Bra Fitting Essentials for Senior Women

Choosing a bra can be confounding. That heavy sigh of not knowing where to begin can be even deeper, when buying a bra for your mother, or your friend, or your grandmother. And deeper again, if you’re a man venturing into the lingerie department, list in hand. But with a few vital pieces of information, choosing a bra for a senior woman can be straightforward.

First, measuring. There is a growing trend in the big stores for over-tight fitting; having an idea of the correct size can save you back-and-forth trips and returns.

– using a measuring tape, wrap it around the ribs under the bust. It should be gently firm.

– read the measurement in inches

– add four inches (many people skip this step, resulting in over-tight fits)

– round up to the nearest even number. This is the band size: 36, 38, 40, etc.

Knowing the band size, or even coming close, is your best starting point. Cup size can be uncertain, especially for softer breasts. Cup fits vary by style, design, fabric, and even brand. However, once you have the band size, cup size has only four standard options. If the woman is smaller, try a B, small-medium, a C, fuller a D or DD.

Different bras tend to work well for us at different stages of life; for senior women, start with two principles:

Choose wire-free bras: as we age, our breasts become soft, and wired cups tend not to work; choose a wife-free bra for a more forgiving fit.

Choose comfort and familiarity over concern for fit: A great fit can be elusive, and if our breasts are soft, even more so. For senior women, a bra gives comfort both physically and through the utter familiarity of being contained. When helping a woman try on a bra, ask, “How do you feel?” This can keep the focus on comfort and familiarity, and put fit firmly in second place.

Many senior women don’t find perfectly-fitting bras. If the woman is comfortable, and is satisfied with the look of the bra, then it’s a great choice.

The lingerie department can be overwhelming. But with a few filters, a good bra choice can be easy, or easier. Questions? email me at

At Your Leisure Lingerie can provide in-home measuring, and product delivery.

Guest Blogger, Shannon Fowler.  At Your Leisure Lingerie


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