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Why D/DD Is the New C Cup

Currently, the average bra cup size in the United States is a D/DD.

How did the average bra cup size go from a C to a D/DD in 20 years? Some scientists think it is the hormones in our food, the obesity issue facing the United States, the amount of birth control found in our drinking water and/or the increased number of women having breast augmentation surgery.

Or more simply, could it be that there are more bra cup sizes and band sizes available? Since Oprah’s bra revolution in 2005, more women are seeking the help of bra fitters and specialty shops who carry non-traditional brands and sizes. Perhaps for the first time women are being sized into the correct bra band and cup size combination for a proper fitting bra. Schedule a Bra Fitting Appointment

At La Bratique, we believe the increased average cup size over the past 20 years is a combination of all of the above.

Traditional U.S. Brand Sizing Skews Image of D/DD Bosom

Throughout history and still true today, the majority of bra manufacturers have produced bras from an A to D/DD cup and have stopped there. Women on the very busty side, therefore, have typically been sized into D/DD cups, no matter their under-bust measurement, and the skewed image develops. Think Marilyn Monroe (she reportedly wore a 36D), Dolly Parton (reportedly wears a 40DD), or Salma Hayek (reportedly wears a 36C). Although Ms. Parton seems to have the smallest waist, based on media images, she wears the largest bra size of the three. With today's sizing and options available, some bra fitters in the industry estimate her real size to be closer to a 30 HH/J. Based on U.S. sizing, if the cup capacity (wide and shallow) of a 40DD is correct and she was sized with a supportive bra band with the same amount of cup capacity (deep and narrow), Dolly would wear a 30J (coming down the scale as follows: 38F, 36G, 34H, 32I, 30J). The smaller band and deeper cup, would assist her in transferring the full weight of the bust off of her shoulders and back onto her torso, lifting correctly from the bottom up instead of the top down.

Don’t give up fit for fashion.

Before: Bra cup size is too small, pushing breast tissue to the middle and spilling out the top and bottom.

After: Fashion that hugs in all the right places and encompasses all of the breast tissue into the cup and offers lift. A small separation between breasts creates a beautiful décolletage.

bra fitting is an art

Avoid minimizers.

Before: A minimizer bra pushes breast tissue down onto your torso and wide from armpit to armpit. The result: bust actually looks bigger and you look 10 pounds heavier.

After: A bra with a stiff fabric or seam can lift the bust, defining your breast from your torso. A slight angle to the shape of the bust adds a ½ to a full inch to your torso making you appear taller, thinner and less busty.

minimizing bras

Encapsulation decreases bounce and reduces sagging.

Before: A pullover sport bra sized in XS, S, M, L, XL is best for A-D cups. Band is typically not tight enough to offer support and/or excessive compression can cause discomfort.

After: A sports bra sized in cup and band measurements that encompasses all of your breast tissue and clasps in back, can reduce bounce by up to 85%, keeping the girls where they are meant to be.

sports bras

Two breasts look better than four.

Before: The wrong fit can leave you looking lumpy. A larger cup size will smooth things out.

After: Being sized into the correct bracup and band size leaves the bust lifted, supported and seamless under tops.The key to any wardrobe is the proper foundation.

Schedule a Bra Fitting Appointment

avoid bra bulge

Why a Full Bust Needs the Right Foundation

A full bust, defined as a DD+ cup size, requires certain fabrics and construction to offer support, lift and comfort. Support is achieved when the center gore lays flat against your breast and the back band sits parallel or lower to the front. The bra must then hug your torso. If the bra does not give you a hug, your shoulders will bear the brunt of the weight creating back and neck pain, poor posture, shoulder divots and early sagging caused by the breast moving when not supported from the bottom up. By tightening your straps to achieve lift, the back band will ride higher on your back defeating the purpose of tightening your straps. Additional issues may be that your straps fall down, tissue bulges out of your cup and your breasts hang low on your torso making you look shorter, bustier and heavier.

Bra brands which focus on cups DD+:
  • Use better fabrics to help shape, lift and extend the life of a bra.
  • Construct the bra differently than smaller cup bras to ensure the center lays flat against your breastbone, maximizing support.
  • Create a variety of bra styles to really play up your assets.

Different styles create different silhouettes:
  • A plunge bra will give you a beautifully spaced declotage instead of the unflattering breast crack.
  • A balconnet, will create a beautiful bubble to emphasize the top part of your breast for low cut necklines.
  • A T-shirt style will give you a flawless finish under any fabric or top.

Shop Independently at Your Own Risk

Statistics show that 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size.

Best advice: unless you are small busted, the size of an apple or smaller, do not shop in any Intimate Apparel/Lingerie/Bra department that does not carry a good assortment of D cups and up. Even if you take advantage of their bra fittings, you will most likely leave in what they have, not what you need or that fits. Proper cup and band size provides support for better posture and all day comfort, lift to define the waist, and a smooth finish under tops and dresses.

Remember, you don’t have to give up fashion for fit. You will feel more beautiful and confident if your bra is hugging you in all the right places.
Schedule a Bra Fitting Appointment
La Bratique
5049 France Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55410 (View Map)