So, having been influenced by the Gokster, when I decided to purchase a new bra yesterday I thought I would check that I am buying the correct size by measuring my bust and starting from scratch. One reason for this was that, although I have quite happily and comfortably worn size 16C bras for years, when I needed a halterneck bra for the Fire Brigade ball last year I allowed myself to be talked into a 14D. And, although I love what the bra does to my bangers (to use a Gokism), by the end of the day my rib cage feels constricted and slightly bruised. I didn't want to make that mistake again.
So, I dutifully measured my band size (underneath the breasts) and my bust size (around the breasts) and entered the measurements into an online bra size calculator. Imagine my shock when it told me that I should be wearing a size 22AA!
I had always thought that the cup size was roughly the difference between the two measurements in inches, with one inch for A, two for B, three for C and so on. (As it turns out, this is, loosely, correct.) With four inches difference between the two measurements, I thought that would indicate a C or D cup, not a double A! As for the size 22 part...
So I went to Wikipedia to check how bra sizes are determined. The table they use is as follows:
|Cup size |
|Cup size |
(rest of Europe,
Canada and US)
|Difference between bust size |
and band size (inches)
|AA||AA||Less than one inch||10–12 cm|
|A||A||1 inch||12–14 cm|
|B||B||2 inches||14–16 cm|
|C||C||3 inches||16–18 cm|
|D||D||4 inches||18–20 cm|
|DD||DD or E||5 inches||20–22 cm|
|E||DDD or F||6 inches||22–24 cm|
|F||G||7 inches||24–26 cm|
|FF||H||8 inches||26–28 cm|
|G||I||9 inches||28–30 cm|
|GG||J||10 inches||30–32 cm|
|H||K||11 inches||32–34 cm|
|HH||L||12 inches||34–36 cm|
|J||M||13 inches||36–38 cm|
|JJ||N||14 inches||38–40 cm|
|K||NN||15 inches||40–50 cm|
It's easy to see where the problem lies. The metric conversions are way off, and apparently every online bra-size calculator has used the Wikipedia data to set up their algorithm. (I have put in a request for it to be corrected.)
Just for fun, when I went into the bra store I picked up a 22B bra (the closest I could get: I don't think they even make bras in 22AA -- I have cellulite lumps bigger than those breasts would be). I tried it on, but my breasts just dropped out through the gap between the bra band and my body.
Guess what size bra I bought? 16C. Plus ca change...