Skip to content Skip to footer

Bra sizes explained

What Do They Mean by ‘Bra Size’?

So, whether you are following a particular glamour model or are just naturally gifted since your teenage years, figuring out the system for bra sizes can be difficult. In fact, a surprising number of women wear bras that are ill-fitting for them due to either not understanding the systems used or not going in for a professional fitting.

Well, let’s try to clear some of these issues up, shall we?

First, estimating what bra is required consists of two different measurements:

  • The Band Measurement, which is measured below the boobs and around the rib cage.
  • The Bust Measurement, which is measured around the largest point of the bust and rib cage.

By combining these two measurements, we delve into cup sizes. Roughly speaking, each inch in difference between the bust and band measurements equals one cup. So, a woman possesses a 34-inch band measurement (the circumference of her torso, boobs not included) and a 38-inch bust (the circumference of her torso AND boobs). Therefore, she would roughly be about a 34E bra.

Simple, right? So why do women with more up-top complain about this?

Because there is a glass ceiling for bra sizes (a ‘brass’ ceiling)!

Most stockists of bras and underwear stop selling sizes larger than an H cup. Specialty stores stop at a K cup, so if someone like Leanne Crow (who is an M-cup) would need to have their bras commissioned privately, which would cost upwards of US$100 easily. 

Internationally, women with larger busts also have to learn how to convert the size they are familiar with to systems used in different countries (see images below) and even different companies based out of said countries. This is mainly based on which bra sizes are most common as they will sell more bras for this range compared to others.

OnlyOneRhonda, a well-known glamour model on Instagram, stated that finding bras in her size was more difficult than others.

“Finding a bra is an annoying process. It’s like many companies act as if no size exists beyond DDD cups. And unfortunately when they do exist, the bras are sometimes low in variety, design, comfort or have a weird shape. Currently, I can only shop online until I find a custom bra company I like. Sometimes that means I have to ship things back when they don’t fit and wait for a replacement to arrive. I’m actually hoping I don’t get bigger than a 36L because then I’ll no longer be able to shop at my favorite company, Bravissimo who ends their sizes at 36L.” – OnlyOneRhonda

With so many factors affecting the correct size and fit of a bra that is larger than a triple D, many women are forced to consider the time, money and difficulty of finding a brasserie that is comfortable, supportive and good-looking. So the next time you see a big-busted artist showing off a brand new bra, show your appreciation that somewhere in the fashion industry there is a glimmer of hope for busty women everywhere.

Show CommentsClose Comments

Leave a comment


Our biggest stories delivered to your inbox