Archived from the original on 23 April She wears this size and has great suggestions! 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.
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. Cup and band sizes vary around the world. Bra-fitting experts in the United Kingdom state that many women who buy off the rack without professional assistance wear up to two sizes too small.
Manufacturer Fruit of the Loom attempted to solve the problem of finding a well-fitting bra for asymmetrical breasts by introducing Pick Your Perfect Bra, which allow women to choose a bra with two different cup sizes, although it is only available in A through D cup sizes.
There are several sizing systems in different countries. Most use the chest circumferences measurement system and lettered cup sizes, but there are some significant differences. Many bras available come in only 36 sizes. The UK uses the inch-system, this means that the difference in chest circumference between the cup sizes is always one inch, or 2. Leading brands and manufacturers including Panache, Bestform, Gossard, Freya, Curvy Kate , Bravissimo and Fantasie, which use the British standard band sizes , and so on.
However, some clothing retailers and mail order companies have their own house brands and use a custom sizing system. As a result, their J-Cup is equal to a British standard H-cup. Their H-Cup is roughly equal to a British standard G-cup. Cup labelling methods and sizing schemes are inconsistent and there is great variability between brands. This has introduced further sizing scheme confusion that is poorly understood even by specialist retailers.
Bra-sizing in the United States is very similar to the United Kingdom. Band sizes use the same designation in inches and the cups also increase by 1-inch-steps.
However, some manufacturers use conflicting sizing methods. D1, D2, D3, D4, D In , underwear maker Jockey International offered a new way to measure bra and cup size. It introduced a system with ten cup sizes per band size that are numbered and not lettered, designated as , etc. The company developed the system over eight years, during which they scanned and measured the breasts and torsos of women. Researchers also tracked the women's use of their bras at home.
In very large cup sizes this causes smaller cups than their English counterparts. This system has been standardized in the European dress size standard EN introduced in , but was in use in many European countries before that date. They increase in steps of 2. Japanese sizes are the same as Korean ones, but the cup labels begin with "AA" for a 7. The French and Spanish system is a permutation of the Continental European sizing system.
Since it starts with size 0 for European size 60, the conversion consists of a division by 5 and then a subtraction of The size designations are often given in Roman numerals. Cup sizes have traditionally used a step size of 2. Manufacturers' marketing and advertising often appeals to fashion and image over fit, comfort, and function. English mechanical engineer and professor John Tyrer from Loughborough University has devised a solution to problematic bra fit by re-engineering bra design Loughborough University.
He started investigating the problem of bra design while on assignment from the British government after his wife returned disheartened from an unsuccessful shopping trip. He theorised that this widespread practice of purchasing the wrong size was due to the measurement system recommended by bra manufacturers. This sizing system employs a combination of maximum chest diameter under bust and maximum bust diameter bust rather than the actual breast volume which is to be accommodated by the bra.
According to Tyrer, "to get the most supportive and fitted bra it's infinitely better if you know the volume of the breast and the size of the back. It's an instrument of torture. The average breast weighs about 0. If a cup is a hemisphere, its volume V is given by the following formula: If the cup is an hemi- ellipsoid , its volume is given by the formula: Cups give a hemi-spherical shape to breasts and underwires give shape to cups.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 19 February Retrieved 30 January Archived from the original on 1 October Retrieved 30 September Archived from the original on 24 May Retrieved 24 January Archived from the original on 18 June Retrieved 22 January Expert Bra Fitting Advice". Archived from the original on 23 June Clothing and Fashion Encyclopedia.
Archived from the original on 29 November Retrieved 19 January Oprah's Bra and Swimsuit Intervention". Archived from the original on 13 February Retrieved 13 February Retrieved 4 January Archived from the original on 29 July Retrieved 29 April Archived from the original on 21 April Retrieved 28 May The Wizard of Bras.
Archived from the original on 7 April Retrieved 28 April Archived from the original on 26 May Archived from the original on 20 June Archived from the original on 23 February Retrieved 7 September Doreen the Bra That Conquered the World". Archived from the original on 4 October Retrieved 19 September So when I put it on as soon as I got home I hated it and never wore it. So once I find the right bra size. The twist I have seen on eBay for So If I sell that I will make on it.
Sorry for all the post. Once I posted the first one. I forgot about bringing up the other bras. Oh and I am top havey. I had my boobs done. I had 3 kids and my girls would get bigger.
I ended up getting them done again 11 months later due to one being bigger then the other one. So the first set he put in the left and in the right when my right was always bigger. The 2nd time he put in both. I have so much breast tissue that no one knows I had them done since they look and feel real. So hopefully I will be able to and get all new bras. You may also want to check out styles with a stretch lace like Panache Jasmine or Envy too.
The lace tends to accommodate fuller tissue better, and the other styles should be open enough at the top to not cut into any tissue. Based on your measurements I would look at around the 34GG to UK H cup, particularly since you have found some bras which fit well in this size cluster, but you may want to start with H cups in general to ensure you have enough cup depth.
You may also like the following styles depending on breast shape: I hope this helps, and if you have more questions, please feel free to email me! Hi Erica nice blog! I like to look at reviews to see how people felt the band and cups ran to double-check. Do you know if that is true for her bras? Her brand is Von Follies. In addition to checking out Lingerie Addict, I would double-check Bratabase to see if they have measurements available.
It does seem like there are stateside retailers of Von Follies, like Bloomingdales, too if you want to see if a local place would have it available to try in person. The cut of the bras and the shape of the cups may be at odds with you, which can create fit issues. I ordered a swimsuit top and it was 38dd from Curvy Kates from UK which I wear in the states and it was way to small.
Here are a couple sexy ones:. I can never find bras that fit me in stores in the U. I prefer plunge bras or bras that show a little more cleavage. What size bra should I be looking for and where should I be looking? I am happy to help. I also make some style recommendations too. Sometimes there are some fabulous boutiques a little further out, but having access to a fitter as well as the ability to try the bras first would really help.
Have a great day! I love your blog posts. Thanks so much for sharing what you know about this subject. It really feels like a jungle to me. I wanted to ask you if you know anything about the Fantasie sizes. Most of the time I wear a 65G European size.
I recently started to order bras from UK and have figured out that a 65G should be a 30F. But I noticed on a tag on a couple of bras by Fantasie, that say: Do you know anything about this?
And thanks again for sharing your knowledge. It has helped me a lot when picking bras. I am glad the blog has helped you navigate the jungle. Eveden has two sets of tags out there on the marketplace, and I know at least one of them is wrong. However, I know that Fantasie sometimes just takes their cup size and applies it across the board, meaning they will say a UK F cup is also a US F cup. Their conversions other sizing systems are not always accurate and have raised a lot of questions here lately too.
Hi, I am looking to buy a bra from Boux Avenue and I was wondering how their sizes run. I measured myself and found myself to be 28 inches around the rib cage underneath the breasts and then 32 inches around the breasts. So I assume that would make me a 28D. I have bought a UK sized bra off Amazon before, the Cleo Neve Plunge t-shirt bra, but I found the band to be too tight and the straps set too wide apart, making the cup wires dig into my armpits. I have a small rib cage so that bra was too wide.
What would you say about buying bras from Boux Avenue? Hi Erica, I usually buy Fantasie 32 G which fits me well but want to try Wacaol would I need the same size or do the Wacaol bras come up smaller?
The Wacoal 32G is smaller in the cup than the Fantasie 32G. Now, that said, Wacoal often cuts a pretty tight band, so you may be happier with a US 34H in their bras. Hi Lynda My measurements say 35 around to cage above breasts Am I wearing correct size else please correct both UK and U.
Hi Erika, I am confused. I measure a 28 underneath my breast but a 38 in bra band size fits me! That sounds like a pretty steep difference in measurement vs.
Is it possible the 38 fits you best because you actually need a size like 28J or JJ but have sized up to ensure cup coverage?
I did this myself as a teenager and college student. A 38DDD gave me coverage, but the band was hopelessly big. Can you comfortably wear a 38 band on the loosest set of hooks when new? And is all of your breast tissue encapsulated by the cups? Hi, I really want to order some bras from the UK but have no clue what sizes to get. I have measured my band at a 30 and my bust at a If a panche bra in 36 k is to small in the cup size but I was measured in a 34 JJ in a US store called intimacy.
What size do you think I should looked in to. Sorry desperate in PA in the US. I hate bras they never fit right. Was the Panache bra in 36K the UK size? It was a UK 36k. Now you see why I hate bra shopping nothing fits right.
I live in the US. What size would I need in a bra from the US. And do you know of any place that sells the size I need so I can try them on? Thanks for your response. You can find someone to custom-make a bra, but the Ewa Michalak styles have received some very nice press.
You may also want to check out the blog: If I intend tend to purchase from USA what would my size be? Can you suggest a good brand. Check out Large Cup Lingerie. They are a UK company that offers free International shipping from time to time. That would probably be the easiest! I have always found it troublesome finding the right bras.
I have found a brand in the US, Warner that are consistently comfortable and I need a 34D for their specific brand. When I bra shop in the UK no matter where. I find I try bras in that size and all seem squashed. Can you recommend a brand similar to their style and what rough sizes I should be looking at in the UK? I am not as familiar with Warner bras, but I have seen from customers they sometimes run generous.
You may want to size up to a 34DD in the UK. Also, what brand and styles would you recommend? Check out our Common Bra Problems http: You may also prefer to switch and try styles from another brand like Panache or Comexim.
Fit Fully Yours also has some t-shirt bras in that size range too. Their Sculptresse line also has the fabulous Chi Chi and Flirtini bras. I am a US 36GG. I would be grateful for any advice! This style; however, is not good under a t-shirt. Molded cup bras do not fit well at all, no matter the size or brand.
I have purchased mail order and returned at least 10 in the past month. What style do you suggest? Or are you wearing a US J? Panache sometimes blends a little better than Elomi because of the seam placement. Have you tried the Freya Idol at all? Goddess just came out with a new non-padded smooth cup bra. Also, check out Fit Fully Yours. The Maxine is available up to J cups band runs small though so maybe try a 40J or 40I instead. Swimsuits are always a little tricky like bras , but I typically suggest starting with your normal size.
I wear a 38H, in lane bryant bras. I find if i go to a 40H, the band feels too loose, but I need a bigger cup, because my chest starts to spill over just a bit. What would my sizing be in UK? I recommend checking through our Bra Naked Truth articles for more information because I do a great breakdown on finding a starting point size and correcting fit issues. Because of my experience owning our own store, I know that VS sizing is not always the best place to start, particularly if you are thinking of going with a UK company.
Check these articles out:. There are also some Canadian online retailers too although none will stock the Bravissimo brand as that is their in-house collection which could make things cheaper on shipping, particularly for any returns. Regardless, check out the fit advice because it will help you figure out if she really needs a 38DD or if there is a size that will fit her better.
Hi I wear a uk size 34GG in all my bras, fauve, fantasie, panache, Im getting married and have a low back dress so need a low back bustier, have been looking at the wacoal and le mystere bustiers, what size would I order? Depending on how low the dress is, there are low back converters which can drop the back of a regular bra low enough, but it may also be an area where you need to work with alterations.
In some cases, we have worked with alterations to lower the back of an existing bustier to be concealed under the dress. Other times we have taken an older bra and had it sewn into the dress.
It just depends on how low the back is. These could be redone to suit the shape of the dress, but it will add to alterations. Hello Erica, I have just recently discovered the wacoal retro 36 DD. I love this bra and have it in numerous colours. I would love to try A Freya plunge, but it runs in my mind from my time in the UK that the cups run smaller. Can you offer any advice? Is that the classic Retro Chic?
If that fits okay, you may want to look at the 36E or F in Freya. Hi Erica, wow that was a super fast response. Thanks for the advise. I will let you know how I get on. Hi Erica, I have asked you questions before on bra sizing, but can you help with panties. I am thinking on buying the Freya vixen plunge bra, you recommended that I bought two cup sizes bigger, I am a 36 dd in the Wacoal retro and will be trying the 36 F in the Freya Vixen.
I also love the wacoal retro panties in a medium, what would you recommend size wise in the Freya Vixen Panties. As a result, you may find you need a different size depending on the style and manufacturer! I think it also varies from store to store of course , and although band sizes are the same, cup sizes can vary a lot.
I usually fill out an American cup size C, but while getting fitted at Debenhams, I ended up having to ask to try on larger sizes because a C was incredibly small.
True, sizing is not always one-to-one, but I think it has more to do with different brands too. Even in America, there are some companies with more generous cups, and within certain brands, individual bras can also run differently. For people purchasing online, I recommend reading reviews and possibly contacting the retailer to gauge their opinion on sizing. It could help give a better idea on how the cups and band size run and increase the chance the purchase will be successful.
A 38HH sounds like a UK size already. US companies often do not use the double letters. In American, that would be more like a 38L. I am a 40 I in U S but I sag even though cup size fits.
Suggestion about size and where to order bras this size. Right now I wear Glamorize Thanks for help. Never knew any one else to talk to about this issue. Have you tried Goddess or Elomi? They give a lot of lift and are better quality than Glamorise. Keira is about the same price as Glamorise, but the support is amazing!
Thank you, I had been going to try Glamorise because I have found Glamorise in larger sizes, but now I am trying to work out which Goddess or Elomi to purchase. Which of the Elomi or Goddess would you consider to be the roomier fitting size for size?
Are the sizes directly comparable or is one a UK and one a US sizing. I also like a fuller coverage. Are you able to offer any insight into one brand over the other? Perhaps suggest a particular style in a particular size? Can you perhaps suggest a totally different brand and size and style that may be preferable given all the parameters?
I should mention that I really only wear soft cup bras as my size changes dramatically in the course of the day due to lymphedema and underwire is just too uncomfortable. Any help would be much appreciated. Based on your measurements, I would say you are probably about a US 50I.
Elomi uses UK sizing while Goddess uses US sizing; however, Elomi does not offer any styles in 50 bands and only has one soft cup options anyway. It features a full-coverage design, restricted stretch straps with a movable shoulder cushion pad, and a wireless design.
It does have side stays to keep tissue forward, but they can be removed easily if you prefer. Glamorise may still be on the table. Check out their Magic Lift and bras. In my experience, Glamorise can be a bit stiff at first, so you may want to wash them with a little fabric softener before wearing for a full day. The band and cups runs small, so I would order the 52I.
Hello I usually wear panache bras in a 30G in and want to try other brands as well. Would it be the same size for Fantasie bras? Also I would appreciate it if you could recommend a few bra brands for my body type small waist, large boobs thank you.
No, it actually means there can be quite a difference between UK and US cup sizes. I just discovered your blog and thanks for the info.
Any idea what that would be in a U. You may actually need a much larger cup. It could be worth seeing if one is local instead of going through the UK with costly shipping and returns. While looking up converting UK to us sizing I found out from a bra fb page that I am no where near the 36C i have been wearing from a 34GG on my large side.
Any advice or help would be awesum I and going on a yr of trying to find my good bra. First, if you are wearing 34GGs in American sizing that would be a 34J. Watch taking measurements too. I find we had the most issues with returns on our online store when people took measurements leaning over rather than standing upright.
Go to retailer websites like Panache, Parfait, Freya, or Fantasie and see who their stockists are. Stores that carry those brands often have a wider range of sizes.
How to Determine your Bra Size?
Find your UK Bra Size from body measurements with our UK Bra Size Chart. The International Size Reference Guide. Women. Bra Size Chart, UK How to Determine your Bra Size? To determine your bra size (and to find the perfect fitting bra), it is very important that you measure your body carefully. Cup Size = Over bust measurement (inches. - A cup size Capacity bra cup size increases in proportion to the waist. That is, the capacity of the cup in a 80D bra is more than a bra 75D, despite the fact that you are using the same letter D to denote the size of the cup. Cup volume (cup size) is increasing when the band size is decreasing (and that the cup volume is decreasing when the band size is increasing). Because of this, more cup sizes can fit your breasts, if the band size changes.