Monday, June 10, 2013

We are the 90 percent!

This is a public service announcement for all the ladies out there. Gentlemen, come again another day. This is a post about bra fitting, and it will not be in the least bit sexy.

I've heard the stat that 90% of women wear the wrong bra size. It always brought to mind pictures of massive quad boobs, grandma bras sagging well below waist lines, and rolls of back fat from too small bands. I had none of those problems, so clearly I was the 10%. Huzzah. 34B for the win. WRONG. Grab your poster board and glitter ladies. We are going down with the Wall Streeters to chant about how we are the 90 percent.

What tipped me off about the wrong size? Well, my bra straps would slip off my shoulders by the end of the day no matter how tight I made them in the morning. Also, when I got home at the end of the day, I could not wait to get the painful device clearly designed by men off my chest. I mean, I have small breasts. I don't even really need a bra. Everything stays put (because there is hardly anything to sag), so how could this bra hurt so bad?

One night last week, I stumbled upon a blog detailing proper bra fit. Rather than regurgitating 4 hours of reading back to you, I'll summarize and provide links at the bottom for you to explore. Pretty much take a soft tape measure and measure around your rib cage. Then, bend over 90° so everything hangs free. Measure around the widest part. Each inch of difference between the numbers is a cup. (See link for bra size calculator below.)

Before I tell you what size I wear, let me clarify a big misconception I held. I thought the Victoria's Secret elves would grab a box of D cups and sew them onto varying band widths to get the 30D, 32D, 34D, etc. Not so. In reality a 30D is the same as a 32C is the same as a 34B is the same as a 36A in terms of cup volume. These pictures should help.

So, after measuring myself I got 30.5 (if I exhaled I got 28, but I don't want a bra fitting too tightly) for my band and 35.5 for my bust. That means the 34B that Victoria's Secret told me I wear is wrong. I am actually a 32DD. WHAAAAAA?????? In my head I saw this lady.

I even texted my mom, so we could laugh together. That's ridiculous. I laughed about it with my girlfriends at Rick's Bakery the next morning. But then I decided to try some on. Thinking maybe I should use the 32 of the band size and not the 30.5 that I measured, I tried on a 32D. I fastened it behind my back, bent over, and used the scoop and score swoop method that every website suggests (it makes a world of at bottom). The bra was too small! I was muffin topping out of there. So I trudged out to the rack and grabbed a 32DD. It looked huge on the hanger, but it fit. I bought all of the styles TJ Maxx had in my new size (all two of them). They are full coverage, and I'm not terribly crazy about them in the looks department, but boy are they comfy.

Moral of the story: If I am a 32DD, then everybody else in the world is bigger. Okay, maybe not, but I feel like every girl should measure herself in the privacy of her home. It is awesome to wear a properly fitting bra. The more you know about this, the more you see ill fitting bras popping up everywhere. I saw a Pin featuring the picture below. It links to an article on exercises to get rid of the armpit fat bulge circled. Do you know what she really needs to do? Yep. Buy a bigger bra. That armpit fat is just boobage being squeezed out the side of her cups.

I've already decided that I am going to get my mom and sister good bras for Christmas. I am at the brink of sizes stores regularly carry, so I am sure that they will be excluded from the chain store party. Apparently good boutique quality bras are pretty cheap in the UK, so your best bet for affordable DD+ bras are eBay, Amazon, and

To find out your size check out these links:
How to properly measure yourself
Bra size calculator

These are good links on how a good bra should fit. I might skip these if you are at work. There are lots of pictures of ladies in bras.
How to scoop and swoop
How to spot a proper fit
Huge compendium of all things boob and bra (some links in this one are definitely NSFW)

Also, if you do end up measuring yourself, PLEASE leave a comment (it can be anonymous) to let me know what size you used to wear and what your proper size is now. I'm so curious if anyone else goes from a 34B to 32DD!

On a related note, does anyone out there want a bajillion 34B bras for free?

*Update: Because 32DD bras are difficult to track down (42DD=easy, but below 36 band is hard), I tried on my "sister size" of 34D. The band is a little big, but on the tightest setting, it will work for the interim. The actual cup fits very well.

*Update 2: After wearing it a few times, I kind of hate one of the bras that I got at TJ Maxx. The peak of the cups (where the cup meets the strap) comes almost to my collar bone. I think this style works for people with shallow breasts, but on me it is just a lot of fabric where I don't have boobs. If you can, try on bras before you buy.


  1. I just did this! I got fitted at VS last month as a 36C. This says I'm a 30F. No wonder my band was always riding up. Who trains these idiots?

    1. From what I read, they use an outdated method of measuring above the breasts and on top of your bra to get the cup size, which doesn't work unless you are pretty much flat chested. Another problem with Victoria's Secret (again, from what I've read) is that they don't carry a wide variety of sizes, so they just pick what is closest to what they can sell you.

  2. If you don't need a bra, why wear one? I don't understand how there can be a 5 inch diffence but you have small boobs that sounds like a big chest.

    1. I just meant that I don't need a bra for support. I do skip it under some dresses and tops. I like the shape a molded bra gives under fitted shirts and stuff. Plus, things can get vulgar in sheer tops or in colder weather without one.

      Five inches isn't really all that big. It just means each boob sticks out about 2.5 inches, so the total difference between your breast and ribcage circumference is five inches. Feel free to look through the blog at pictures of me. I promise I do not have a big chest! I bet if you measure yourself, you'll be surprised at the difference you see.

  3. This blog could have been written by me! We sound just a like in the boob department...boob twins :) I've squeezing myself Into a 34B for about 15 years now. I can't believe I didn't find out my true size is 32DD until 30 years of age! I found I also can fit into 32D in some bras. I can fit into Victoria's Secret 32DD's good to know I can easily find bras!

    1. Haha...boob twins. I'll keep that in mind in case I ever need a stunt double in a movie or something. ;)

  4. Ugh. I guess learning your true bra size isn't helpful if a 32 G doesn't exist anywhere. Guess I'll stick with 34D. PS Liz I love your blog.

    1. That does indeed make it a little difficult. Surely the interwebs has one somewhere. Lol. PS Kristen, I love you.

  5. I went from wearing a 34B and now it says I should wear a 28DD


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