How to Choose The Right Bra [The Ultimate Bra Buying Guide]

Every girl, right from her teen years up to old age, requires wearing a bra. A bra is basically an undergarment that is designed to bring that overall perfection in your look. Every woman is required to wear a bra to have their breasts covered and supported.

But what is more important that this is wearing the right kind of a bra, mainly because breast health is concerned. Therefore, we bring you this article on How to choose the right bra. This will serve as an ultimate bra buying guide to you.

How to Choose The Right Bra

In order to prevent your breasts from sagging and increasing your overall confidence with better comfort and support, you need to know how to choose the right bra. The first step towards how to choose a perfect bra for a first time user is to understand how to measure for the first bra.

Once you know how to measure for a bra, you know your exact requirement. So, we will be opening the ‘How to choose the right bra ‘article with educating you on the very basics.

How to Choose The Right Bra

 There are different types of bra for different occasions. Many women might know the purpose of buying a bra but is not confirmed of the size she needs to purchase. Many times bra shopping is a disappointment as women end up buying the wrong bra sizes.

There are bra cup sizes from smallest to biggest, but if you don’t know which one fits you, it is a complete waste of time to step inside a lingerie store.

“What bra size am I?”- This is a question that bothers most of the women out there. How to choose the right bra has worried women more than how to find perfect jeans.

It has been found through a survey that 4 out of 5 women wears the wrong size bra. They are not even aware of their wrong bra sizes and keep on wearing the same.

This can affect the degree of comfort of wearing a bra. Wearing bras of wrong sizes can lead to sagging breasts and in extreme cases to breast tumors or cancer.

Measuring a bra size is not easy as you cannot go up to your tailor and ask for it. Women have to take it upon themselves to know how to choose the right bra. Figuring out the right size would be the initial step in how to choose the right bra.

But before that, know a few things:

1. Bra sizes ought to differ across various brands: One should not think that there is a uniformity maintained in the bra sizes. The brands differ in estimating their sizes. Also, if you consider the brands based on their locations of manufacture, the sizes have a high chance of being different.

Therefore, it is and advice that you stick to your favorite brand or any regular brand that you are most comfortable with. On finding out the right bra size of a particular brand, you can go on purchasing your bras without having to worry whether it will fit you.

Check Also: 12 Things Every Woman Should Have in Her Closet

However, if you frequently change your brand, it will be quite difficult for you to keep up with the right size of bra from different brands.

2. Knowing the cup size is not enough: It is a myth that knowing the right cup size will elevate all your problems and be a perfect solution to how to choose the right bra. No, there are several other things besides the cup size that a woman has to know in order to understand how to choose the right bra with the correct size.

The underwire of the bra along with the band and the straps play major functions, helping in figuring out how to choose the right bra. The band is important for keeping the breast in place, the straps help in upholding your breasts, and the underwire is responsible in providing support underneath the breasts.

So while you try to figure out how to choose the right bra, do consider all these factors that play an important role in making a bra that fits you completely.

3. The bra size of two women can vary despite them having similar weight and body build: Many women tend to use shortcuts in figuring out the right sizes of their bra. One might ask a friend of her bra size and purchase bras of the same sizes, thinking them to be the correct ones.

This mainly happens when two women have similar body build and weight. But one has to understand, despite these factors being similar; the breasts might demand something different.

The style as well as the size can differ despite two women having almost the same body build. One’s breasts might require wearing the padded bra, while the breasts of the other one could demand a non-padded bra.

How to measure bra size


Step 0: Prerequisite

Measuring bra size is something women can do on their own at home, provided they do the following:

  1. Have a measuring tape.
  2. Have a pen and a paper.
  3. Wear a non- padded and the most comfortable bra you have before you start measuring.

Once you have put on an excellent fitting and comfortable bra and have a measuring tape in your hand, start measuring. Here is the step by step process on how to measure for a bra:-

Step 1: Find the band size

Run the measuring tape around your ribs, right under your breasts. Do not loosen the tape. Hold it tight so that you get the exact measurement. Remember, bras are meant to be body fitting which gives you are perfect kind of support to your breasts. But also make sure that you are not measuring for a corset. Don’t pull the tape too tight.

measure under bust
Image Credit: katherinehamilton.com

The tape has to be parallel to the floor. You can use a mirror to check. Note down the measurement on the paper so that you remember. Do not be bothered if the measurement comes infraction. Round it up the nearest even number.

For instance, if the measurement is 35.5, round it up to 36.

Step 2: Determine the bust size

It is preferred that you measure your bust size on regular days when you feel your breasts are completely normal. For many women, on days when they are menstruating, their breasts are tender. Thus, the measurement might differ owing to the hormonal levels.

 Measuring the bust size is quite similar to measuring the band size. Just wrap your measuring tape around your back, including your breast area. It is better if you hold the tape at a level where you have your nipples as that is considered to be the fullest point.

measure over bust
Image Credit: katherinehamilton.com

You need not pull the tape tight. Just make sure that it is not too lose. If you are still doubtful about your posture, you can try a different posture to measure your breasts at their fullest point. Bend forward at a 90-degree angle and measure your bust.

If you have one breast slightly bigger than the other, do not worry. Consider the bigger breast and measure the bust size. Follow the same rule of rounding up the number to get the bust measurement.

Step 3: Figure out the cup size

Finding out the cup size is easy once you have noted down your band size and bust size. You simply have to subtract the band size from the bust size and the number you get is your cup size. Well, not exactly. There is a classification you need to know about:

Check Also: 10 Types of Tops for Girls to Own for Every Occasion

For example, if the difference is of 1 inch, your cup size is A. Similarly; if the difference is 2 inches, cup size is B, 3 inches = Cup C, 4 inches = Cup D, 5 inches = Cup DD. However, if the difference crosses 5 inches, you will find it a little tricky as the cup sizes will differ for different brands. We prefer sticking to a particular brand for this reason.

Step 4: The final step

You just have to combine your cup size and your band size to get the final size. For instance, if your band size is 36 and cup size is C, your bra size will be 36C.

In case of first-time wearers, one can easily find out the band size and bust size by following the same steps. Before measuring, you can put on a light top or be bare even. First-time wearers will generally give small breast measurements. So you can also go to the lingerie store and ask for the smallest sized bra.

The four steps listed above can only help you know about your correct bra size. But something more than this has to be ensured. The complete process of how to measure for a bra will only be considered fruitful if after purchasing the bra of the found out size comfortably fits you.

In order to make sure that the bra you bought is of the right size by being observant and considering the following methods:

  • Make sure both the breasts are entirely inside the cups.
  • The front and the back of the bra should be at the same level.
  • Make sure that the bra is not too loose. You should be able to slip in only one finger just under the band.
  • Make sure that you buy the best bra for lift and side support by observing the position of your breasts after wearing the bra. They should be positioned right at the middle of your chest region.
  • You can wear a shirt after wearing your bra. If the cups of the bra bulge out, you are wearing the right size or the correct type of bra.

We bring you the step by step process to check whether the bra you brought of yourself is true to your breast requirements:

  1. Hook the bra at first and keep it hanging at your waist.
  2. Now, slightly lean forward and pull up the cups from the front so that they can cover your breasts.
  3. Slide your arms through the straps.
  4. Try to slide in all the soft flesh under your armpit or at the side into the two cups.
  5. Adjust the straps accordingly.

Now, you have a few observations to make

>> If the breasts along with the side flesh is unable to fit into the two cups, you probably are wearing a bra of the wrong size.

>> The nipples of your breasts must be at the centre of each of your breasts.

>> If you have any spillage from the upper side of your breast besides your cleavage, the size is definitely not the right one.

>> If you feel that even after loosening the straps, your chest is constricted, then definitely you are not wearing the right size.

Only if you find your bra to be accommodating your breasts comfortably within the two cup, band and straps causing no irritation to your skin or restricting your movement, you can completely be sure of the fact that you are wearing the right size.

Must Read: 5 Reasons Why You Should Wear A Bra

There are different types of bra for different occasions, but all the types are meant for your comfort. If you find no comfort in wearing a bra, you should definitely find out the appropriate size and follow our guide on how to choose the right bra.

Knowing only the right size is not enough. You have to know many other things too. Move on to the following section of this article to know it all.


Different types of bra for different needs

As said earlier, there are different types of bra for different needs. But there are a few must-have bras which every Indian girl needs to have within her wardrobe. Many women are not even aware of the existence of different types of Indian bra.

But having just one type of a bra can be troublesome. There are types of bras to wear with certain shirts and others for regular use. This section is to let you know about the different types of Indian bra and the types of bra every girl should have.

Many Indian women must also be aware of different types of bra but hesitate to decide which type of bra is best. Some might find it challenging to get the best support bra for full-figured while many young girls have a hard time in figuring out the most comfortable bra for the small chest.

In this section, we will give you a brief description of the different types of bra for different needs and their purpose so that we can put an end to your various confusions.

Here is the list of the different types of bra for different needs:

1. Padded Bra

Padded Bra

This type of bras are the most favoured one as it provides full support to woman’s breasts. It enables proper uplifting and shaping of breasts. For some, it might feel heave, but they are worth it.The cups are padded with soft fabric pads which are placed inside the lining.

Check Also: Benefits of Padded Bras: Why Should You Wear a Padded Bra?

For those women finding the right kind of a bra to make their breasts look fuller, the padded bras might be a solution.


2. Non-padded Bra

non padded bra

This specific kind of a bra can be really comfortable. For girls with large breasts, this can be a perfect type. You can wear them at home and even to the workplace. They are made of plain cotton fabric with no padded cups.

Girls with large breasts would rather be at ease and move freely without carrying any extra weight of the bra. The non-padded cups are enough for ensuring that the breasts are at right position. 


3. Push-up Bra

Push-up Bra

This type of bras can be considered as another variant of the padded ones. These bras are padded to some extent, mainly below the cups and on the outer surface to uplift breasts.

These bras are desirable to look at. They enhance the beauty of a woman’s breasts in ways no other bra can. Push up bras are famous these days and are especially recommended to women with sagging breasts.


4. Sports Bra

Sports Bra

As the name suggests, this particular type of bra is for sportswomen or athlete. The bras are designed in such a way that they provide comfort and full support to your breasts while you actively engage in some sporting activity. It allows easy and smooth movement of the body. You can also wear them to the gym. 


5. Strapless Bra

Strapless Bra

If you are one who likes to wear off-shoulder dresses or backless dresses, you should definitely have a strapless bra in your closet. These bras carry no shoulder straps for which you can very well flaunt your shoulders.


 6. T-Shirt Bra

T-Shirt Bra

This type of bra is ideal for office going women. These are meant to be paired under a t-shirt or a shirt. The bras are designed in such a way that your busts and nipples do not bulge out. Women with heavy breasts have a hard time wearing a formal shirt, but T-shirt Bras can be a perfect solution.


7. Bralette

Bralette

These are recommended for young girls who have smaller breasts. This particular type of bra can be considered the most comfortable bra for small chest. These can be regarded as inners as they are less similar to an actual bra and more like an inner. One can also wear these as top on a hot summer day. These are truly comforting.


8. Maternity Bra

Maternity Bra

A woman who is also a mother should have at least one pair of maternity bra. These are considered ideal for breastfeeding as they are adjustable. The expandable cup size makes maternity bras come under the list of must have bras.

Check Also: Top 10 Best Face Primers for Oily Skin in India

These bras go well with maternity dresses and ensure comfort to a mother during the stages of pregnancy and even after that.


9. Adhesive Bra / Stick on Bra

Adhesive Bra

These types of bras are not meant for daily wears. You can wear them when you decide to go backless or desire to wear a more exposing dress. These bras do not have straps and are not even supported with bands.

The bras basically stick to your breasts and cover them. You might not feel comfortable in these and will have a problem in taking them off your breasts.


10. Plunge Bra

Plunge Bra

The Plunge bras are a perfect choice if you are willing to wear a deep neck top or dress. You no longer have to fear popping out of your nipples or extra spillage. The design follows similar pattern as that of a regular bra but has the cups run low and directly joined with the band.


11. Bandeau Bra

Bandeau Bra

This is an ideal bra for young girls whose bodies are slowly developing into that of a woman. During the initial days of wearing bra, choosing the right kind of bra matters a lot.

This type of bra is basically a piece of cloth wrapped around the breasts capable of holding the breasts at a proper position. These can also be worn while sleeping or for regular wear at home.


12. Convertible Bra

Convertible Bra
Source: Pinterest

Women end up buying different types of bra for different occasions. But having a single bra which can be used for different occasions can be really amazing. Thus, the convertible bras come into use as you can adjust the straps of the bra according to your requirements.

You can adjust the straps into criss-cross straps or a single shoulder strap and even a strapless one.


13. Built-In Bra

Built-In Bra

The Built-in bra comes with a garment attached to it. You need not wear any extra inner anymore. The supportive cups can place your breasts in the correct position and provide full support to your chest region.

Women with larger breasts should avoid this type of bras as these are not so much effective in handling larger breasts.


14. Quarter Bra

Quarter Bra

This type of bra is special wear which is kind of erotic and designed for special nights. The cups are really small, and your breasts are not completely covered. The bras feel like you are not wearing anything. So wearing these at home can be a good choice if you want to feel the comfort.


15. Cupless Bra

Cupless Bra

No cups are there in this type of a bra. It is basically to be worn while you remain at your home or are preparing yourself for a special night. It reveals the correct shape of your busts. The nipples might bulge out. If you don’t want to reveal your bust shape, it is better for you to avoid these.


16. Water Bra

Water Bra

This type of bra is the latest design in the market. The bras look similar to the push up bras but have the cups filled with certain kind of a gel or water instead of fabric. The bras have got good reviews from women all over the world as they can be worn in different ways and almost in any occasion.


17. Novelty Bra

Novelty Bra

This also forms a part of the newly designed set of bras. Unlike the other bras, these kinds of bras are made using leather. This kind of bras looks classy and sexy. The cups are designed creatively. The overall look of the bras is awe-striking and the pattern of the design is quite similar to that of a quarter bra.


18. Front Closure Bra

Front Closure Bra

The closure of this kind of bras is at the front instead of being at the back. It is complicated for women to hook and unhook their bras every time. Hence, the front closure bras are designed to have the hook or a panel at the front, between the two cups.

It is easier to reach out to the hook. These are recommended for women who have a problem in stretching out their hands to the back.


19. Minimiser Bra

Minimiser Bra

For many women out there, having large breasts is really a problem. This type of bras can help you serve the purpose of making your breasts look comparatively smaller than usual. The cups are made of elastic fabric witch compresses the busts inwards and the cups give greater coverage to the chest area.


20. Halter Neck Bra

Halter Neck Bra

These bras are designed in the pattern of a bikini where you have no straps but two ribbons extending backwards. You can tie up the laces at the back of your neck and decide on whether to keep it loose or tighten it. It renders an overall beach look and can also go well with off-shoulder dresses.


These were the 20 different types of bras which are widely available in India. Considering the purpose and the body type, a woman can decide on which type of bras to buy. The Sports bra and push up bras are definitely must-have bras for Indian women as these are considered to be the best full coverage bra in India.

Read Also: 10 Most Comfortable Bras for Women in India

Knowing the right size and the function of bras are two main pre-requisites to understand how to choose the right bra. The section related to different types of bras is for your easy understanding of the purpose you want your bras to serve.

Having more than three kinds of bras in your closet is absolutely fine. Every detail given above would be adequate for you to know the entire process of how to choose the right bra.

For the readers’ convenience, we are attaching the FAQ Section below to help you get rid of your further confusions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which type of bra is good for health?

Any bra that provides full coverage and support to your breasts without hampering the overall comfort is good for your health. You can consider t-shirt bras or push-up bras or any bra with cups made of fine material to be good for health.

Which type of bra is good for small breast?

A bralette bra can be a perfect choice for women with small breasts. This type of bra can uplift your breasts without compressing them further. Any woman can also use a padded bra with small breasts. The breasts would appear fuller using a padded bra.

Is it OK to wear a bra while sleeping?

Yes, it is OK to wear a bra while sleeping, given that you feel comfortable and your movement is not restricted. Bandeau bra or a cupless bra can be perfect wear while sleeping. You can also sleep wearing a built-in bra. However, doctors do not recommend wearing a bra while sleeping, especially bras such as push up bras, sports bra or a t-shirt bra. Working women who wear bras regularly for long hours should avoid wearing a bra while sleeping.

Which type of bra is best for daily use?

A t-shirt bra and a push-up bra is meant for daily use. Both of them are super comforting and keep away your breasts from sagging. They help a woman to retain the natural shape of their breasts. Sports bras can also be used daily as they are quite durable but cannot be worn for purposes other than performing sporty activities.

Is it good to wear bra every day?

Yes, it is good to wear a bra every day only if you are wearing a bra of the right size and right type that your body requires. Make sure that you do not wear exactly the same bra every day. A little change is good and helps you to prevent pressurizing in the same areas of your chest every day. However, if you face any serious trouble owing to wearing a bra every day, you should definitely talk to a professional or a doctor.

What is the most comfortable bra?

The most comfortable bra to wear is a Sports bra and a push-up bra. You have a sense of comfort and security in your chest region. You can also go for a built-in bra if you are at home. You will not even require wearing any top as the bra has an attached garment with it. Whichever bra enables free movement without restricting your comfort is a comfortable bra. Make sure you do not have any imprints left on your skin after you take off a bra because that would mean that it is hampering your skin.

How many bras should a woman own?

A woman should have 4-5 bras to wear alternatively. According to the purpose, she might decide on the type of bras to purchase. It is preferred that a woman must have at least 3 types of bras in her closet to shine in every event. For instance, an office going woman would require 3 sets of t-shirt bras, a regular push up bra, and a strapless bra. The type and number of bras from each category would completely depend on the purpose of an individual.

What is ABCD in bra size?

ABCD refers to the cup sizes of bras. The cup size is the difference between the bust size and the band size. Suppose the difference is 1 inch, then it means your cup size is A. Similarly, B = 2 inch, C = 3 inches, D = 4 inches, and DD= 5 inch. There’s no E. DD would mean a broader breast and not a taller one.

Which bra is best for beginners?

A beginner can use a training bra, also known as a teenage bra or a beginners’ bra. It is recommended as it provides full coverage to the chest region and helps to maintain a proper shape right from the beginning. It does not have any padding, wire, or hooks. It can be comfortable for a young girl of 11 or 12 who has just started to grow.

What type of bra should I wear for Kurti?

You can wear a padded bra under a Kurti as it would give a proper shape to your breasts. But if you do not want your breasts to look bigger, you can go for a t-shirt bra or a push-up bra. For a deep neck Kurti, you might consider a plunge bra. Never go for a strapless bra as it would completely ruin your look.

Which bra is best for saree?

This depends on the type of blouse you are wearing. If you are wearing a regular blouse with sleeves, you can go for a padded bra or a push-up bra. However, if you are wearing a backless blouse or a blouse which has lacy and transparent shoulders, a strapless bra or a Stick on bra would be appropriate.

Is padded bra good for large breast?

No, padded bras are definitely not for women with large breasts. It would make your breasts look odd. One can use a push-up bra instead as it has cups which are less padded. Padded bras are for those who want to conceal the unevenness of their breasts or for those with smaller breasts. Women with larger breasts would feel heavier on wearing a padded bra, and it would be really uncomfortable.

What happens if I don’t wear a bra?

Regardless of the breast size, every woman should wear a bra. This is not for societal pressure but for their own health. Even if one has small breasts and can manage without wearing a bra, she is wrong. Not wearing a bra would lead to breast sagging which is not at all healthy. The breast tissues tend to stretch without any support over a long time.

Does cup size increase with band size?

Yes. The cup size will increase with the band size. In order to place the cups rightly on the band, the cup size automatically increases. For instance, 32C and 36C have the same cup sizes, although the band sizes are different. The one who wears a 36 C bra is definitely ought to have larger breasts than the one wearing a 32C bra.

How to measure bra size without measuring tape?

You can use a simple string to measure your band size and bust size. Mark the string at a point where you get the appropriate size and place it straight on a scale or a folding ruler to figure out the exact measurements.

Which bra is best for perfect shape?

A t-shirt bra is the best choice for maintaining a perfect breast shape. T-shirt bras give full coverage to your breasts and help to uplift them at the same time. A push-up bra can also be considered for this purpose.

Which bra to wear to reduce breast size?

A Minimiser bra can help you to reduce breast size, not permanently but temporarily. Minimiser bras are specially designed for women with large breasts to help them conceal their actual size. They are non- padded and help to hold your breasts and compress them as these are made of elastic fabric. These bras should not be regularly used for long periods of time as they can have other implications too. However, if you wish to reduce your breast size permanently, you should seek advice from the doctors.

Conclusion: How to Choose The Right Bra?

This was the ultimate bra buying guide focusing on ‘How to Choose the Right Bra’. The section on Different types of bra would increase your understanding of the entire subject and help you choose wisely among so many variants.

It will also help you to finally decide which bras to discard and which ones to keep. Furthermore, it will help you to buy the new ones correctly. We hope that you pick up the right kind of bra and the correct size from the lingerie store you visit next time. Gain the knowledge and spread it to the world. 

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