Quick Fitting Tips
1. Lean over and coax your breasts into the cups
2. Adjust shoulder straps
3. Adjust breasts again using a ‘swoop and scoop’ method to ensure that your breast is comfortably filling the cup.
4. For an extra pointy shape, or if you are between sizes, add a pair of bullet bra pads.
Bullet Bra Fitting in Detail
Once you know how bra grading works sizing for Bullet Bras is very simple. In fact, if you're a cup size A-D and are happy with the fit of your current 'cut and sewn' bras then you should take your usual size.
If you always wear molded cup bras, push up bras, or add-a-cup-size bras it's best to check the fit of a non padded 'cut and sewn' (where pieces of fabric are sewn together to form the cup) bra. Molded bras in particular have the advantage of fitting quite a few cup sizes where as with authentic 1950s bullet bras, fit really is critical. The cups are non stretch and you really need to fill them properly to get a nice pointy shape.
Core and Curve Bullet Bras
Traditionally bra companies have advised you to add 4-5 inches to your underbust measurement to determine your band size. This method dates back to the 1950s when bras were generally soft cup, and bands were far less stretchy than today. The last decade had seen a huge change in bra fitting due to improved design and fabric developments and the +4 method has finally bit the dust.
This leaves traditional soft cup bras in a bit of a quandary. They do fit differently to underwired bras so the new fitting rules don't really work if you are a DD+ cup size. In case you're wondering, the sizing for our Bullet Bras is in line with that of other traditional soft cup bras including the Triumph Doreen which has been in production since 1967 and according to Triumph is the world's best selling bra. If you are outside our size range it's certainly a bra we would recommend as it gives a nice retro shape, albeit less pointy than a bullet bra.
If you are a Core (A-D cup) size then you should wear the same size in our Bullet Bras. As a 34C I wear the same size in all of our bras as well as a 34C in boutique brands including Agent Provocateur. Depending on the stretch of the band I sometimes take a 32D in high street bands like Marks and Spencer but on the whole it’s a 34C.
If you are a Curve (DD+) size then you will generally need to go up a band size and down a cup size. This is due to a combination of the non stretch band and a lack of wire spring (due to no underwires).
Example: Model Miss Deadly Red wears a 28GG in standard underwired bras, but in our Maitresse Bullet Bra wears a 32FF. The FF cup size will be the same as for a 28GG as when you go up a band size you need to go down a cup size (so 28GG, 30G, 28FF). The band could have been a wee bit tighter, but the fit overall was very good.
If you are a Curve size it is more common to mix and match sizes. More breast tissue leads to more fit issues. It can even mean that the exact same bra from the same company doesn’t fit simply because it is made in a different fabric.
Bullet Bra Fitting: Before and After
Note: The pictures (and film) below are of our old Maitresse Bullet Bra before we regraded it in 2016 for Core and Curve sizes.
Before Bonnie, our model, was fitted by us she wore a 34B bra. Like many women she wore a band size that was slightly too big, and a cup size that was slightly too small. She now wears a 32D.
Adjusting Your Shoulder Straps
Believe it or not, in the picture below Bonnie wears a 32D Bullet Bra: the correct size for her. The issue here is that the shoulder straps have not been adjusted. While most of the support for your bust will come from the band, the shoulder straps do need to be tightened for a good fit.
Below: Bonnie still wears a 32D Bullet Bra, but this time she has adjusted the shoulder straps. Her bra is now a near perfect fit, with only a teeniest bit of wrinkling at the tip of the point. This is how a Bullet Bra should fit.
Bullet Bra Pads and Falsies
Bullet Bra Pads (or falsies as they were known in the 1950s) were often used to pad out Bullet Bras. In the picture above Bonnie has added Bullet Bra Pads which help give a very smooth finish to the bra. If you're Bullet Bra fits correctly you shouldn't need to wear pads to fill out the bra, but sometimes even if a Bullet Bra fits correctly they can be a useful addition to help keep the conical shape under tight fitting clothing.
The band of your Bullet Bra (and in fact all bras) needs fit firmly yet comfortably, and go in a straight, horizontal line across your back.
Bullet Bra Fit Issues
Okay, so that shows you how a Bullet Bra should fit, but what if something goes wrong?
In the two pictures above Bonnie is wearing a size 34D Maitresse Bullet Bra.
The way bra cup sizes work, is that if you need to go up a band size, you need to go down a cup size to get the same cup. For example, if Bonnie found the band too tight on her 32D Bullet Bra it might make perfect sense to go for a 34D. However, while this would help the band fit, the cup would be one size too big (actually the same cup size that you'd find on a 32DD).
In this case, both the cup and band are one size too big. In the second picture you can see that the band rises up at the back, a sign of an ill fitting bra.
We then put Bonnie in a Bullet Bra that was too small. We have to say that the way these pictures turned out were a surprise to us too! In this picture Bonnie actually wears a 32B as the 32C didn't show many problems on camera.
What you can't see in this picture, but is the commonest problem with a too-small cup is that there is a bulge of breast tissue over the cups. This is caused by the breast not fitting fully in the cup.
The cup actually appears too big in the above picture because the cup was too small for Bonnie to fit her beast into. Bullet Bras are full cup bras which means they encase most of your breast, and if your breast won't fit in, they will appear too big.
Buying Your First Bullet Bra
If you are not able to visit one of our boutiques or stockists and are looking to purchase your first bullet bra online then you need to be confident that you are already wearing the correct size and are happy with the fit of the bras you wear. If you would like to contact us before ordering for advice then we will need to know what size you regularly wear, what brands you regularly wear, and if you have any fit issues with your bras. If you tend to wear bras with very stretchy bands then it would also help to give us your underbust measurement. This needs to be measured where your bra band would sit, and needs to be measured tightly, just as you'd wear your bra.
Unsure About the Fit of Your Bullet Bra?
If you have purchased a bullet bra from us and are unsure of the fit then please contact us for advice. Hopefully the pictures above will have given you some idea of what might need to be fixed and you might need to try your bullet bra on again to see if you have one of the same issues. We'll have you nice and perky in no time!
Bra Grading & Sister Sizing
If you need to change the band size of your Bullet Bra (or any bra in that matter) this is what you need to know (often referred to as 'sister sizing').
If the band is too small but the cup size fits, then you need to go up a band size, but down a cup size. For example, if you are a 32FF, then you would need a 34F which would make the band 2" longer, but the cup size would remain the same as your original 32FF.
If the band is too small, and the cup is too small, then you will need to go up a band size and a cup size. For example, if you are a 32FF, you would need a 34FF which would make the band 2" longer and the cup one cup size bigger.
If the band is correct, but the cup is too small, then you need to just go up a cup size. For example, if you are a 32FF, you would need a 32G.
An example of how different band sizes have the same cup size:
32FF = 32F, 34E, 36DD, 38D, 40C
34F = 36E, 38DD, 40D
36F = 38E, 40D
38F = 40E