against your ribs and not stick out or prod you in the side. If you notice your wires poke your breasts and/or push them out of their cups at the top, your cup size might be too small.

Your straps should never be so tight that they leave marks on your shoulders. Your bra band should provide enough support on its own to keep your breasts firmly put!

On the other hand, your straps shouldn’t be sliding off your shoulders either. If you’re wearing a new bra, your straps should sit roughly halfway within their adjustable length.

Centre front panel
The centre front panel sits between your two cups and should lie flat against your body. If it doesn’t lie flat, either your cup size is too small (hello underboob) or your bra band too big.


The best thing to do when you find your bra doesn’t fit you properly is to make an appointment with us for a fitting. Once measured, you can try on the various styles and brands available in the boutique. We will be able to advise you on what works well for your shape and size.

If you can’t make it to the store, there are a few things you can do yourself to find the right fit. Make sure you have our sizing chart to hand! Here, we explain everything you need to know about bra sister sizes.

Your cups fit but the band is too loose/tight
If you can easily get more than two fingers in between your body and the band, it’s too loose. If you struggle to fit one finger, it’s too tight. In this case all you need to do is change the band size.

Your band fits but your cups don’t
If you find there’s space between your cups and breasts, go down a cup size. If your breasts are bulging over the top, you can go up a cup size.

In both cases, the band size stays the same.

Neither your cups nor band fit:
The band is too loose and the cups too tight:
If this is the case for you, try a band size down and a cup size up.

The band is too tight and the cups too big:
In this case, just changing the band to a bigger size just might solve the problem, though more likely, you need to reduce the cup size too.

Both band and cups are too big:
If both band and cups are too big, you may need to size only the bra band down as this helps the cups fit better. If the cups are still too big, try a smaller cup size.

Both band and cups are too tight:
If band and cups feel too tight, size up on the band first. Changing the band size might resolve the cup size issue. However, if the cups still don’t feel right, try a bigger cup size.

Once you think you’ve sorted your cup and band size, and found a bra that seems to fit, use the DIY bra check again to make you’ve got a winner!

How to Measure your Bra Size at Home

If you really have no idea what your size is and can’t get to us for a fitting, you can always measure yourself. Measuring your bra size is a three-part process. You’ll need to measure your bra band size first before working out your cup size. You’ll get your bra size by putting the two together.

Step 1: How to measure your bra band size
Stand up straight without a bra on. Use a measuring tape to measure around your bust – where your bra band would normally sit. The tape should sit around your body in a horizontal line. It should feel snug, but not too tight. You should still be able to breathe normally.

Now look at the number (in inches) on the tape. If you’ve landed on an even number, that’s your band size. If you’re on an odd number, round it up to the nearest even number to get your size.

Step 2: How to measure your cup size
For this part, you can wear your best-fitting/most comfortable bra. Your breasts should be in the place you actually want them to be!

Measure around the fullest part of your chest and write down the measurement.

Now subtract the band size (step 1) from this new number. The difference (in inches) indicates what your cup size is. It's important to note though, that sizes are labels, not precise measurements. Approximations and product knowledge are necessary here in order to get it right in the fitting room, since different regions' conventions do not fit perfectly together. Here for example, a DD might be the same or similar size to an E cup for some brands. Common sense, comfort and care in fitting are therefore all essential considerations.

Difference in inches 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Step 3: Putting the two together

Your bra size combines the number from step 1 with the letter from step 2.
For example:

Bra band size (step 1): 32.5" = 32

Cup size (step 2): 34.5" - 32.5" = 2 = B cup

Bra size: 32B

Remember this is only an indication. Your size might be slightly different depending on bra style and brand.

Finding the Right Fitting Bra

You’ll know by now that one size does not fit all – nor do all shapes or brands. Your body is unique and constantly changing. A bra that fitted you perfectly 12 months ago, might not be right for you now. Plus, different occasions call for different levels of support!

Let’s find your perfect bra.

Full cup
A higher cup bra for maximum coverage and complete support. Mostly unpadded (but occasionally padded) and usually underwired (though again, non-wired is possible for some sizes). Shop Full Cup bras

Ideal for: larger sizes
At Juste Moi: Empreinte, Prima Donna, Lise Charmel
Occasionally in our selection: Aubade, Katherine Hamilton, Marie Jo

Lower than full cup bras with straps set a little wider but still providing excellent support with medium coverage. Shop Balcony bras

Ideal for: broader shoulders/torsos
At Juste Moi: almost all our brands produce a balcony bra in unpadded styles. Marie Jo is an expert in this style in a lightly moulded finish, and Empreinte introduce successful styles throughout the year without padding

Half cup (or demi cup or balconette)
Similar to balcony but a lower cut with cups straight across the chest rather than angled. These bras are unpadded and create a sexy look. Shop Half Cup bras

Ideal for: maximum lift and seductive shape; low-cut tops
At Juste Moi: Aubade is an expert at this lower cut, and Lise Charmel provide a slightly higher cut version, as does Marie Jo

Does exactly what it says – plunges between the breasts. Mostly padded, although recently more unpadded plunge bras have been introduced to positive effect. A plunge bra can be either wired or unwired. If unpadded and unwired, it can also be categorised as a bralette. Most are still wired bras, and unwired tend to be worn more for moments of relaxation. Shop Plunge bras

Ideal for: low-cut V-neck dresses and tops.
At Juste Moi: Aubade and Lise Charmel produce some amazing designs, and Marie Jo delivers neat, smart and beautifully-shaped plunge bras which work perfectly under t-shirts due to their smooth finish.

Push Up
This bra is padded in the bottom section of the cup to provide extra volume, a seductive shape and, effectively, more bust! Underwired to support the ‘uplift’. Known as either push up or contour plunge bra. Shop Push Up bras

Ideal for: creating that VaVa Voom effect.
At Juste Moi: Lise Charmel, Aubade and Marie Jo deliver this style to great effect.

Deep Plunge
This is a relatively new cut also known as shoulder plunge bra, plunging triangle bra, underwired triangle bra, and glam push up bra! Essentially a deep-cut triangle shaped bra, mostly unpadded or with a very light padding to support and shape. Brilliantly flattering for many body shapes, and very supportive. Shop Deep Plunge bras

Ideal for: low-cut outerwear or party-time!
At Juste Moi: Aubade and Lise Charmel have perfected this style, finish and fit

Long Line
Bra with a wider band. Sits in style between a traditional bra and a bustier. These bras are fabulous if you have a trim torso. Can be plunge or a balcony style.

Ideal for: creating smooth lines and shaping thanks to the deeper band which extends down towards the waist
At Juste Moi: Prima Donna deliver a fabulous version in the Madison range

Worn without straps (though they also have detachable straps if desired), this is usually a firm-fitting, balcony-style bra with added silicone for security. It can be padded or unpadded, and is almost always underwired. Shop Strapless bras

Ideal for: strapless tops and dresses.
At Juste Moi: We hold a fantastic Wacoal unpadded strapless bra in bigger cup sizes. Surprisingly supportive; light and airy and extremely flattering. For larger cups Prima Donna have a strapless padded bra. We do not have all sizes in stock, but with a little notice we can order your size. Marie Jo also have a beautifully constructed, padded strapless bra available in several colours.

Can be worn in various ways due to adjustable straps. Shop Multiway bras

Ideal for: hiding straps under a variety of outfits, or indeed showing them.
At Juste Moi: Wacoal produce a lovely, unpadded, unwired style which clips into a racer back. Marie Jo have a multiway halter  / traditional / racer back bra.

Wireless (or soft cup)
Does not contain any wires for a more casual fit and shape. Follows the trend for a lighter, less structured fit that is perfect for relaxing at home. Can be padded or unpadded. Shop Wireless bras

Ideal for: relaxing evenings, and comfortable nights for those who require night-time support
At Juste Moi: for smaller cups, bralettes are as pretty as can be in Wacoal (soft synthetics), Aubade (in lace) and Lise Charmel (in silks). Marie Jo have an attractive selection of padded unwired bras in black and nude.

T-shirt bra
Often wired, can be padded or unpadded and is sometimes called a spacer bra. The unpadded version sits smoothly under t-shirts and importantly, is unlikely to have any visible seams to ensure a completely smooth finish.

The Spacer's clever construction consists of two outer layers holding inner air pockets in place to deliver a light, comfortable, smooth bra which has the added benefit of keeping you cool on a hot summer's day. Can be padded for smaller sizes but usually not required for larger cups. Shop T-Shirt bras

Ideal for: under T-shirts
At Juste Moi: Marie Jo is the top choice for smaller cups. Empreinte produce superb unpadded T-shirt bras in various styles and colours. Aubade and Lise Charmel also have great T-shirt bras.

Minimises bounce during activity and usually comes in a full cup. Can be wired or unwired, and is usually unpadded or has a spacer finish. Shop Sports bras

Ideal for: any sporting activity
At Juste Moi: Empreinte has the best sports bra in a spacer style with front fastening straps to switch to and from racer back. Fabulous support for the bigger cup and loved by our Empreinte customers. We also have some great sports bras by Prima Donna and Anita

Designed for women who are recovering from breast surgery (mastectomy, lumpectomy, reconstructions, breast augmentation or reduction). Featuring soft fabrics, non-wired styles, pockets for prostheses and maximum support to minimise movement post-surgery.

Ideal for: women who have had breast surgery.
At Juste Moi: Anita Care provide our favourite post-surgery bras. In swimwear we have post-surgery bikinis and swimsuits from Clover Lewis.

Made with stretchy, supportive fabrics to minimise bounce. Shop Wireless and Bralettes

Ideal for: girls ready for their first bra or growing through their teenage years.
At Juste Moi: Wacoal are the best for teens bras, and Marie Jo also have an attractive unwired selection.

Briefs are considerably easier to get right and more forgiving if only certain shapes and sizes are available. Most brands provide at least two of these brief options alongside their bras, to deliver beautiful, feminine lingerie sets just for you!

Thong / String
These have the least amount of fabric. Both are invisible under your clothing. We hold some beautiful thongs in silks and laces. Many are much more comfortable than you might think! Shop Thongs

French Knickers / Short
Popular in the early-mid 20th century, French knickers are the original short style knickers. They often come in soft silks and laces. These knickers are ideal in combination with a camisole top as nightwear or under loose clothing for a cool and comfy fit on hot summer days. Shop Short briefs

Italian / Brazilian / Traditional
The Brazilian has a low cut at the waist, a relatively high leg, and a ‘cheeky’ amount of cover at the back (slightly more than a thong). Shop Italian briefs

An Italian is known for its beautiful lace detail. The waist of an Italian is higher than the Brazilian with a high-cut leg (also higher than the Brazilian). It has slightly more cover at the back, although this is often transparent.

A traditional brief is Italian in shape but often with a plain back that is either semi-transparent or opaque.

Short / St Tropez / Hotpants
These are all low-rise briefs with a lower leg, resembling very short shorts. The St Tropez is decorated all-round with floral embroidery or lace. It provides full cover and a cheeky finish to the back. 

Hotpants and shorts can be fully opaque and don’t show any seam lines under your clothing. Shop Short briefs

Full / High / Retro
These are briefs that provide the most cover front and back. They are often waist-high and can be sexy, lacy, or retro. New higher briefs designs are fun, seductive, and fashionable. Shop Full and High briefs

Shapewear / Control
Shapewear briefs can be low or high depending on the need for control. The focus is usually on tummy control but can also include bottom and thighs. Shapewear usually comes with light, medium, or strong control. Shop Shapewear briefs

Expert Bra Fitting Advice & More

If you need additional, expert advice on styles and fitting, call us on 01803 833 070 or email