This is the picture I show anyone who tries to argue with me about bra sizes. When I tell people about my size, or suggest that they may need a different size (when asked for advice), I often get:
- Uh, there’s no way YOU’RE a G… I’M a DD [and I’m heavier than you/have bigger boobs than you].
- There’s no WAY that [30DD/28DD bra] is a real DD. European sizing is so weird.
- I can’t be a [D+] cup, my boobs are small/average/I can’t even fill out a [32-38 AA-B] cup.
- I hate it when flat-chested girls talk about wearing a 32DDD at Victoria’s Secret, it’s 90% padding! They just want to make flat-chested girls feel better about themselves by messing up the sizes.
There are a couple of reasons why DD has such a reputation for being a “big size:”
- A terrifying amount of lingerie companies still advocate the +4 method: adding anywhere from 2-6” (most commonly 4”) to someone’s underbust measurement in order to find the band size. It’s an outdated fitting method: bands are made of stretchy material now, so adding inches is no longer needed (and consistently puts women in the wrong size). Here is an excellent post from Busts4Justice explaining it more.
- Yes, Victoria’s Secret’s method of measuring above your boobs to get your band size is +4 in disguise and doesn’t work for many women.
- That being said, this faulty way of measuring band size allows companies to make fewer sizes (read: save money), since it wrongly puts most women in band sizes that are so big that the cup size hardly makes any difference. (Also, did you know that women with a 34” or smaller under bust are always advised to add inches, but often women with a 36” or larger underbust are not? this makes it obvious that they are trying to stretch their size range farther than it goes.) Instead of providing a full, quality range of sizes (my favorite brands make around 90 sizes), they squish women into the sizes they have (usually no more than 30 sizes). I’m sure there are women who really do need a 34-38DD, but almost every single 34-38DD wearer I’ve met is wearing a too-big band and too-small cups!
So, next time you or someone you know doesn’t want to believe that a D/DD cup isn’t actually that big, try slinging a few of these facts at them (or yourself?):
- Cup size is relative: a 36C and a 34D have the same cup volume, so it’s not unlikely for someone with a small band size (even those who have “small” or “average-sized” boobs) to need a D+ cup. (For example, my 28G bras have the same cup volume as a 38D, just with a smaller band. Many people don’t think my boobs are very big until I tell them my size.)
- At least 10 cup sizes that come after DD exist. Although US sizing and European sizing aren’t very likely to come up with more than 4-5 sizes above a DD, UK sizing makes at least 10 (sometimes up to 14) cup sizes after DD. A DD cup is certainly not the “biggest size available;” in fact, it’s speculated to be a little below average depending on the band size. (32F would be the most common size if the +4 method wasn’t so widely used.)
- Many of the really busty women you know are probably not really DDs. Christina Hendricks is said to wear a 38DD, but that’s highly improbable considering her waist is 30” around. She is speculated (by bra-fitting experts) to be closer to about a 32-34 H-J or so.
- Conversely, some of the not-so-busty women you know are not necessarily an A cup. A lot of petite women (especially those who’s under bust measures 30” or smaller) are given bands that are so big on them that even the smallest cupsize floats around their body. If a woman measures 26” under bust and 32” over bust, she likely needs a 26E. But if the smallest band size is already 32, then even an A cup (made for a 33” over bust) will seem too big.
Overall, it would be awesome if we could all just stop judging each other and nitpicking our bra sizes. I think most of these comments come from insecurities: maybe the woman who says “there’s no WAY that’s a DD” doesn’t want her large breasts to feel even larger or doesn’t want her small breasts to feel even smaller. Maybe the woman who says “I can’t be a D+, I’ve been an A cup all my life” has always been told that D is a [slutty/huge/fake/scary] size and never had to think about how hurtful those negative connotations can be. Or, maybe she has passed judgment on the “Victoria’s Secret 32DDDs” before and is scared of being seen as “delusional.”
I hope that spreading some knowledge about bra fit and talking about it openly can help us move past our hang-ups and need to compare ourselves to and judge others. This is the reason I talk about bra fit so much. For me, knowing about the diversity of sizes, comfort levels, and most importantly the ability to choose which bras I want to wear has helped me accept my breasts for what they are and stop comparing myself to others. I no longer dream of a reduction, and I hope that I can spread this feeling to others because it is awesome.
Have you ever been judged for your bra size by friends, family, peers, or even bra fitters?