What's the Rest of the Story?!
Maybe I agree with this research, maybe I don't but I need more info to find out. Is it suggesting that using a tape measure to find your band size then adding inches to the measurement gives you inaccurate results? If so I agree wholeheartedly. Is it suggesting that trying to find your bra size by wrapping a tape measure around your back then pulling it up through your armpits and resting on your sternum is about as effective as measuring your feet to find your hat size? Then I say Hurrah! But nowhere does it say how the tape measure is being used, it just takes a cheap shot at the humble tape measure.
I hear and read people deriding the tape measure all the time. The common retort is that getting fitted in-store is the best solution. Of course a good bra fitter is a wonderful thing to have but MILLIONS of women do not have access to a good bra fitter (working in a store doesn't automatically make you a good fitter). Not having access to a physical store does not mean you have to languish in a painful bra. With a tape measure and good bra knowledge, you're well on your way to finding your own best fit!
The Five Step Check to Fit
The recent research promotes that a 5 step approach to fit is the best way to find your size and I absolutely agree, however, I don't think this is an either or scenario - the tape measure can help you get a perfect 5 step fit a good deal faster if you use it correctly.
No matter how you get measured for a bra the Fit Check still applies. You can walk yourself through the Five Fit Checks and work out if your bra fits you.
1) All of your breast tissue must sit inside the cup. This includes the breast tissue at the sides, top and middle - it all wants to be inside the cup! If you're spilling you need a bigger cup. If the cup is baggy, you need a smaller one.
2) Your band should be snug which means it stays securely in place around your body without pinching you. If your band is too loose your bra will move causing you discomfort. If your band is too tight, it hurts!
3) The gore (the centre part at the front) needs to lie flat against your body without poking into you. If the gore doesn't lie flat it means either your band is too big or your cups are too small.
4) Straps should not dig into your shoulders, if they do then it's likely your band is too big. Your band takes the majority of your boobs' weight so if it's not supportive enough your straps (and consequently your shoulders) end up taking the strain.
5) Your band should be horizontal with the floor all the way around your body and there should be no gaps between your body and the band (if there are your band or your cups are too big).
|If you listen closely you'll hear your boobs screaming for help!|
So you've gone through the 5 fit checks and worked out that your 34C bra is not your friend. You know you need to come down in the band and up in the cup. The question remains - how many band sizes do I come down? I've fitted women who arrived in a 38D and left in a 32GG - it would take a great deal of trial and error to arrive at this final destination by yourself without a tape measure.
I am by no means suggesting that a tape measure system is 100% accurate, but used correctly it can give you a great starting point to know which sizes to begin with. Once you try on your suggested size it's then easier to use the 5 Fit Checks to work out if your size needs tweaking - "This band fits but I need a bigger cup" or "this cup fits but the band is too loose so I'll go down in the band and up in the cup to keep the same cup volume".
Stop Blaming Women and Tape Measures!
I despise the '85% of women are in the wrong bra' stat because it suggests women are to blame for being in the wrong bra and they're not - fitters and manufacturers have a lot to answer for. Lots of women have been badly fitted by 'experts', many cannot find their actual bra size in a store near them and lots of women simply are never told that bra sizes extend beyond the 32-38 A-D range.
Women have been given misleading and confusing information for decades and understanding bra fit needn't be complicated. By measuring around your ribcage and using that as your starting band size your margin for error is lessened. Measuring around the fullest part of your bust to work out your cup size is not perfect but again it's a starting point from which you can effectively use the 5 Fit Checks.
The Butterfly Collection Bra Calculator
I have debated for a long time whether we should have a Bra Calculator. The very term has become synonymous with online torture generators like the Playtex US calculator. However, I know that women are more than capable of understanding their own bra size when given the right tools and knowledge to figure it out. So after a great deal of thought, here is the Butterfly Collection Bra Calculator!
|We'd love your feedback!|
How is our Calculator Different?
The objective behind our calculator is to give you a good starting size from which you can work out which fit is right for you. We've added some features you don't see on other calculators:
- We've included results based on personal preference. Some women prefer a really tight band and some prefer a slightly looser one. We've included these size results for you too.
- We use the UK sizing system on our site because most of our brands are British. However, many women are used to the North American sizes so we've also included a column that shows your size translated into North American sizing for reference.
Your Help Please
I'm prepared for some backlash on this project because whenever you put something in black and white someone is going to question you laying down the law. I know this calculator won't work for everyone. It will be very inaccurate for A-C cup women because we don't sell A-C cup bras. It won't work for women who need the plus four method to offset an athletic build, protruding sternums and close-set breasts.
However, I do want to make this a useful and empowering tool for women 28-38 D-K and to do that I need your feedback. If you take a spin in our calculator please leave a comment on this blog about how the results worked out for you and what you would like to see improved, it would be a great help!
Calculators should never be used in isolation, understanding which bra styles work for you as well as which brands fit you best all contribute to getting your valuable assets into a fabulous bra that's right for you! xx