Do You Know Your Bra Size? How An Ill-Fitting Bra Can Affect Your Life

Hi ladies. I bet some of you don’t know that the word bra is the short form of brassiere. Now you know. Today I want to talk about this precious piece of garment. I’ll talk about why it’s important to know your bra size and how wearing the wrong bra size affects your life.

You see, women started wearing bras from time immemorial. For instance, in Ancient Greece, ladies wore a breast band made of linen or wool around their breasts. These women didn’t know their bra sizes but still felt the need to wear something around their breasts.

Around 1914, Caresse Crosby, a New York socialite created the first modern bra. She created it using two hankies and a ribbon. She started selling the bras to her friends and as we say, the rest is history.

Bras have evolved over the years and now come in different materials and designs. Unlike the Ancient Greece ladies who didn’t know their bra sizes, it’s important to know your bra size, as I’ll explain later in this article.

What is Your Bra Size?


This brings me to the elephant in the room – do you really know your bra size? Some years ago, I was amazed when researchers claimed that 80% of women don’t really know their bra size. Interestingly, I realized that I also didn’t really know my bra size. 

Since I didn’t know how to measure my bra size, I went to one of the reputable lingerie shops in my city, and they took my bra size measurements. Voila! I finally knew my bra size!

I then purchased the right bra sizes from that shop in different materials and designs. When I wore the right size of bra, I felt like I was reborn. What a relief!

So, could you be one of those women who have many bras but keep wearing one or two bras over and over again? The reason you wear one or two bras more than other bras is that they’re most probably the only bras that fit you well – the right bra sizes for you.

How Bra Sizes Are Measured

Although labeling of bra sizes may differ from one country to the other, the sizes include the following two components:

Band size 


This is the measurement around your torso, directly under your bust, where the bra band normally sits. If you look at the label on your bra, the band size is shown by a number (an even number). In the US, band sizes range from 28 to 56 (inches).

Cup/Bust size

This is the measurement around the fullest part of your breasts – usually around the nipple level. On your bra, the cup/bust size is shown by a letter. In the US, cup/bust sizes range from A to N.

The US cup/bust sizes are AAA, AA, A, B, C, D, DD, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, and N.  

So, if the experts tell you that your bra size is 40DD, it means your bra band size is 40 inches, and the cup/bust size is DD.

How An Ill-Fitting Bra Can Affect Your Life

Now that you have an idea of how bra sizes are measured, I can’t overemphasize the importance of knowing your bra size. The bottom line is that if you don’t know your bra size, you might wear an ill-fitting bra (too small or too large). 


An ill-fitting bra can affect your life in various ways, as I’ll explain below:

1. An ill-fitting bra can affect your self-confidence 

Suppose you don’t know your bra size and therefore end up wearing an ill-fitting bra. In that case, the bra won’t support you appropriately. Remember one of the reasons you wear a bra is to support your breasts appropriately so that you look and feel fabulous.

For instance, if the bra is too small, it does not cover/support the breasts fully. The breasts may end up popping out of the bra. If this happens, you become self-conscious and this could affect your self-confidence and ruin your day.

On the other hand, if the bra is larger than your bra size, it also doesn’t give your proper support. For instance, the straps could slip from the shoulders, and you have to keep adjusting them. In addition, since a larger bra is loose, it can make you feel like your breasts are sagging, thus making you uneasy.

So, a bra that is too small or too big can make you self-conscious, affect your confidence levels, make you miserable, and ruin your day. 

2. An ill-fitting bra can ruin your look

Yes, an ill-fitting bra can ruin your look regardless of how beautiful or expensive your outfit is. For instance, if your breasts spill out of your bra because the bra size is incorrect, your clothes fit awkwardly.

In addition, when the bra straps slip off your shoulders, your breasts may look like they’re sagging, thus ruining what would have been a great look. When this happens, you feel unhappy.

3. An ill-fitting bra can cause discomfort/pain

Do you look forward to removing your bra at the end of the day? The reason is that a bra can make you uncomfortable, especially when it’s ill-fitting. The kind of discomfort/pain you can experience due to an ill-fitting bra may include:

  • Shoulder discomfort/pain as the straps of the small-sized bra dig into your shoulders.
  • Pain/discomfort around your rib cage and back as the bra’s band digs in.
  • Pain/discomfort in the breast tissue when the bra’s cups are too small.
  • Nipple Pain caused by a bra that is too tight or too loose. Such a bra can rub your nipples the wrong way and create friction. This can make the nipples chafed, irritated, and painful.

4. An ill-fitting bra could lead to health issues

As if all the problems I’ve mentioned above aren’t enough, wearing an ill-fitting bra can cause several health issues. Some of the health problems an ill-fitting bra can cause include the following:

Stretchmarks around the breast tissue: This can happen when you continually wear a loose bra.


Shoulder grooves: As the bra straps continue to dig into your shoulders, you could develop shoulder grooves around your shoulders over time. These grooves are unsightly.


Headaches: Your ill-fitting bra could sometimes be the cause of headaches. The ill-fitting bra can cause tension in the muscles around your upper body, leading to headaches.


Bad posture: When you experience shoulder, neck, back, and breast pain because of wearing an ill-fitting bra, you can end up hunching forward to relieve the pain. You could develop a bad posture in the long run due to hunching forward.


Premature sagging of breasts: A well-fitting bra should support your breasts appropriately. An ill-fitting (loose) one does the opposite. So, if you continuously wear a loose bra, your breasts could sag prematurely.


Signs That You Are Wearing the Wrong Bra Size

If you experience the following when wearing a bra, chances are that you’re wearing the wrong bra size:

The bra’s band is riding up: The bra’s band is where most of a bra’s support comes from. It should therefore be snug fitting but comfortable. The band should remain flat around your rib cage even if you raise your hand above your head. If the band rides up, it could mean the bra is too big.

The bra’s band is uncomfortable: Although the bra’s band should be snug fitting, it shouldn’t make you uncomfortable. If the band feels uncomfortably tight, it could mean that you picked a small bra size.

The straps are digging into your shoulders: If this happens, it’s a sign that the bra is small. 

The straps are slipping from your shoulders: The bra’s straps shouldn’t slip from your shoulders. If the straps keep slipping from your shoulders and you keep pulling them back, the bra is too big. 

The bra’s underwire is digging into your chest: If you are wearing an underwire bra, the wire should rest comfortably on your chest. If the underwire digs into your chest, it’s a sign that the bra size is small.

The bra’s underwire sits on the breasts: When this happens, it means that the bra is small.

The bra’s underwire hurts: Most importantly, if the wire hurts your chest while you are wearing the bra or after removing it, you need a bigger-sized bra immediately.

The breasts spill out of the cups: The cups should contain your breasts evenly. If your breasts spill out of the cups from the bottom, top, or sides, the cup size is too small. The same is implied if the cups cut into the top part of your chest or cut into your sides. 

The cups look wrinkled or baggy: On the other hand, if you wear a bra and notice that the cups are wrinkled or baggy, it means your bra is too big. 


There you have it! That is how seriously an ill-fitting bra can affect your life.

So, I urge you to ensure you wear the correct bra size from today. 

The best way to know your real bra size is to visit a professional bra fitter near you. 

Once you know your bra size, save the measurements on your phone or somewhere else where you can access them easily. These measurements will help you the next time you go to a store for bra shopping. It will also be much easier for you when shopping for bras online. 

PS: It’s good to note that your bra size may change during menstruation, weight fluctuations, or pregnancy. You should therefore recheck your bra size at least once a year. Cheers!

Do you know your bra size? Kindly share in the comments section.


I'm a life coach, teacher, mother, wife, writer, and blogger. I love writing about well-being, relationships, and family.


  1. It's quite true that most people don't know their bra size and it somehow messes up an outfit
    Such a good read!
    Good guide to getting a good brasserie 🙂

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