The Complete Guide to Choosing the Right Size Bra

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The Complete Guide to Choosing the Right Size Bra

Brassieres, or bras as they are commonly referred to, are a form of underwear designed to support the breasts of female.

There are many different types of bra available in the lingerie market, ranging from simpler, comfort bras, to those that enhance the shape and size of breasts. For some women, as well as providing the support they were originally intended for, bras are seen as fashion accessories. The likes of eBay are home to this wide range of bras.

It is generally thought that approximately 80% of women wear the wrong bra size, something that can lead to discomfort and often back-related injuries.

Therefore, this guide is written to help women find an affordable bra at the right size.

Components of a Bra

When choosing a bra and when working out how to choose the right size, it is important to know the different components and features involved. An understanding of this can help with both the measuring of bra size, as well as choosing a bra that is appropriate to the bra size and the body type of the wearer.

These components are explained in the table below:

Bra Features



The cups on a bra are the most important aspect of both the bra in general, as well as for the choosing of the correct bra size. This is the part of the bra that will hold and cover the breast. The cups will also define the shape of the breasts, as well as playing a role in the overall comfortability of the bra. Bra cups will often vary in size and shape and are available with differing levels of cushioning.


The straps are an important feature in helping with the levels of comfort that the bra provides. The majority of bras will have straps that are adjustable via a set of sliders. This is useful for people with different heights and body shapes.


The gusset on a bra provides the overall support of the bust from underneath the cups. The gusset is situated at the centre point of the bra, and depending on its size and width, plays a role in determining the distance between the breasts. For example, a push up bra will have a smaller gusset in order to push the breasts closer together.


Whilst there are wireless bras available, most bras will have a metal wiring inside the material as a means of providing ultimate support and lift. The wire of a bra will run underneath the cups in order to provide comfort and bust support.


The clasp is the component used to fasten the bra. The majority of bras will use a hook and eye system with three levels of width. Most bras will have a clasp at the back; however, some bras will have clasps at the front of the bra.

How to Measure Bra Size

Once an understanding of the components and features of a bra have been understood, one then needs to learn how to measure bra size correctly and accurately to ensure that right size bra is chosen.

Bra size is split into two sections and is measured with a number and then either one or two letters. The number will correspond to the band size of the bra and the letter(s) will be in correlation to the cup size.

Measuring Band Size

The band size is comparable to the dress size of the woman in question. This means that if one wears size 10 clothes, their band size number will be 10. There are bras available on the likes of eBay, covering all band sizes.

Measuring Cup Size

Measuring cup size is a bit more complex than that of measuring band size:

-  Acquire a measuring tape

-  Measure the bust. This is done by using the measuring tape and measuring all around the bust, including the breasts. The measuring tape should cover the fullest area of the breasts and it is recommended to do this whilst wearing a bra.

-  Ensure that the measuring tape does not slack and remains straight at all times.

Once this number has been found, it is time to work out the cup size. One needs to find the difference in inches between the band size (that should have already been worked out). With this number, use the table below to work out cup size:

Difference (inches)











Cup Size











Thus, for example, if a bra has been given the size 14D, the band size of the bra is 14 and the cup size is D.

Types of Bra

There are also many different types of bra that can affect the size of bra that is purchased. These different types of are detailed here:

Full-Cup:Full cup bras are designed to give maximum support, as well as to prevent back injury. They will have exaggerated components, such as wider straps and stronger wiring to do so.

Non-Wire:Non-wire bras are those without support wiring. These are designed for women who may not need or want as much support from their bra, as well as those who find wiring uncomfortable and irritating.

Push-Up:Push-up bras are worn as means of lifting and enhancing the shape of breasts. They will often feature specially designed wiring and will be moulded differently in order to achieve their desired affect.

Strapless Bra:Strapless bras are explained in their name. Instead of adjustable straps, they will have silicone running around the sides and back of the bra to keep it in place. These bras are designed for women wearing low cut tops or dresses and those who do not wish to show their bra straps.

Buying a Bra on eBay

There are many lingerie and underwear shops online and on the high street. However, they do not offer the buying privileges that an auction site in the mould of eBay does.

eBay has thousands of listings exclusively provided to help buyers purchase the right size bra. To see these listings, visit the Fashion page and choose the Women’s Lingerie and Intimates link. Once here, select the Bras filter tab. The final stage is to use the keyword search bar and type in the size of bra that is desired. There are many other filter tabs at the side of the page to help buyers refine searches as far as possibly needed.

When a suitable bra is found, be sure to read the product description and sizing options available to ensure that the bra matches personal requirements. Also check the seller’s transaction history to see if they have any previous history of selling similar items.

Finally, it is time to buy the bra and one can do so safely usingPayPal. Sellers will normally provide one or two of eBay’s buying options when selling bras. These include the option to buy the bra straight away with the Buy It Now option, or to place a Bid.


Choosing and buying the right size bra need may seem like a complicated process, but if all the steps and considerations in this guide are followed and taken into account, it will be simple to find one on eBay.

One of the important things to remember that choosing the right size of bra should be the priority when buying a bra. Whilst buying an aesthetically pleasing bra is a nice option, choosing the right size is vital in providing comfortable support.

Finally, when measuring bra size (especially cup size), it is recommended that somebody else help with the measuring, as arms need to be kept by the sides of the body to ensure that the measurements are accurate.

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