I like this post. I think she may be a lost cause. I believe that one is a Cleo Melissa. Many bras available come in only 36 sizes.
Camp and Company were the first to measure cup size by the letters of the alphabet, A, B, C, and D, although the letters represented how pendulous the breasts were and not their volume.
Camp's advertising in the February issue of Corset and Underwear Review featured letter-labeled profiles of breasts. Cup sizes A through D were not intended to be used for larger-breasted women. Before long, these cup sizes got nicknames: Catalog companies continued to use the designations Small, Medium, and Large through the s.
The Sears Company finally applied cup sizes to bras in its catalog in the s. Adjustable bands were introduced using multiple hook and eye closures in the s. Prior to the widespread use of bras, the undergarment of choice for Western women was a corset. The band measurement system was created by U. The underwire was first added to a strapless bra in by André, a custom-bra firm.
In the s, Dunlop chemists were able to reliably transform rubber latex into elastic thread. After , "whirlpool", or concentric stitching, was used to shape the cup structure of some designs. Since a brassiere must be laundered frequently, easy-care fabric was in great demand.
For best results, the breasts should be measured twice: In November , Oprah Winfrey produced a show devoted to bras and bra sizes, during which she talked about research that eight out of ten women wear the wrong size bra. Studies have revealed that the most common mistake made by women when selecting a bra was to choose too large a back band and too small a cup, for example, 38C instead of 34E, or 34B instead of 30D.
The heavier a person's build, the more difficult it is to obtain accurate measurements, as measuring tape sinks into the flesh more easily. In a study conducted in the United Kingdom of women seeking mammoplasty , researchers found a strong link between obesity and inaccurate back measurement. They concluded that " obesity , breast hypertrophy , fashion and bra-fitting practices combine to make those women who most need supportive bras the least likely to get accurately fitted bras.
One issue that complicates finding a correctly fitting bra is that band and cup sizes are not standardized, but vary considerably from one manufacturer to another, resulting in sizes that only provide an approximate fit.
Manufacturers cut their bras differently, so, for example, two 34B bras from two companies may not fit the same person. Larger sizes are usually harder to find in retail outlets. As the cup size increases, the labeled cup size of different manufacturers' bras tend to vary more widely in actual volume. Even medical studies have attested to the difficulty of getting a correct fit. The current popular system of determining bra size is inaccurate so often as to be useless.
Add to this the many different styles of bras and the lack of standardization between brands, and one can see why finding a comfortable, well-fitting bra is more a matter of educated guesswork, trial, and error than of precise measurements. The use of the cup sizing and band measurement systems has evolved over time and continues to change. Experts recommend that women get fitted by an experienced person  at a retailer offering the widest possible selection of bra sizes and brands.
If the straps dig into the shoulder, leaving red marks or causing shoulder or neck pain, the bra band is not offering enough support. If it digs into the flesh, causing the flesh to spill over the edges of the band, the band is too small.
Similarly a band might feel too loose if the cup is too big. It is possible to test whether a bra band is too tight or too loose by reversing the bra on her torso so that the cups are at the back and then check for fit and comfort. Generally, if the wearer must continually adjust the bra or experiences general discomfort, the bra is a poor fit and she should get a new fitting.
Bra experts recommend that women, especially those whose cup sizes are D or larger, get a professional bra fitting from the lingerie department of a clothing store or a specialty lingerie store. There is significant heterogeneity in breast shape, density, and volume. As such, current methods of bra fitting may be insufficient for this range of chest morphology.
A correctly fitting bra should meet the following criteria: One method to confirm that the bra is the best fit has been nicknamed the Swoop and Scoop. After identifying a well-fitting bra, the woman bends forward the swoop , allowing their breasts to fall into the bra, filling the cup naturally, and then fastening the bra on the outermost set of hooks.
Experts suggest that women choose a bra band that fits well on the outermost hooks. A bra is one of the most complicated articles of clothing to make. A typical bra design has between 20 and 48 parts, including the band, hooks, cups, lining, and straps. Major retailers place orders from manufacturers in batches of 10, Orders of this size require a large-scale operation to manage the cutting, sewing and packing required.
Constructing a properly fitting brassiere is difficult. Adelle Kirk, formerly a manager at the global Kurt Salmon management consulting firm that specializes in the apparel and retail businesses, said that making bras is complex:. Bras are one of the most complex pieces of apparel. There are lots of different styles, and each style has a dozen different sizes, and within that there are a lot of colors.
Furthermore, there is a lot of product engineering. You've got hooks, you've got straps, there are usually two parts to every cup, and each requires a heavy amount of sewing. It is very component intensive. Obtaining the correct size is further complicated by the fact that the size and shape of women's breasts change, if they experience menstrual cycles , during the cycle  and can experience unusual or unexpectedly rapid growth in size due to pregnancy, weight gain or loss, or medical conditions.
In fact there are very few advantages in wearing existing bras. Having a bra that's generally supportive would have significant improvement particularly in terms of stopping them going south The skin is what gives the breasts their support" . In , the most common bra size sold in the UK was 36D. Researchers ruled out increases in population weight as the explanation  and suggested it was instead likely due to more women wearing the correct, larger size.
Bra retailers recommend several methods for measuring band and cup size. These are based on two primary methods, either under the bust or over the bust, and sometimes both. Calculating the correct bra band size is complicated by a variety of factors. For the woman with a large cup size and a between band size, they may find their cup size is not available in local stores so may have to shop online where most large cup sizes are readily available on certain sites.
Others recommend rounding to the nearest whole number. A measuring tape is pulled around the torso at the inframammary fold. The tape is then pulled tight while remaining horizontal and parallel to the floor. The measurement in inches is then rounded to the nearest even number for the band size. If the measurement is even, 4 is added to calculate the band size. If it is odd, 5 is added. Currently, many large U. A sizing chart or calculator then uses this measurement to determine the band size.
A measuring tape is pulled around the torso under the armpit and above the bust. Because band sizes are most commonly manufactured in even numbers, the wearer must round to the closest even number. Bra-wearers can calculate their cup size by finding the difference between their bust size and their band size.
The measurements are made in the same units as the band size, either inches or centimetres. The cup size is calculated by subtracting the band size from the over-the-bust measurement. Cup sizes vary from one country to another. The larger the cup size, the bigger the variation. Surveys of bra sizes tend to be very dependent on the population studied and how it was obtained. For instance, one U. However, the survey sample was drawn from Caucasian student volunteers at a Midwest U.
Bra-wearers who have difficulty calculating a correct cup size may be able to find a correct fit using a method adopted by plastic surgeons. Using a flexible tape measure, position the tape at the outside of the chest, under the arm, where the breast tissue begins.
Conversion of the measurement to cup size is shown in the "Measuring cup size" table. This principle means that bras of differing band size can have the same volume. For example, the cup volume is the same for 30D, 32C, 34B, and 36A.
These related bra sizes of the same cup volume are called sister sizes. A study by White and Scurr University of Portsmouth compared method that adds 4 to the band size over-the-bust method used in many United Kingdom lingerie shops with and compared that to measurements obtained using a professional method.
The study measured 45 women using the traditional selection method that adds 4 to the band size over-the-bust method. Women tried bras on until they obtained the best fit based on professional bra fitting criteria. When women wear bras with too big a band, breast support is reduced. Too small a cup size may cause skin irritation. They noted that "ill-fitting bras and insufficient breast support can lead to the development of musculoskeletal pain and inhibit women participating in physical activity.
In , researchers published research on world-wide breast size. They gathered breast data by gathering , individual breast size measurements in different countries.
Only data from women in the age group 28 to 30 years. They found that women born in the United States have much bigger breasts than women in any other country. Their average bra cup size, when converted to the European measurement system, is substantially larger than "F". The mean cup size of women of Canadian origin is "E" according to the EU bra size. Their average breast size is "D". Women born in Africa and Asia, especially those born in East Asian countries, have the smallest breast volumes.
Asian women were found to have an average "A" cup size or even smaller. Bra-labeling systems used around the world are at times misleading and confusing. So was the sales lady who helped me when I kept insisting I was an A cup. But today, when I put on the right sized bra, I felt amazing!!!
Wow, we love getting comments like this! As someone who is very small-busted, I was actually overjoyed at being told I was a bigger cup size. I was glad to know that I am a sister size to a commonly sold size—32A. I was also glad to know that even among women of the same size, they may prefer different bras bc of different shaping and spacing. I know exactly what you mean! Bras are crazy complex, two women of the same size could still fit best in completely different styles.
Unfortunately, in our 28 size range there are few options to choose from. Someday I will have more options I hope!! In response to scaling down, it really is hard to find bras for small frames. If I have to pull out one of my old 32A bras, I always find that the cup digs into the side of my tissue. Definitely not suited for wide set breasts. You can really see in my proper fitting 28D that the cup goes toward my armpit and holds all my tissue. Their styles tend to have a LOT of padding.
Also, they only go up to a C cup. I want to know how many women out there are actually wearing their AA and A cups. I wish they would give up on the idea that a D is huge and make a couple more cup sizes. Do bras from the Little Bra Company work for wide-set breasts?
I have to make sure that the underwires go out far wide enough though. On the other hand, women who are larger have more breast tissue that can be adjusted into the given shape of the cup more malleable, wider range of motion.
I do think that their bras tend to be more for close set breasts, like you noted. I would consider myself to be fairly wide set and have trouble containing the tissue by my armpit. Sometimes it helps to go up a cup size, but in TLBC this option may not be available. I would say the tissue by my armpit is pretty well contained but could still be better.
The other styles I have tried on have been tiny in the cups and have given me too much spill out the top. So I have man boobs. I was interested in a properly fitting bra. I have tried a few here and there and never quite found the perfect fit. So I decided to measure myself and I was astounded by the result. I used a few different bra calculators and I came up with 42DD! Can this be true? I do realize sizing is all relative but still…wow! Can you help me please.
The back on my bras always ride up and the straps tend to dig in. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated. It does sound like your band size is a little too big and your cup a bit too small, although it could be that your bras have gone a little worn over time.
Thank you for replying to my question almost a year ago, lol. Thank you in advance. So yet again thank you! So glad this helped you! I used be like you and wear 34 ds in which the band was too big or 32 dds and my nipples would always come out. I wore those sizes since I was im now 23 because the only stores I knew of had them.
Other than the one time my mom took me to a local store and they somehow fitted me in a bra that was way too big. But I sucked it up today and bought a couple bras in a 30 f.
Hi, thanks for stopping by! It can feel very strange at first, but if you find a bra that fits you comfortably, it can definitely help. It might help you to have a well fitting sports bra then so you can carry on doing what you enjoy comfortably. I need some suggestion. My friend is 32H.
But it is very difficult to find the fitting bra for her size around where she lives. Whereabouts does your friend live? In fact, many bra stores and online sites STILL tell you that to measure your bra size, you measure around your rib cage below the breasts and add 4 inches to the number.
This is the dumbest thing ever. I know it comes from bra designs of 50 years ago when the materials were all stiff and had no flexibility, so they HAD to allow some inches of slop in the band or the woman would suffocate.
But the old style of measurement would put that woman in a 40B, which is absurd. Im not a girl, so Im trying to get an understanding. First, I assume cup sizes do have a well defined volume or dimensions.
And I assume such well defined volume is a standard across all of the bra industry regardless of quality or style. So 34D bra and a 28D bra means exactly the same boob volume. If this is true, I believe that the cup size does tell you something, contrary to what the article states. For instance, if for whatever reason, a magazine is looking for a model that looks small breasted, such magazine would need to hire a model that is A cup or B cup at most And the opposite is also true.
If a magazine is looking for a model that looks big breasted they will need to look for a C cup at least. However, if the model in question is C cup but she is also 40 overbust then she will not look big breasted.
This because of the proportion. If the model is C cup and 28 overbust she will look very big breasted. For a model trying to look big breasted, it is good for her to have the biggest cup and at the same time, the shortest band size. I disagree with the following statement: But if the ratio of cup versus band size is a high number it is the bigger the cup and at the same time the shortest the band size that woman would look big breasted.
In my opinion, bra makers should come with a bra ratio that should come as a result of cup size versus band size. Dividing cup size by band size. In this case, band size can be underbust or overbust. The bra industry must decide which one is better.
But the bigger the underbust, the bigger the overbust for the same woman. I would say, in my opinion, that overbust would be a better choice. A cup might be some amount of cubic inches.
We can model a boob as a cone. This is a rough, coarse, approach, I know. Only female robots have conic boobs, I know, stop yelling at me! Its safe to assume an A boob to be 1. A woman who is A cup has boobs with about 5 ci. Woman X is A cup but is 28in overbust. Now, assume a D cup to be 5 inches tall do not include the nipple and about 6 inches diameter at the base. For the bigger the cup and the smaller the band size, the more busty she will look.
A D cup is a D cup regardless of band size. But a D cup woman with a higher ratio will look more busty than a D cup woman with a lower ratio in spite they both have the exactly same boob size. You look for a low profile. Or when you buy optical instruments, like professional camera lenses or even telescopes. So I suggest start using ratios. Of course, I discourage the use of ridiculous numbers like 0.
These numbers are very stupid and some equivalence must be found for marketing purpose and everyday life use. But using ratios, it would suffice to say that a woman with a high ratio will look more busty than other woman. Just one number may tell you a lot more, specially about looks. Wow, thanks for the super in depth comment! You can say that an A or a B is categorically small-busted, but you also need to take into account breast shape.
You may find someone who is a 28D who calls themselves small-busted because they have a shallow shape meaning their breast tissue sits closer to their body or a 28D who says she is medium busted because she has a projected shape.
People tend to compare it to bowls — imagine a rounded bowl against the chest vs. Two people might look exactly the same size braless, but one has very soft and fluid tissue which compresses into a much smaller size and would find themselves swimming in a D cup for example , the other might have very firm, immovable tissue and find that the D cup is too small for them and they spill out.
It seems simple to start with using ratios, but unfortunately bodies are not an easy thing to fit, and the range in shapes just gets more varied as breasts get bigger, meaning that larger sizes would be even more difficult to fit. I just measured my bra size. According to the chart I am a 29 I ! No wonder I am hangout of the largest bras I can get my hands on any why my neck is always so stiff.
I am seriously thinking about getting a reduction to a B or C cup. This is a brilliant post! Hi, I am currently confused about my bra size. I was measured 2 years ago and have been wearing a 38C.
Now, I know about sister sizes and tried on a 36D. It is a nice and snug fit, but the only problem is the bra band size seems too tight. Then I retook the quiz with 38C and it told me my recommended size is a 38B? I know my 38C bras are older and stretched out while my 36D bra is too tight around the band? I am so confused!! Someone please help me? My C cup bras are just too loose with the bra straps no matter how I tighten them.
My D cup bra is a good fit except for the band size which feels like it is digging into my back!! I know this sounds silly, but it could possibly be that the cup size is too small which is making the band feel tighter.
With terrible fit advice from the big mall stores, no wonder most women have breast tissue falling out of the side of their bras. Thanks for sharing this synposis. Worded so well and this is extremely true. I found out about this whole bra generalization issue at a young age, by myself, no internet. No way, as it had ruined my chest and left deep dents in them. I massaged most back, now, of course, as I am 21 years old first bra a decade ago.
I had experimented so much and researched heaps over the years, and even at the young age of 15, I knew more about breasts and bras than most women! The internet was only a guide and proof to my own self-discovery… I know I want to change this about the world, and save all women from the great hassle and torture that comes with wearing the wrong sized bra.
I have lasting damage too, migration and marks on my shoulders from bra straps. I really hope you spread this message as far as you can. A 34B is comparable in size to the following sizes as well: Considering this, 34B breasts can range in appearance from between looking perky and understated to looking quite small. If this same woman carried very little body fat in her stomach, her 34B breasts would look noticeable, though compact, when viewed from the side.
If an extremely slender and narrow hipped woman had 34B breasts, her breasts would look proportional, though on the small side. If a woman with 34B bra size wants to achieve a perkier and fuller look without increasing her size, she might pursue a breast lift.
The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery recommends that a woman may consider a breast lift if she has lost a significant amount of weight because breast sagging is a common side effect. Typically, women who pursue breast implants are looking to achieve noticeably larger breasts, so it is more likely that a woman with naturally 34B breasts would be looking to increase from that size, rather than a woman hoping to achieve a 34B size through surgery.
If a woman is hoping to achieve a natural look with breast implants, she should opt for a size that is within one or two cup sizes of her natural size. Considering this, women with natural 34B breasts would look great with an implant that increases her size up to a 34C or 34D. A 34DD would be an option as well, but this surgery would be more likely to look unnatural than a slightly smaller size would.
B cup breasts are generally considered to be average, but on the small side in terms of women’s breast size. Having said that, cup sizes do not remain consistent across different band sizes, which means that a woman with 34B breasts has noticeably larger breasts than someone with a 28B bra size. If you are a B cup breast size or smaller, there are a lot of reasons to love those ladies. A lot of women think that having small breasts is a disadvantage. On the contrary, if you take time and consider the possible benefits, you will realize that having a B cup breast or smaller is actually a blessing in disguise. Bra sizes usually consist of one or more letters indicating the breast cup size and a number, indicating a band size around the woman's torso. Bra cup sizes were invented in and band sizes became popular in the s.