Using the term 'DD cup' excites the boys and frightens the girls. But mention you are a G cup in polite company and people will look at you in disbelief.
Many women think they are D cup and always seek that size. But when they submit to a proper fitting, D cup isn't even close.
At Brava, it's not unusual to fit a woman who says she is 14D into a 10G bra. It happens all the time! Afterwards, she looks and feels much better but is often shocked (and maybe in denial) about her correct bra size. In fact, sometimes we don't tell her. Isn't it all about how she looks and feels, rather than the numbers on the label? We've seen women who refuse to wear the correct bra size and continue to squeeze themselves into D cup... maybe this is a new phobia, a fear of wearing D+ cups. 'Deecupphobia'!
Why do so many people perceive DD cup as being huge?
Contributing to the confusion are images of celebs like Kim Kardashian with reports of her being 34DD (12DD). Kim has a tiny frame with full breasts, and we think she is more likely to be a 30H (8H). The size 34 (12) band has nothing to do with the size of her breasts. Does her rib-cage look like a size 12, and would she wear sized 12 clothes? Definitely not. She looks like an Australian size 8-10 to us. This is just one of the reasons people see DD as so big.
Many images of women with larger cups found online are hideous and designed to tantalise morons. If you look around at your colleagues and family, many of the women will be bigger than D cup. But chances are they are wearing a badly fitting D cup that makes their breasts look bigger and their grooming a tad scruffy.
What leads to so much bra size confusion?
The cause of this phenomena no longer exists. For a long time DD cup was the largest cup size made and people perceived this size as very big. Many women wore DD in a bra that had a band much too big for them; it rose up at the back, the cups weren't smooth, the shape was distorted, the support was totally inadequate, and the comfort level was abysmal. In those dark days, there were no other options unless you could afford to have bras made for you, or you took a chance on having them altered.
There are no excuses now.
Innovative lingerie manufacturers are designing fabulous D+ cup bras that are supportive, beautiful, high quality and affordable. The size range won't be in all lingerie shops and department stores, for a variety of reasons, but the really good specialist shops have the finest of them. Working with many large cup lingerie brands and ranges from around the globe, they test them on themselves and their customers, they review them, decline many and only stock those that do a sublime job of supporting women.
We shouldn't be telling you all about the sizing issue without providing some explanation of how bra sizes actually work, to give a better understanding why a D cup is not necessarily a big cup size. Did you know:
- D cup on a size 10 band (10D) is 3 times smaller than a D cup on a size 16 band (16D). The equivalent size of a 10D cup in a 16 band would be 16A.
- A 12G cup is the same size cup as a 20DD
- An 8J cup is equal to a 14GG.
- Generally, D cup augmented breasts are measured from a 16D mass. So on a size 10 frame it will look more like an F cup, since most surgeons do not take into account the band size of a bra (resulting in a huge misconception). So when you see these very busty size 10 'D' cup girls post augmentation they probably have equal to a bra sized F cup on their chest.
If you have been wearing a 12DD and we fit you into an 8F, it doesn't mean your bust size is bigger. It simply means you have been wearing a band that is far too big for your frame. But sometimes all a woman can see is that letter 'F' and for her that stands for freak... but we see 'F' for fabulous. Still confused? Ask us a question by commenting below.
If it's been a while since you've been fitted, we welcome you to visit a Brava store so one of our friendly team can help you find the best size and style. We also offer a Virtual Fitter service online, which you can use to get bra fitting help from anywhere in the world.
Note: This post was originally published in June 2011 and has been updated with the latest information in January 2018.