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Are you wearing the right bra size?
How to measure for a bra.
Are you wearing the right size brief?,
When and How to Measure for compression stockings.

Are you wearing the right bra size?

It is still believed that 85% of women, at least, are wearing the wrong size bra. The biggest mistake is that they are wearing a bra which is too big in the back & quite often too small in the cup.

This stems from when they were developing as a young woman. As the bust developed, she went up a bra band size, instead of a bra cup size. Hence then band became bigger, when in fact, it should have been the cup which was purchased bigger.

Understanding a bra is quite confusing for the average person, but really, it is quite simple.

Most people know that bra sizes are made up of two parts - a number and a letter. The number is known as the "band size" or "back size," and the letter is the "cup size." However, what many people do not realise is that cup sizes are not the same in different band sizes, so a 12D cup, for example, is not the same size cup as a 14D or a 16D. A 14D is the same (or should I say , a very similar) cup size as a 12DD a 10E, or a 16C and an 18B.

Just remember one little rule.

To change a bra size which to too tight or too loose, but the cup is good, just remember –

“Up a cup – down a back”, or “Down a cup – Up a back”

That means if a 16D is a good cup size, but is too loose, try a 14DD (Up a cup- down a back)

If a 16D is too tight, but the cup is good – try a 18C (Down a cup – Up a back)

Now as we all know, no 2 bra manufacturers are the same as is no 2 styles are the same, so this leads to another problem. Apart from getting to your favourite lingerie speciality store where you can be professionally fitted, you can measure yourself by using the following chart. It is actually better if you can have a friend measure you as this a generally more accurate.

I am not a lover of this method, as I find that it is often inaccurate, but when all else fails, it’s better than none. This method will give you a rough idea, but because no 2 people are the same shape, just as is no 2 bras are the same, it is still best to try them on. It is quite possible that you will be 2 or 3 different sizes over 2 or 3 different bras. Don’t ever expect to be the same size always. Different styles will suit different breast shapes, so two women wearing the same size in one bra may need different sizes in another bra.

It is best not to be tempted to buy something which is on “special”, just because of the price. If it isn’t comfortable, you won’t want to wear it & you are far better to have one ‘great fitting bra’ over two ‘ill fitting bras’.

How to measure for a bra

Put on a bra – the one that fits you the best!

Take a tape measure (preferably one in inches) and measure around the chest wall as close to the bra band as you can. If you measure 36 inches, you will be a 36 or in Aussie terms – a 14. If you measure 35 inches, go up to a 36 (unless you like to be strangled)

Next, measure over the bust – across the nipple area. Make sure the tape doesn’t drop at the back. It needs to stay across the back band of your bra. This measurement will be bigger than the previous measurement and will determine the cup size, so don’t make it too tight.

Now you have 2 measurements - a band measurement and an over- bust measurement.

If you now take the band measurement from the over-bust measurement – eg the Band was 36 inches, and the over bust was 40 inches, that is 4 inches difference. This will mean that your cup size is a ‘D’, so your actual bra size is a 36D or a 14D

If you do not have access to an inches rule, you may use the conversion from the scale below.

From this scale below, you will determine what your bra size ‘should’ be.

I reiterate that this is merely an estimate, and no guarantee that this is totally correct.

Australia 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24
UK/US 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46
Centimeters 75 80 85 90 95 100 105 110 115

Now use this chart to estimate the cup size.

Cup Size Measurement Measurement
AA less than 1 inch less than1 cm
A 1 inch 2.5 cm
B 2 inches 5.0 cm
C 3 inches 7.5 cm
D 4 inches 10.0 cm
DD 5 inches 12.5 cm
E 6 inches 15.0 cm
F 7 inches 17.5 cm
G 8 inches 20.0 cm

When and how to measure for compression stockings

Medical compression garments should be measured by a trained fitter where possible

Important points when measuring for compression garments

  • Early morning if possible when leg is not swollen
  • If the leg is swollen, elevate leg for a period of time
  • Patient should be standing where possible


  • If the garment is too tight, the client will be uncomfortable and the likelihood of them wearing the stockings all day is slim.
  • If the garment is too big, the client will spend all day pulling it up
  • Incorrect sizing will cause discomfort to the client and will result in poor compliance
  • If measurements are at the very end of the size scale there will be minimal stretch left in the garment
  • If this occurs, move up to the next size. This will still give the correct compression, but garment will be more comfortable and easier to don.
  • If a client is very elderly or has poor muscle strength, start with a lower compression garment. Once they are used to wearing and donning this garment, you can introduce a higher compression if needed.
  • To get accustomed to wearing compression garments, wear them for a couple of hours a day initially and gradually increase the time for wearing them.


For further information -

Easy guide for Venosan Pantyhose

How to measure for Venosan Support Socks

Important points to consider

Measure in the early morning - measurements should be taken when the leg is not swollen.

Standing position - take measurements in a standing position if possible.

Remember - Well fitting support socks and stockings are the key to successful treatment and comfort.

Measurement Points


  • b) Narrowest point above ankle bone
  • c) Widest part of the calf
  • d) 2 cm below knee cap


Point (A) - floor to point of (D)

Point (D) - 2 cm below the knee crease

For further information -

Underwear sizing - Are you wearing the right size brief ?

To calculate the right brief size, you take two measurements: waist and hip.

1. Waist size

Place the tape measure around the waist with the centimetre side facing out.

2. Hip width

Place the tape measure around the fullest part of the hips, and with the centimetre side facing out.

Dress Size 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28
Waist measurement in cms 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 105 110
Hip measurement in cms 87 92 97 102 107 112 122 127 132 137

The hip measurement minus the waist measurement should be between 25 – 28 cms.

This measurement is referred to as the “hiprise”.

If the hiprise is correct, the waist measurement corresponds to the actual brief size.

If the hip rise is above 28 cm, recommend the next largest size.

If the hiprise is below 25 cm, recommend the next smallest size.