When I set off for Las Vegas last month we were super excited to attend a big lingerie show and get up close and personal with lots of brands. We definitely met lots of interesting and passionate people at the Curve Show, but this was interwoven with some glaring problems that dog the lingerie industry and keep women from their best-fitting bras.
Here are the FOUR big bra problems I encountered:
1. The use of multiple Ds is keeping North American women away from embracing larger cup letters
2. Not enough brands understand the difference between Full Bust and Plus Size bras
3. Sizing for Full Bust women is still wildly inaccurate
4. Online boutiques are massively overlooked by brands and women alike
1. Who Wants to be a 12D? Not me!
As most of you know I’m an adopted North American having lived here for 7 years but I’m originally from England. I had never heard an F cup referred to as a DDD before I moved to Canada, and it baffled me why multiple Ds were used for bra sizes. Figuring out how the multiple D system translated into UK sizes took me months.
When I attended the Freya Fitting Seminar in Las Vegas, the fitter referred to the range of sizes produced by Freya as going from D to 12D (or K in UK sizing). Using Ds to describe sizes all the way up to a K is ludicrous and harmful in my opinion:
- No one else in the world uses this multiple D system so it makes it harder for women to figure out which bras from other countries will fit them (something they need to know considering how few North American brands design for G+ boobs).
- Keeping women trapped in D cups perpetuates the stigma that anything over a D cup is huge (check out my blog ‘Breaking the D Cup Barrier’ to understand why this is a problem)
The majority of women in North America do not know that bras with cups over a DD exist which is part of the reason so many full busted women are in the wrong bra. If we could get some universal and consistent language around small back, full cup boobs then perhaps D-K cup bras will seem less scary. Ditch the Multiple Ds!!
2. Full Bust Bras Aren’t Necessarily Big Bras
What’s the difference between Full Bust and Plus Size bras? Plus Size refers to your body size and not your boobs. You can be plus sized and have a small bust. Check out the chart below to see an approximate breakdown of Regular, Full Bust and Plus Sizes:
We continue to come up against ‘Online Fear’ and indeed some brands at Curve simply wouldn’t talk to us about their lingerie because we’re online. One brick and mortar store owner actually said to me “So you don’t have to think about fit then being online.” This summed up for me the lack of knowledge about online boutiques. We have to empower our customers even more to understand their size and styles. Fit should be everything to every boutique whether online or off.
When I spoke to brands and other store owners about the online discussions around Full Bust bras, removing +Four as the standard measuring technique and competitions like Star in a Bra most looked at me like I was spouting gibberish. Being so far away from the conversations (and women) who rely on the Internet for their bra knowledge, support and product is a mistake that some may realize too late.
Our trip to Vegas was thoroughly worthwhile (we got to see Claudette’s neon green mesh bra for goodness’ sake!) While the lack of knowledge about Full Bust bras is frustrating it also makes me even more determined to grow Femiluv and set the tone for how Full Bust women everywhere should be treated.