Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The DD Myth

I've been hoping to have the time to write a post about this for a few weeks now!  One of my friends read my fitting advice and measured herself.  Then, she sent me a message about how I was right- that the band size went down, but the cup size going up was scary.  I asked what cup size the measurements gave her, and she said D.  Why are so many women scared of D+ cup sizes?

As a society, we are constantly deluged with images of women, quite frankly, wearing bras that don't fit them!  We are shown over and over again, thanks to advertising from the likes of Victoria's Secret, how a "DD" woman should look.  Trust me when I say that the models of VS are nearly all in the wrong size. They should wear larger than a DD cup.  But nevertheless, we are taught that any cup size over DD is unusual and has a stigma attached to it.   There are many women who don't even know that sizes over a DD exist, and the sad part is that some of them work in department store lingerie departments!

A grand example of a VS sizing mishap is Ms Tyra Banks, who has said on national TV that she is a DD cup! 

I'm sorry, Tyra, but this bra does not fit!!  The cups are smooshing her boobs, the center gore (where the cups meet in the middle) isn't laying flat on her ribcage, the underwires aren't touching her ribcage, and she is getting the side boob effect.

Nevertheless, women believe two things about this picture: A) This is how a bra should fit; B) That DD boobs look like this. 

Ah, but maybe it's just the bra that is the problem, and it just didn't fit quite right because of the style?  Surely a VS model would know her own size!?

Okay, this one doesn't seem so bad!  Ha!  I KNEW Tyra was a DD! This bra fits...right?

Erm, not so much. Her band is riding up her back!  I didn't mean for this to turn into any kind of Tyra, or VS bashing.  However, this post IS about the DD myth.  A myth that has been brought about by years of women publicly declaring that they are a DD when they are not, making the rest of society think that A)there is no way they could ever possibly fit into a DD, no matter the band size!, and B) If this is a DD, then anything above that must be freakishly huge.

It's really not, in my opinion.  Here is where I think Tyra fits a little better, the G range:

What do I see when I look at this? Average, everyday women wearing bras that fit them well, owning their size.  There is nothing wrong or freakish about it.  So why do so many women scoff when they hear of any size over a DD?  It is appalling that it happens, but I think it is due to the wrong information and women being fitted into the wrong bra size!

Another example of a mis-declaration of DD-ness comes from sexy, curvy, Christina Hendricks 

Christina, please stop telling the world that you are a DD!  I believe it was Vanity Fair that she said she was something like a 38DD.  She has a tiny ribcage- she is no 38!!  And if you go down in the band, you must go up in the cup to get the same coverage.

So, for all this telling you what DD doesn't look like, let me share a little of what it does look like. These are all D or DD women:

Not what the media portrays, but real life D/DD women. Perfectly normal size, and nothing to be scared of, no?  Perhaps you see someone who looks a bit like you, but you are still wearing a band that is too big, and the wrong cup size?

I often say that women have to see to believe.  Moreover, they have to try on to believe!  Since I do my own fittings for people (mostly, I take over Nordstrom's for an hour or two...), I do try to have some example sizes on hand.  One such bra is a 30D by Betsey Johnson.  I have made two 32A's believers with just that one bra.  Both of whom, even after looking at the bra, thought a D could 'never fit' them. All the while, the band was too big on one of them, so she would need a 28DD!  Another girl that I refit from a 34B to a 30DD actually bought my 30DD Betsey Johnson from me because she was so happy with the fit. 

The point is, DD is not as large busted as the media portrays.  Most of the women who claim to be DD really should be wearing a smaller band/larger cup.  Keep in mind that the cup size is all relative to the band size.  And as the band number decreases, so does the physical size of the cup. 

Here is an awesome example of how the same cup letter is not the same cup size:

Yes, this is done with A cups, but the fact remains true for every cup letter there is!

I hope this will lessen the fear out there when it comes to D+ cup sizes.  I can only hope that one day, this knowledge will be more widespread, and the stigma surrounding DD will be erased.  There are many of us out there trying to spread the word- changing women's lives, one bra at a time! 

Check out one of those places, called The Bra Band Project.   It was put together by a few of my fellow bra bloggers. The primary goal is to get manufacturers to see that there is a demand for band sizes under 32.  All the women in the photos are 24-30 bands and D+ cups.

Remember, we are all beautiful, no matter the cup size.  And if a bra fits you well, does it really matter what the numbers and letters attached to it say?  I dare to think not!  So go out and find your perfectly fitting bra, and to hell with what the tag says!



  1. One time I went bra shopping with a friend. She tried on a bra at VS. She tried on her usual C cup. The bra was really cute, but too small in the cup. I told her, you should try the D, it should fit better. She flipped out and said "there is no way I am D that is huge!!!!"

    And didn't buy the bra in any size.

  2. Just read about your reduction, left a comment telling about mine and came to check the blog out - it's amazing! Great blog, great thinking, great advice!

  3. Wow...Yeah Ive been measured a million times as DD...but every time people look at me they say "You're faking it...your boobs arnt that big.." and it frustrates me because i start to feel unconcious and think that the people who sized me got it wrong...but i go back and get the same results...So idk, I guess it goes both ways...either you think DD is too big...ORR you think it fits perfect but your friends dont thing your big enough to be one. Sigh.

    1. I gather that your friends are likely miseducated on how bra sizes work? Cup "size" means nothing without the band size to go along with it & most women don't know that's the case! Show them the picture of the three bras with the same cup letter-different band sizes. Usually works every time!

  4. Thank you for writing this blog. Today I was in VS and reluctantly got sized again. I vehemently swore "I'm a 36B...I don't know why we're doing this..." she sized me and I'm a 34DD. I was floored and sad. I felt like a porn star, but I couldn't deny that the bra fit me well. My breasts were finally supported and not spilling out between the cups or under my arms. I'm not large-breasted at all...not at all, so I didn't understand this. I had actually gone down in the band size, but up in the cup. She tried to explain this, but I was in shock and your blog does a much better job than she did. Thanks!

    1. I'm glad this post was able to help! Moreover, I'm glad you felt like the bra you walked out with fit you well. I hear so often the opposite from VS, and don't usually recommend them for decent fittings. But I'm really glad they worked out for you! ♥

  5. Part of the problem is america, in that country they treat d~ as big and DD as big as it gets, Meaning many women wearing wrong sizes and porn stars with fake boobs saying they D or DD. I live with my sister who is a 34D, if she has tight tops on combined with a push up bra she can look shapely but nothing like the pictures we see on the net, in her normal every day clothing tho her bust is big enough to give shape but she doesnt look particurly big, and that makes sense given in the UK the average cup size is a D and its considered medium here not big or large. In fact certian bra makers usually fall into one of 2 categories large or small, and the small category usually includes D cup from A-D or A-DD. Another sign these stars lie is the thickness of the bra straps, a F cup bra eg. will have very thick straps, My sister usually doesnt deliberatly show her straps now days but when I see my sister's bra strap fall down it is quite slim.

  6. Whenever I get "professionally" measured they always say I'm a 40C when I check myself my band measures at 28 inches and my bust 34, 35 if I'm bleeding I've been on multiple sites about bra measuring, some say I'm a 28f, some say I'm a 30dd. Some say I'm a 34 d, i never shop at VS because they never have any band size below a 32 and a 30 is the biggest band size I can wear (I find a 28 fits me best) and I'm finding that the DDD cup I wore when I was a 30 band size is fitting my breasts, the cup shape is just off for my breast shape (tear drop shaped). When I talk to my boyfriend about this he scoffs because my boobs don't "look" big anymore because of my weight loss. Does anyone have any advice on bra buying or anything with bras at all? Ive always had issues with it but it's gotten harder with my new band measurement at 28