THE PROBLEM WITH BRA SIZING
OK. Bra sizing is all wrong! There, I said it. Bra Sizing is pants!
Why should such a fairly simple thing be so difficult to get right? Shoe sizes are OK to get right. Clothes sizes aren’t so bad. So why oh why is bra sizing such a dark art?
One of the main reasons why women choose the wrong bra size is because of the band size. If I said ‘what band size are you?’ and you weren’t sure, I bet that the majority would get a tape measure, measure just below the bust and read out the answer. “Well, it says 36 inches on the tape so I guess my band size is 36, right?”. WRONG!
Because of the way bra sizing has developed over the years and because of various historical reasons which no-one can explain definitively, you actually have to add 4 or 5 inches to your underbust measurement to get your bra band size for UK and US sizes. What then compounds the problem is that you’re supposed to add 4 inches if your measurement is even and 5 inches if the measurement is odd! Now explain that one to me! It must be said that there is debate on many sites and forums as to whether this 4/5 inch addition needs to be done anymore. Some say yes, some say no. Although the reason this came about is not known with any certainty, it is a fact that many major bra manufacturers are still using this as a basis to size their bras. Thus while I think the method is confusing and illogical, it still ends up giving women a decent guide to work with, which is why we use it on this site. So don't get angry with any calculator or method that you think is wrong, go and try some bras on! That's the only real way to get a good fit.
Some manufacturers also use their own sizing methods. This adds to the confusion in bra sizing. So a 32D in one brand will not necessarily fit the same way as the same size bra in another brand.
Additionally, the shape of women’s breasts vary considerably. The shape, size, symmetry, space between and elasticity of the breast tissue, will all affect what size bra should be worn.
Most calculators work OK up to a size D cup. This is because the original bra sizing concept was designed in the 1930’s when this was the largest size available. Research done by manufacturers at the time designed these four bra sizes to fit the majority of woman. However since the advent of larger sizes from DD cup upwards, no universal method has been used by manufacturers to calculate this. So some manufacturers jump straight from a D to an E cup, or F to a G cup, while others use the double letter notation ie) DD, FF etc. Thus for larger women, the results of calculators will not be as accurate.
So what’s the answer? “What is my size?!!”
The answer is you have many sizes!
Any bra calculator and bra sizing method should be used as a guide only. Use them to get an idea as to what your size is, then actually try some bras on which are around your calculated size. If at all possible, visit a specialist bra shop and get fitted properly. A good bra fitter will be able to advise you on what bras fit your shape best. They can also help rid you of common bra fitting problems. Many good specialists will provide this service for free. Buy bras with an open mind with the knowledge that your size will probably vary from bra to bra. Choose a bra that fits you well and is comfortable to wear and don't get fixated with bra size.