The perils of an ill-fitting bra are many. You can likely relate to removing your bra at the end of a long day, only to find red marks along your shoulder or under your breasts. Stiff underwires and pinching elastic can be uncomfortable – and sometimes painful.

Or maybe you spent the better part of a party pulling up your strapless bra and readjusting it, or perhaps you discovered a loose bra strap hanging down your arm while in a business meeting.

Most women can relate to the dreaded feeling that comes with catching a glimpse of your back in a mirror and realizing your outfit doesn’t look as great as you thought it did. Skin spilling over your bra straps can create a lumpy, unflattering look.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Every day, our customers tell us, “Yes!”

If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Which bra fit is right for me?” or you think your undergarments aren’t working for you as well as they should, you’ve come to the right place.

Learning your correct bra size will get you one step closer to finding the best bras for you and your wardrobe. We will discuss common bra mistakes, how to fit yourself correctly for a bra, and what types of bras work for different size and shapes.

Know Your Correct Bra Size

Don’t feel badly if you discover you’re wearing the wrong bra size – you are not alone. Studies show that 64 percent of women are wearing the wrong bra size, many of whom aren’t aware of it.

Women tend to keep buying the same bra size even if they’ve had weight fluctuations. So while 38C might have been your size a couple of years ago, it’s worth re-measuring yourself to ensure a proper fit. The appropriate size and fit will give you the best results, allowing you to feel comfortable and confident.

Getting your bra size right isn’t a matter of vanity or self-obsession. Hooking into the wrong bra size every morning can not only ruin your appearance, it can also cause health issues.

A too-tight bra can cause back pain, headaches from shoulder tension, or even stomach discomfort from elastic constricting the ribs and upper stomach. A lack of support to your breasts allows the ligaments to stretch, resulting in premature sagging that could have been avoided by wearing a bra with the proper support.

Realize the Importance of Your Bra

We know that most women spend the majority of their shopping trips looking for clothes that everyone else can see, such as beautiful blouses, perfectly fitting jeans, stylish boots or a cozy coat. Many women love to search for the perfect outfit and receive compliments from friends and family about their new look.

But all of those outfits can be ruined if what you’re wearing underneath doesn’t fit correctly. Your bra is just as critical to your outfit as those skinny jeans or cardigan.

Consider it like this: When building a house, you must focus on a strong foundation before worrying about home décor. The same is true for your outfit – you should focus on foundational undergarments before pulling together your outfit of the day.

Let’s look at some common bra mistakes, how to find the right bra size and some styles that will work for you.

Common Bra Mistakes

  • Two out of every 3 women aren’t wearing the right bra size.
  • Fifty-five percent of women haven’t been fitted for a bra in the past 5 years.
  • Ninety percent of women complain about their current bra wardrobe.
  • Machine washing and drying bras makes them lose form, which loosens elasticity.
  • Many women do not replace bras at least one a year.
  • Wearing the wrong bra for a shirt or blouse, such as a lacy or textured bra with a tight shirt, can ruin the look of your otherwise well-planned outfit.
  • The band of a bra should be even around the body, but many women wear a loose bra that causes the band to “ride up” your back.
  • Not taking the time to get a proper bra fitting can cause further problems.

How to Find the Right Bra Size

Now that you realize the importance of the right bra size, let’s investigate how to measure bust size correctly. If you live near one of our VF Outlet store locations, you can visit for a complimentary bra measurement. Our associates will be happy to help you find the right type of bra for your style and size.

But you don’t need a professional to give you a proper bra fitting. To learn how to find the right bra size, start by locating a measuring tape, putting on your least padded bra and standing up straight (measuring sitting down can give a less accurate measurement). If you don’t have an unpadded bra, you can measure without wearing a bra. If you don’t have a measuring tape, use a piece of ribbon and measure it against a ruler or yardstick.

The following steps will guide you through the process of measuring your band size:

  • Place the tape under your bust, around the bottom elastic band of the bra. Don’t let the tape hang loose — keep it snugly around your body.
  • Read the measurement and round to the nearest number.
  • To calculate your band size, add five inches if your number is odd. If your number is even, add four inches. So if you measured 34 inches underneath your bust, your band size is 38.

And this is how to determine your cup size:

As an example, a band measuring 38 and a measurement of 43 around the fullest part of the bust is a DD cup because there is a 5-inch difference.

Now that you understand how to determine bra size, take a moment and ponder this discovery.

Many women are surprised when they discover their actual bra size. Were you?

Some women can’t believe how far off they were, or what a difference a change in size can make. But once they put on their correctly sized bra, they experience a positive difference in support and a superior look.

Remember that your bra size is not about the number – it’s about the fit and the way it makes you look and feel. There’s obviously much more to a woman than her bra size, but having undergarments that properly fit boost confidence and serve as the foundation of a perfect outfit.

Purchasing Your Bras

Learning how to measure bust size and determine which bra measurement is correct for you is only part of the process. Now it’s time to purchase your bras in the proper size.

VF Outlet offers low prices and a wide assortment of intimate apparel. With a diverse selection of styles, brands, colors and sizes, we are your one-stop shop for new bra purchases.

Our intimate wear brands include Vanity Fair, Warners, Maidenform, Bestform, Lily of France, Exquisite Form, Lilyette Enchantment, and Olga.

To make shopping for these distinguished brands easier, we’ve highlighted a few of our most popular bras below based on size and fit.

bra coverage comparison

Average Figure Bras Include the Most Variety

If you have an average figure, you probably know you have many bra options. We offer a diverse selection of bras for average-figured women, and here are a couple of our favorites:

  • The Lily of France Smooth Cup Push Up Bra can be worn three different ways. Its beautiful lace pattern combines sex appeal with a flattering style. It pairs nicely with low-hanging or scoop-neck tops because it offers less coverage.
  • Warners This Is Not A Bra strapless bra offers detachable straps that create four bras in one: strapless, traditional, crisscross or halter. The silicone lining on the sides provides security without slippage. There are only limited quantities of this best seller available, so act quickly!

Full Figure Bras Offer Maximum Support

Many full-figured women search our site for minimizing bras that provide support without making their bust appear larger. Here are some of our most popular:

  • One of our best sellers is the Olga Signature Support Minimizer Bra, which comes in sizes up to 42DD. It features padded foam sides and underwire support. Some minimizing bras only flatten the chest, but this option keeps a sexy silhouette while providing comfort.
  • Available in sizes up to 42C, the Bestform Bodycottons Wire Free Bra proves you don’t need an underwire to enjoy great support.

Shop our bras for full figured women here.

Full Coverage Bras Offer a Basic, Smooth Look

Most women own a few full coverage bras, which completely cover the chest. Full coverage bras allow no cleavage to show. Generously cut, they provide a smooth look under a tight shirt (unlike smaller fits which can cut across the chest to show cleavage).

Most of our customers report that full coverage is the most comfortable style of bra, and it is an everyday, go-to option for most women.

Here are our two most popular full coverage bras:

  • The Vanity Fair Body Superior Support Full Coverage Wirefree Bra offers a seamless look with underwire-free comfort. This bra wears well under sweaters, t-shirts or clingy tops. It is designed with a flat-lace fabric that enhances the style of this wardrobe basic.
  • The Warners Your Bra is a full coverage bra with an underwire. It is made of fabric that stretches in eight directions without losing its original shape, offering an optimal fit. Customers particularly like the full back straps on this bra, which gives a smooth look and prevents back bulges. It’s available in four colors, plus animal print.

Shop the rest of our full coverage bras here.

Average Fit Creates a Sexy Silhouette

While full coverage bras provide ultimate coverage, average fit bras pair well with V-neck tops or thin-strapped tops or dresses. They offer less overall chest coverage, but provide a sexy look that shows a bit of extra skin.

For example, the Warners CLOUD9 Wire Free Contour Lift Bra offers a sultry V-neck silhouette while maintaining support and lift. Made in a variety of colors and patterns, limited quantities are available because of its popularity.

Browse more of our average fit bras here.

Test the Bra Fit

Be sure to try on your bras to ensure they fit comfortably and maintain support under your clothing. The common rule is that you should be able to fit one or two fingers under the band of the bra under your bust, but no more than that.

Also examine the cup fit. Are your breasts spilling over or is there space between your skin and the fabric of the cup? You can adjust the shoulder straps to enhance the fit.

Sometimes women make the mistake of ordering a cup size smaller if a bra is too loose (or a larger cup size if it’s too tight). But cup size and band size increase proportionally, so simply going from a 36C to a 36B might not help you if the bra is loose. Instead, try going from a 36B to a 34B for a tighter fit.

VF Outlet shipments include detailed and easy-to-follow instructions about returns if they are necessary. We want you to be thrilled with your purchase, so we allow returns up to an entire year after your date of purchase. Returns can be done either in a store or through the mail.

Enjoy the New Addition to Your Wardrobe

There is nothing like the confidence that comes with wearing the right bra. It truly sets the stage for your entire look and feel. VF Outlet offers the lowest prices on the widest assortment of basics in the outlet industry.

We are true to the outlet roots in that we do not make products specifically for the outlet chain – we receive firsthand goods that we are able to offer at extremely low prices.

And as if the prices weren’t competitive enough, starting at just $7 for high-quality bras, you can become a VF Outlet VIP member and enjoy even more savings. Your purchases will earn you points toward rewards gift certificates, and you’ll be notified of VIP sales and chances to earn bonus points.

And don’t forget that we also offer stockings, slips, panties, shape wear, sleepwear and more.

Shop VF Outlet today for a wide assortment of bras at the perfect price!