Anyone who wears bras knows that shopping for them is the worst. You have to set aside hours of your time, spend an insane amount of money, try on 12 different sized in 18 different styles just to find one that fits mostly and will likely be uncomfortable until it is properly stretched out. This hassle exists for a few reasons: everyone has a different breast shape, there are many styles which will fit better or worse depending on the size and shape of your breasts, and sizing can run differently from store to store or even from style to style within the same store. So how is anyone supposed to figure out how to find a bra and not take a year doing it? The best starting point is taking a tape measure and sizing yourself to at least give the girls a chance at finding their perfect match. It is a simple process, but many people prefer to let professionals size them. The only problem with letting someone else size you is that they frequently size with a bra on, and likely will tell you a size their store carries a lot of bras in, even if it isn’t exactly your size. Follow the steps below to give a starting point in your shopping and save you a massive mammary mishap.

Step 1: Start with a fabric tape measure. This is one process where the plastic tape measure from your tool box is not going to give you an exact measurement. Because the plastic tape measures won’t conform to the curves of your body as well as a fabric one would, you’ll likely get the wrong measurements.

Step 2: Measure snugly, but not squeezing, just below the breasts where the band of your bra would normally fit. If you come up with an odd number, round up to the nearest inch to get your band size (for example: if you measure 37” your band size is 38”). Note the measurement.

Step 3: Bend forward at the waist so your breasts are pointing straight to the ground. Wrap the tape measure across your back and all the way around to the fullest part of your breasts (most likely this will be around the nipple area). Note the measurement.

Step 4: Subtract the band size from the bust size. For example, if in step 2 you got a 38” band size and in step 3 your bust measured 42” around, 42 – 38 = 4.

Step 5: Starting at a less than 1” gap, the corresponding cup size is AA. A 1” gap between band and bust then becomes an A cup, 2” is a B cup, etc. There are plenty of sizing charts online for bustier women who aren’t sure what comes after DD or DDD. That being said, certain stores will market a bra as a DDD and some will market a bra of the same size as an F, so check a sizing chart to make sure you know which sizing labels actually mean the same thing.

Step 6: Do a little research. A simple internet search could let you know if your favorite bra shop runs big or small on sizing or what style is best for your breast shape. Some online retailers even let you try their bras on and send them back to get a different size at no charge if the first one doesn’t fit properly. Never settle for an uncomfortable bra simply because you want to stop looking. The perfect fit is out there!

By truly taking the time and investing in the right bra, your comfort levels will rise, your posture can improve, and any back pain caused by old, ill-fitting bras can be reduced drastically. Always remember that investing in what looks and feels good is the best bet for your body and your confidence! With just these six quick steps you can say “ta ta” to uncomfortable tatas!