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90% of women can't shelve their bOOks? I call foul!


KungFuPanda
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I've read that 90% of women wear ill-fitting bras. Does anyone want to convince me this is a legitimate figure? Maybe 90 percent of the people that resort to professional fittings actually needed the professional help they sought out? The numbers might make sense then.

 

I did read the last thread on this subject. I even followed the link to the article with the Sister Sizes diagram. I didn't even try to puzzle it out and pity those who have to. The thing is, not every size makes that chart. It's just not difficult to find a bra that fits well when you're a 36A! I'd be shocked to learn that 90% of those girls are wearing the wrong bra size. Honestly, we're not demanding that much support so the bra doesn't really need space-aged technology to be comfortable.

 

Maybe I'm just delusional to think finding a bra that fits isn't THAT hard and my overconfidence is the reason so many women get this wrong. I do understand the difficulty in finding a favorite style, but I'm just talking about fit here. Maybe I'm just feeling cocky today because I'm wearing a cheap Target bra that is comfortable, fits well, and wasn't even tried onion the store.

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Nope. Most women I've had occasion to discuss it with either hadn't a clue what to look for, or had trouble finding bras properly sized for them.

 

I haven't worn one in years, but when I did it was usually a too-small one way or the other sports bra.

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I believe it. I can go into a mainstream store that starts with a V and be "sized" and they tell me I wear a 38D, never mind the fact that if I go into an actual professional store and get sized I'm a 34DD/DDD depending on cup. Yep that's a huge difference. A lot of women don't know that the back strap should sit horizontal, not riding up, the straps aren't meant to hold the weight up. It is easier I think when you don't have large breasts and can go and just buy off the rack. When I'm fixing to spend $70 or more per bra to contain the nonsense that is my chest yeah I want it to be properly fit

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I don't know, IRL most women I see don't stand out as having serious need in this area, although I'm sure most could use some tweaking for just the right size. I cannot find my size at all locally, not even close. I have a few that fit ok though that I've had since my last pregnancy. Of course only one-side fits at that as I am not even. Being big period is hard as local stores only carry up to certain sizes. I do wonder what the average size is.

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Sorry, but it's not as easy to find a bra when you wear a small band size and a large cup size. I rarely find anything in my size in a brick-and-mortar store. Then again, I've recently been told I'm bad at shopping and like to complain. ;)

 

Yep, after I had this baby the difference between my band and cup size was 13 inches for awhile. Thankfully my size has decreased but it is still impossible to find.

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I know I don't often wear a properly fitting one.

 

But then bras are expensive. And between kids, breastfeeding, and my breasts can change a size depending on the time of month - I would need professional fittings all the time.

 

And even then I couldn't buy a bra that fits right on both sides. :glare: Lately I am a 32 D on one side and a 32 E or F on the other side. As one Dr said to me, "You can really see the difference". I have joked about buying two bras and cutting them apart and sewing them together to make a Frank-in-bra.

 

So right now one of my books is properly shelved, the other is not.

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I think a lot if the 90% are women who think a bra is supposed to feel that way, when it actually doesn't fit as designed but they don't know any better. For example, I have never ever in 15 years of bra wearing had a bra where the gore sat flat on my chest, even after professional fittings from multiple stores and online guides, I thought that's just how it was if you had big boobs so bully for me, right?

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I'm wearing the wrong size right now. I've lost 25 lbs. since my last fitting and the girls are the first to go. I just can't afford to go get new bras right now. The first time I got a professional fitting was seriously life changing! I felt better. I looked better. I can believe that figure.

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I think that my point is that 90% of large-breasted women just does not equal 90% of ALL women.

 

 

I think they could skew it to look that way.

 

First off make your survey a self selecting group of woman who are willing to take part in the survey.

 

If you have a woman buy a bra and ask her the next day or week if she likes it the answer is most likely to be yes. Since she has invested time and money in the bra it would be in human nature to focus on the good things about it.... I read a chapter or two in a book on this subject - makes me an expert right ;)

 

Then if she is being told during the experience how very wrong her previous bra was and how this one is so much better that would effect her opinion on the experience.

 

Then pretty much any new bra is better than an old bra. They do wear out. I remember getting a new jogging bra and it was so wonderful, it felt great. It did require instructions on how to put on. :p) But then a two months later it was not right. It wasn't perfect anymore. I already needed a new one. Then the third one I brought that year was not perfect at all. My tastes in bras had changed. I have Fibrocystic breasts which can be unpleasant feeling. But they were much better now, and I no longer liked them so well contained. I no longer felt comfortable in the same bra. My booK needs had changed that much in a year.

 

Also breasts do change size and weight during the month. Some more than others for woman. So a bra that I bought and fits perfect for me today wouldn't be just right 2 weeks from now. Mine get swollen and uncomfortable before a period and I notice that a bra that fits perfect most of the time wouldn't fit perfect during that time.

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Sorry, but it's not as easy to find a bra when you wear a small band size and a large cup size. I rarely find anything in my size in a brick-and-mortar store. Then again, I've recently been told I'm bad at shopping and like to complain. ;)

 

so true. before I had kids, I was a 32D. even NORDSTROMS didn't *carry* that size. very, very, few manufacturers made that size. eta: the same size from different manufacturers can fit differently.
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I've followed the instructions for a perfect bra size. I've finally decided that I just don't like how bras feel: if I have the band tight enough to meet the ideal, it feels uncomfortable. I don't like having tightly-belted trousers either.

 

I'm small busted, so I wear these now. They are comfortable and support me well enough for everything but running - I rarely run.

 

Laura

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I have somewhat of a confession. I even wear my bra to bed. LOL It's always on. Is that weird? I can't stand not having it on at any time, but like I said, I'm not busty.

 

I'm the opposite. I don't wear one unless I'm leaving the house or expecting company. There's just no point.

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Well, to tell you the truth, I gave up on that long ago. It could just be me, but every bra I ever tried was out to strangle me. I can't stand tight-fitting clothes, especially when they're restricting my breathing as well as my circulation. Bah. I have a relatively large rib cage and two different (but both smallish) cup sizes. I go braless everywhere I possibly can. Bras are overrated IMO for women my size. I feel sorry for women who are so busty that they *must* wear one everywhere.

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so true. before I had kids, I was a 32D. even NORDSTROMS didn't *carry* that size. very, very, few manufacturers made that size. eta: the same size from different manufacturers can fit differently.

I'm wearing a 32 D right now and could probably wear a 30 D but I can't imagine what that would cost.

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I have somewhat of a confession. I even wear my bra to bed. LOL It's always on. Is that weird? I can't stand not having it on at any time, but like I said, I'm not busty.

 

Same here except I am busty (and droopy if we're over-sharing). Unless I'm wrapped in a towel and have wet hair, I'm in a bra!

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I have somewhat of a confession. I even wear my bra to bed. LOL It's always on. Is that weird? I can't stand not having it on at any time, but like I said, I'm not busty.

My best friend wears hers to bed as well. She says it's either that or every time she lays down, her bOOks just about smother her. I see a lot of women who obviously aren't wearing a properly fitted bra. It's almost become my thing that once I've gotten to know someone well enough to bring it up without it being weird, I take them bra shopping. My little sister was mortified when I did it to her, but she's thanked me for it since then. It makes so much difference on how a person looks and then self confidence goes up and for the bigger girls, back pain can be somewhat alleviated.

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I know that most of my bras don't fit the way they are supposed to and 90% of the time I like it that way. I like less support and I like it to not be so tight. So what if my strap rides up and the cups come up in the front a little because the band is too big. Maybe I'm just used to it because finding one that truly fits is expensive and takes effort, but I prefer my ill fitting ones. I have about 3 expensive ones in my actual size although now I think even those may be wrong based on the directions in the other thread. I may buy one in the size suggested there next time. I wear my ones that fit well when I'm wearing nice clothes and going somewhere nice. It absolutely makes a difference and I'm tiny. It doesn't just help larger busted ladies' appearances. I also think that more women these days have larger breasts than not.

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Here is my take. There are two very different methods for selecting the correct band size.

 

The first, and I believe most widely used, is to take the chest wall (directly under breasts) measurement (for US, in inches) and add 4 for an even number or 5 for odd. For example, a 32" chest would yield a 36 band size. This Real Simple article uses this method.

 

The second is to take the chest measurement and use that as the band size. For the same measurement above (32"), that yields a 32 band.

 

After band size is determined, both methods agree on how to determine cup size. The full bust measurement is compared to the band size. Each inch of difference equals 1 cup size. however, since the two band sizes are so far apart, the actual cup size will be quite different. If the full bust measurement for the above example is 37", the first method gives and A cup (37 [full bust measurement] minus 36 [bra band size), while the second yields a DD (37 minus 32).

 

If someone with the above measurements walks into a store, which bra size are they most likely to be able to find, a 36A, or a 32DD?

 

There may be advantages to the second in terms of how well the bra is able to lift and support, but wowzer, that is one tight band!

 

I am sure those claiming that 90% of women wear the wrong bra size are using the second method.

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Many women think they are wearing one that fits until they get properly sized and start wearing one that is a proper fit and suddenly you do realize the difference. Personally I only buy from walmart due to cost, and none of mine fit right. They pinch and pull and dig in, but it is what I can get there. My issue is finding one that is big enough around the ribs (being fat means excess fat on the sides and back, having shoulders that slope down so much nothing stays on them so straps either have to be tight enough to dig in or I have to pull them back up constantly etc. Cup size is not a huge deal to find.

 

I was properly measured once after my 2nd was born (I have gone up 1.5 cup sizes since then). And I found the biggest issue with measuring, is they don't account for the sag factor. So they measure for the band under the bOOks and they measure the bOOks at nipple height, but they don't account for the section that sags after pregnany and breastfeeding have stretched them out. So then your measurements say one thing but once you actually put your bOOks into the cup you are pinched and spilling out because there is more bOOk there than you measured for

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I believe it. All those women with back rolls above and below the bra, bulges under their armpits (I'll confess to that nasty!) equals wrong size bra and YEARS of wearing it wrong. Plus add to it what the most common size bras you can find in the store and sales people who need to push those sizes will give a lot of women wearing stuff that isn't right. I have been told a number of times, well that is all we have so ... Pick it and put up with it basically.

 

I read that last thread and did the whole fitting exactly as they said. WOW! I bought a whole new army the next day. FREAKING MIRACLE. I didn't know a bra could fit so well.. Never ride up, never pop out below, no matter how I turn, twist, sweat, move, pick up kids, fold laundry and bend over fifty thousand times a day, the dang thing fits fine. No poking, no pulling, I barely notice it. All that lumpy stuff under my arms, all squeezed up front where it belongs ( and since it feels a ton better, must be were it was supposed to be). My big regret is that since I am losing weight and working out daily, I couldnt' buy several. I just got 2 and will wash one every day and wear the other. But what a freaking difference. I understand the whole life changing moment. And I went from a 40C/D to a 36 F or 38 DDD (cause that 36 F is nearly impossible to find in stores) But what a change. My hubby said it was an immediate change and I looked way better.

 

I seriously can't believe the difference. I would say it ranks up there and surpasses the whole right type of jeans for your body shape thread that came up a while back.

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I'm a plus sized gal with small books. Finding a well fitting bra is nearly impossible! They just do not make 38 A.

I recently lucked out and found a nice 38 B that fits nicely. Most 38 B's are just too big.

 

Small cup sizes tend to have the volumes spaced too close together for me...

 

My middle dd has the OPPOSITE problem... small band size and LARGE volumes.. a professional fitting really changed the way her clothes looked for the BETTER-- and her back felt better too.

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I think it's bull. It's not freakin rocket science. If you have Encyclopedias and they spill over, go up a couple dozen cup sizes. If you have brochures (like me), pick anything that covers the bookmark.

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I'm convinced that bra sizes are kind of like sizes for pants, shirts, skirts and dresses -- the same size can be totally different from manufacturer to manufacturer. And then there's the variation of how different styles of the same size fit even within the same brand. So maybe I wear X size in a particular Vanity Fair style bra, but if I try on another style Vanity Fair bra I might need a different size to get a perfect fit. Statistically that might mean I was initially wearing the "wrong" size when in truth it was just a difference in sizing/fit between the two styles. My point being that unless the study(ies) that claims 90% of women are wearing the wrong bra size measured women who were wearing a particular brand and style, and then fitted them in a different size in that exact same brand/style . . . then no, I don't really believe it.

 

Bra threads also remind me of vacuum cleaner threads. Someone goes out and buys a new Brand X vacuum and claims it's the best brand in the world because it picked up so much stuff that their twelve year old vacuum left behind. Well good grief. Just about any new vacuum is going to work better than one even just a couple of years old. And any new bra is gonna fit better than one that's even a couple of months old.

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Here is my take. There are two very different methods for selecting the correct band size.

 

The first, and I believe most widely used, is to take the chest wall (directly under breasts) measurement (for US, in inches) and add 4 for an even number or 5 for odd. For example, a 32" chest would yield a 36 band size. This Real Simple article uses this method.

 

The second is to take the chest measurement and use that as the band size. For the same measurement above (32"), that yields a 32 band.

 

After band size is determined, both methods agree on how to determine cup size. The full bust measurement is compared to the band size. Each inch of difference equals 1 cup size. however, since the two band sizes are so far apart, the actual cup size will be quite different. If the full bust measurement for the above example is 37", the first method gives and A cup (37 [full bust measurement] minus 36 [bra band size), while the second yields a DD (37 minus 32).

 

If someone with the above measurements walks into a store, which bra size are they most likely to be able to find, a 36A, or a 32DD?

 

There may be advantages to the second in terms of how well the bra is able to lift and support, but wowzer, that is one tight band!

 

I am sure those claiming that 90% of women wear the wrong bra size are using the second method.

 

I've only read of the second method and it works well for me. Using that first method the band would be way too big and the cup size would only hold half of me.

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I'm certain that my bra isn't a proper fit. However, I have never had the time or energy to seek out a properly fitting one. My criteria has been simple:

 

- Doesn't pinch me

- Straps don't fall down

- If I bend over or hop, the girls stay contained.

- No overflow (muffining)

- No seams or lumps or whatever appearing though the clothing

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I just have a hard time imagining that 90% of the ladies with A or B cups can't find a band that's the right size with properly fitting cups on it. In those sizes it's more about shaping and coverage than it is about defying gravity.

 

I've known a few women who thought they needed an A or B and ended up discovering they were really a C or D.

 

I've never been a small cup size, but after breastfeeding four children, I desperately need a better bra. I can't lean forward without everything "oozing" out of place. I wear a lot of sports bras.

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If someone with the above measurements walks into a store, which bra size are they most likely to be able to find, a 36A, or a 32DD?

 

There may be advantages to the second in terms of how well the bra is able to lift and support, but wowzer, that is one tight band!

that isn't tight - it's perfect. I wore a 32D at one time. I had *coverage* and support. if I tried anything like the former size in your example, I'd have been spilling out the sides and had no support. My first fitting was as a teen - and it did make a big difference in how comfortable and supportive a bra was. eta: My sister ended up having a reduction because of back problems. one thing that a good bra can help prevent - and I know I'm having bra problems if my back is hurting.
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I wear a size 30-32 as well and my band fits very well, nice, flat and smooth with no overage. My ribs measure at about 29 in. now and could go a bit smaller actually but I'm still getting back to normal (although it seems my ribs haven't ever gotten quite as small pre-kids even when the rest of me is back to normal), as it is I use the smallest hooks. Funny thing before I had kids I always wore a 32-34 and was about 26 in. around so I was amazed when I got fitted after the first and got sized as 30-32, knowing that I was bigger than I had been. My bras after that fitting are fit much better then they did before. I was getting a larger band size when I really needed a larger cup size. Here while back I did have a friend measure herself and her bras were way off, like her band was like 32-34 and she actually measured 36-37, she was shocked and motivated to lose weight!

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I believe it. All those women with back rolls above and below the bra, bulges under their armpits (I'll confess to that nasty!) equals wrong size bra and YEARS of wearing it wrong. Plus add to it what the most common size bras you can find in the store and sales people who need to push those sizes will give a lot of women wearing stuff that isn't right. I have been told a number of times, well that is all we have so ... Pick it and put up with it basically.

 

I read that last thread and did the whole fitting exactly as they said. WOW! I bought a whole new army the next day. FREAKING MIRACLE. I didn't know a bra could fit so well.. Never ride up, never pop out below, no matter how I turn, twist, sweat, move, pick up kids, fold laundry and bend over fifty thousand times a day, the dang thing fits fine. No poking, no pulling, I barely notice it. All that lumpy stuff under my arms, all squeezed up front where it belongs ( and since it feels a ton better, must be were it was supposed to be). My big regret is that since I am losing weight and working out daily, I couldnt' buy several. I just got 2 and will wash one every day and wear the other. But what a freaking difference. I understand the whole life changing moment. And I went from a 40C/D to a 36 F or 38 DDD (cause that 36 F is nearly impossible to find in stores) But what a change. My hubby said it was an immediate change and I looked way better.

 

I seriously can't believe the difference. I would say it ranks up there and surpasses the whole right type of jeans for your body shape thread that came up a while back.

 

Where did you buy them? I did the whole fitting thing exactly like they said too. I have it written down but not sure where is the best place to purchase.

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That percentage is high. I believe the truth is something like 67 to70% of the women in the USA, and here in Colombia, do not wear the correct bra size. We have a web site, selling bras, shapewear, etc.

 

I suspect that most men, if not all men, would find it astonishing, that their wives and daughters do not wear the correct size bra, but that is incredibly common.

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.

Where did you buy them? I did the whole fitting thing exactly like they said too. I have it written down but not sure where is the best place to purchase.

 

 

Macy's. they had some European brands too.

 

I don't think it is rocket science but when you have been wearing a ill fitting bra your entire bra wearing life and have never heard a woman ever say they liked their bra and never had a correct fitting either and have gone blindly along being led by the blind and nearly blind.......then it is a damn miracle when you get a right fit and discover bras can actually feel good, look good, and being a piece of clothing and not a torture device. Knowing how to fix poking parts, wrinkly parts, sagging parts, digging parts becomes exciting. I can pass that bit of knowledge to my daughter and every woman I know. Then maybe bras in 32-36 triple ddd and bigger will become common as more woman discover they should be a triple something and not a c cup

 

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Well I agree when you might also calculate how many don't shop at higher end stores are are thus left with the available selection that might not go up or down small/big enough. I can't find something at a regular store that properly fits -- and so this week I'm taking a bra sewing class -- can't wait!

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I'd love to get "professionally fitted" but where the heck are these stores that offer these so called fittings? I've gotten one done at JC Penney and that was a joke.

Dillard's is excellent. They'll size you and help you pick out bras, then while you're in the fitting room, if a bra you like just doesn't fit quite right they'll go fetch a different size for you. Truly awesome. :)

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I can't imagine ever having enough boobage that there is extra to spill over or shift to the side. I can't imagine having enough to demand anything of the shoulder straps. I always learn something here. Which of yours going to write the definitive bra fitting guide and call it The Well Trained Boobs?

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Dillard's is good as long as your size isn't too far out there. If you need an I cup, Dillard's is not likely to be able to help you, especially if your band size is less than 36.

 

I know that the bra sizing recommendations that I always used were WAY off from what they should have been.

I used to use this method:

Measure around your rib cage right where the bra band will go and add 5 to that number and then round up or down to the closest even number. That had me wearing 38 or 40 bands when I should have been wearing 34.

Then measure around the fullest part of the breast. Take that number and subtract the band measurement (which was band + 5). A difference of 1 was an A. A difference of 2 was a B.

 

Actually, the measurement you get around where the band would go IS the band measurement. You do have to round to the nearest even number though.

The difference between the band measurement and the measurement around the fullest part is your cup size (A=1, B=2, C=3, ...).

 

I was wearing 38D for years and years when I should have been wearing 34H. But every store carries 38D. Only specialty stores carry 34H.

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Well, thanks to the previous thread, I went and got a professional fitting today :). (I found it by searching for "my city" bra shop - found one in a nearby city.) I knew my current bras were a compromise size - best fitting I could find in the store, not the best fitting period - and I was curious if I would be way different or something.

 

I wasn't. My current bras were 34B because it's impossible to find anything nice in 32C in the stores and 32D just isn't there (at least at VS), and I was fitted as a 32C. So what I thought. But the real advantage was that different brands run small/big and the owner knew what sizes in which brands would fit me. In addition to 32C, she brought me some 30D and 34B (both sister sizes - I loved that info from the previous link - confirmed what I'd noticed myself) plus a 32D and a 32DD (that last was a push-up bra, and I wonder if 32DD is the size it makes you look, not the size it fits ;)) - and all of them were functionally the same size. I'd have gone nuts trying to figure all that out on my own (I looked online and the variability in my measuring on top of the variability in sizing between brands was enough to make me throw up my hands and give up).

 

And so now I have a basis for comparison for online shopping - 32C for ones that run true, 30D for ones that are a bit big and 34B for ones that run small (and 32D for ones that are true in the band but smaller in the cup).

 

I did notice that, even at the specialty store, there wasn't as much cute/sexy stuff in 32C as in bigger sizes, but at least there was enough to find a couple nice bras. That was the nice thing about 34B - I could only get the ones that ran small (and even then I fudged, wearing them on the smallest hook from the get-go), but even then there were lots of good ones to choose from. But at least online 32C is pretty easy to find.

 

ETA: I can see a lot of women getting it wrong, given my experience growing up. I went from a 32A in middle school to a 36A in college (when I should have been 32C). Why? Because, not knowing about sister sizes, I "knew" I was an A cup, but 32A didn't fit any more. 34A was still too small, but 36A fit (not surprising, being as it's a sister size to 32C). The fact that my bra band would pull over my breast if I tugged too hard was just par for the course, I thought (and was why I went braless whenever possible). The only reason I ended up looking at B/C cups was because I went up to 36B while pg, and after pg, when my rib cage shrunk and my breasts got huge with milk, the 36B was clearly way too big in the band and otherwise not a good fit. And I was enthralled with my new "large" breasts, so I was willing to try C and even D cups - where I found that a) 32C/D was the best fit, and d) impossible to find in nice styles, but the compromise 34B worked well.

 

ETA2: 32C is still pretty small-looking ;).

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This calculator just spit out a number that made me go :eek:. (The smiley seems appropriate.)

 

Yeah, calculators giving me scary numbers (28F anyone?) that were hard to find in cute or sexy styles even online were why I decided not to trust my own measuring ability ;). The number I got today at the specialty bra store - 32C - was the more "conservative" of my personal attempts to measure (and I learned that sister sizes 30D and 34B were also good fits in some brands), and match what I've seen a lot better than 28F (which was the result of rounding down on my band measurement and rounding up on my bust measurement).

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It claims I should wear a 34D. I usually buy 34 B and the tips of the bra (where the nipples are) are usually a bit saggy. Meaning it's not a perfect shapely fit. How can going to a bigger cup size help? Makes zero sense.

 

Mmmhmmm. Same here. I had a "fitting" at VS many years ago and she claimed I should be in a C cup. Well, that would be dandy except the cups are at least half-empty if I put on a C. There's freakin' nothin' there to flesh out a C. I was an A all the way!

 

ETA: :smilielol5: I just did that calculator and it says I'm a 34D also! I doubt I could have worn a D when I was nursing babies and they were really *nice* then!

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Mmmhmmm. Same here. I had a "fitting" at VS many years ago and she claimed I should be in a C cup. Well, that would be dandy except the cups are at least half-empty if I put on a C. There's freakin' nothin' there to flesh out a C. I was an A all the way!

 

ETA: :smilielol5: I just did that calculator and it says I'm a 34D also! I doubt I could have worn a D when I was nursing babies and they were really *nice* then!

 

I don't know about moving from a 34B to a 34D, but not all D cups are made equal :no. At this size in college, I wore a 36A, and today I just got measured as a 32C, and tried on some 30D's. The thing is, the cup size is the *exact* same - that's the whole point of sister sizes. A 30D is a *smaller* cup than a 36B. Because believe me, I don't have much ;) - a 32C isn't *anything* like a 36C :no. But the bra fits a lot better than the 36A I used to wear :yes.

 

ETA: Nursing bumped me up to a 32D - bigger, yes, but not a 36D or anything ;).

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