Some companies, such as Ewa Michalak, Ultimo, and Panache, run small in the band, so order a band size larger than usual. Others run big, such as Freya and Change Lingerie, so check before ordering. And remember to use sister sizes when switching bands.
Even different colorways of the same bra can affect the fit of the bra. Bands made of black and darkly-dyed fabrics tend to run smaller than white, yellow, and other light-colored fabrics.
There is no international standard when it comes to cup sizes or letters. Each bra company can label their cups in any way they prefer, though there tends to be at least some consistency within each sizing system.
In general, EU and JP brands are labeled A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O, and may or may not include the "I" cup. Some exceptions are Kris Line, whose sizing is a mixture of both the UK and EU lettering system, Comexim, uses an HH instead of an I, and Ewa Michalak uses the EU band sizes but the UK cup system. Wellfitting, an American retailer of Comexim bras, uses a mixture of US and Comexim's EU cup sizes.
EU/JP brands, as well as FR (BEF) brands, tend to increase each cup by 2cm, as opposed to the 2.54cm (1 inch) that UK and US brands run. Companies like Avocado and Empreinte increase in intervals anywhere between 2.5cm to 4cm.
The UK sizing system is overall know for being very consistent. Companies that choose to use the UK cup sizes will label them as AA-A-B-C-D-DD-E-F-FF-G-GG-H-HH-J-JJ-K-KK-L-LL, with a few excepions, like Marks & Spencer which excludes the FF cup (A-B-C-D-DD-E-F-G-GG).
In contrast to the UK cup sizes, the US lettering system is considered to be inconsistent. Some American companies, like Parfait by Affinitas Intimates, eschew the US cup sizing methods altogether and use the UK one.
As a general rule, US and UK cup sizes are the exact same up to a DD. After DD, the two cup lettering systems split off, with the UK cups continuing on as E-F-FF-G etc., while the US cups might continue on as DDD-DDDD-H, E-F-G-H, DDD-G-H, DDD-F-G-H, or any other variation. This can make purchasing bras online unreasonably difficult if one doesn't realize how different the lettering systems can be between brands.
Below is a chart of American bra manufacturers with cup sizes that extend beyond DD, with the standard UK cup lettering system on top for conversion:
|Crème Bralée Lingerie||A||B||C||D||E/DD||F/DDD||G|
|Frederick's of Hollywood||A||B||C||D||DD||DDD/F|
Different companies have different cup widths. Not all styles work for every breast shape. In addition, the gore width can influence how wide, or narrow, the cups appear to be when worn. For example, Bra A, which has wide wires but a narrow gore, can be narrower on the body compared to Bra B, a simliar bra, but with narrow wires and a wide gore. This is because the width of the gore can change how far back the wires lay on the body. Altering the gore on a bra can potentially help fix this, among other, fit issues.
- Main article: Bratabase
The Bratabase is a user-built index of bra measurements, styles, and fit reviews. You can get a general idea of how different brands run, which bras have the same cut and measurements as others, make sense of different brand's sizing systems without manually converting them, among other features.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 A Bra That Fits: "rrbunny's Band Size Feedback"
- ↑ Kris Line: Przymierzalnia
- ↑ Comexim: Choose your size
- ↑ Ewa Michalak: How to calculate sizes?
- ↑ Wellfitting: Find your Wellfitting Size in 2 Quick Steps!
- ↑ reddit: Bra Size Calculator v2.0 - built with your help. Does it work well?
- ↑ Avocado: Fit guide
- ↑ reddit: After doing a brief analysis of data from Bratabase, the Wire Width Guide is probably wrong.
- ↑ Bratabase
- ↑ Bratabase Blog: Introducing Cup indexes