Stop adding four inches on me!

There are a couple things that rile me about lingerie design, one being I can’t often find my correct size (hence why I use to have my own Lingerie label), two being that ‘fitters’ measure me and try put me in my wrong size.

When I first started working as a designer for high street stores (ah hum twelve years ago!) I questioned why, when we measured a lady we added four or even five inches to her rib cage to get her size, we don’t do this when we want a pair of jeans – why do we for bras? With no answer apart from, oh that’s how everyone does it, I began to look for the reason why.

When bras first started out, you needed to add around a women’s ribcage as the fabric had no stretch and it was a comfort issue. We’ve moved on with fabric considerably to the point where you can a lasercut seam bra, yet we haven’t moved on the system of measuring.

If you want to start to work out our size to get a rough size (and I mean rough, as even this doesn’t work on some ladies) measure around your ribcage – this will indicate your band size, so if you measure a 32, wear a 32 back.

Then subtract the band size measurement from the bust measurement and determine your cup size as follows: (The cup size calculation may be less accurate for larger cup sizes.)

  • . less than 1 inch = AA cup
  • . 1 inch = A cup
  • . 2 inches = B cup
  • . 3 inches = C cup
  • . 4 inches = D cup
  • . 5 inches = DD cup
  • . 6 inches = E cup (US DDD)
  • . 7 inches = F cup (US DDDD)
  • . 8 inches = FF cup
  • . 9 inches = G cup

When a bra get designed and made a designer will measure the sample against a spec sheet, on that spec sheet is an underband stretch, and it has to past a certain stretch, therefore measuring 32 around your underband , a 32 bra depending on the brand/make should fit, yes it may feel tight, but like your trusty pair of jeans that stretch with wear, so will your bra.

How ludicrous is the old system of measuring? I put my measurements into bra calculators for them to tell me my size. I measure (approx) underband 31 inches, over bust 35 1/2inches, I usually aim to wear a 30DD because i like the band to be tight,  or would wear a 32D if the band is too tight aka can’t breathe level!

So on: -  It’s states I’m a 36A –  It states I’m a 36D - It states I’m a 12C firm or 10C extra firm (34C or 32C) - It states I’m a 36DD or 36E

Random site but this is the closest one: - It states i’m a 32D

It shocks me that on websites such as the above they tell you that wearing the right size bra is important, yet five different sites, five different measurements, and not close either!

Sadly some shops don’t do much better either.

'Strewth' women of Australia I feel your pain!

Brand : Annalise which specialises in cups C-E

Brand : Annalise which specialises in cups C-E

Living in the UK, its always been a pain to get certain bra sizes. I want with the fit I want,(working in Thailand I simply did not shop for Lingerie), now living in Australia and things aren't fairing that much better, even the company I’m designing for, doesn’t recognise my size!

A quick search on the net to find websites that have a variety of styles and sizes: - they start from a D cup so specialise in the Larger cup, and go down to a 28 inch (size 6) back. They do swimwear and clothing as well. – this sells more branded stuff, and is not solely aimed at the larger cups but they still carry a broad range of sizes. - this sells a whole load of lingerie and bedroom attire, if you’re looking for something of a bit of a younger design then it may be worth a look and if you’re a 30DD (I should now say 8DD), they have a good sale on.