The “deliver information” and “take a joke” parts of my brain butt heads sometimes.
Fortunately, we can do both!
I see this meme pop up from time to time, sometimes sent to me directly by an amused friend or client. The scenario described in the joke is both hilarious (I am a huge fan of over-the-top hyperbole,) and familiar to a fair segment of the bra-wearing public. It’s also fairly unique to a retail shopping environment where bra sizing is poorly understood and unrepresentative. Outside of specialty shops, your generalist retailers are going to stock the bra sizes they believe to be the most common and most likely to sell. However, because improper sizing is so VERY common with bras, they hold a sort of unique status as a consumer product for which the appropriate items and the best-selling items do not line up very well at all!
If you’ve been in to Grail or read many of my previous posts, you’re familiar with that fact that bra sizes don’t work the way much of the world believes they do. Those cup size letters don’t mean anything by themselves and represent a volume that increases or decreases depending on the corresponding band size. The cups on a 40B bra are four sizes larger than the cups on a 32B. It is extremely common for customers to walk in wearing a B-cup bra and leave with a D-cup or higher, especially if they’re at the smaller end of the band size spectrum. A 34B becomes a 30D with just a band size adjustment. In most cases, a D cup is far smaller than what people imagine!
Working with a variety of different bra makers designing for a range of body types, I can honestly say that it is exceptionally rare for a bra style that is available in a B cup to not also include D cups. That’s just not a common place for sizing to drop off. DDD (UK E) or G (UK F) is a far more typical cut-off. Band size is frequently the more limiting factor in terms of style options, with reduced selection below 30 and at 38, 42, 44, and 46. The customers that have the fewest options have always been larger-band-with-smaller-cups, 40+ with cup sizes under a C.
The international bra market has been ahead of the U.S. in terms of bra sizing inclusivity for decades. There’s a long list of European brands producing couture styles in every cut and color imaginable, up to at least an O-cup (UK K-cup). If you feel like your bra size has always forced you into uncomfortable, unattractive styles, please know that this isn’t something you must simply accept. You have so VERY many options! I promise!