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Re: bra cup styles... a bra cup that has seams is more supportive and may be more comfortable to you. It is best for your breasts not not wear only molded cup bras exclusively.

Only 10% of the support should come from the shoulder straps. The bra band should provide 90% of the support.

You should not feel the under wire of a well-fitted bra. Most underwire complaints are the result of a cup too shallow or the bra band riding up the back. This forces the under wire to slide forward into the breast tissue,

About being sure of your size....

If you can go to a Nordstrom or specialty bra shop, and be professionally fitted, it is best (other than Victoria's Secret! stay away from them for fitting. They have a limited range of sizes and tend to fit us at whatever come closest to what they offer!)

If you need to measure on your own, hold the tape measure low and level around your rib cage. By low, I mean not right at the breast crease, but an inch or so below that. Next, blow out all of the air. You want to measure with your ribs at their smallest, (hence the elastic) and pull the tape measure tight. This is your ribcage measurement. To find your band size, DO NOT add 5 inches! Generally speaking its good to add 1-4 inches. The smaller your ribcage, the more you will add. (mine is 31.5 and I wear a 34 band). The band should make up 90% of the bra's support, the straps only 10% so this is important to get right.

There is a website by the bra shop 'Intimacy' that has a very helpful section with photo examples of incorrect versus correct fit. If you google the word intimacy, it should pop up. They also have a place on their website where you can search by zipcode or state, for a qualified fitting store.

Remember that bra makers employ something called sister sizing. This means if one goes up a band size, one needs to go down a cup size to keep the same sized cup (and the inverse is true) in other words, a 38A = 36B =34C =32D =30DD. Amazing as this may sound, it is completely true.

Here's a partial summary on cup sizing:

Anyone wearing an A - D cup usually will not run into confusion as to how various brands fit. There are some differences of course, but it is not as much of an issue.

After the D cup, things get tricky. American brands include Wacoal, Felina, Victoria's Secret, Donna Karan, Playtex, Warner, Calvin Klein. Very few offer larger than a D cup. Those that do, such as Wacoal, offer a D,DD,DDD, and then G. So their G equals 4 D's. However, Wacoal does run large in the cups, so if you need 4Ds in another brand, you may not need it with Wacoal.

European brands, such as Le Mystere, Aubade, Prima Donna, Simone Perle, Natori and Chantelle don't have double letter notations. The exception being Chantelle. Sometimes this bra maker will offer DD, sometimes not. (But if so, their DD still equals their E cup) Another exception is Lepel, I believe this is an Italian company, but it uses UK sizing. Generally speaking, sizing will run D,E,F,G, and so forth. So a European company's G cup will equal 4 D's. Which sounds like they should be the same as American brands, but they're really not. European cups run smaller.

Next comes the UK manufacturers, which are my favorite not only for quality, comfort and fit, but the variety offered. Examples of UK bra makers are Fantasie, Freya, Fayreform, and Panache. the sizing for UK is D,DD,E,F,FF,G,GG, etc. so , a G cup for a UK brand = 6 D's instead of the 4 D's for American and European brands. Strangely, UK brands do not have a double E cup size. I know not why....

If you wear a cup size larger than D, it is good to understand how many D's you actually are, so that you can do the conversion according to manufacturer. A fairly common size is the DD cup, so its important to remember that a DD does not exist for, say, LeMystere, therefore if you're looking at a Le Mystere bra, you will need the E cup size. However, an E cup by a UK bra maker is actually DDD, and there is no E cup with American made bras.

So to try to sum up the double D and up cup sizing...

DD = DD in US brands and UK brands
DD = E in European brands
DDD = DDD in US brands, and E in UK brands
DDD = F in European brands
DDDD =G in US brands, and F in UK brands
DDDD = G in European brands (but will be smaller cups than if it were a US bra maker, so you're really not comparing apples with apples)

I hope this is helpful:)


Comments (10)
tonymazFrom: tonymaz | 2011-02-11 13:24:45

I LOVE this album!!!
OkiGirlFrom: OkiGirl | 2010-03-31 05:35:00

This was very helpful! Thank you. I had my BA 4 years ago. 600cc's, silicone. I have such a hard time finding a bra that's comfortable. I finally went to a specialty shop where they measured me as 30GG. They fit me with a couple Panache bras. I hate to wear them for everyday, around the house though. The fabric below the underwire has all rolled up on one side & it feels like it digs into my ribs.
halotomliveFrom: halotomlive | 2009-04-27 01:05:26

tanyamac73From: tanyamac73 | 2008-12-17 09:37:55

I just went in to be measured for bras and had been told that I was a 38DDD, so I purchased some bras and noticed I was getting no support and the straps were digging into my shoulders. I went told to go to Cacique at the mall because there was a girl there that was really good at properly fitting girls for bras. SHe asked what size I was wearing so I told her. She said that she could look at me and see I was no 38. (33 ribcage) and also told me that the most common mistake women make is to add inches to the band. The only time you should add is if you are an odd or 1/2 size. Then I started thinking about when I had watched Oprah's show on properly fitting bras and how women were off by 5 inches in the band and 4 cup sizes too small. Makes perfect sense now.
mspv1978From: mspv1978 | 2008-11-30 06:05:46

Thanks, this is great for me because I'm 4wks BR post-0p
Jackie0511From: Jackie0511 | 2008-09-06 16:26:54

Thank you! Very good info! You look great btw :)
TwintatasFrom: Twintatas | 2008-07-05 13:20:36

candicandeeFrom: candicandee | 2008-06-23 20:07:26

Thankyou.....this was very helpful...being that I never really had a bra that fit cause there was nothing to support!! lol
nancyleesFrom: nancylees | 2008-06-21 15:16:33

Wow. What a wonderful education. Thank you so much. Nancy
ready4myupgradeFrom: ready4myupgrade | 2007-04-18 15:00:44

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