Bra~vo's Blog to Bra Sizes! What is a "real" Bra Size?

Bra~vo's Blog to Bra Sizes! What is a "real" Bra Size?

Posted by Rebecca Aughton on 9th Jun 2022

What’s a “real” bra size?

We can tell you immediately what your “real” bra size isn’t. It isn’t the bra that constantly falls off your shoulders because the frame size is too large. It isn’t the bra that gives you more than one breast in the cup – the dreaded double or quad boob, spilling over the top. It’s not the bra that looks like a rollercoaster going up your back sitting high between the shoulder blades or the bra you’re constantly fidgeting with to stop it from feeling so uncomfortable.

It ISthe bra size that looks like you but better, standing supported, comfortable and confident. It’s the bra size that disappears under whatever you’re wearing, letting your lifted bust look perkier and giving the illusion of a slimmer shape if you’re full busted. It’s the bra size that is no longer peeking over the edge of not-particularly-low-back tops or cutting into you at the sides. It’s the bra that lets you do your favourite activities without the constant need to adjust. It’s the bra that you don’t pay much mind to and doesn’t cause aches and pains in shoulders or necks.

A real bra size is the size you should be wearing.

It’s the size your experienced bra fitter will most often put you in. It’s your starting point, your first step to comfort and support in the morning. The thing is… your real bra size changes.

In our blog Demystifying the Double D we wrote about all the many different components that create our bra size as we know it today and the evolution of the band number and the cup letters, as well as looking in depth at how different bra sizes are different in different countries and different styles. Confusing, right?

Absolutely. With this level of bewilderment, we don’t expect our customers to get it right – but that’s where we come in and help guide you through the impossible maze of sizes, styles and fits to ensure you walk out wearing the most comfortable, supportive bra that is specific to the task you need it to perform.

Your real bra size also changes depending on who you ask. If you ask someone who has been properly fitted by a real bra fitter – not just someone who hands you a couple of bras at the mall – they’ll tell you it’s a wildly different size to what they first thought they were. They’ll tell you its no longer the size they wore from teen years up, or college, or work, or their wedding or having a baby. (All of which are excellent opportunities to treat yourself and be properly fitted by a skilled bra fitter!)

But that’s the point. As our breasts grow or shrink or change, we change as well. We are not fixed points in the universe, and neither are bra sizes for that matter!

In the fitting room…

One of our fitters has been asking customers what their Bra Journey has been like so far – what sizes and styles they would normally pick up and, although not that surprising for us fitters, a lot of the time we hear the same sizes repeatedly come up. “36C.” “34B.” “38DDD.” “42C.”

This is because unfortunately the wide array of sizes and styles that are perfectly normal to us at Bra~vo intimates when fitting our Bra~vo Beauties aren’t all that common in the mainstream fashion stores or bra retailers. Often, most retailers ranges might only offer up to a DD or DDD at a push in a very limited range of under bust sizes.

The main reason for this awful lack of size ranges in mainstream stores is due to just how much product needs to be bought, stocked and stored. If you were to buy a range for your shop with just one of each size, in just 6 cup sizes and 5 under bust sizes you’d be holding 30 bras.

32ABCDDDDDD
34ABCDDDDDD
36ABCDDDDDD
38ABCDDDDDD
40ABCDDDDDD

Want a white, black and tan in each size? That’s 90 bras. Expand the sizing range to 30” – 48” back sizes and up to a J cup? That’s 360 bras – here’s hoping you don’t have more than one 34G come in for a fitting that day though, you only have one of each size/color!

If the size ranges aren’t available to consumers we can understand why our ladies are so shocked when they see the size tags on the perfectly fitting bra that’s on them. We totally get why people might think our fitter (who is a 32GG/34G) is a 34C/D because that’s the limit of cup sizing they’ve seen in shops where they’ve gone to purchase bras before.

For those less scrupulous retailers who don’t offer the array of sizing, you may find you’re shoehorned into a more “regular” size and left to make do with that. It’s frustrating though as you wouldn’t wear a size 7 shoe if you were a nine and can see your toes poking out the top… why let it happen to your bust?!

What does a real bra size look like?

A real bra size is any bra size as long as it fits properly. If you’ve had a Bra~vo Experience with us or read our blogs you’ll know what our key points on a properly fitted bra are:

  • The band should fit snugly around the rib cage on the loosest hook; no movement if you lift your arms up.
  • The cup and underwires should contain the bust completely; no wire sitting on breast tissue.
  • There should be no over-spill or gaping in the cup; no extra boobs coming out the sides or front of your bra.
  • If using straps, they will be two fingers width tight, sitting in proportion within the body frame: not slipping off the shoulders or taking all the weight of the bust.

All too often customers come in wearing something that is too large in the body for them and far too small in the cup. We say, embrace the deeper, larger cup sizes. There’s a whole alphabet to support us and we refuse to squeeze into uncomfortable bras any longer!

At Bra~vo intimates, we’ve fitted customers ranging in sizes from 30 – 48+, from A to O and whilst that might seem like an extreme size spectrum, it really isn’t. The average US dress size in 2016 was 16 – 18. The average cup size was DDD (F in UK/European sizing – US manufacturers tripled the D instead of calling it F to vanity size it!) With every new customer that comes into the fitting room, we hope to remove the stigma of “larger” cup sizes and show that the best bra size anyone can wear is the one that is right for them.

The perception of being bigger than a C, D or even a DDD is hopefully being swept away with the times, but progress is slow. Our fuller busted or fuller figured customer shouldn’t feel shocked or defined by their “real” bra size if it’s giving them the support and comfort to get on with their day, feeling more confident in what they’re wearing.


To book an appointment for your very own Bra~vo Experience visit our website and arrange an appointment there or call us at 248-582-7286. Click here to contact us and book your bra fitting appointment. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date with our blogs, fitting tips and beautiful new bras!