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Breaking Down Bra Sizes

April 22, 2019

Breaking Down Bra Sizes

Maybe you've been measured by a bra fitter, maybe you found it by trial and error - chances are you know the bra size you like to wear. But what most women don't know, is what that size really means.

Bra sizes are based on specific measurements and proportions, but a lot of us don't really understand them. We just think A = small, D = big, but that's not entirely true.


Typical bra sizes are a two-digit number followed by a letter, 36C for example. The letter refers to the cup size (as in the volume of breast tissue), but without a band size, it's meaningless. Bras in a C-cup will vary quite dramatically as the band size changes.

So What's The Band Size?

The band size will be close to the actual measurement of your ribcage in inches (for example, if your ribcage measures 35" around, you're going to want to wear a 36 band). This is a really important measurement, because we use that to determine your cup size. The total number of inches that your bust is larger than your band gives us the cup (every inch represents a cup size). So, a 36C means your bust is three inches larger than your band.

Why Can I Wear Different Sizes?

Lots of women can wear different bra sizes in different brands (sometimes even in the same brand)! That's because bra sizing isn't standardized and even a brand's choice of materials can effect the fit of a bra. Certain fabrics, like mesh, offer a lot of stretch that others don't, so you may find that you're able to wear a smaller size in these bras. We make sure to note in our product descriptions if a fit is smaller or more generous, but you can always ask us your specific fit questions.

North American vs European Sizing

Brands from different parts of the world use different sizing, especially when you get beyond a D cup. Our site typically uses European bra sizing, which means that instead of sizes like 32DDD, you'll see a 32F. 

Still Confused?

Visit our Fit Room for more info or book an appointment.


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