Fitting & Garment Care
The charts below show how brands from different countries label their bras. There is significant variation between brands, especially above a D cup, so this is only general guidance.
Briefs & Swimwear Sizes
Briefs and swimwear sizing often follows dress sizing – 8, 10, 12, etc. Some brands, however, use a different system, sizing their briefs as 1, 2, 3, 4 and . Many items are also available in small, medium and large, the equivalent dress size is given on the product page.
Sizing does vary from brand to brand but as a very general rule of thumb, European swimwear tends to come up slightly smaller than UK swimwear, American styles slightly bigger.
Brief & Swimwear Sizes
Although at Sandra Dee we provide and recommend our free bra fitting service in-store, we realise that for many of our customers visiting our boutique isn't possible! We have therefore provided below, a method for ‘Fitting Yourself‘.
For customers who dont know their bra size, we have a guide for ‘Measuring Yourself‘. The guide aims to provide a general indication of your bra size. However, the best guide is a bra you currently wear which is comfortable. The breast can change size and shape a number of times during a womans life. Fluctuations in weight, diet, medication, contraception, pregnancy and sport can all affect the breast. For this reason, we suggest that customers have a re-fitting periodically.
- To put on the bra, bend over and lower your breasts into the cups. Then stand up and adjust yourself inside it comfortably. The centre piece at front should sit flat against your body.
- Underwiring should curve snugly around your breasts, not cut into them. Check this by wearing the bra and pushing the wire. Does it feel soft? The wire is sitting on breast tissue and you should try a larger cup. Does it feel hard? Then it fits correctly (it should now be sitting on your ribs).
- Move around in your new bra to ensure it‘s still a firm fit. Lift your arms high and make sure it doesn‘t ride up, but is still giving you support and shape.
- Always fasten a new bra on the loosest hooks. The band should still be snug. As the fit relaxes over time (and washing) use the tighter hooks. If the band fit is correct, you should just be able to run your index finger along the inside of the band.
- Shoulder straps should be roughly parallel to one another (a slight angling outwards towards each shoulder is fine), but shouldn‘t dig into your shoulders.
- The bra should be level - front to back; with cups that provide support without any bulging or over-spilling of the breast.
- Try your new bra on under a tight fitting top. Make sure it gives you the fit and shape that you are looking for.
Please also bear in mind that sizes do vary between manufacturers and between different styles of bra. For this reason each bra should be fitted individually.
- Measure under your bust to the nearest inch:
add 4inches if the measurement is an even number
add 5inches if the measurement is an odd number
(Example: Your underbust measurement is 31inches, add 5inches = bra size 36; or if your underbust measurement is 30inches, add 4inches = bra size 34)
- Measure round the fullest part of your bust to obtain Cup size. If bust measurement is:
- same as bra size = Cup size A
- 1 inch more = Cup size B
- 2 inches more = Cup size C
- 3 inches more = Cup size D
- 4 inches more = Cup size E
- 5 inches more = Cup size F
- 6 inches more = Cup size G
- 7 inches more = Cup size H
Example: An underbust measurement of 29inches + 5inches = bra size 34, overbust measurement of 34inches = Cup A. So the correct fitting would be 34A
You should always wear a bra during pregnancy and nursing. The increase in size and weight of the breast causes the skin to stretch. The breast also drops, making it imperative to have the correct support. Pregnant women should be fitted for a new bra regularly, as the growing breast can make your bra size up to 4 sizes larger. As soon as you notice your breasts changing, you should consider a ‘fitting'.
Pregnant or nursing women should avoid wearing underwired bras, where possible. Breast size can change rapidly during this period; potentially giving rise to breast soreness, lumps and cysts - if wearing an ill fitting underwired bra. A soft bra (non wired) will provide better care and support for your breasts.
Designed to ‘grow' with the expectant mother. Having said this, you should still ensure that you give yourself room to grow. As a rule you should follow the ‘Fitting Yourself' guide in this ‘Help & Advice' section, but with this following exception to the rules!
- Always fasten a new maternity bra on the tightest hooks. The band should still be snug. As the fit tightens over the course of your pregnancy, use the looser hooks. If the band fit is correct, you should just be able to run your index finger along the inside of the band.
Generally they have ‘detachable' cups to allow for breast-feeding. They are usually created using stretch lace and comfortable fabrics. Again, you should follow the ‘Fitting Yourself' guide in this ‘Help & Advice' section, with these following exceptions!
- It is important that you allow sufficient space for the breast pads. To check you have enough space, make sure you can insert your hand (flat) inside the cup.
- As with your usual bras, fasten a new nursing bra on the loosest hooks. As your breasts reduce in size use the tighter hooks. Again, if the band fit is correct, you should just be able to run your index finger along the inside of the band.
Special care is needed when washing fine lingerie. Following the care instructions below, will help keep your lingerie useable and beautiful for longer:
- Hand wash only - Machine washing causes damage to the delicate laces, embroideries, Lycra and other fine materials.
- Do not dry clean - To avoid the Lycra degrading.
- Do not bleach - This will damage the delicate fabrics and affect the colours.
- Do not iron - Ironing will ruin the embroideries and lace.
- Do not tumble dry - Tumble drying causes damage to the delicate laces, embroideries, Lycra and other fine materials.
To prolong the life of your luxury swimwear, we advise following the care instructions below:
- Avoid usage in Jacuzzi & Sauna - This also includes spa baths & steam rooms. Use an older garment as an alternative.
- Rinse after use - Always rinse in cool water immediately after use.
- Hand wash separately - Use a mild detergent, but do not use fabric conditioner.
- Dry naturally - Dry away from direct heat.
- Do not wring, bleach, tumble dry or iron - All of these can cause damage.
- Avoid contact with sunscreen & tanning products - Excessive contact with suntan lotions & oils can discolour fine swimwear materials.