Questions? Call (816) 286-4126
Matt Hlavacek, MD, DDS
Jason Baker, DDS



How to determine your bra size after breast augmentation

June 26, 2014, 3:09 am

bra-size-after-augmentationYour surgery is over, recovery is well under way, and you are looking forward to returning to your regular routine. Even more, you are looking forward to shopping for a new wardrobe to show off your new body. However, the foundation for your wardrobe is just as important as the wardrobe itself, and after breast augmentation, support becomes more important than ever. After breast augmentation, your old bras simply won’t fit anymore. Simply going up in size probably won’t be enough to provide the support you need. How exactly do you go about finding not only the right size bra, but also a bra that provides support?

Bra needs after recovery

After your breast augmentation, you’ll wear compression bandages or a surgical bra for some time. Under your surgeon’s guidance, you will eventually be given permission to wear a regular bra with one caveat. You may need to wait several weeks, possibly a month or two, before you are given the okay to wear an underwire bra. However, eventually you should be able to wear the bra of your choice.

This is when the bra shopping fun begins! Imagine the styles, colors, and materials you will have to choose from. Will you go with something sporty with full coverage? Perhaps lacy and feminine is more your style? Or, maybe something racy and bold? Whatever your bra needs, it is important to understand how to achieve the best possible fit in order to provide adequate support to your new assets.

Professional bra fitting

The best way to ensure a proper fit and ideal support is to have a professional bra fitting with a trained expert. In some cases you may be able to have a professional fitting at a department store, but the best fittings typically take place at boutiques that specialize in bras and lingerie. A professional bra fitter will be able to both measure your new post-augmentation breasts as well as suggest styles ideal for your body shape, proportions and activity level. Many women find it beneficial to shop for bras both when they are initially released to wear regular bras, but also several months to a year later when the breasts and implants have settled into their final shape and position.

The parts of a bra and what they mean to you

When ensuring a proper fit, it is important to pay attention to the band, straps, and cup size. Many women make the mistake of focusing only on the cup size, and as a result they end up with poorly-fitting, uncomfortable bras.

Band width: The band across your back is actually the most important part of your bra and provides most of the support. The band should fit comfortably across the back when the last closure is used. The band shouldn’t pull up towards the shoulder blades, nor should it pinch or squeeze. To measure your band width, use a tape measure around the torso, immediately under the breasts and pulled tightly. Ensure that your tape measure is parallel to the ground all the way around. Subtract one inch to find your band width.

Straps: The straps of your bra should fit comfortably over the shoulders, providing even weight distribution. Wider straps will be more comfortable, particularly for larger breasts, and straps with some padding will increase comfort. Although racer-back styles may fit better under certain types of tops, they don’t provide as much support as bras with straps that are widely set apart and centered over each shoulder.

Cups: Although the band and straps will provide the vast majority of the bra’s support, the cups provide comfort and style. To determine your ideal cup size, measure from the center of the sternum across the widest part of the breast to where the breast meets the ribcage. Repeat with the other breast as it is not uncommon, even after breast augmentation, to have a slight difference in size.

Cup size will differ some between bra manufacturers, but in general, cups follow a standard size pattern:

  • A-cup: 4-inches or smaller
  • B-cup: 5-inches across
  • C-cup: 6-inches across
  • D-cup: 7-inches across, and so on

Try bras on

Of course, no matter what your breast size, the best way to ensure comfort and fit is to start trying on bras. Select several in your measured size as well as several in a size smaller and a size larger. If you have to go up or down more than one size in a particular style, that style probably is not ideal for your needs. Additionally, try on bras with several different tops. The edges of the bar cups shouldn’t be visible, nor should the band.

Augmented breasts often are positioned more forward than natural breasts and also are typically rounder. Look for bras with rounded cups that position the breasts in a more forward position. Proper fit and support will help preserve the effects of your augmentation long-term.

To learn more about your breast augmentation options, be sure to call Kansas City Surgical Arts today at (816) 286-4126 to schedule a consultation.