How do you read a bra size chart & calculate bra size?

All around the globe Bra size remains a combination of three figures i.e., region abbreviation, band size, and cup size for example US 34B. But due to different data collection methods and metric standards bra sizes are not unique all over the world, for example, US G cup is not equal to the EU G cup.

So let’s see how to read a bra size chart and calculate bra size.

How to calculate bra size and read a bra size chart?

Bra size Charts

Bra sizing is also called “size charts” or “size tables”. Following abbreviations are used in different regions to represent bra sizes like

  • American (US)
  • British (UK)
  • South Korean (KO)
  • French (FR)
  • Spanish (ES)
  • Belgian (BE)
  • Australian (AU)
  • European (EU)
  • New Zealander (NZ)
  • International (Int)
  • Japanese (JP)

Product tags usually attached inside of bra usually show sizes in different conventions.


Usually, bra size is written in three figures. Region abbreviation followed by band and bust size like US 34D or AU 15C.Unfortunately, bra sizes are not unique all over the world. The letters and numbers of the different regions are not the same all the time for example EU A-Cup is not equal to UK A-Cup. Band 30(inches) of UK and USA is 60(cm) in Europe and 75(cm) in French. Similarly, US cup size E is equal to Australian cup size DD. Measurement varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.

US and UK are measured in inches and while others are centimeter based. 1 inch is 2.54 cm, and thus, the size changes don’t fit together well. Approximations are essential, particularly for bra cups. Most bra sizing tables disregard or expect that the figures fit totally together making them exceptionally wrong.

The bra is a more technical thing than we think. To know more about size conversions, visit the following link.

Measure Bra size:

Band size is always represented by a numeric value like 32,34 and 36 inches or 75,80 or 85 cm whereas cup size is represented by an alphabet like C, D, or E. Usually bra size looks like UK 34B or US 34C or US 44D or EU 75C etc.

Band size is also called under-bust is a measurement taken around the rib cage exactly below the breasts as shown in the figure.
Bust size or cup size is measured around the fullest volume of breasts mainly around nipple areas.

Bra Calculator

The following example further explains how to check the bra size:

Let’s suppose the band measurement is 38 inches and the cup measurement is 42 inches. Keep in mind Cup measurement is always greater or equal to band size. It cannot be smaller than band size. To calculate bra size, subtract cup measurement from band measurement 42-38=4. This subtraction is mapped to alphabets according to the following table.1 digit difference is size A, the two-digit difference is size B, the three-digit difference is size C, and so on….So bra size is 38D(band size. difference of cup and band size). Refer to the following tables to see 38D in other standards or you can check bra size in different standards like EU, FR, or NZ.


While measuring for bra it is advised to

  • Take help from someone
  • Stand straight in front of the mirror
  • There should be no clothing on your chest area
  • Loosen up your body
  • The measuring tape should lie parallel to the front and back of the body
  • The measuring tape should not be too tight or too loose around you it should be how you want your bra to feel
  • Don’t measure if you are feeling bloated on that day
  • It is also recommended to measure bra size in the nearest even number because bra size comes in even units only.

Fitting Checklist:

The following checks give you a quick idea of whether you bought a true size or not:

  • Is bra comfortable? Or is producing any tight or irritating feeling? A good bra does not feel at all after the first or second wash. If you see any red or blue signs on your chest back or shoulders then it’s not your piece of the bra. Also, if you feel any pain in your shoulders it’s time to return the bra. Please keep in mind new bra feels a little tight at the start but becomes normal after one or two washes.
  • The second thing to check is does breasts are completely filled in the cups of the bra? If the flesh is popping out from sides or top or bottom of fabric of cups it’s a small bra or if there is space left in cups then it’s a bigger cup.
  • The next thing to check is done back bra strap stays parallel to the front. If it’s riding up you may need to go for a smaller band.
    Also, check for the center of the bra if it stays flat on your chest. If not then it’s a signal you are wearing a smaller bra. Try one size up…

Due to frequent hormonal changes, bad laying or sitting habits, bad posture, bad dressing choices (wearing ill-fitted bras), sometimes breasts become D-shape. Also there is a more chance of error if you are measuring yourself for bra even your method is correct. So, it is always recommended to try a bra or seek help from professional bra fitting specialists at a lingerie store before buying.

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