Different sizing systems

If you have been reading this blog as well as the contents of all the links that I provided (Stanikomania etc) you may start to feel a bit lost – so many different sizes, with some that sound “cosmic” just like 32J – what the heck is 32? And why such a “big” letter? Well let’s have a closer look at this jungle of sizes.

There are several sizing systems that are used around the world: continental (European), British, French, American, even the Australians have one of their own.

Let’s start with continental system used by European manufacturers (although most of them lack small underband/big cup combinations). In this system the number in size corresponds to your measurement under-bust rounded to the nearest five multiple. At least this is the theory. In practice, underbands are so elastic that you should be taking a band 5 to 10cm smaller than your actual under-bust measurement. Cup sizes are marked by single letters and grow every 2 cm.

Band sizes are: 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 95  ,90, 95 (every 5cm)

Cup sizes are: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K etc (every 2cm)

For example a person wearing 75G has breasts that are by 2cm smaller than a person wearing 75H.

British system

According to kasica (from Stanikomania) it’s a favourite sizing system of all bramaniacs. Why? Mainly because most of British brands that are using it produce bras in all possible band/cup combinations. It’s also quite logical and easy to recalculate into European sizing.

The digits used in this system correspond to our under-bust measurement in inches – at least they do more or less. The classic theory claimed that to calculate your British band size you had to add 4 or 5 to your under-bust measurement. This might have worked in the past when bras were made of un-elastic fabrics, but now bras are so stretchy that in most cases you can forget about this rule and try a bra with the band much closer to your actual frame measurement. What you have to know is that continental:

60 = British 28

65 = British 30

70 = British 32

75 = British 34

80 = British 36 etc

So, you see, band sizes go up every 2 inches (5cm) – just like in the continental system.

British cups start at AA and grow every 2,5cm (an inch). Somebody that wears 34F is 2,5cm smaller around boobs that a person wearing 34FF. Yes, British system uses double letters, it’s not a “half-size” as some people may think.

Cups in the British system are as follows: AA, B, C, D, DD, E, F, FF, G, GG, H, HH, J, JJ, K. There’s no double for E and I/II are missing – they just don’t exist.

The only point where these two system actually meet is D cup – in both of them this a cup that is designed for a person with 19cm difference between a band and measurement around breasts.

French system.

It’s a mutation of continental one, the cups are the same (theoretically), the numbers are different. To calculate your French band size you need to add 15 to the continental band size you wear. So if you wear a 70 – it means it’s a French 85, a continental 75 is a French 90 etc…

American system

It’s a mutation of the British system, digits are the same – 32, 34 etc (they don’t produce 28 and 30) and cups end at D – probably due to an advanced case of letterphobia… You just have D, then DD, DDD, DDDD….. it’s just ridiculous. As if calling the cups with multiple D letters would make them be smaller than F or G or H etc.

If anybody actually makes bigger cups, sometimes they name them FF, G, GG  or G, I, J – it’s a bit of a mess, really.

Here, a digression – some of you may associate American bras with Victoria’s Secret… Well, before I found out about real brafitting rules I thought Victoria’s Secret was a paradise. But after I discovered my real size and comfort it gives I know I will never buy anything from them again. They don’t really have all range of sizes (even though they claim they do), the quality is really low – these bras are terribly stretchy and unsupportive, they also get damaged fast when you wash them… Frankly speaking it’s a crap that is nicely packed into a shiny pink gift bag .

One thing I would like to point out here is that different bra makers around the world don’t really put much effort into recalculating bra sizes from one system to another. So just be careful and don’t trust the labels when you see for example: EU 80F, UK 36F.  In this case only the numbers are right. You remember that continental cups sizes grow every 2cm and British ones every 2,5cm and have double letters? So how come EU 80F and UK 36F be the same??? (according to the label). But in reality, a continental 80F is for a person who has 103cm around breast and a British 36F is for somebody measuring there106,5 cm. This mistake can be also found on British bras. I’m just holding one of mine in my hand. The label says: UK 32G, EU 70G, FR 85G – which again is not true. British 32G will fit a person  that measures 101,5 cm around breasts, while continental 70G will be ok for 95cm.

I used kasica’s article about different systems.

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