One way to test
drive size is to buy a bra size you would like to be, and then stuff
it and live with it for a few days. Bring the bra with you
when consulting with your plastic surgeon and place implants in the
bra to better determine your desired implant size. Most
plastic surgeons will have implants that you can see what would look
right on you.
Typically, breast implants do not
appear as large as natural breast tissue. With implants size
and how they appear under clothing, typically they can look almost a
full cup size smaller, depending on what you are wearing.
Trying the rice test at home with zip-lock baggies will help you see
for yourself what size will be an appropriate size for you.
Axis Three is a company which offers patients considering breast augmentation
with the ability to view what their body will look like after surgery, before
surgery. Ultimately, it allows the patient to feel more comfortable and make the
decisions easier, as they can view different types of implants and different
sizes side by side. Many surgeons across North America are quickly
adopting this technology in their consultation procedures.
Imaging programs you can buy for your computer or you can have this
done through a service such as
Plastic Surgery Imaging.
This site is useful in all plastic surgery procedures, by enhancing
communication with your doctor with clarifying your expectations
with surgery. This site’s fees ranges from $19 to $100 depending on
the procedure you are doing.
Not all plastic surgeons offer virtual imaging; however more and
more seem to be doing so. Digital Imaging simulates your
potential results of cosmetic surgery and is an excellent tool to
guide discussions with your cosmetic surgeon.
Actual breast implant sizers are available for purchase to help you
find the correct implant size. Breast implants sizers are
"sample" breast implants which are designed specifically for women
considering breast augmentation or reconstruction.
your consultation for
breast augmentation or reconstruction - your
plastic surgeon will have sample implants for you to try on with
your bra, to see if you like the look of one specific size.
There are a couple of manufacturers now, that have implant sizers
you can buy and take home for you to wear for awhile.
There are several commercially available systems available, with
most of these tester implants made of plastic shells filled with
Because there is no fool proof method of determining bra sizes, you
might find conflicting answers with whatever chart you decide to
use. Obtaining the correct body measurements
is imperative, when being fitted for a bra, every place that you
will attempt to purchase from might have their own formula that they
general tend to be slightly wider than natural breast tissue.
The bra chart below is one that has worked for many patients;
however, it might not work for you. You will need a soft
measuring tape to determine what size cup and band size you should
be wearing. Your band
size is also known as your
Place the tape measure tightly around your back, going under your
breasts and across your ribcage.
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A good rule of thumb to remember when buying a bra is to
take your ribcage measurement and perform the following:
measurement ends up in an even number – you would add 4” to that
number to get the correct band size. So for instance,
you measured a 28” along the ribcage then adding 4” would make you a
32 bra band size.
measurement under the breast is an odd number, then you would add 5”
to calculate your bra band size. For instance,
measured 29” along the ribcage then you would add 5” to calculate
the bra band size, which would be 34.
for the cup size, take the measuring tape and measure where the
breast mound begins near the armpit – over the areola/nipple complex
– down to where the breast mound ends near the cleavage. Take
that number on the measuring tape and this will help you determine
what cup size you should be wearing.
You will find the
band sizes at the top of the chart. With my measurements I
measure around the ribcage with a 28” ribcage. I added 4” to
that number and calculated that 32 is the bra band size.
Then I measure for cup size my measurement over my breast mound,
starting near the side/armpit area where it starts – over the areola
– and down to where the breast mound ends (near the cleavage) – and
that measurement is 11.5” – making me a 32F.
Determining bra band size, if
you should raise your hands and your breasts fall out below the bra – then
go down on your bra band by one size. The band size is too big.
The bra’s middle part should
fit flat against your rib cage. If it is raised up then you should attempt
to up a cup size.
The band of the bra needs to
stay the same level around the entire perimeter of your body. A band that
rides up the back means your bra band size is too big.
The straps of the bra should
only be only 10% of the support your bra gives. If the straps are doing all
the work, then the bra is too big, and you should go down on band size.
Bras should fit the breast
comfortably with the cup, showing no overflow, double-bubble, or wrinkles in
the bra fabric. If you do see wrinkles in the bra fabric, the bra cup size
is too big. If you have a lot of overflow (muffin top) coming out of the cup
size, then the bra cup size is too small, and you should consider going up
in cup size.
If the bra band is fitting you
too tightly giving you the illusion of back fat, then you need a larger band
size or a different style bra.
If you can get more than one
finger in between the bra strap and your back, then the band size is too
big. It is important to make sure the bra band size fits snug.
If you are getting rashes or
redness on your breast after wearing a bra, then your cup is too small, your
under-wire is not in the breast crease, and your bra does not give enough
support to lift your breasts off your ribcage. To remedy this try increasing
the cup size until you find the right under-wire that fits within your
breast crease comfortably.
Breast tissue near the armpit
is falling out of the bra. This normally means that this certain style of
bra is not for you.
Several different bra sizes
fit me….and this normally means that all manufacturers are not the same with
Having the under-wire pop out
under the arm usually means that the bra cup size is too small and you
should go up in size.
Stretch marks are running up
and down the breast tissue. The issue with stretch marks is that most of
these are hereditary, however if you are just noticing that you are getting
these marks on your breast, then you are not wearing a supportive bra.
Wearing a well made supportive bra will help reduce your chances of getting
Shoulder straps are falling
off of your shoulders, and if tightening does help then it usually means the
bra cup size is too large. Your breast tissue is not filling out the upper
portion of the bra. Try going down in cup size.
Shoulder straps are digging
into the shoulders……and this normally means that the straps are being made
to do all the work with your bra not giving you enough support. The straps
should only carry approximately 10% of the breast’s weight. You need to find
a more supportive bra band size.