figuring out your bra size

I received an Aerie gift card as part of my relationship with the Quality Blue community. All opinions expressed are my own.

figuring out your bra size

This is one of those posts that any men in my life might want to turn around and run away from. I’m talking bras today, so if that makes you squeamish or if you think you might not be able to look at me without your eyes traveling down to assess the situation, come on back tomorrow. You’ve been warned.

OK. I’ve been saying for years now that I need to go somewhere and get fit for a bra. That may sound strange, but pregnancy and nursing and weight loss followed by more of the same (and some weight gain), does a bit of a number on the ol’ lady bits. I started out as a 36C. No complaints, aside from the fact that one side was sort of dramatically (at least in my mind) larger than the other. I thought about this more than I would have after I had a (jerk) boyfriend in college who thought it was amusing to harp on the size difference. It was not amusing.

Then I got pregnant and all bets were off. I remember being on the verge of tears in the mall one day while I was searching for bras. My size at the time was the largest size they made. The cashier told me I would have to special order them if I needed anything bigger. Panic started to take hold of me (everything was panic inducing then), until my mom cracked a joke about how they would have to make it out of circus tents.

After some more ups and downs in the chest department, I finally marched into Victoria’s Secret to get sized. The frazzled, obviously annoyed woman I spoke to literally whipped out her tape measure in the middle of the store, wrapped it around me (clothes and all) and barked a size at me. It happened to be the same size that I was wearing and less than satisfied with. Unsure of what change to make, I just kept wearing the same old, ill-fitting bras. I figured it was better than wasting money on something else that still didn’t fit right.

Then I got an email about doing a post for Aerie’s bra fitting guide and it kind of seemed like a no brainer. Not only do they have an awesome campaign promoting real beauty by using untouched photos, but, uh, it would be nice to know what bra size I should be wearing.

So, I headed on over to their website (if you click the box that says Fit Tips they’ll calculate your size for you), popped in my measurements, and tried to catch my jaw before it hit the floor.

aerie bra fitting guideDo you see what it says down there in the bottom right corner? 36A. Say what?! I’ve been walking around in a 36C all this time. But looking over at the left hand side of the screen, it started to make a little bit more sense. I have been the victim of some serious bra gap-age as of late, which (apparently) is an indication of needing to go down a cup size.

So, I picked a style that’s full coverage and lightly lined—perfect for every day wear—and ordered it. With my fingers crossed. And dreams of a bra that actually fits dancing through my head.

When the package came I immediately stripped down and tried it on—and was disappointed. That pesky bigger side totally messed me up. While the new bra fit the other side like a glove, my bigger gal was bursting out. So, back to the bra guide I went (it had already been much more helpful than the woman at Victoria’s Secret, so why not?). It recommended going up a cup size if the girls were spilling over the top or sides (and one girl was doing both), so I decided to exchange my 36A for a 36B—with free shipping and free return shipping I’d be kind of crazy not to, right?

I am so glad that I did! Take a look at the photo below to see the difference a bra that actually fits can make! These photos were taken within minutes of each other (as you can tell from the messy hair and my daughters’ messy room), but on the right side I look like I’ve lost a few pounds.

aerie bra fitting guide: old bra vs new bra

Kind of amazing, no? A bra that fits properly pulls you in and up and somehow manages to make your waist look smaller. I’m in love. So in love, in fact, that this cheap momma already ordered two more: a strapless for summer dresses and a plain Jane t-shirt bra—they’e on sale right now (with double rewards points) plus I went through Ebates, so my cheap side is feeling goooood.

Have you ever been fitted for a bra?

Written by Jennifer Garry
Jen is a freelance writer and girl mom from New York. When she's not knee-deep in glittery crafts and girl talk, you can probably find her sprawled across her couch in the middle of a Netflix marathon with dark chocolate smeared on her face. The struggle is real.