Why do so many men and women not understand bra size?

Most women I know tend to wear bras with band numbers way too high and cups way too small. I hear skinny women saying they are "36 this, 38 that..." When in due respect their rib cages are MUCH smaller, and breasts much bigger!

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  • I understand how they work, and I've actually advised quite a few women on their bra size - hell, I was doing that back in high school! One of the worst ones was about 20 years ago - I met a 24-year-old Aussie girl, and her boobs were half spilling out of a very awkwardly fitting bra - even though she was very modest, this was very visible through her clothes.

    It seems that they have VERY few choices there - she bought most of her underclothes at something like a Walmart (a supermarket that also sold clothes), and she was wearing a 36B bra. I took her to a mall and got her fitted - she was a 32DD. She couldn't believe the difference, and how much more comfortable she was with a properly-fitted bra. She said that it's unlikely that she could buy that size in a store in Australia, except perhaps at a very expensive boutique, but at least knowing her size, she could order them online.

    But that's one of the main reasons even women so often don't get it right: bra manufacturers were strongly motivated to make and stock only a small number of the most common sizes, because that reduced inventory complexity, which increased profits. Online stores actually improved the situation considerably - small makers could now economically serve smaller markets because they could sell to entire continents or even worldwide, and as a result, today there are far more less-common sizes easily available than was true 20 or 30 years ago, because you are no longer limited to the selection at your local J. C. Penny. In the past, women were forced to choose from a very limited number of options, and they got used to dealing with ill-fitting bras if they weren't naturally one of the most common sizes.

    • It makes sense... small bands with large cups are hard to find.

    • Also good for you on helping her out! Almost all women wear the wrong size which is not only uncomfortable, but can cause back pain and sagging as the proper support is not there! That is great that you understand that as well. My partner still talks about skinny girls with huge boobs being "42D" and I laugh because he calls himself a bra expert but Is Waaaaaay off!

    • LOL. You could get two (skinny) girls in a bra like that. I know a girl who is a 28H - she's obviously not buying bras off the shelf at Walmart.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • When women are going through puberty, they talk about their cup sizes like how they think guys try to figure out who has the biggest dick.

    I remember it from highschool, they probably just kept trying to fit into the biggest cup they could and kept fucking with the band until they could make the wrong cup size fit as comfortably as possible.

    10 years later and she's still believing her own lies.

    • That's interesting I actually see the opposite quite often A woman w

    • Will* realize that her breasts are spilling out of a cup so they will go up a number. This means the band is hanging loose and the cups sort of sit loosely on the top of the breast, rather than cupping the entire breast. There has been evidence that women often wear about 3 cups too small and a band waaaay to wide. I have seen many many women with the band hanging halfway down their backs! There is NO way they are getting the support they need! Here's an example: Sophia Vergara is a 32F. Many people talk about 40DD when referring to a skinny woman with huge breasts but that is not the case! 40(any cup size) indicates a relatively large, plus sized back. Sadly most stores don't carry enough bra sizes!

    • That's not really surprising all things considered.

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What Girls & Guys Said

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  • These are thngs not taught at school, and not often taught well enough at home. And to top it off, shopping for smaller band sizes with larger cups is a pain in the underside of my boobs. At 34F, bras aren't impossible to find, but finding decent ones is a bit annoying at times

    I don't believe that learning about each sexes bodies should be limited to each sex learning just about itself.

    • I totally agree. A cousin of mine was super super skinny and thought she was a 36B, for example. Well the ribcage band was hanging halfway down her back. The cups sort of rested on her chest but did not cup the entire breast! She got properly measured and needs a 28DDD, since that is a hard size to find she opted for a 32DD

    • 28DDD! At least now with online shopping it makes it easier to find harder sizes like that. Still run in to the problem that not all bras are created equally.

    • I agree. Some brands fit different than other brands with the same cup size.

  • Before I got pregnant with my first baby, I had a 32B. This was never a problem for me, but now, I have no idea what my size should be.

    • What size do you wear now? Still 32B?

  • I have no idea. Men don’t typically wear bras. So that makes sense. As for women who cares what they wear? If they’re comfortable then

    • Most women. Aren't comfortable in their bras, wearing a loose band and too small cups means that there is no support which can lead to back pain and sagging. I think women need to be more educated on this. A skinny woman, for example, regardless of size may need a 28 or 30 bra, 32 at the very most! 38 is close to a plus sized women Yet I still see so many skinny girls complaining about their 38DD being so uncomfortable, well truth be told they may be closer to a 30GG but don't want to admit to that!

    • Then I guess they need to get measured and find what’s right I suppose.

    • You seem to know more then I do

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  • Mostly because we don't care. We never buy or wear one. Most men have a feel for A through E cup sizes and see no need to over-think and ruin our enjoyment of boobs with technical jargon.

    • Sophia Vergara, who many people assume wears a DD cup of some sort, actually is a 32F. She is one of the few famous women actually wearing a proper fitting bra

    • Sophia Vergara is actually more likely closer to a 28H or 30GG I would estimate

    • @softlyautumnal I agree. But she wears a bra size that is somewhat close... many celebs still fall into the 40DD category which confused the hell out of me! You think with all that money they'd be able to afford a proper fitting bra!

  • They do this because they think they look nice, when we all know that it doesn't look nice.

    • Yeah I'll fitting bras also cause back pain and sagging. A thin woman with a loose band hanging halfway down the back, and cups sitting on, but not cupping the actual breasts, cannot be comfortable.

  • I was so busy trying to get them unhooked with only one hand to figure out how to measure somebody for bra size.

  • Probably because I don't have boobs and am not a tailor. I am however willing to learn all about it if you are willing to give lessons :P

    • Well, most women wear the wrong size... the number indicates the width of the ribcage. So, for example, a 30 band would suggest a very skinny woman whearas a 40 band would mean a plus sized lady. As the band increases the cups widen... Most women go up a NUMBER rather than a cup size when they realize their breasts are spilling out of their bra. The problem with this is that they will e

    • Will experience sagging* and back pain. Sophia Vergara is said to be a 32F. She is the only famous person, that I know of who wears anywhere CLOSE to the average size! For example: Dolly Parton would be around a 30JJ

  • I think initially it was economics. Stores just didn't have the ability to sell more specialty sizes, and the different sizes that women can be were so varied most stores couldn't cater to them.

    But these days I think it is squarely to be blamed on places like Victoria's secret. They very intentionally don't carry a wide range of sizes even though they can. And what's even worse is they will sell women sister sizes that are somewhat similar even if they are ill-fitting and cause back and shoulder pain. But they do it because they get the sale, and that deceives many women. It's gross behavior

    • I agree totally. So many women are made to believe that their skinny bodies and large chests equal a large number. Sure, The cups WIDEN as the number increases, but that does not mean they will fit properly. I see so many women, more often than not with bra bands hanging halfway down their back and cups that sort of sit uncomfortably on the breast but not cupping it! This means that there is absolutely NO support, which leads to sagging and back pain A friend of mine was wearing 42DD (which was NOT properly fitting) and was in terrible pain. She got fitted from a PROFESSIONAL bra fitting expert who figured out her real size was around 36H! Small numbers with bigger letters are more common than one would realize. Too bad stores like wal mart or Victorias secret don't sell a better selection

    • Yeah, I have seen the exact same thing as you. Women wearing the incorrect size, even considering reduction surgery because their back is hurting so much. But you know if they got properly fitted it would drastically reduce that discomfort. It's also silly that a D cup is considered a large size. In some cases it can be, but in many cases she can look almost flat chested and still be that cup measurement. I think there are is a change coming, as more and more women realize that they are wearing the wrong ones. Especially those on the larger end of the spectrum. But fighting against the tide is always difficult. Here's an interesting question for you. How would you design the system if you could? From the ground up? How would you make it so that the measurements make sense and yet still create supportive bras for women?

    • Glad you understand. I had to put my partner in his place as he talked about girls who were around 30G being 42DD... I told him two skinny women could fit into the band of a 42! He still doesn't believe me. Sadly not many stores carry a wide range of cup sizes so many women have to shop online. REAL bra stores, that sell proper bra sizes are far and few between and extremely expensive

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  • My SO said she wore the wrong size for years until she got fitted, and the person doing the fitting said that "most" women wear the wrong size!

    It's not one of those things men place a priority on understanding, but women should, right? Guys only care about the cup size, for the most part!

    • Yeah but they get confused with the number. many many men are under the assumption that the a skinny woman could be a 40DD which couldn't be further from the truth! Having a big ribcage Is nothing to write home about unless a man is Into plus sized women!

    • Yes, I think men don't understand that the "40" part in the double D means "she's a big girl" in terms of her bones!

    • Not sure why so many men talk about 42DD. My partner bragged about being a bust size expert yet he talked about me getting implants to increase my bust size from a 32B to a 38C. I told him that would mean "getting fat." I mean, who wants to have a somewhat BIG ribcage back, and medium breasts? 38C would indicate that a woman has breasts somewhat small in proportion to her body He also talked about a very skinny woman who was shaped like Christina Hendricks having 42DD. I had to explain that 2 skinny women could fit into such a huge band size! He bragged yet was TOTALLY clusless

  • I understand them more often than women do, they just hate to admit i do

    • Do you know then that most girls who are very thin with large breasts need 28 or 30 band bras, and F or bigger cups?

    • Yeah

    • My partner still calls himself a bra expert, yet would suggest a thin woman such as Pamela Anderson, for example to be a 42DD I laugh as I know a 42anycupsize is an obese woman!

  • I couldn't begin to tell you why so many women don't understand something that I imagine is a fundamental part of loving as a female. As for why men don't know any better? I can't speak for other men, but I can tell you that I'm not a breast guy, so I have no reason to know such things. I care more about a pretty face and a nice butt.

  • Bra size is not important enough for people to research and learn about it. Small, medium, large thats all thats needed.

    • Wow - if only that were true! You couldn't be more far off. Bra sizing is complex, small medium and large would get you NOWHERE

    • @softlyautumnal your right. I agree bra size is complex. But the question was why do men not understand bra size? This is because men dont care if they are a 36Dd or whatever all that matters to men is if they are big or whatever size they like. Or perhaps if men wore bras then they would understand bra sizes better.

    • Makes sense. I still always laugh when guys talk about 42DD on a skinny girl and then brag about being a bra size expert.

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  • I haven't a clue to this day

  • i understand

  • Because it's not something that is taught and we don't get dressed by a stylist.

    • Not to forget that different brands make the "same" sizes but they are different fits or sizes.. which can lead to confusion.

  • Because we're not taught about it.