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I’ve heard just about every description there is for boob sizes while standing in fitting rooms with my clients. Big, small, lopsided, bottom-heavy, pendulous, just right for my boyfriends hands, whatever. You name it, I’ve heard and seen it. 

 

My point here is that breast size is far from universal but you know what is? Fit and comfort. That’s why we have bra fitters and not bra sizers (boom, mind blown right?!)

 

So let’s talk about this mysterious world of numbers and letters mostly made up by men to sell us a garment that most of the time they can’t manage to take off of us without asking questions. Yes ladies, it’s time to talk about bra sizing.

 

More than just talking about sizing we really need to think about the connotation of being labeled with a size at all. It’s something we think about far too often and know very little about. We have given it the power to affect our self-esteem, define us, and even alter our perceptions of the world around us.

 

Ladies, we’re way more than a size on a tag and we know it. Yet it’s the way that bras on a rack or on a website are sold to us. That’s not right and we’re here to explain why you should always be fit for a bra and not just get the one that claims it’s your “size”. Let’s delve into some of the expectations about bra sizing and what the actual reality is. 

inclusive size

Expectation: 

All 38Cs fit the same. All 38 bands fit the same. All C cups fit the same. (or whatever size)

Reality:

Picture this. You’re browsing through the shoe store and find two boxes with the same size on the size. One is a pair of $12 Puma’s and the other a $700 pair of Gucci. They say the same size on the box so they are going to fit the same right? Please…

Like the shoes in the example the two bras in the same size will have been engineered to different specifications. This is actually of benefit to you as it addresses specific fit requirements for individual needs. Even the same bra in the same size but a different color often won’t fit the same. Many factors can alter that fit like it was made in a different production run where factors from the workers to the humidity, to the coloring used, or where materials are sourced could affect the fabric and construction. The reality is there are numerous differences across the same band, cup or band/cup combos. 

 

Expectation:

You only fit in one size or one cup.

Reality: 

What kind of vehicle do you drive? Think about it for a moment. When you were looking for that car the odds are that you sat in lots of cars to get the right fit, the right feel. Every car had a drivers seat but each seat is just a little different, each hugs and supports in a different way for a multitude of body types.

The same is true of bras. The reality is there are many sizes each person can fit. There is something called sister sizing. Complimentary sizes with comparable cup volume even though the band and/or cup may be bigger or smaller. Combine that with variations in the execution of the sizing and accounting for style differences and you could potentially wear 5 different sizes and they all fit!

 

Expectation:

Band and cup cannot be independently referenced. For instance “I’m a B” or “I’m a 36”

Reality:

Read above on the car analogy and kindly repeat after me, “I am not just a size!”. It has nothing to do with who you are as a person. You happen to be wearing a [insert size here]. The reality is the band tells you nothing without the cup and cup alone doesn’t tell you anything about a band. The band and cup together signify that a certain amount of volume can be held. For instance, a 32D holds a hell of a lot less volume than the same band size at a HH cup. Both 32’s, but completely different. And a 46D holds a hell of a lot more volume than a 36D. Both D’s but completely different. But combined, i.e. 28J, tells me that’s a hell of a lot of boob on a very petite frame.

black full bust polish bra

Full Bust means smaller/average rib cages and larger busts. Typically E cup and up! (Ewa Michalak BM Bibi, available F-K cups)

Expectation: 

The alphabet stops at D or DD

Reality: 

In the reality check above you may have noticed I used letters you may never have seen in reference to bra sizing – HH or J. In fact, the alphabet doesn’t stop at D. Far from it! There are more sizes than American box stores and manufacturers let on. Talk about trying to force unreasonable societal expectations! 

Some brands, like the Polish Ewa Michalak, size up through an M cup. You read that right, that’s “M” for “My goodness that’s a lot of boob!”. The American bra sizing chart has no equivalent. So if you wonder why your cup always seems to runneth over… think about a brand that caters to reality. And the reality is there are bigger breasts than a D or a DD. In fact, if we look at sheer numbers the most popular cup sizes in our shop are over a FF (or over a US H cup).

 

Expectation:

There is only one standardized sizing system. Because ‘Merca, heck yeah!

Reality:

There are actually “standardized” bra sizes in American, European, UK, France, Australian, Polish and numerous variations for independent designers and indie brands. Furthermore, they are all different. The higher up in the cup alphabet you go the more fit differences you run into.

bra size

Expectation:

It doesn’t matter what materials are used or the style. “My 1 size” will always fit.

Reality:

We’ve all found ourselves at one time or another laying on a bed with a pair of jeans that clearly shrunk in the closet. The ones that I wore yesterday in the club but today require I use a club to hold them closed while I attempt to zip them up. News flash, our bodies change based on all sorts of things and that 1 size that fit yesterday may not fit today because of a variety of factors. Those include, hormones, bloating, weight gain, weight loss, not drinking enough water, or just because our bodies are unique and feel like today is a non-jeans (or bra) day. 

Your body and how it fits certain materials and styles are the top influencers of fit of any size and provide great variations that determine whether you need to adjust the cup, band or both to achieve a properly functioning and comfortable fit.

 

Expectation:

I can put the bra on my body, like close the clasps and it covers my nipples and stuff. So it fits!

Reality:

Just because you can put it around your body DOES NOT mean it “fits” or it is “your size”. I can put on my husband’s size 16 shoes, but it in no way does it mean it fits. As soon as I go to take a step, I’ve fallen out, or in (seriously, they are like boats). But my God I love that man! But I digress…

 

Expectation:

I’ve always worn this size.

Reality:

You are not the same size today as you were 10 years ago or even last week. Maybe you did wear that size. And maybe you’ve kept your svelte figure from 1985…but I guarantee your shape has changed and that can affect bra sizing. Your breasts change from week to week. Sometimes subtle sometimes noticeably. Ovulation, health changes, and even food can affect bra size & fit. We advise having a few great options that cater to those changes outside of your normal bra rotation. Remember those disco jeans we were talking about a few paragraphs back? 

 

Expectation:

You size your bra regardless of what your body actually needs based on a perceived societal expectation or a size for an anticipated future instead of reality.

Reality:

Just like you can’t pick a bra size for a past body, you can’t pick a bra size for a future or desired body. Nor do you have to stay within the bra confines American marketing and movies have laid out as the only acceptable sizes (or styles for that matter – hint the standard t-shirt bra doesn’t work on 80% of the bra wearing population!). Your bra has a purpose and that purpose is not to make you conform! It is to lift, separate, and support your natural and beautiful self. It is also a great way to express yourself or a mood that only you are privy to.

Marlies Dekkers bra

Shop for where you are now. Now where you dream of being.

Expectation:

The bra size on the label is all that matters. 

Reality:

Bra sizes on a label only serve as a basic point of reference. A starting point in obtaining a proper fit. The label is not reliable. Even the untrained eye can hold 2 bras in the same size up side by side and see vast differences. So one may fit like we would expect and the other is 2 cups sizes bigger and oh, the band is smaller too. But they both have the same size label. Remember our shoe example at the beginning? They are both just shoes right? Puma or Gucci, no need to try them on to see if they FIT different because the size on the box is the same. See how silly that sounds?

 

Expectation:

They don’t make my bra size.

Reality:

[Buzzer!] The Perky Lady carries up to a UK K cup in stock with access to larger and smaller sizes with some resources offering bespoke services. In short, yes, there is a bra size out there that will fit you properly.

Sachi Black Plus Size Bra

I call bullshit. Plus size, petite, full bust, asymmetrical – the perfect bras exist for you. Thank you niche brands!

Expectation:

There aren’t any options in my size. My size is really hard to find.

Reality:

Sometimes what people mean to say is “I don’t really want a bra.” or “Looking at myself in the mirror is really hard for me right now.” The reality is there are a plethora of options in sizes across the board and they are not hard to find. The combination of more unique niche bra brands and specialty shops like The Perky Lady exist to break the mold and serve the non-core sized segment (which in reality non-core is the norm ya’ll). You can have all the options in a very easy to locate setting where your exact needs will be catered to. Easy peasy! A simple search or a referral from a friend is all it takes. 

 

Ready to redefine how you look and feel? We’re ready to help! Book your VIP experience now and give yourself the gift of lift. Or call us to book your Perky Party now for and you and your friends to get the gift of lift together!

XoXo,

April