Paisley Raye will be even more amazing when you boost your boobies!

Boost Your Boobies

My first foray into direct sales fashion was with a lingerie company. I was in my 20’s (so just a couple weeks ago!) and had no clue at that point that I’d still be in a fashion focused business more than 20 years later.  Back in the day, I carried custom fitted bras in over 500 sizes…FIVE HUNDRED SIZES! Ladies, I was a bra fitter and a damn good one. A bra that fits right not only helps the strain on your shoulders, back and chest but it also makes your clothes fit better and your waist look more defined.

I’m no longer a bra fitter. I don’t carry bras. I don’t endorse a brand. Today, I’m your favorite Paisley Raye stylist but that’s why we’re having this chat. The basics of boobs haven’t changed and I have continued to help fit friends and customers through the years. Today, I want to help you! Let’s make sure we give the girls the right support so we look our best in our amazing Paisley Raye.

Basics of measuring

We’re going to go with basic measuring principles today. This should work most of the time for most people but remember, no two women are built the same. If this method doesn’t work for you, it should  get you darned close.  I use three basic measurements to find the best fitting bra:

Chest under the breast – arms down
Chest under the breast – arms up
Fullest part of the breast

For a good fitting, it’s helpful to have a friend.  Grab your BFF and have a bra party.  You probably both need new bras so why not help each other out, eh? Take your measurements, head to the store and start trying on.  If you need to do your fitting alone, don’t worry. For serious, grab a piece of tape. It’ll serve as your extra set of hands. I recommend fitting in a bra that’s not super constricting or one that has a lot of padding.  If that’s all ya got, it’ll be fine. You’re going to go try some on anyway, right?

Band Size

Bra Measure Arms UpI am of the strong opinion that this takes two measurements because each of them will likely be different! We’re going to measure straight around the chest, just under the breast. Make sure your measuring tape is parallel to the floor.  No funky angle like your current ill-fitting bra band makes!  First measure with your arms down.  Not too tight, just flush to the skin.  Now take the same measurement with your arms raised above your head. (This is where your BFF comes in handy!)  This second measurement helps to get to your actual chest size!  It lifts up some of the tissue that has been sagging in places it shouldn’t have been. All that fleshy area on your chest is funny that way.  It starts to hang out in the wrong places, giving us side boob, less of a waist line, and all kind of other fun girl things.

If the difference between your two measurements is 3 inches or less, use the arms up measurement rounded to the nearest even number as your band size.  If your measurements are 4 inches different or more, you may need to ease into the smaller band size. Ideally, you want to be in something closer to that second measurement but you might need to “train” the tissue to stay where it should be. You can take the average of these two measurements and round to the nearest even number.  For example: Measurement A = 40, Measurement B = 35.  (40+35=75/2=37.5 Band size 38) But that said, plan to refit in 4-6 months because your fit may have shifted! More on that another day!

I’ll add a little editorial here. If you’ve been wearing a bra with an incorrectly sized band for a long time (like in the example above, you’ve been wearing a 42 or even a 40), a tighter fitting band is probably going to feel super odd. SUCK-IT-UP!!  We need to support our girls so they don’t sag!  You can’t do that without the right sized band so…just do it. Seriously. Would you walk down the street with a bowling ball in a fishing net? I think not.

Cup size

There’s lots of theories here, too.  I’m gonna tell ya, I’ve found that one measurement (if you’re wearing at least some sort of mildly supportive bra to start with) will get you in the ball park of the size to start trying on ß Did you hear that? “Start trying on.”

Bra fit cup measurementAgain, we’re going to measure parallel to the floor and around the fullest part of the breast, arms down.  Don’t pull tight but don’t measure loosely, either.  Just wrap around. The difference between your band size and your breast measurement is going to be your cup size. Example – Band size 38, Breast measurement 42 (42-38=4) Cup size D.  This chart is about standard for most commercial brands in the US.  There may be some variations between brands. There are brands with half sizes. That’s ok.  This is for my girl who wants a solid starting point and, if it’s available, can follow the brand’s size chart to find the right size, k?

Band/Breast Variance

Cup Size
















I’m not going to get into the debate of “but my brand says I’m a RRR but your chart says I’m a C cup…it must be wrong.” Not going to do it. Don’t ask. Don’t bother. I’m going to teach you how to measure and work with most US based commercial bands.  If there’s a special brand out there with funky cup sizes (my old company was like that) you’ll at least have a better idea of what size to start with cuz you’ll have a good measurement, k?

Now what?

GO-TO-THE-STORE-AND-TRY-THEM-ON!! Seriously.  You’ve got your basic measurement but remember, we did it wearing a not so perfect bra to start with, mighta had a glass of wine in the process, maybe something was crooked.  Who knows.  Seriously, go plan to try on some bras.  Here’s what I’d take into the fitting room for the first time.  In the same brand and style:

Measured band size and cup size (38 D)
Measured band size and one cup up (38 DD)
(if you fell into the over 4” variance category) Measured band size DOWN ONE and one cup up (36 DD)

Put it on

Ideally, you want to be able to use the middle hook but use the one that’s most comfortable for you. Oh, and yes it’s totally ok to hook it in the front and twist it to the back.  That’s totally a thing. Feel free to do it.

Slide your arms through the straps that have been adjusted to be a little loose. We’ll adjust those last. Lift the breast into the cup. Really lift them. Grab from underneath and on the side and give everything a gentle tug.  Did you feel the skin move from under the band? Good!  It shouldn’t be down there!  Get everything sitting nice and comfy in their new digs and adjust your straps.  They should be secure but not tight.  They shouldn’t dig but they shouldn’t allow your boobies to be saggy either.  It’s a fine balance.

Take a peek in the mirror.  What’s happening? How’s the band size? Is it snug? It should be! Can you breathe? Yeah…it’s good. Are you busting out of the center? Cup size up. Do you have gaps in the fullest part of the cup? Cup size down. Turn to the side. The apex of your breast (the fullest, pointiest party) should rest halfway between your shoulder and your elbow. Is it there? Does adjusting the straps help? If not, your band is probably too big.  Remember, can you breathe? Yeah, that’s what I thought…size down! Rinse and repeat. 

If you’ve measured close to correctly, you should be able to find the right fit in about 3-4 bras.  If it takes a couple more, you may want to remeasure. Go grab a sales clerk, give her the instructions I gave you above, pull out your handy dandy measuring tape, and go to town.

Paisley Raye Dahlia Bra Fit

When your bra fits correctly, your clothes look better. They just do.  Check out this Dahlia transformation. She wasn't  a big Dahlia fan before we moved her from a 40C to a 36DD. Yep. That’s a pretty big difference.  We lifted the girls off her chest/belly and it she felt like it made such a positive difference in her shape. She’s super happy and that makes me happy 😊

I love to find helpful bra tips that help you boost your boobies.  I save them to my Pinterest page. If you wanna give me a follow, you can find my boards at

I’m sending a measuring tape with the girls who shared their struggles over in our Paisley Raye Lovers Community Group.  If you need one of your own, drop me a note with your next order and I’ll gladly add a Just Be U Boutique measuring tape to your package!

Get in a good bra. You'll be so glad you did!




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