Tuesday, August 12, 2014

We Need A Bra Revolution

Did you know that about 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size? Well, I was one of them and after reading a lot about it, I thought I'd share some of the information with you all because I strongly feel that we need a bra revolution! I'll start with my story...

I am a busty gal. I know I definitely don't look it, but I have a larger bust. When I was younger I used to wear a 34 band size, but it just seemed off. The back kept riding up (one of the signs that you are wearing the wrong size), and one day it sort of clicked that maybe I needed a smaller band size. I always wear a size small and the bust measurement for size smalls are usually 32 inches, so I sized down to a 32 band size on my own without getting fitted or anything. It fit better, but still the bras I got seemed too small to support me. You may have noticed that when you go to a store to shop for bras, they generally only carry cup sizes A-D with maybe some DDs peppered in. Furthermore, they do not carry bras that have smaller band sizes with larger cup sizes. I ended up always having to order online because I couldn't ever find my size in stores. At this point, I was wearing a 32D.

It wasn't until about a month or so ago when I ordered a bathing suit and tried it on to find that it was way too small that I finally decided enough was enough. I needed to figure out my real bra size, especially since I've been experiencing a lot of upper back pain. I wanted to know once and for all. I did a little research and found some specialty stores in my area. The first one I went to wasn't too much help. They only confirmed that I was wearing the wrong size, but they didn't have a big enough selection of sizes for me to try to find out my size. Again, I did some more research and tried a different store in the area and this one was extremely helpful. They had all of the sizes that I wanted to try based on my sizing research. The woman there measured me and brought in about 10 different bras for me to try on. They stay in the dressing room with you which is a little weird at first, but you get over it. She stayed in there and was able to let me know what she thought about the fit as a professional. Finally, we determined my bra size. I had the band size right, but the cup size was too small. I needed something above D and DD. A size that is not sold in most stores.

I felt so relieved that I had figured out my bra size and could finally get the support I need, but as a consumer, I feel really neglected. Why aren't stores carrying more sizes? Why is there this misconception that smaller women can't have larger breasts? Bras can go from AAA-J cups and 28-52 band sizes, yet you really only see A-DD cups and 32-40 band sizes in stores with anything below 34 band size being only A-C cups. At least this is what I've encountered my entire adult bra shopping life. Why are some women being ignored and forced to shop online, unable to try things on? It seems pretty unfair and inconvenient to me.

In my top-notch super high-tech Googling, I found some great resources that better explain bra sizing and how to figure out your real bra size. Here is a summary of what I learned with some links to where I found them out:

  • Did you know that not all D cups are alike? The whole larger cup size thing is somewhat of a myth. Cup size is dependent on your band size. A 32D is not the same as a 36D. I'm pretty sure a 32D would be equivalent to around a 36B, cupwise. 
  • However, some sister sizes do exist. Again, it depends on the band size which one will fit better on you. This chart is a great and quick little summary.
  • Here is what different bra sizes really look like on different people [May be NSFW]
  • Your bra should not need the straps adjusted too much. It should not ride up in the back, but remain parallel to your body all the way around. There should be no gaps between your rib cage and the part of the bra that rests between your breasts. Your breasts should not be spilling out of the cups, nor should they be swimming in them with huge gaps of space inside. 
  • Try a measurement technique like this if you feel like you might be wearing the wrong size.
  • If you go down a band size, you need to compensate by going up 2 cup sizes.
  • Some brands (such as French brands) may have slightly different sizing
  • If you have trouble finding your bra size in stores, try online shops like Figleaves or HerRoom. Bare Necessities carries a lot of sizes, too.
  • Try this Reddit guide for more info!

10 comments:

  1. Awesome post!! I can't stress enough the importance of getting fitted and investing in a GOOD bra. I'm a bustier girl as well, and was so frustrated about how ugly and ill-fitting my bras were compared to my friends. Once I did a bit of homework, I was completely shocked about how big of a difference the right bra can make.

    Right now, I'm wearing a good bra and it's so comfortable! Gone are the days of bad bras digging into my back, while having boob slippage when I move :)

    xo Jackie
    Something About That

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  2. oh I LOVE that you shared this Sara! A good blogger friend of mine had told me this oh geeze at least 6 months ago but I was just overwhelmed w/ going into all that info on Reddit so thank you so much for all the info and links together. I'm going to do the measurements right now because i'm sure i'm not wearing the right size after what my friend said (aka practically nobody is). i think stores not carrying more sizes is simple economics. until more consumers start complaining and they start losing business to the shops that do carry more varieties, they'll just keep offering such limited sizes because it's so much cheaper for them to manage limited inventory. But! It's an even better reason to support a local business I say : ).

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    1. also thanks for your size comparisons w/ the bust/band measurements! I think people just freak out when they hear the larger cup, so that was interesting to me. glad you found some that fit at that shop & had a helpful lady!

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  3. For my hen party, the girls all got me bras. I'd been to a fitting fairly recently right before all this but my size was unusual so most girls got me the "sister size."

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  4. Bras are so freaking difficult to find whether you are small chested or large chested. I am obviously super small chested and even though I'm 32 inches around the bust, I have to have a 36A! It's so weird! And that size barely exists anywhere. Who cares what size you are as long as something fits, am I rite?

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  5. I'm so, SO glad you posted this! I've been meaning to write a post like this myself. I really don't like seeing bloggers in the obvious wrong bra size (bands riding up, cups runneth over, etc.). I think we need to spread the word as much as possible and hopefully get the retailers to start carrying more sizes! Finding my "true" size changed my life in more ways than one and I want that for every woman!

    xo Kimi

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  6. This is actually something ALL LADIES need to know! When I was fitting girls for bras at my last job, I let them pick out the size they thought they were and then measured them and had them try both on...They were shocked and stunned by the difference and often really hesitant to buy a bigger size, even if it made them look so much better!

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  7. Now if only I could find the perfect strapless bra ! Does that even exist?

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  8. Amen! I usually try to find my sister size bra in stores because that's the closest I can find. I just can't understand why they don't carry smaller band sizes. Tons of girls are smaller around and have boobs. I'm supposed to be something like a 30D but you just don't find that size in stores. So I feel you, as do the majority of women, I'm sure.

    Jamie | PetitePanoply.com

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  9. Finally, the Ahh Bra guarantees to fit you perfectly, as it even stretches, so you're guaranteed to find the bra that fits without ever stepping foot in the dressing room.
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