Measuring for bras - my numbers are negative!

I have seen this same formula over and over, and I don’t understand it.

Measure around your chest, under your boobs. Add 5. This is your band size.

Measure around the widest part of your boobs.

Subtract the FIRST number from the SECOND number. The difference is supposed to give your cup size. A difference of 1 is an A cup, 2 is a B cup, and so on.

But when I do it, the first number ends up bigger than the second number, leaving me with a -2.

Now, I happen to have quite decent sized boobs. But if I follow those sizing directions, it gives the impression that I have a pair of 2 inch deep cone-shaped depressions in my chest. I suspect I could get better results trying to determine my bra size by reading sheep entrails. I’m wearing a 40C right now, and it’s comfy and stuff, but if I go by that formula I should be sporting a 3 inch difference between band-size-plus-5 and widest-part-of-boobs to be able to wear this bra. And I’m not. It’s -2.

Am I a mutant, or is this that New Math I keep hearing about?

But you are saying your boob measurement is only 1" bigger than your rib cage one, which doesn’t compute with “quite decent sized”.

You must be doing something wrong. By your current size if your first measurement was 40", say, your second should then be 51", as 51 - (40+5) = 6 which becomes a C.

I’ve never found that “add 5” to work anyway. I tried that ONCE and the hooters (size J, thankyouverymuch) fell out when I readjusted. Add 2, maybe, but not 5. What’s the point in adding 5, anyway? I don’t use five inches of material when I hook it up.
I’m a 42J, and I know this because I have been measured by a Fitter in a Bra Store. I forget what they’re called. But they specialize in custom bras, large ones, mastectomy fittings, and so forth. SHE only added 2, not 5. Best advice I’ve ever been given is to measure, sure, and then use that as a baseline. If you can hook the back part in the front of you and then turn it EASILY around your body so the hooks are in the back, the band size is too large.

I’d go to the nearest Lady Grace or whatever is in your area and be fitted by a no nonsense older lady with a tape measure that she had draped across her shoulders.

Oddly when she measured me she measured around the fullest part of my bust and around the top of my chest (over the breasts and not under) and she came out with a far larger size than I every would have bought! I’m much comfier though :slight_smile:

Once you get the bra on and the breasts happily ensconced in their cups you need to bend over and shake them a little. The nice lady told me “Its all about the shake!”

Yeah, you need to do lots of that.

Yeah, I first ran into that formula in college, except for the “add 5” part, which I missed. I thought, ha, this is wrong, according to this I wear a 26 L. (I should mention that I’m also a little math-challenged.) Which couldn’t be right because I thought (erroneously) that cup size stopped at D, or DD, or DDD. (Why this concentration of Ds, I always wondered.)

Well, many years out of college, all years during which I wore ill-fitting bras, I finally went to a store that specializes in what they call end sizes (this was after trying Victoria’s Secret, where they do know how to measure you) and it turns out I wear a 32G.

At this place they did it both ways–below and add 5 (and then round to the nearest even), and above.

If I want a minimizer (and you can bet that I do), it’s a very odd size. Something like XXPS.

But I’ve gotta say, there is an incredible difference in wearing bras that fit, even though they are mucho expensive. They’re worth it. No more back pain, no more gouches in my shoulders from the straps. And the place I go to also sells swimsuits by bra size!

Well if it eases your mind any about the 5" rule, it seems that the number of inches you add gets smaller the larger your chest measurement is. Take a look here

I’ve always added between one and three inches depending on the bra style, so I can wear a 36 DDD or a 38DDD depending on whether its a full coverage type or a plunge/demi-cup.
Marlitharn**, try doing your subtracting before you add the 5" for the adjusted band size, and see if that comes out closer to what you were expecting.

Are you wearing a good, non-paded bra when you do this measurement, 'cus that makes a big difference.

Pictures of the measuring process, please!

Hey, somebody had to ask!

Or perhaps some assistance holding the tape?

Well, now I can’t find my darn measuring tape.

I think FaerieBeth’s site is my answer, though. IIRC, measuring around my band gives me a 42, I think, while measuring around the tatas gives me a 45 or a 46. Then I usually go to the store and try bras on in the 40-42 B-C range (because a 47 size band would be ridiculously big) until I can find one that doesn’t bind, chafe, scratch, squish, slip off the shoulders, ride up, ride down, or let the girls bounce around too much.

Yeah. I have one bra.

Nope! I thought I was supposed to do it without a bra on. That’s why I’ve avoided going anywhere to be professionally measured, because I thought I’d have to strip completely, and I can barely tolerate strange people touching me when I’m fully clothed.

:wally <-- me

Get in line, pal. :wink:

Yeah, following the original formula, I’m a 40A.

I am… not a 40A.

Is it wrong that I’m giddy about trying this at home?

And I would like to second that the people are Victoria’s Secret are idiots. One came running up to me, “Ma’am, would you like a free sizing?” I think, “Why the hell not?”

Well, according to Miss Measurer, I am a 46 E… at the time i was wearing a 38 c (which I could tell was getting snug, but DAMN!). So, out of morbid curiosity I went over to Lane Bryant and grabbed a 46 E. My boobs filled up maybe half the cup. With the hooks on their tightest The bra still hung off me.

I grabbed a 40 D. It fit perfectly. My day was good.

But seriously- how do you get the sizing THAT wrong?

Well, once my mom was measuring me, and we came out with four different sizes. I have no idea how this happened, and finally we just said the hell with it and I continued wearing the size I had been wearing, which fit all right. The fitters in the stores should be able to get it right, since they have more experience, but apparently it doesn’t always work. I really should go in for a proper fitting though.

Ugh. Same here. If I’m an A-cup, I will eat my favorite bra, without any sort of seasoning. And that’s a lot of lavender lace, right there.

I just start with a 36D and work from there when buying bras. Which I need to do soon. I used to start with a 34DD, but those are both hard to find and are a smidge on the tight side.

Try this method- it’s easier and accurate.

Measure above your boobies, underneath your armpits. That is your band size.

Measure across your boobies. The difference between that number and the band size number= cup size (1"=A, 2"=B, 3"=C…)

Here is a link with great photo instructions: Warning! Shows actual boobs. If offended, do not click.

Now, wait just a gol-durn minute.

You need a good bra that fits, in order to be measured properly for a good bra that fits?

Cripes. I’m never going to figure out what size I actually wear.

Hmm. Preliminary measuring results indicate a size of 46…F, I think. No freaking way. In order to fill that size, I’d need to borrow some boobs (and ribs) from someone.

So, judging by the fact that other people have problems with this too, I’m not a mutant. Good. Not being a mutant is good.

Why don’t they teach us this stuff in school? They could fit it in at the same time they pull us aside to show The Menstruation Movie.

I’m going over to my best friend’s tonight, she has a tape measure. If I have to enlist the help of a Mad Mathematical Genius I will. This. Needs. Explaining.

Ladies - you have to wear a non-padded bra of some description when doing the measurement, 'cus otherwise the girls sort of…hang, if you know what I mean (unless you have itty bitty ones) - get them jacked up there in whatever bra you have, and then measure - you’ll get much more accurate results.

Try it. You’ll like it! :slight_smile: