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How To Take Your Measurements & Choose Your Size

by Alyssa Woods |

I'm not going to lie, shopping for a bra online kinda sucks.  There isn't any universal sizing system so every brand has to determine their own size charts and fit, and there is inevitably variation from one brand to another.  I've spent a lot of time checking the fit on my sizing charts against others, as well as against the measurements and preferred sizes of as many customers as possible. What I've found is that your measurements will lead you to the right size about 90% of the time.  But since there really isn't any substitution for putting a bra on your body and feeling whether it's comfortable and supportive for you, I happily offer exchanges and will work with you after you receive your order to determine if you've got the best possible fit.  Start here; your measurements will absolutely help to determine which size is best for you, but please don't hesitate shoot me an email if you have any questions along the way.




Bust.  Wearing no bra or a bra without any padding, measure around the fullest part of your bust.  Often this will run the tape right across your nipples.  Make sure that the tape is running straight and level around your body.  This is your bust measurement. 

how to take your bust measurementhow to take your bust measurement


Underbust.  Pull the measuring tape around your ribcage, just underneath your breasts.  Make sure the tape is running straight and level around your body.  This is your underbust measurement.

how to find your bra size- underbust measurement

how to take your underbust measurement

Use your underbust measurement to determine your band size according to this chart: 
Band Size Underbust Measurement 














44 46 - 50"
Your cup size is determined by the difference between your bust and underbust, so subtract your underbust measurement from your bust measurement.  For example, my underbust measurement is 29" and my bust measurement is 33" which means there is a 4" difference between the two.  This makes my cup size a D, and my bra size a 32D.  Use this chart to determine your cup size:
Cup Size Bust minus Underbust
A 1" or less
1 - 2"
C 2 - 3"
D 3 - 4"
E (DD) 4 - 5"
F (DDD) 5 - 6.5"
G 6.5 - 8"
H 8 - 9.5"
I 9.5 - 11"
J 11 - 13"



Underwear sizing is, mercifully, a little less complicated than bra sizing.  I've found that these measurements almost always line up with the correct size, but I do recommend trusting your personal experience as well.  If you always wear a size 12 but you measure at a 14 according to my chart, order the 12.


Hips.  Pull the measuring tape around the widest part of your hips/butt.  Generally, this will bring the tape measure right across your hip crease (ie where your leg creases when you lift your leg.) Make sure that the tape is running straight and level around your body.  This is your hip measurement.

how to take your hip measurement

how to take your hip measurement


Waist.  Pull the measuring tape around the narrowest part of your waist/torso, usually about 2-3” above your belly button.  Make sure that the tape runs straight and level around your body.  This is your waist measurement.

how to take your waist measurement

how to take your waist measurement

Use your measurements to determine your underwear size according to the chart below.  VAVA's underwear are proportioned for roughly a 10" difference between the waist and hip.  If that doesn't match your measurements, simply include your waist and hip measurements with your order for a custom cut tailored to your proportions.
 Size Waist  Hip 
0 (XS) 22.5 - 24" 32.5 - 34"
24 - 25.5" 34 - 35.5"
4 (S) 25.5 - 27" 35.5 - 37"
27 - 28.5" 37 - 38.5"
8 (M) 28.5 - 30" 38.5 - 40"
10  30 - 31.5" 40 - 41.5"
12 (L) 31.5 - 33" 41.5 - 43"
14  33 - 34.5" 43 - 44.5"
16 (XL) 34.5 - 36" 44.5 - 46"
18 36 - 37.5" 46 - 47.5"

That's it!  Taking your measurements is fairly simple, but can absolutely feel complicated at first, so if you need any clarification I'm always here to answer questions.  Just drop me a line via my contact form or by email at

If you're interested in learning more about sizing, this is just the beginning.  I'll be back with a continuing series of posts on fit, including a breakdown of different sizing systems, an explanation of "sister sizes" and how to use them to explore your best size, and info on how VAVA designs can be further customized and refined for a perfect fit unique to you.

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