Bra Fitting Guide – 5 Simple Steps in 5 Minutes

What’s the point in Bra Fitting when I’m Buying Online?

You’ve probably heard the rumour… and it’s true! About 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size, and as fitting experts we can vouch for the fact that professional fitting advice can literally transform your life. Finally finding the perfect size and style of bra for you will make you look and feel instantly slimmer, taller and more confident – and of course, properly supported and comfortable!

Most of us tend to wear a bra in a band size that is too loose and a cup size that is too small. Our Juste Moi Fitting Experts report that this is the most common fitting error they find, and typically when we fit a customer for the first time she is likely to change from wearing, as an example, an average size of a 36C to an average size of a 32E.

Many of us are not sure which style suits us best either – with such a choice it can be difficult to know where to start. Finding the right size is the first stage in bra fitting. Finding the right style is the important second stage that people often miss.

Once you are in the right bra you’ll find your clothes fit and look better, discomfort in the back or neck subsides and you feel comfortable and supported all day long.

Our Juste Moi Fitting Experts can bring the Fitting Room to you – our online guide means you don’t need to come into store for a fitting, simply take 5 minutes to follow our 5 simple steps to find the perfect fit for you. With Juste Moi’s fitting advice you can shop in the confidence that you are making a good choice every time.

And remember - our dedicated team of Fitting Experts are on hand to help if you need a bit of extra expert advice - just call us on +44 (0)1803 833070, or email us at enquiries@justemoi.co.uk.

Not sure if you need fitting advice?

Our breast size and shape changes regularly – for example with fluctuations in weight, hormonal changes, pregnancy, and the growing and ageing process. If you’ve faithfully stuck to your trusty 34B for years, then the chances are it may no longer be the best fit.

An ill-fitting bra can damage your back and neck, put unnecessary pressure on your lymph nodes and actually cause your breasts to drop further – and once you lose elasticity you can’t get it back!

Here are three easy questions to help you spot if you are in the wrong bra:

  1. After wearing your bra for a while, when you stand side on and look in the mirror, is the back of your bra higher than the front (as opposed to being in a straight line around your body)?

  2. Do your breasts spill out of your bra cup (causing a ‘double boob’ effect) and / or does the underwire at the side of your bra feel squidgy when you press it, rather than hard?

  3. Are you wearing the following clothes size on your top half with the following bra size?

    Dress Size Bra Band Size
    8-10 Bigger than 32
    12 Bigger than 34
    14 Bigger than 36
    16 32 or smaller/bigger than 38
    18 32 or smaller/bigger than 40

If you answered yes to any of these, you are likely to be in the wrong bra! Read on for 5 simple steps to finding the perfect fit for you – it only takes 5 minutes!

How to Find Your Perfect Fit in 5 minutes and 5 easy steps

We need to determine 1) the back size (eg 32, 34, 36) and then 2) the cup size (eg b/c/d/e) that you need.

If you find in steps 1 and 2 below that you need to reduce the back size by one or two sizes, you will need to automatically increase the cup size by the same number of sizes otherwise the cup will be too small. You then need to increase the cup size further if you spot any of the other signs that the cup size is too small in steps 3, 4 and 5 below.

Stand in front of a full length mirror, take your top off, leave your bra on, fastened on the loosest hook and observe what you see (and if you are not sure first time, wave your arms up and down and jump around then see how your bra sits!)

Back Size Example Images

Stand side on in the mirror and look at the band of your bra

80% of the support in a bra comes from the back band being firm.

If the band is higher at the back than at the front and not forming a straight line horizontally around your body then the band is too big. If the back rides up a lot i.e. it rides up to your shoulder blades or it still rides up on the tightest hook hen it is probably two sizes too big.

If you can fit more than two fingers under the band at the back, then this is another sign that the band is too big. If you can fit several fingers in and pull the bra out then it is probably two sizes too big.

If the band is horizontal and you can put two fingers underneath, you are in the right band size.

If you can’t fit two fingers underneath and it is digging in, you need a bigger band.

Let’s assume you start wearing a 36b.

You need to change to a 34c, or if the bra rides up a lot, to a 32d (for each size you go down in the back, you need to go up one size in the cup to get the same volume in the bra cup.)



You need to change to a 34c or if you can fit several fingers in, to a 32d (for each size you go down in the back, you need to go up one size in the cup to get the same volume in the bra cup.)

Stay in a 36b unless you see other signs that the back is wrong.

Change to a 38a (for each size you go up in the back, you need to go down one size in the cup to get the same volume in the bra cup.)

Well and bad fitting bra straps Well and bad fitting bra straps

Look at the straps of your bra

The straps should sit firmly in the middle of the shoulders without digging in, and only require tightening half way.

If the straps are digging in to the shoulders, leaving indentations or falling off then the back of the bra is too big. If they do this when fully tightened, then the back is probably two sizes too big.

If the straps sit firmly on the shoulders without over tightening and don’t leave indentations, they are correct.

Change from a 36b to a 34c (for each size you go down in the back, you need to go up one size in the cup to get the same volume in the bra cup.)

Stay in a 36b unless you see other signs that the back is wrong.

Ensure straps are firm without digging in Ensure straps are firm without digging in
Cup Size

Face the mirror and look at the centre of your bra at the front (the piece that sits between the cups at the centre of your breasts)

The front centre of the bra should lie flat against the chest wall.

If the front centre of the bra sticks out, rather than lying flat against your skin, the cup is too small.


If the front centre sits flat, that is correct.

Go up one cup size e.g. from B to C, keeping the back size (e.g. 36/34/32) the same.

Remember, if you found you need to reduce the back size in step 1 and automatically increased the cup size as a result, you’ll need to now increase the cup size a further time.


Stay in the same size

Ensure the front and centre of the bra is flat on your chest Ensure the front and centre of the bra is flat on your chest

Facing the mirror, look at the cups of your bra

The breasts should be fully contained with no gaps or overspill

If your breasts spill out over the top or at the side of the cups rather than leaving a smooth line, the cups are too small (check the line under your clothes by popping a fitted top on if you need to).

If the fabric in the cups is wrinkly and/or there are gaps in the cup that do not go away when you pull the back of the bra firm, the cups are too big (if the gaps or wrinkles go away when you hold the back firm then this means the back of the bra needs to be changed, not the cup – see step 1).

If there is a smooth line with no gaps or overspill then your cups are fitting well.

Go up one cup size e.g. from B to C, keeping the back size (e.g. 36/34/32) the same.

Remember, if you found you need to reduce the back size in step 1 and automatically increased the cup size as a result, you’ll need to now increase the cup size a further time.

Go down one cup size e.g. from B to A, keeping the back size (e.g. 36/34/32) the same.

Remember, if you found you need to reduce the back size in step 1 and automatically increased the cup size as a result, you’ll now simply reduce the cup size back again.

Stay in the same size cup (or if you found you need to reduce the back size in step 1, simply increase the cup size as recommended in step 1).

Turning in the mirror if you need to, look at the wires of your bra

The wire should clear the entire breast at the side and sit quite far back.

If the underwire at the side of your bra is soft and squidgy to touch, rather than firm and/or if it is sitting forward and touching the breast tissue, the cups are too small.

If the breasts are fully encased in the wire and the wire feels hard to touch, the cups are the right size.

Go up one cup size e.g. from B to C, keeping the back size (e.g. 36/34/32) the same.

Remember, if you found you need to reduce the back size in step 1 and automatically increased the cup size as a result, you’ll now simply reduce the cup size back again.

Stay in the same size cup (or if you found you need to reduce the back size in step 1, simply increase the cup size as recommended in step 1).

Once you have followed these five steps you should know 1) your back size and 2) your cup size.

Remember, if you found you need to reduce the back size by one or two sizes, you will need to simply increase the cup size by the same number of sizes. You then need to increase the cup size further if you spot any of the other signs that the cup size is too small in steps 3, 4 and 5.

If you are pregnant, nursing, recovering from breast surgery or being fitted for your first bra, please see our specialist Fitting Advice/ our dedicated team of Fitting Experts are on hand to help if you need a bit of extra expert advice - just call us on 01803 833 070 or email us at enquiries@justemoi.co.uk.

Our bra band and cup sizing charts show all the sizes available to purchase at Juste Moi, and gives a simple illustration of how for each size you go down in the back, you need to go up one size in the cup to get the same volume in the bra. It shows you an at a glance guide to which size you need in the cup if you change the back. 

Our international sizing chart will help you to understand how non UK sizes translate to UK sizes.

Finding the Right Style for Your Breast Shape & Size

Description

Picture

Full cup

A higher cup style, with deeper wires for fuller coverage & maximum support. Ideal for larger sizes; sometimes available with side panels for extra reinforcement 

See some of our best-selling full cup bras in Deauville, Melody, Thalia collections as well as in Lise Charmel


Balcony

Lower than a full cup but still providing great support, with medium breast coverage. Features a shallower wire. Great for breasts that are fuller at the bottom and shallower at the top

See some of our best-selling balcony bras in Fleurs de Pommier, Brazil Paradise and Dressing Floral collections as well as others in Lise Charmel & Aubade.


Half cup (or demi cup or balconette)

Like a balcony but lower cut, with cups sitting straight across the chest rather than angled. Often has a vertical seam too for extra forward projection. Great for maximum lift and a seductive shape.

See some of our best-selling half cup bras in Fleurs de Pommier, Brazil Paradise and Dressing Floral collections as well as others in Lise Charmel & Aubade.


Plunge

Low cut bra, with a plunging V shaped neckline and wires angled to push the breasts closer together and maximise cleavage. Great for low cut tops & smaller sizes but also available in bigger sizes for extra va va voom.

See some of our best-selling plunge bras in Avero and Clandestine collections, as well as others in Marie Jo, Lise Charmel, Aubade and Millesia.


Push-up

Provides maximum lift and a seductive va va voom shape. Great for special outfits when you want to look your best or if you need some extra uplift, especially in smaller sizes. Often available in a padded style for extra volume.

See some of our best-selling push-up bras in Idylle Parisienne, Jardin des Delices, Love Fantasme and other collections in Lise Charmel & Aubade.


Padded/pre-formed style

Any style of bra that contains a lightly padded or moulded cup rather than a sheer, unstructured cup. Provides shape, structure, an opaque finish and smoothness under clothes.

See some of our best-selling padded and pre-formed bras in Avero, Jane and Ciao Bella collections, as well as others in  Marie Jo, Wacoal & Lise Charmel.


Strapless

A bra that can be worn without straps, for strapless tops or dresses. Firm fitting to ensure no slippage, may include silicone for extra security and usually in a balcony style.

See some of our best-selling strapless bras in Onde Sensuelle and Halo collections, as well as others in Aubade, Marie Jo and Wacoal.


Multiway

A bra that can be worn in various different ways e.g. strapless, halter, low back or racer back for the ultimate versatility. Great for matching with any outfit.

See some of our best-selling multiway bras in Avero and Onde Sensuelle collections, as well as others in Marie Jo, Aubade & Wacoal.


Non wired or soft cup

A bra that does not contain any wires for a softer, natural fit and shape. Popular for smaller sizes and when breast size is changing for example in teenage years or early pregnancy. Also suitable if you have recent scarring post surgery. 

See some of our best-selling non wired or soft cup bras in Oh Shelly Shelly, Moments and Clandestine collections as well as others in Aubade and Millesia.


Sports

A firm-fitting, bra to minimise bounce during high impact activity. An essential for anyone who is occasionally active. In a range of styles but most effective as a full cup.

See some of our best-selling sports bras in Wacoal.


Maternity/nursing

Specialist bras for pregnant women or women who are breast feeding featuring easy to use nursing cups, no wires or flexible wires , machine washable fabrics and room for breasts to grow and shrink.

Coming soon

Post-surgery

Bras suitable and designed for women who are about to have or are recovering from breast surgery (mastectomy, lumpectomy, reconstruction, breast augmentation or reduction). Featuring soft fabrics, non-wired styles, pockets for prostheses and maximum support to minimise movement and promote healing post-surgery.

Coming soon

Teen

Bras suitable and designed for younger girls who are ready for their first bra, or growing through their teen years and finding their size changing. Featuring stretchy, supportive fabrics to minimise bounce and grow with you, non-wired styles, extra hooks for adjustability and pretty, practical and fashionable styles.

Coming soon