So you think you know what a D cup looks like? It’s huge, of course, the biggest size they sell, aside from DD, which is just for celebrities and porn stars who have fake boobs.
And C? Well, that’s just on the larger side of average.
B? About a handful, small but just about right.
A? Small, and that’s that.
AA? Non existent.
NOPE, AFRAID NOT.
It’s all relative. If you’re worried we’re going to go all Maths on you now, don’t worry, we’ll try to keep it simple. So the above photo – what size does that look to you? You might be chiming up with a D cup, pretty big but not huge. I’ll tell you, that’s me, and I’m currently a 28GG…
As you might remember from our How To Measure Yourself video, cup size is relative to band size.
This means that Person A might measure 38in overbust and be wearing a cup size GG, and Person B might also measure 38in overbust but wear a cup size D. What you’re missing there is the band size. Person A is a 28GG – she measures (around) 28in underbust and 38in overbust; Person B is a 34D – she measures (around) 34in underbust and 38in overbust.
Below are two images. The first is a 28GG; the second is a 34D – same overbust measurement, different cup size. They look similar, but cup-wise, one is a GG, the other a D – think about that!
Vice versa, Person X might measure 43in overbust and wear a cup size E. Person Y might measure 34in overbust and also wear a cup size E. Person X is a 38E; Person Y is a 28E. Same cup size, different overbust measurement.
See what I mean? A ‘D cup’ doesn’t look like anything unless you know what the band size is. A D cup might be ‘big’ or ‘small’ or just ‘average’. A G cup doesn’t look like anything either – take a look at these images of women, all in D and G cups:
(Images from Fuller Figure Fuller Bust)
The image below shows how women of different cup sizes can have breasts that look the same size. We call this sister sizing as you can get the same cup ‘volume’ by going up a band size but down a cup size, or down a band size and up a cup size.
So now we’ve established that, what do you think of cup sizes now? Those ‘core’ sizes that we get at high street stores and even at some larger lingerie chains of 32-38 A-D are actually fairly uncommon when you think about it. Having an A-D cup means having 1-4in difference between your underbust and overbust, which in reality is not that much. That means the biggest difference women can have is 4in. In reality, even women who have ‘small’ breasts (in society’s eyes) sometimes have more than a 4in difference – they might just have a shallow shape to their breasts.
Most women are actually wearing these sizes because they pick up the nearest volume cup that fits them, meaning that I, as a 28FF/G was wearing 32DDs and 34Ds for years because I didn’t know that there was anything else. DD was the biggest cup size I could find anywhere, aside from the one E I found in La Senza years ago, so I found one of the Es that had a band size that wasn’t too big on me and wore it (I think that was a 30E, and the closest I ever got to my true bra size!).
We’ve been conditioned to think that sizes are what they are because of marketing and the media. When you’re told that Katie Price is a 32DD post breast enhancement, you believe it because “32 is the smallest band size” and “DD is the largest cup size” – she has a tiny frame (we know because we saw her in real life, and she was teeny in stature!) and huge boobs, so that must be right. Again, I’m going to shout, NOPE. Here’s a 32DD – Katie Price boobs lookalikes? Not really.
Because 32 isn’t the smallest, and DD isn’t the biggest.
That would mean only a 5in difference between her underbust and overbust. I’ve seen her in real life and she truly was tiny in frame: I’d estimate her at closer to a 26JJ or even a 24K (oh yes, that is possible, although getting your hands on one might be some trouble!). She probably would be in a 28J instead as these are more readily available, but I would never put her in a 30 or 32 band, way too big!
Society has conditioned us with poorly fitting bras being used to demonstrate an “enviable cleavage” – Victoria’s Secret are very guilty of this, as are ASOS, despite the fact that they sell bras that should fit the models if they’re in the correct size. This is a common viral graphic that is often shared about “big boobs” too:
What do you think? At a 28G, should I “get a reduction”?! Do you look at Charley wearing a 30D and say: “Dang?!” (well, you might do because her boobs are that awesome, but you might not be saying it in shock about the size!).
As we mentioned in our How To Check If Your Bra Fits post, studies have shown that 76% of women overestimate their band size, and 84% underestimate their cup size. If they had more availability and opportunity to try the correct size, as well as education in how bra sizing works (which we’re trying to play our part in!), maybe they’d find themselves much better supported, looking and feeling better in the right size bra!
Many of the images in this post have come from the Bra Band Project which is no longer active. This was an invaluable resource to anyone trying to figure out bra sizing and getting their heads around the fact that bra sizes are not what they seem.
If you’ve just found out you’re a DD+ cup size and don’t know where to shop, check out a few of our favourite bras – all of these come in DD+ sizes!
Don’t forget that if you try our measuring guide or the bra size calculator we recommend and come up with what sounds like a huge size to you, it probably isn’t as big as you thought. You may want to also check out our post on A Bra That Fits for further advice once you’ve found your size or check out our Bra Fitting 101 page for more info. If you want to try out some bras in your new size but don’t have a boutique or store near you that offers that size, we recommend trying Amazon (especially if you have Prime for free quick delivery and returns) which offers a large range of sizes, styles and brands – good luck!