What’s in a Letter? Well a ton apparently.
There’s a certain letter of the alphabet that is so totally overused at this point that I’m close to banning it entirely.
Which one am I about to disparage?
Yes, this wondrous letter that brings us delights, desires and deviousness. This letter makes up some of the most common words and names in the English language.
This poor letter gets entirely pimped out by US bra companies in what feels like a quest to confuse us women even more when it comes to sizing our boobs.
Why am I so tired of it?
Well, dear reader, it’s because I see it used so absurdly. In bras to be exact.
And this only happens in the US by the way.
Other countries are spared the overuse of this letter by using a pretty standard sizing model. And they’re more enlightened in my humble opinion.
They don’t need to continue to smash an extra D on the end of a bra size to herald a larger cup size.
They understand intuitively that the alphabet, like the breast, does go above a letter D. Therefore, they merrily continue on to other letters like E, F, G, H and I. All the way to a Z. Not sure if there’s actually been a women with a Z cup, but anything is possible.
Fact is, that some of our bra companies in the US are stuck in the mire of Ds.
I had a women tell me the other day that she was a DDDD, and did I make a size for her?
Well dearest, it’s unclear.
I got lost after the second D.
I was confused by the time we got to the 4th D.
Does that mean that you’re 4x a D cup in size? Does that mean that you’re D+++ or a new brand of battery? Is this similar to the A, AA, and AAA Duracell’s that I can find at the store?
I feel like us Curvy In-Betweeners are closer to a 9V if we’re just being honest but whatever.
I’m poking fun at it but let’s be clear, this tactic of super-D bra sizing is wildly unhelpful.
Already there is A LOT for a Curvy In-Betweener to understand, right?
Because US and UK bra sizing diverges after a D cup, we already need a chart to tell us what a 34G in Freya’s UK sizing equates to in a US brand (it’s a 34I in case you’re wondering.)
Now you want us to also convert sizing within the US brands as well?
I will admit to utter frustration on this level and I’ll tell you what my hypothesis is as to why some companies do this.
It is my belief that US bra manufacturers are starting to finally come around and realize that they should be making bigger sized cups and bands. That women in the US are getting bigger: whether due to weight gain, earlier periods or some sort of increase in the genetics of breasts.
So they’re branching out their sizing to include larger ones. And this should be celebrated.
It feels like some of these brands are preying on women’s fears by using what I call psychological sizing.
Reality is that many women in the US have been conditioned throughout the years to believe that a D cup is the largest cup size there is.
Ask your friends, male and female, what a D cup means, and most will likely refer you to Pamela Anderson or Kim Kardasian. They’d be wrong on both accounts btw.
This misunderstanding in women comes from repeated trips to the mall and to lingerie stores with pink awnings, that told them that they should just keep sizing up on the band to get to a well-fitting cup.
So we end up with women, and I used to be one back in the day, wearing D cups in bands that are sometimes 8 inches too big on them because they need a bigger cup and the brand stops at a D.
This mis-sizing kills their backs (most bra support comes from a well-fitting band) and creates permanent shoulder divots worse than any golf-course tee area.
I see it all the time in fittings now.
Intuitively, women should understand that if their breasts have gotten larger, that a D cup is not going to work anymore. That their “D cup” boobs always seem to overflow their bras and spill out the sides, is just further reinforcement that they don’t have a great fit and need to go bigger.
So when you tell them that they’re measuring closer to a G or H, you’d think that they’d be like “Holy shit! That makes so much sense! I’ve never really fit well into bras I bought at the mall and now I know why. They weren’t big enough!”
In actuality, what usually happens is that this woman who’s been cramming herself into too-small cups for 15 years and has the quad-boob to prove it, is disbelieving.
She’s shocked that bras go above a D cup. She’s never heard of an F cup. Then she sometimes cries, misinterpreting this news as me calling her fat. As if her cup size was 100% correlated to her pants size, which is absurd.
And this right here is the issue with companies throwing Ds around like candy when they expand their cup sizes.
Every other single region in the world follows alphabet sizing for cups. They trust that women are big girls that can handle letters above a D. They inherently reinforce the fact that bigger sized cups are normal by continuing on to the next letter without pause or ceremony.
But some brands here add extra Ds to their cups so that they can give a false sense of security to women that they’re not that big. “Oh! I’m only a DDD cup. That feels safely close to a D”, the poor woman says, not understanding that a DDD cup is likely the equivalent of an F cup and an F cup is totally normal.
What these multiple D cup brands are doing is a kind of a psychological warfare and I personally want to see it outlawed.
They’re playing into women’s fears. They’re saying that women are not smart enough, or if not that then they’re not well-informed enough, to understand that an F or cup is no way a measure of your body weight but instead a measure of your breast weight. They’re saying that a DDD cup is more palatable to the masses than an F cup.
I refuse to be ok with that.
This is not a subject where we ladies need “spin.” Nor do we want it. What we actually need is a clear, transparent understanding of how to get our boobs to behave.
That includes consistency in bra sizing letters and numbers. What we don’t need is to figure out how to convert a DDDD to a real bra size.
While I know there is a ton of work to be done in educating women about bras and why a great fit is life-changing, I’m not ok with other companies playing by a different set of rules intent on manipulation.
When they slap more Ds to their sizing, they further muddy the waters in women making headway in a more fuller understanding of our bodies.
We already have reason to believe that most women wear the wrong size bra in the US today.
The last thing we need is more US companies playing with the alphabet, and women’s minds, on top of it. I propose that we just keep going up the alphabet, like every other place in the world, and continue to educate that the letters E, F, G, H, I and beyond are quite normal.
I'm going to keep sizing you ladies and I’ll have the same answer ready for you US consumers that get scared: “This is good news girl. Don’t be scared by Fs or Gs, they’re just letters after all. Now you can finally find a size that works for you in any brand that knows the alphabet!”