The bra size also known as brassiere measurement or bust size is the measure which indicates the size characteristics of a bra. Bra sizes are usually expressed as scales, with a number of systems being in use around the world.
The scales take into account the band length and the cup size. From the wearer's point of view, the main measures that are taken into account, in determining the best bra fit for the wearer, are the measures of the wearer around the torso below the breasts and over the breasts, which defines the band length.
For convenience, because of the impracticality of measuring a woman's breast size, the volume of the bra cup is based on the difference between these two measures. Determining the correct bra size is the process manufacturers engage in to design and manufacture bras that correctly fit a majority of women, and for individual women, the process of identifying a correctly fitting bra.
Bra cup sizes were invented in and band sizes became popular in the s. The shape, size, position, symmetry, spacing, firmness, Size a breast to size c amount of sagging of individual women's breasts vary considerably. Manufacturers' bra size labeling systems vary from country to country because no international standards exist. Even within a single country, one study found that the bra label size was consistently different from the measured size.
On 21 NovemberParisienne Madeleine Gabeau received a United States patent for a brassiere with soft cups and a metal band that supported and separated the breasts. To avoid the prevailing fashion that created a single "monobosom" [ citation needed ]her design provided: The term "cup" was not used to describe bras until  when two patents were filed. In Octoberthe S.
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Camp and Company were the first to measure cup size by the letters of the alphabet, A, B, C, and D, although the letters represented how pendulous the breasts were and not their volume.
Camp's advertising in the February issue of Corset and Underwear Review featured letter-labeled profiles of breasts. Cup sizes A through D were not intended to be used for larger-breasted women.
Before long, these cup sizes got nicknames: Catalog companies continued to use the designations Small, Medium, and Large through the s. The Sears Company finally applied cup sizes to bras in its catalog in the s.
Adjustable bands were introduced using multiple hook and eye closures in the s. Prior to the widespread use of bras, the undergarment of choice for Western women was a corset.
The band measurement system was created by U. In the s, Dunlop chemists were able to reliably transform rubber latex into elastic thread. After"whirlpool", or concentric stitching, was used to shape the cup structure of some designs. Since a brassiere must be laundered frequently, easy-care fabric was in great demand.
For best results, the breasts should be measured twice: In NovemberOprah Winfrey produced a show devoted to bras and bra sizes, during which she talked about research that eight out of ten women wear the wrong size bra. Studies have revealed that the Size a breast to size c common mistake made by women when selecting a bra was to choose too large a back band and too small a cup, for example, 38C instead of 34E, or 34B instead of 30D.
The heavier a person's build, the more difficult it is to obtain accurate measurements, as measuring tape sinks into the flesh more easily. In a study conducted in the United Kingdom of women seeking mammoplastyresearchers found a strong link between obesity and inaccurate back measurement. They concluded that " obesitybreast hypertrophyfashion and bra-fitting practices combine to make those women who most need supportive bras the least likely to get accurately fitted bras.
One issue that complicates finding a correctly fitting bra is that band and cup sizes are not standardized, but vary considerably from one manufacturer to another, resulting in sizes that only provide an approximate fit. Manufacturers cut their bras differently, so, for example, two 34B bras from two companies may not fit the same person.
Larger sizes are usually harder to find in retail outlets.
As the cup size increases, the labeled cup size of different manufacturers' bras tend to vary more widely in actual volume. Even medical studies have attested to the difficulty of getting a correct fit.
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The current popular system of determining bra size is inaccurate so often as to be useless. Add to this the many different styles of bras and the lack of standardization between brands, and one can see why finding a comfortable, well-fitting bra is more a matter of educated guesswork, trial, and error than of precise measurements.
The use of the cup sizing and band measurement systems has evolved over time and continues to change. Experts recommend that women get fitted by an experienced person  at a retailer offering the widest possible selection of bra sizes and brands.
Size a breast to size c the straps dig into the shoulder, leaving red marks or causing shoulder or neck pain, the bra band is not offering enough support. If it digs into the flesh, causing the flesh to spill over the edges of the band, the band is too small. Similarly a band might feel too loose if the cup is too big. It is possible to test whether a bra band is too tight or too Size a breast to size c by reversing the bra on her torso so that the cups are at the back and then check for fit and comfort.
Generally, if the wearer must continually adjust the bra or experiences general discomfort, the bra is a poor fit and she should get a new fitting. Bra experts recommend that women, especially those whose cup sizes are D or larger, get a professional bra fitting from the lingerie department of a clothing store or a specialty lingerie store. There is significant heterogeneity in breast shape, density, and volume. As such, current methods of bra fitting may be insufficient for this range of chest morphology.
A correctly fitting bra should meet the following criteria: One method to confirm that the bra is the best fit has been nicknamed the Swoop and Scoop. After identifying a well-fitting bra, the woman bends forward the swoopallowing her breasts to fall into the bra, filling the cup naturally, and then fastening the bra on the outermost set of hooks. Experts suggest that women choose a bra band that fits well on the outermost hooks.
A bra is one of the most complicated articles of clothing to make. A typical bra design has between 20 and 48 parts, including the band, hooks, cups, lining, and straps.
Major retailers place orders from manufacturers in batches of 10, Orders of this size require a large-scale operation to manage the cutting, sewing and packing required. Constructing a properly fitting brassiere is difficult. Adelle Kirk, formerly a manager at the global Kurt Salmon management consulting firm that specializes in the apparel and retail businesses, said that making bras is complex:.
Bras are one of the most complex pieces of apparel. There are lots of different styles, and each style has a dozen Size a breast to size c sizes, and within that there are a lot of colors. Furthermore, there is a lot of product engineering. You've got hooks, you've got straps, there are usually two parts to every cup, and Size a breast to size c requires a heavy amount of sewing. It is very component intensive. Obtaining the correct size is further complicated by the fact that the size and shape of women's breasts change, if they experience menstrual cyclesduring the cycle  and can experience unusual or unexpectedly rapid growth in size due to pregnancy, weight gain or loss, or medical conditions.
In fact there are very few advantages in wearing existing bras. Having a bra that's generally supportive would have significant improvement particularly in terms of stopping them going south The skin is what gives the breasts their support" .
Inthe most common bra size sold in the UK was 36D. Researchers ruled out increases in population weight as the explanation  and suggested it was instead likely due to more women wearing the correct, larger size.
Bra retailers recommend several methods for measuring band and cup size. These are based on two primary methods, either under the bust or over the bust, and sometimes both. Calculating the correct bra band size is complicated by a variety of factors. For the woman with a large cup size and a between band size, they may find their cup size Size a breast to size c not available in local stores so may have to shop online where most large cup sizes are readily available on certain sites.
Others recommend rounding to the nearest whole number. A measuring tape is pulled around the torso at the inframammary fold. The tape is then pulled tight while remaining horizontal and parallel to the floor. The measurement in inches is then rounded to the nearest even number for the band size.
If the measurement is even, 4 is added to calculate the band size.
If it is odd, 5 is added. Kohl's used this method in Currently, many large U. A sizing chart or calculator then uses this measurement to determine the band size. A measuring tape is pulled around the torso under the armpit and above the bust. Because band sizes are most commonly manufactured in even numbers, the wearer must round to the closest even number.
Bra-wearers can calculate their cup size by finding the difference between their bust size and their band size.
Americans and Europeans — both...
The measurements are made in the same units as the band size, either inches or centimetres. The cup size is calculated by subtracting the band size from the over-the-bust measurement. Cup sizes vary from one country to another. The larger the cup size, the bigger the variation. Surveys of bra sizes tend to be very dependent on the population studied and how it was obtained.
For instance, one U. However, the survey sample was drawn from Caucasian student Size a breast to size c at a Midwest U. Bra-wearers who have difficulty calculating a correct cup size may be able to find a correct fit using a method adopted by plastic surgeons. Using a flexible tape measure, position the tape at the outside of the chest, under the arm, where the breast tissue begins.
Conversion of the measurement to cup size is shown in the "Measuring cup size" table. For example, the cup volume is the same for 30D, 32C, 34B, and 36A.
These related bra sizes of the same cup volume are called sister sizes. A study by White and Scurr University of Portsmouth compared method that adds 4 to the band size over-the-bust method used in many United Kingdom lingerie shops with and compared that to measurements obtained using a professional method. Americans and Europeans — both men and women — believe that a C cup is the ideal bust size, according to an international survey. View pictures of real women with breast implants, uploaded by doctors you can trust.
Get information about each woman's implant style, size and incision site. Learn how to measure bra size with these easy tricks that will help you with a measuring tape is all you need to reconcile your boobs-to-bra relationship.
is 37 inches, the difference is three inches, and your cup size is C.
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