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Following on from all the bra threads...AIBU in thinking the media skews our image of bra sizes?

(130 Posts)
ScarletLady02 Thu 28-Mar-13 11:30:58

I'm a recent convert to a properly fitting bra. I was wearing a 38C, but was measured and found out I'm actually a 34DD/E.

At first I thought there is no way that's right, but it is...I'm so much more comfortable now.

I was reading that story yesterday about the woman who had a boob job on the NHS (easy to find a link) and apparently she has 36DD boobs. I look at that now and think NO WAY ON EARTH are they 36DD. She's much slimmer than me so haw can she have a bigger back size? Plus the volume of boob is about twice that of mine!

AIBU in thinking no wonder so many women are surprised at their correct size, and will put up with bras that fit so badly because they think "How can I possibly be an E cup?? Look at Jordan, Pammy etc"?

Oh and thanks again to all the lovely bra women on here...the campaign is great grin

That makes sense - I fluctuate quite a bit too. On today's measurements yes, start with a 30C (which is volume wise one cup size smaller than your 34B) but you might want to consider two bra buying trips - one at small size and one when premenstral if the difference is that big. I'd guess based on what you are saying you probably need anywhere between a 30C and 30DD on any given day

tak1ngchances Sat 30-Mar-13 09:23:34

Ok. Under bust standing up straight:29 1/2. Over bust bent at the waist: 33

So a 30C?

Sometimes my boobs explode out of my 34B bra, when I am premenstrual for example. Other times there is a big gap between me and the bra. I think I fluctuate by around 2 cup sizes during my cycle. Today is a small-boob day, if I measured in 2 weeks I reckon the bent over boob measurement would be 35

tak1ngchances Sat 30-Mar-13 09:19:53

I was kneeling on the bed. Just read the bit about bending over...will do that now

TakingChances how did you take that overbust measurement? based on the sizes you have given a 30B or 30C but I would expect your 34B to be gaping quite a bit (does it?)

Did you do the overbust measure bending over with bra off?

OK, rephrase - from a fitting perspective Bravissimo are getting it right. That was what I meant - the shops who are fitting women properly. When Bravissimo started up getting bras above a D-ish was almost impossible so they filled a niche at the time. Until we got a Bravissimo in town I could not have walked in to a shop, any shop, and got a bra in my current size. For many sizes (anything above a J cup and 28s) they are still the only option available around here.

So I do completely understand the frustration. Those who fall outside the typical high street 32-28 A-D range have a much harder time. But I'm not sure Bravissimo are the right people to blame

HazleNutt Sat 30-Mar-13 08:29:03

in some countries you can barely find anything except B-cups and even in the US, anything over DD is rare. Does that mean that women in other sizes don't exist there? Of course not - just that as bras in correct size don't exist, women don't know what a correctly fitting bra looks like and squeeze themselves into whatever is available. I was a 36DD myself for many years and though it fitted fine - well, the best I could find from the selection. I'm a 32F.

So yes, there should be way way more women in 26-30 back sizes and big cups than you could guess based on the availability. I am pretty sure the average woman is in fact not a 34B - a size almost all manufacturers and sops will offer.

tak1ngchances Sat 30-Mar-13 08:28:19

Under boob measurement: 29 1/2. Top of boob measurement: 32 1/2

What size does that make me?? 30B? confused

sherazade Sat 30-Mar-13 08:24:34

But - the majority of women don't go to Bravissimo, Rigby and Peller, John Lewis or the few other places who are getting it right.

How are Bravissimo getting it right? they are perpretating the myth that a D cup is for big women by advertising themselves as a big boob brand- you only need to google that to see it. Wheras in reality, d/dd plus are not big!
I need a 26c or a 28 b bra
Bravissimo- starts from D cup, nothing for me
Rigby and Peller- aside from the fact that close to £100 quid for a bra , starts from a 32 inch like most retailers
John lewis- no 26 back, 28 only in teens section and I do not want to buy a teen bra.

So please tell me where I can walk into a shop and find a 26c/28b bra that fits!!

TheSmallPrint Sat 30-Mar-13 08:15:27

When I was getting married I used to wear a 36A bra which never fit properly. I put this down to having no 'proper' boobs to keep the bra in place. I went to get wedding underwear and was finding it very difficult so went into Selfridges and the moronic woman in their bra dept, put me in a 38AA. It was awful and I was very depressed. I then went to Rigby and Pellor who were a revelation, the woman just looked at me and said 'you're a 34 C, try these' they were a perfect fit. I left the shop on a high as I now had beautiful undies that fit like a glove and I'd gone from an A cup to a C in ten minutes! wink

tak1ngchances Sat 30-Mar-13 08:09:58

This is all vair interesting. I am a dress size 6-8 and I've been wearing 34b bras since I was 20. Am now 32, maybe it's time to get a bra that fits smile.

Will measure today and report back

I think the problem is that currently, it doesn't look like there is a particularly big demand. 28s and 30s have become a lot easier to get in recent years (honestly!) and I think companies like Bravissimo have played a big part in that as from what I understand they really pushed the manufacturers to start making more of the bras they could see that their customers needed.

But - the majority of women don't go to Bravissimo, Rigby and Peller, John Lewis or the few other places who are getting it right. Most either don't get fitted at all and wear "the size I've always been" or they read about women wearing the wrong bra and go to M&S for a fitting. Who tell the 26 that she's a 30/32 and therefore find zero demand for 26s or 28s. If the retailers were measuring properly then the demand would suddenly exist and companies would start making them (I reckon anyway)

Also, from what I have seen on these threads a lot of the women who need a 26 are in need of a relatively smaller cup size (i.e. they are currently wearing sizes like 30/32 AA/A/B and in reality need sizes more in the range of 26C-F. But these women don't, as a rule, go to places like Bravissimo because they perceive their cup size to be too small. I suspect Bravissimo doesn't see a lot of the customers that need 26/28 backs because they think their boobs are too small for the "big boob shops" and therefore go to M&S and get put in the wrong bra.

Until more retailers start measuring properly or more women find out about how bras should fit and start demanding their sizes it's not going to get any better.

sherazade Sat 30-Mar-13 07:13:10

Excuse me if this has already been addressed but, if this is the correct way to measure bra sizes (and I believe it is), then why on earth do bra manufacturers not make these sizes and why do retailers not sell them (ie, 26/28 back)?Zccording to this way of sizing, a 30 inch back would also be very common yet even that is very hard to get hold of in most shops and ranges.

SorrelForbes Fri 29-Mar-13 22:18:09

I'm very late to this thread [waves at SC et al] but OP, YANBU!!!

The way the media portrays a DD as big busted gives me the rage. I'm currently battling with my DSD who is currently wearing a 32F but refuses to go bigger because KP etc aren't that big! She probably needs a 30H bless her.

Lueji Fri 29-Mar-13 19:49:45

I was once proclaimed to be a something A by a Triumph shop assistant who measured over my clothes.
This because I was not familiar with European back sizes and asked about it.
How I laughed. grin
Thankfully, I had already been initiated at Bravissimo, otherwise who knows what I would have ended up with.

Are you sure about that badbride? Not being rude but maybe take your measurements just to check - if you have 4 or more inches between them you are in Bravissimo territory.

(only mentioning as we get a lot of ladies on the bra threads who think they couldn't possibly go to Bravissimo because they are an A or B and they turn out to actually need a DD/E/F etc)

badbride Fri 29-Mar-13 16:46:00

Sounds like a much better shopping experience, Statistically! Sadly, I'm not a candidate for shopping in Bravissimo. Maybe I should save up for a trip to Rigby & Peller grin

timeforathink Fri 29-Mar-13 16:44:45

I always was told that you measure your underbust ,thats your Size ,then measure your bust if its a difference of 1,2,3,4,5,6,etc then that equates to AA,A,B,C,D,DD,E,F,G H etc cup its an approx way but nearly always works out correct , with minor adjustments etc,was told this by someone who used to work for gossard and berlei xxxx

specialsubject Fri 29-Mar-13 13:33:56

bra sizing is as random as all women's dress sizing - although it is supposed to be standardised, that is nonsense. That's why buying a bra that fits takes bloody ages, even if you can find any that don't have itchy lace or are in ridiculous colours. (pet rant alert)

getting excited about your bra size is as tragic as being excited about the label in your knickers, or thinking that anyone else cares.

the kind of newspaper that mentions bra size is fit only for lighting fires.

Not even remotely. I do the vast majority online. For some reason every time I bra shop in person I end up a sweaty, messy, blotchy looking blob.

It has become easier for me now that I know what works and what just doesn't. These days in person shopping takes the form of: walk in to Bravissimo. Pick up bras in appropriate shape which will be either Bravissimo own brand or maybe at a push the odd Freya. Request my "base" size from the nice lady at the fitting rooms. Try it on. If it fits, great. If not - hang little tag on door, nice lady comes, takes one look at bra and judges which bras to bring instead

Leave shop with lighter bank account smile

Minimal running, faffing and fighting required. Tis the only way smile

badbride Fri 29-Mar-13 13:04:56

Thanks for the info statistical, good to know there is some kind of logic behind it all. I have previously taken my measurements using this method, but find the results have little bearing on what I find (eventually ) in the shops.

This is why I honestly prefer a trip to the dentist over bloody bra shopping. It's less painful, and you generally know what you're going to get. My bra shopping expeditions usually go as follows:

1) Go to shop
2) Quail at sight of endless jumble-sale-style rows of bras, all poised to fall off their stupid little hangers the second you touch them
3) After much rooting around, find the least worst bras. More rooting around to find them in my "proper" size, plus size below and size above
4) Stagger into changing room clutching a bazillion bras, simpering apologetically to the changing room dragon who points crossly to the "3 items only" sign
5) Struggle into bras under the unflattering glare of the fluorescent strip lights, end up looking like an unbaked Cornish pasty that's lost a fight with a rubber band
6) Want to cry
7) Go home

I hate hate hate bra shopping. Hate it! AIBU? smile

But yes, trying to actually find your true size when there is so much bollocks information being peddled by retailers is a right PITA.

Twattybollocks Fri 29-Mar-13 11:03:06

I actually think we should have a boob census. Everyone to measure round their back and round their bust and post measurements. We can then calculate the real average bra size of women today. I'll bet it isn't a d cup! Everyone I know with one exception wears larger than d cup bras yet finding nice ones in big cup size is very very difficult in the average high street shop. Most larger cup size bras are hideous industrial white/black jobs that are about as attractive as a slapped arse.

They aren't double the single letter, they are just one cup size up. Unless they are AA ;)

Basic rule (starting point only)

Measure underbust in inches. This is your back size. If you are an odd number you will want to try the even number either side. Most people get on with the lower one better IME

Measure overbust - do this by bending over at the waist with no bra on so you are "dangling" and measure round.

Each inch difference between the underbust and the overbust is a cup size. Cup sizes go


A "AA" means you have less than one inch difference between the measurements.

badbride Fri 29-Mar-13 10:58:53

Right. So double letter cup sizes are double the single letter size, except when they are not. And calculating the correct cup size involves measuring the band size and either adding some magic extra number, or not. Meanwhile, different manufacturers are more or less stingy with their sizing, meaning that much the above is moot anyway.

The only conclusion that can be drawn from the above is that any "expert" who moans about women wearing the wrong bra size should be told to sod off.

The thing is the doubles (AA excluded) aren't intermediate at all. They are a full extra cup size - I think a lot of places originally did up to D, then added "dd" which was a bit like when companies do small, medium, large and then just start sticking X's on the front cos they've run out of descriptors! Then some bright spark probably went "ye know, we could maybe go up to F" so they added E and F. Everything from F onwards has a double in pretty much every UK company.

Except M&S. But we already know they're nuts!

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