Bra shopping is something women often dread, especially if they're hard to fit. There are a number of bra-fitting challenges, but one of the most common is how to fit both breasts when one is somewhat larger or smaller than the other. There are several possible solutions to this problem, all of which can help make the most of your curves, eliminate any visible difference between the breasts and keep you looking your best.
Determine Your Bra Size
Before you can order a bra, you have to determine your bra size. The easiest way to figure your bra size is to measure, while wearing your best-fitting bra, under the bustline and over the fullest part of the bust. Round the underbust measurement up to the nearest even number and subtract the underbust measurement from the full bust measurement. The difference between the two numbers provides your cup size. Allow 1 inch per cup size, so a 3-inch difference is a C-cup, while a 5-inch difference is a DD-cup. The rounded-up underbust measurement is your band measurement, but some women will be more comfortable moving up one band size and down one cup size for a looser band fit. Even with a difference in size between your breasts, this will provide you with a starting point to order bras.
Go for Stretch
One of the easiest options for women with a relatively small difference in size is to opt for a bra constructed in stretch cotton, satin or other synthetics. These bras may not provide as much support but can accommodate slight size differences with ease. While more structured bras should be purchased to fit the larger breast, stretchy bras in a slightly smaller size may work best. Bras with stretch are an ideal solution for smaller busted women; however, they work best under casual attire.
Molded cup or t-shirt style bras offer a practical solution for women who need to fit different size breasts. These bras provide enough shape and coverage to hide any size differences and may, in the case of slight differences in size, require nothing more. Choose a t-shirt bra that fits that larger breast best, using the size from your measurements. If needed, add a small cutlet under the smaller breast to create an even silhouette. Women with a significant size difference may wish to experiment with ordering several cup sizes and returning those that do not fit.
One surprising solution to asymmetry is to opt for a push-up bra with removable pads. While the push-up bra may not be practical for every day, in many cases, you can simply remove the pad from the larger side and leave it in place on the smaller side to create an even bustline. This solution works best for D-cup and smaller busts.
If the difference in size is quite extreme or is the result of breast surgery, a mastectomy bra can provide comfort, support and space for a breast form. These bras are also designed to be soft and comfortable, particularly against tender scar tissue.
With a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing professionally for more than a decade. An avid knitter and mother of four, she has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects, including education, test preparation, parenting, crafts and fashion.