Bra Sizes: A Guide to Cups, Bands, and Everything in Between

Bra sizes are confusing, just like bra fitting and the right type of bra. Fret not, however! In this article, we will be explaining about bra sizes and you will be able to understand them a little better! 


What is bra size?

To understand bra size, we must first know what it is. Bra size is, essentially, the combination of the sizes of two parts of the bra, which are the cup and the band. If you want to know the bra size, you have to get the band and cup size first. For example, a 30B bra has a 30 for band size, and a B for cup size. 


What is cup size?

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Cup size is the difference between the measurement of your chest size and bust line. The cup sizes available range from the small AA up to the enormous ZZZ. The way to find your cup size is by measuring your breasts and using a chart to compare the size to the letter so you know what your cup size is. 


What is band size?

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Band size is the measurement around the rib cage, just underneath the breasts. Band sizes are most often between 28-40, although there are smaller and larger rib cage circumferences. The way to find your band size is by measuring the circumference of your rib cage just underneath your breasts, and adding 3 to the measurement. 


Proportions and availabilities

In bra sizes, you will find a certain pattern when they are being sold in stores. Bra stores normally don’t sell beyond D or DD, and it’s hard to find AA cups in stores. This is because a majority of ladies fall under the A cup – D cup category. The same goes with bands. Stores in general sell bands from size 28 – 40, and manufacturing doesn’t make bands that are larger or smaller than that range, which proves to be a problem. 

You will also see a pattern when it comes to the proportion. Stores often sell A cup bras with small band sizes, and D cup bras with larger band sizes due to the common proportion. Most women with smaller breasts have a smaller band size, while most women with bigger breasts have a larger band size. Since this is the size proportions of a majority of women, it is hard to find A cup bras with large band sizes and D cup bras with small band sizes.


Sister sizes

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Image from istock

Sister sizes are the alternative sizes of a certain bra size, close enough to match with it, and often is the go to size when the specific size isn’t available. Often the sizing method ensures that the volume of the bra stays the same. This is often done by going up a band and going down a cup, and vice versa. For example, a 34B will have 36A and 32C as sister sizes. An important thing to know is that sister sizes may work, but they are not the best fit, and you cannot push it more than two sizes. 


Final thoughts

When it comes to bra sizes, it isn’t as easy to understand as one might think. Once we come to understand it, we will be able to understand how to get the right bra size and how to find alternative sizes should the need arise. 

Want more informative reads? Check out what to look for in a sports bra!

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