5 things every women should know about bra sizes on tags

Listen up, this is important ladies. 
Knowing these 5 essentials will save you frustration, drama and perhaps even tears in the change room. 
After 10,000+ bra fittings I thought I'd put pen to paper with the things i wish women really knew about bra sizing. 


1. Same system, different scales

This is the most important one to wrap your head around. While most lingerie brands use 'cup and band' sizing eg 14C, 12DD, they actually use different scales for each size. This means one brands 14C can measure very differently to another brands 14C. It's a simple impossibility that you will be one size across a range of brands.


2. International variances

Countries have different systems within the 'cup and band' sizing model. For example in the USA they have D, DD and a DDD - this means their DDD is in fact an E cup. We also commonly see some European countries excluding the FF and GG, while many others include this. One of our brands, Anita, do not include a DD cup which means any size above a D will be a cup size out. Seriously, there is no way you can keep up with all this if you're not in the game 🤷.


3. Some styles just don't fit true to size

It's honestly that simple. Sometimes within brands we see certain styles fitting large in the cup, small in the band etc etc - as bra fitters we just automatically make the size adjustment for these styles. But it's important to not get disheartened by this if you're out shopping solo (not recommended 😉). 


4. Understanding sister sizing is essential

Sister sizing is a whole seperate article in it's own right, but at least knowing that it's 'a thing' will set you ahead of most ladies. Sister sizing is referring to the fact that a 10DD and a 12D actually have the same cup volume/size, but fit differently in the band. They are 'sister sizes'. Cup sizes eg A or G cup are not a set unit of measurement, the cup volume is determined by the band size in combination with the cup size. So, if you're out shopping and the 12D fits well in the cup but is too firm in the back then you need to go for the 14C - not the 14D. The 14C in that instance will fit the same in the cup as the 12D, but will be roomier in the back. If you go for the 14D it will be a better fit in the back, but will have added a whole cup size of unnecessary volume. Phew! Get it? 🤷 


5. Styles that aren't made for you

There is no bra that will work for every woman. Our breasts are set differently. Some are set wide, some are set close, some sit high, some sway low, some are voluminous, some are not. So if you are trying your hand at a style that perhaps isn't actually designed for 'you' then you may need to adjust your size to make it work. I'm not advocating it, but I know it happens a lot 'out there' so it's worth being aware of. 


How do we tackle this at She Science?

Our bra fitting service is centred around education. So while we fit you, we'll be talking about all this stuff as we go - this means that by the time you leave us you will know about all the ins and outs of bra fitting. We talk a lot about sizing (even though we don't care much for it, we're about 'fit' over size 😉) because we want women to be aware of all the aforementioned bits and pieces. 
At the end of each bra fitting we try to give our customers a few variations of sizes they may find work for them. For example, "Hey Stacey, today you're leaving with a 12E, a 10F and a 12DD - crazy hey! If I were you I would be considering your true size a 12E/10F, but please don't ever be surprised if it doesn't work that way for you - just focus on the fit - all the key points we've talked you through today". 
On our online store, you'll find fitting notes in the product description for each bra. It's really important you read this info when purchasing online - this is where we fill you in on what we've learnt about how each style fits. 



Thanks for reading along. I am the co-founder and director of She Science, a Specialty Sports and Everyday Bra store in Melbourne. I have completed Advanced Bra Fitting training both locally and internationally as well as tertiary education in biomechanics. I love to follow the latest research on breast biomechanics and Sports Bra design to ensure that She Science remains the most advanced Sports Bra shopping environment in the world. I view my bra fitting business as a vehicle to inspire and enable women of all shapes and sizes to participate actively in life. Find me online via @SheScience.