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Fitting Tips

The Band

The band of your sport bra should be a firm fit in a straight line across your back.  It needs to be a snug fit as this is where most of the support comes from.  If the band rides up your back, go down a band size (you may need to also increase a cup size too).  It is important to note that sports bra’s will feel firmer around the band compared to your everyday bras.  Most sports bras have less stretch in their band fabric for greater support than everyday bras, this results in a firmer fitting band.

If the band is too tight or there is excess skin hanging out of the band, go up a band size (you may need to also go down a cup size).  The sides of you bra should sit in a comfortable position.  If they’re too high under your arms they may rub and cause discomfort.

The Cups

Sports bra cups should sit flush against your skin and encase all of your breast tissue.  For a perfect fit your breast should be fully contained within the cup.  If the cups are gaping the cup size is too big.  If there is spillage of breast tissue out of the sports bra or it sits away from your breast bone, the cups may be too small.

When putting on your sports bra its best to lean forward and smooth the breast tissue into the cup.  Then grasp the front of the bra and jiggle slightly to settle everything into place.  An overly tight shoulder strap will also pull your cup up causing unnecessary spillage at the top of the cup.  Most of the bra support comes from the band, not the straps, so don’t pull them too tight.


It is commonly believed that underwire is essential for a more supportive bra; however research shows that underwire can give a great shape, but does not provide additional support.

Underwire should lie flat against your body and go around the contour of the breast.  If the wire is sitting high under your arms, or sitting on your breast tissue, rather than around your breast, then you are wearing an incorrect size or style.


Straps are at their perfect length when the breast feels supported in its natural position.  Adjust your straps so they are not digging in or sliding off your shoulders.  New bras often have their straps pulled tight, make sure you loosen these before trying on a new bra.  The majority of the sports bra support comes from the band, not the straps.  It is a misconception that the straps need to be pulled tight.  Too tight straps can effect the overall fit and comfort of your sports bra.

Breast Changes

Hormones, Ageing, Weight Fluctuations, Breastfeeding, Pregnancy all affect your breast shape.  Every time you go through one of these, you’ll most likely need a new sports bra.

We recommend you check your bra size every 6 months.

If your size fluctuates during the month, which is common, it is best to buy a larger cup size for that particular time of the month.  This ensures you have a supportive and comfortable bra at all times, especially when your breasts may be feeling more tender.

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To measure your size it is best to wear an everyday well-fitting non-padded bra and use a fabric / flexible tape to measure in centimetres.

To help you further, brand specific size guidelines have been added to the product images of some of our sports bras.  Please also check these before ordering.

Back Size – Underbust measurement

Your bra back size is determined by your under bust measurement.  Place tape
measure around your body, underneath the bust, in line with the bottom of your bra’s hook & eye.  The tape should be taught but not uncomfortable.

Cup Size – Overbust measurement

Place the tape measure loosely over the fullest part of your breasts (usually over the nipple). This is best done when wearing a bra.  Ensure the tape measure is at the same height across your back as across your bust.

Your back size can be different to your clothing size as it relates to the width of your back and diaphragm.  A lady may wear size 12 clothes and a size 14C bra.

Now look at the Bra Fitting Chart below.  First find your underbust measurement (Back Size) in the left hand column, round up to the nearest cm if required.  Then find the corresponding Australian/NZ size in the grey column.  This determines your back size.

Once you have your back size, follow the row along until you find your cupsize measurement, again round up to the nearest cm if required.  This will determine your cup size.

Crop Tops

Crop tops can fit differently to cupped bras.  Generally speaking they are more similar to women’s clothing sizes.

XS = 8    S = 10   M = 12   L = 14   XL = 16    XXL = 18

However the correct size can be more accurately determined using your under bust and over bust measurements in the table below.  To understand how to take these measurements please see the explanation above.

Sports Bras Direct recommends crop tops for cup sizes A-D only. You must also check the specific style of crop top suits the level of impact you require.  Breasts that are bigger than a D cup require more specific support from a cup size sports bra.

Each Brand has a slight variation in their actual measurement guidelines for crop tops, so we have summarised the individual Brand’s advice in the table below.

If you are still unsure we would love to help you, please get in touch with our support team via live chat.