36DD? Chances are you’re in the wrong size…

I know that seems like a pretty bold statement but when you have a read of this blog hopefully it will seem a little more warranted…

We don’t mean every single person in the world who wears a 36DD is in the incorrect size but from our findings, a pretty large proportion could be.

So, “how do you know?” you might ask. Well when working with bras and bra fitting on a daily basis, it becomes evident, fairly quickly that not many women are in the correct size. I’m sure you all know the statistic that gets bandied about- ‘80% of women are in the wrong bra size’, well we definitely think there’s truth in that, in fact so much so that it’s probably more like 90-95% of women suffering in the wrong size. Yes that many.

This then leads us on to another point that neatly ties in with the first. 36DD is the most common size in the UK, it has been for the last few years and it continues to be now, however if 80% (or 90-95%) of women are in the wrong size then surely this statistic can’t be correct? Just imagine this – If every women across the UK was fitting professionally – what would the average size be?….probably not a 36DD I’m guessing! But let’s not just go off assumption here….let’s look at some other facts.

You may or may not remember but a while back, Curvy Kate unleashed their resident Bra Whisperer (aka. me) on the world, and we were featured in the major national newspapers and even on television to show off the talents of being able to tell someone’s bra size from looking. After this stint in the limelight, we received over 2000 emails from women believing they were in the incorrect size. Of these 2109 emails, 124 women said they were a 36DD, which work out as 5.9%, far and away the most reported size women believed they were. However the shocking twist is, of those 124 women not one would be ‘fitted’ in this size.

So why are they getting it so wrong? Why are they opting for a size they really aren’t. Well we think these three reasons below might make it a little clearer…

People don’t know what a correctly fitting bra actually looks like.

And this is no fault of the public, it’s just not something that isn’t shown readily, and if you’re not shown or taught something then how would you know any better. See below…

Below are two image of a model wearing a 36DD bra and a 32G bra…

To the untrained eye, and to most of the general public, the top image would probably appear to fit however, when you compare it to the below image (correctly fitting) you can see that it differs. The cups in the 36DD bra aren’t completely encasing the breast in flush way, the wires aren’t sitting flat against the middle of her boobs or her ribcage, and the back band isn’t tight enough to help pull the cups into place and hold her boobs. Add in daily movement and her boobs would be out of that bra in no time… cue the dreaded ‘Quad-boob’!

The correctly fitting bra however, encases all of the model’s breast tissue, sits flat in the middle and has a back band that fits firmly. It is 2 back sizes smaller and 3 cups (volume-wise) bigger which makes all the difference to the fit.

People have misconceptions about how big a DD is.

This statement doesn’t really make much sense as you don’t know how big a DD is unless it’s teamed with a back size, however for the purpose of this post I think most people will understand (If you want to understand more about back sizes and cup size and how they work together click here). So the general consensus is that a ‘DD’ is HUGE, which skews things. It means that if a woman feels she has a large bust she automatically reaches for a DD bra, opting for which ever back band means it ‘fits’ the best – Definitely not how you should be fitting a bra. You should determine back size and then work from there.

We’re also influenced by the media and celebrities, all of whom reinforce that a ‘DD’ is huge. When really…this girl is a D+, the proof being that she’s wearing one of our bras and we only start at a D cup. (She’s probably a 28E/F).

Image from Figleaves.com

They opt for a back band that is too big.

It’s an age old story, and one we saw time and time again when sifting through the Bra Whisperer emails. Out of all the emails we replied to, the vast majority were opting to wear a back size that was 2 or more sizes too big. Which then in turn means the Cup size ends up being incorrect (More info here). Again there are many reasons for this…

  • Inaccurate high-street fitters – We’re not going to name names but some of those high-street department stores aren’t to be trusted with bra fitting as much as we first thought.
  • Comfort – Some women believe that by wearing a loose back band that they will be more ‘comfortable’, this isn’t always the case. A firm back band helps to hold up your boobs, thus making for a more comfortable bra. A large back band will ride up and cause irritation…

  • Thinking because you have big boobs that you must have a big back band – again incorrect, Curvy Kate specialise in smaller backs and fuller cups, that’s why we started! There’s a table below that gives a rough guide of what band size you should wear based on your UK dress size. (This is a very rough guide and won’t work for everyone but it can indicate that if you’re a size 8 and wearing a 36 back, chances are you’re in the wrong size!).

There you have it. I’m sure there are a hundred more reasons (see some more here) why women keep getting it so wrong but this is a quick round up of easy to fix things. So if you’re wearing a 36DD (or any other size) and you’re experiencing any of the issues that we’ve mentioned in this post, then odds are you need a fitting. To rectify this you can head to a reputable store such as Bravissimo or visit our Fitting Pages for tips and tricks or even upload your images to the Bra Whisperer Page to get ‘virtually’ fitted.

Badly fitting bras needn’t be a problem, you just need the skills to know what you’re looking for. So ask yourself this – are you in the right bra size?

Big love x

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6 Comments

  • May 11, 2017

    Louise

    I disagree with your chart. I’m a size 8 or 10 and I’ve always worn a 34 band, and I wear it at the loosest clasp. If I tried to wear a 28 I’d probably cut off my circulation

  • May 12, 2017

    Chantelle Crabb

    Hi Louise, like we said in the blog this is only a rough outline and it might not work for everyone. I would recommend if you’ve never had a profession fitting though to try Bravissimo – they’re brilliant. Plus a 28″ back wouldn’t be as tight as you’d imagine if you had a larger cup size teamed with it. Just food for thought xxx

  • May 12, 2017

    Cristina

    Luoise, I’m a size 18 and I wear a 34 band… I’ve worn a 38 band for years just to have a cup big enough to not be too terrible because here in Italy it’s very hard to find bras that are over a D cup. I’m a 34GG and it is so much better than a 38 band! Give it a try, you might find out that you’ve worn the wrong size without even realising it 🙂
    I for sure am so happy that I’ve found the UK sizing and now have bras that actually fit after 15 years of having a 38D!
    Thanks for promoting good fitting. I hope that one day Italians will have the knowledge of what a good bra looks like and there will be more choice, too 🙂

  • May 17, 2017

    Emma W

    I think this is a wonderful article and excellently illustrated. For ladies who are wondering, there’s a brilliant website where you can take the step by step guide and calculator to help you measure yourself. https://booborbust.com/

    They have a facebook group too where you can get advice on getting a bra that fits correctly.

    There are more women than I can remember who come on saying “I’m xx bra size and I’ve been measured as a much larger cup and a smaller back – I would never fit in that” the advice is always the same – try the new size – you might find it’s the best your boobs have EVER looked and felt! 😀

  • July 19, 2017

    luvlay23

    I disagree, read that
    https://nyoho.com/2012/08/
    – Luvenia

  • July 22, 2017

    Cynthia

    Good advice! But please ignore the comment to from Emma W. That group is terrible, body shaming & fits people into too tight bands. The other extreme from the department store and just as bad!