Fitting Room: Find Your Perfect Bra & Panties Sizes With Our Guide

Welcome to your virtual lingerie fitting room where we’ll help you find your perfect bra and panties sizes with charts, guidance, video, and more. Here at Lavinia, our goal is for you to achieve that perfect fit for your next lingerie set so that you can feel confident and comfortable (whether you shop with us or not!)

Explore the quick links below to navigate to the part of the page you're looking for, or, simply read on to learn about bra and panty sizes, lingerie care, and more.


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN HUNTING FOR THAT PERFECT FIT

Before we dive in, here are a few things to always keep in mind when shopping for lingerie and measuring yourself up:

  • Your bra size may change throughout your life - and that's OK! What's important is that you feel supported, comfortable, and confident.
  • Your panty size may also change throughout the years - the same rule applies here, it's best you feel comfortable instead of settling for a fit that's too loose and bulgy or way too tight.
  • Bra sizes as well as panty sizes usually differ across different brands. If you shop for one brand for a while and are looking to try a new brand, always check the size chart.
  • Bra sizes can fit differently based on the style of the bra. The best-fitting band and cup size for you can vary when shopping for different types of bras, for example, you may need to go up a size for a deep plunge padded bra and go down for an unpadded loose-fitting bra.
  • If you do shop with us, please note that we almost exclusively stock European lingerie brands. While we do the conversions for you to simplify your shopping experience, we always recommend checking each brand's size chart.
  • Finally, don't forget to have some fun during the experience of finding your new bra or lingerie set. There are 1000s of bras in the world (there are 100s on our site alone), and that perfectly fitting bra is waiting for you - you just have to know where to look!

BRA SIZE GUIDE FOR WOMEN

Have you checked your bra size lately? Throughout life, our bodies change and that's completely okay!. Many of us rarely check, and if needed, change our undergarment sizes. It's a bit of a mystery. When it's our shirt or pant size that needs changing, we do it whether we like it or not. However, we seem to cling to the same old bra size as if it's an heirloom, or perhaps, it's just a misguided sense of pride.

Ladies, let me tell you it's time to change or at least, to check! Not only does a properly-fitting bra give you a more flattering silhouette and comfort, but it's also better for your health! A well-fitted bra can alleviate strain on your back and shoulders as well as keep breast tissue from losing firmness needlessly. Moreover, it can boost your confidence, add a twinkle to your eye, and make the most out of your outfit. So, what's there to think about? Let's get started!


HOW TO MEASURE YOUR BRA SIZE

To begin, you'll need a tape measure and an open mind (remember to smile!).

If you don't own a cloth tape measure and have a ruler or a metal tape measure, you can get creative. Use a string, ribbon, or belt large enough to measure around your breasts, and then use the ruler or metal tape to complete the measurement of your underbust and overbust measurements. You can then use our table below to look up your band and cup sizes.

lavinia lingerie bra size guide in cm

Please note we use centimeters in our chart for better precision, but feel free to take your measurements in inches. Just remember to include any fractional inches when recording your numbers. You can use at

Don't worry about the math, you can use any online calculator to get the conversion right.

Ready to take your measurements?

For best results, wear your current, best-fitting unpadded bra without a shirt. Wearing an unpadded bra is recommended to get the most true-to-size measurements of your breasts. For example, a padded bra would add unnecessary volume that could result in an inaccurate measurement of the cup size or, if you're curvy and don't wear a bra at all, the cup size could be way off.

If you don't have an unpadded bra, wear the one with the least amount of padding. This will give you an estimate to work with but you may also need to try a few of your other bras to compare the measurements.

Our goal today is to get an accurate reading of your bra size. Remember: Trying a bra on is still the best way to determine if the fit and size are right for you, but the style and the brand of bra could mean the size for your new addition can be different.


STEP 1: MEASURING YOUR UNDERBUST FOR THE BAND SIZE

size guide lavinia underbust measurement

Starting at the front, measure the distance under your breasts and around your back (as shown in the photo). Keep the tape measure straight across your back and take it around to the front of your rib cage (near your breastbone). If the tape measure angles upward or downward, it can skew the measurement. 

Write the number down on a piece of paper. 

Make sure to take the measurement when you exhale (breathe out) to get the smallest number possible. Don't round it up. Be as precise as possible (either using centimeters or inches including any fractions). 

For example, if you measured 31.25 inches under your breasts, your measurement would be equivalent to 79.375 centimeters. Using our size chart, this would make your estimated band size 36.


STEP 2: MEASURING YOUR OVERBUST FOR THE CUP SIZE

size guide lavinia overbust measurement

This is the second and last measurement you'll need to get your bra size. You're almost there! 

Next, measure the fullest part of your breasts (straight around your back and across the center, fullest part or peak of your breasts as shown above in the photo). Ten, write this number down. 

Now, reference the size chart table. Follow the column down from your band size and find the row that includes your measurement. If your number is on the border between the cup sizes, you may want to consider using sister cup sizes to determine which one provides the best fit and comfort for your shape.

If we use the same model scenario above and you measure your overbust as 39 inches, your measurement in centimeters would be 99.06 centimeters. This would make your cup size a D. You should then try bras in size 36D. If your measurement had been 98 centimeters, you might want to try sizes 36C and 36D.

Now that you have your size, let's go shopping for comfortable, figure-flattering sexy bras! Remember: Keep your "girls" happy and well-supported. Check your size at least once a year, especially if you've lost or gained weight.


SOLVE MOST COMMON FITTING ISSUES WITH OUR BRA STYLE GUIDE

If you're wondering if your bra actually fits, watch this video by Kimmay Caldwell from Hurray Kimmay. She covers all of the most commonly asked questions about getting a good fit for your bra.

While it may be a hassle, trying on a bra always pays off in the end. Even the fanciest bras stay in the drawer, unworn when they don't fit right.

When trying on a new bra, make sure to stand up straight and move around a bit. Put a shirt back on (not a sweater) and see if your silhouette appears normal. Your bra should not be overly noticeable to the eye.

Considering buying and the bra if:

  • It feels comfortable and provides support for the breasts when you move
  • The band doesn't ride up or feel too tight at the back
  • Your breasts don't spill over the cup 
  • There are no gaps or wrinkles in the cup
  • The straps don't dig into your shoulders

SIGNS YOUR BAND OR CUP SIZE IS TOO SMALL

If your breasts spill over the top of the cup (a.k.a. overflow, the muffin-top or quad-boob effect) in the cups, the cup size is likely too small.

If you have gaps (puckering or wrinkles) in the cup, go down a cup size or try another bra style such as a demi-cup bra.

If the bra underwire cuts into your skin and stops a distance away from your arm, consider going up a cup size.


SIGNS YOUR BAND OR CUP SIZE IS TOO BIG

The back band of your bra should lay straight across your back (level with the floor) and it should be anchored below your shoulder blades. If you need to tighten the straps so much so that the band rides up, you're probably wearing a band size that's too large. 

If your breasts fall out the bottom of the bra cups, try going down a band size. Your underwire should rest on the natural crease of the breast and comfortably encase it.

If your bra underwire jets over and goes under your arm, try going down a cup size.


WHEN TO USE SISTER SIZING FOR BRAS

Finding the perfect bra size means finding the combination of the right band and cup sizes. There are cases where the cup or band fits well, but the other could be improved. 

In these cases, you can't simply go up or down a size because going up a band size usually means you're also increasing the cup size at the same time. So, you need to use sister sizing to find the right alternative size to try. Kimmay once again has a great visual explanation of how sister sizing works for bras.

comparison for sister sizing for bra sizes by Hurray Kimmay

If you find that your straps fall down a lot, you may need to tighten them a lot. However, if as a result, the back of the bra rides up, you'll need to go down a band size and up a cup size if your current cup size fits well.

If you have any questions about your size and need a little help in selecting the right style and fit, please contact our team at care@lavinialingerie.com.


PANTY SIZE GUIDE FOR WOMEN

lavinia size guide hips measurementsAvoid visible panty lines, droopy bottoms, or simply an uncomfortable fit by shopping for the correct panty style and size for your body.

The good news is that figuring out the right panty size should be easier than your bra size - all you'll need to check for are your waist and hip measurements. 

You'll need a cloth tape measure to check your panty size. If you don't own one and have a ruler or a household metal tape measure instead, get creative. Use a string, ribbon, or belt that's large enough to measure around your waist and hips, and then use the ruler to calculate your measurement as precisely as possible.

Now take your waist and hip measurements in centimeters and look for the size which best suits your shape.

If you find that the table recommends two different sizes based on your waist and hip measurements, think about the look and fit you'd like to have.

If you have more weight around your waist or stomach, you may want to consider keeping the lower size if the style of the panty allows you to wear it on or above the hips. If most of your weight is centered around your hips and butt, you may want to consider going up a size to avoid unnecessary bulging. 

The goal is to find a panty size, which is figure-flattering and comfortable.


PANTY SIZE CHART

For your convenience, we compiled a comparison table of panty sizes that are commonly used in the United States, Europe, United Kingdom, France, as well as their comparative panty size equivalent to the size of our in-house lingerie brand.

LAVINIA'S SIZES

XS

S

M

L

XL

2XL or XXL

3XL or XXXL

4XL or XXXXL

US SIZES

XS or 4

S or 5

M or 6

L or 7

XL or 8

2XL or 9

3XL or 10

4XL or 11

EU SIZES

36

38

40

42

44

46

48

50

UK SIZES

8

10

12

14

16

18

20

22

FR SIZES

38

40

42

44

46

48

50

52


LAVINIA ACTIVEWEAR SIZES

The Lavinia Activewear range is made with microfiber which stretches to your body shape. It's important to select the correct size so that you are satisfied with the fit and how you look in it.

If you select a size that is too small, the fabric will stretch too much and the garment will lose its opacity. Our activewear garments are available in either two or three sizes: extra small/small (XS/S), medium/large (M/L), and extra-large (XL). In general, the XS/S size is equivalent to a 2-6; the M/L size is equivalent to an 8-12, and the XL is equivalent to a 14-16.

It's not unusual for two, size 10 women to look different. As most women are proportioned differently, we recommend checking your measurements. Here is how we define Lavinia Activewear sizes.

USA

UK

France

Europe

XS/S(2-6)

4-8

30-38

32-36

M/L (8-12)

10-14

40-44

38-42

XL (14-16)

16-18

46-48

44-46


HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR LINGERIE

When washing your lingerie, try using a soda-based fabric wash. Regular detergents often contain harsh chemicals that can damage delicate fabrics. 

If you prefer to wash your bras in a washing machine, place them in a mesh lingerie bag. Make sure that you hook the back closure of the bras before putting them in the bag as this will keep them from hooking and damaging other garments in the machine. And, the lingerie bag will protect your bras from being wrapped around the machine agitator.

Avoid putting your bras and panties in the dryer. The heat of a dryer can break down Lycra, spandex, and elastic and as a result, you will find yourself replacing your undergarments more frequently. Rotate your bras. Bras do not need to be laundered after every wearing, but you should avoid wearing a bra two days in a row.


NOTE TO GIFT GIVERS

Considering giving lingerie as a gift? Perfect! We strongly believe in gifting lingerie for special occasions as it can be an incredibly intimate and exciting present! If you don't know your special one's size, you still have multiple options.

It's the easiest if you live together and have access to her drawer (without getting into any trouble, of course) since you can quickly check the size she gets for herself.

If you can't, you can make an educated guess. We have a collection of sheer teddies and nightwear sets that come in size ranges of small to medium, medium to large, and large to extra large, making it much easier to pick a size.

If all fails and you simply can't choose the right size or style, you can always get a lingerie gift card and add it to a bottle of wine and some sweets.

If you need any advice at all, don't hesitate to reach out to our team via email care@lavinialingerie.com or Facebook.

This guide was last updated in January 2021.

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