Update: there is now a part 2 where I test out more bra size calculators! Check it out here.
So, after a lengthy Twitter discussion earlier this evening about Gossard’s bizarre sizing system and online bra size calculators in general, I decided to sit down and pop my measurements in as many of these ‘find your bra size’ style calculators and size-calculating charts as I could possibly find. Yes, this is what I do for fun.
Here are the results – hopefully they’ll help you figure out which online bra calculators you can trust and which are only good for a quick laugh, although remember that no one bra-sizing system will work for everyone. Get fitted by a (knowledgeable!) lingerie boutique assistant or expect to have to do a bit of changing room trial and error yourself if you want the perfect fit in a particular brand.
Note: Everyone’s bra size will vary from brand to brand and even sometimes between different styles from the same brand. I most often wear a 30E and if a calculator tells me I am a 28E or 28F that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily wrong; that brand may just do their sizing slightly differently. However, if a calculator tells me I’m a 32A then yes, that is wrong. Completely wrong.
Bra Sizes That Actually Fit Me: 30E, 30F, 32E (and yes, I know how a bra should fit).
The Good – Right, Or Almost So
Calculator.net – 30E
Yes, the only online bra calculator I found that was actually 100% correct is not from a lingerie brand or lingerie retailer at all. It’s from a website that specialises in calculators, and they know their stuff! Brands and retailers, take note.
Linda’s Online – 28DD or 28E
I like that this calculator gave me two cup sizes to try – not especially helpful if I had no clue what my size was, but it does acknowledge that a woman may be different cup sizes in different brands. Although it’s not exactly my size, and a 28DD definitely wouldn’t fit, a 28F that doesn’t come up small in the band could very possibly fit me and this is pretty close to that size.
Bust’DD – 26F
A 26 band wouldn’t fit me (I find some 30’s too tight) but many people do wear a band size that’s exactly the same as their underbust measurement, especially when you get to larger band sizes. A 26F would be the same size in the cups as a 30DD, which may fit me in a brand whose cup sizing runs large.
Butterfly Collection – 26F, 28E or 24FF
Ths retailer gave me the same basic size as Bust’DD, but I love that it also offered alternative sizes for those who prefer a tighter or looser band. I like mine looser, in which case this calculator tells me to buy a 28E, which again may fit me in a brand whose cups run large.
A Sophisticated Pair – 28DD
Erica from A Sophisticated Pair regularly blogs about good bra fit, so I expected her calculator to be a good one. What I really liked about her calculator was that you could select how tight you like your band to be – I chose the least snug option. The cup size isn’t exactly right but it’s not too far wrong either, and as I mentioned a loose-fitting 28 band would probably fit me too.
The Bad – Well, the ‘Less Good’ (It May Work for Many Women)
Ewa Michalak – 30D (Polish 65D)
Although I haven’t bought from Ewa Michalak, I’ve read a lot of brilliant reviews and this brand is well-known for offering prettier styles in the larger-cup market. So I was expecting their sizing calculator to be pretty decent, and it was certainly unique (I had to enter both tight and loose underbust measurements, and an overbust measurement whilst bent forward) but sadly it’s still 2 or 3 cup sizes out.
The Hilarious – Really, Really Not My Size
Gossard – 32A
This speaks for itself. Thank you to Mariëlle from Petite and Plentiful for pointing out that Gossard are determining your cup size based on the difference between your overbust measurement and your underbust measurement plus four. Even if the +4 method works for you, you should find your cup size based on your actual underbust measurement with nothing added to it. Otherwise, as in this case, you end up with a cup size that’s 4 or 5 letters too soon in the alphabet. (In Gossard’s defence, it does state the calculator is most accurate up to a DD cup – but if I enter an overbust measurement that’s an inch smaller, instead of telling me I am a 30 or 32DD it tells me I am a 30B.)
Ann Summers – 30B
Ann Summers are doing exactly the same as Gossard – they actually ask you to enter your underbust plus 4/5. If I try entering my actual measurements the calculator just doesn’t work.
La Senza – 30C
Again, really not my size. And if I’d opted for a 32-band instead of a 30-band (which their chart tells me will also fit someone with a 26″ underbust) then I don’t even make it to an A cup!
85b.org – 30C
This calculator is pretty unique in that is also asks for your above-bust measurement, which I thought might make it more accurate but, alas, no.
Babycenter – 30C
Most of the visitors to the Babycenter website will be pregnant, when having a comfortable and well-fitting bra is absolutely crucial, or new mums whose bra size has changed post-pregnancy. So it’s extra shocking that their bra sizing calculator is so wildly off. This one seems to use exactly the same sizing method as 85b.org.
Figleaves – 30C
Yet another website has put me at a 30C, and a major UK retailer this time. I’m almost starting to believe I might just be a 30C… just kidding.
John Lewis – 30B
Shame on you John Lewis! You’ve sold a bra to probably half of the female UK population at some point, and your sizing method is totally wrong. Again, it looks like it’s a case of ‘plus four’ and then finding the cup size based on that altered measurement.
Debenhams – 30B
I could say exactly the same thing for Debenhams as for John Lewis – it’s a major national retailer with the ability to dramatically change how many women are wearing the right size bra, yet is giving out fit advice that’s completely wrong.
So, is it just me these calculators don’t work for? I really doubt it, but I would love to hear your experiences with online bra size calculators and which ones work or don’t work for you!