Year 2 Stats: Bra Sizes

Hello Ladies,

After a small hiatus, the statistical analysis of our sales returns with a discussion of bra size!  Earlier we dissected demographics, band sizes, and cup sizes, and today, we are pulling all of the information together to examine what bra sizes we sold the most often since opening.  Below are a series of graphs demonstrating which cup sizes sell the best for each band size:

28_Bands_2 30_Bands_2 32_Bands_2 34_Bands_2 36_Bands_2

38_Bands_2 40_Bands_2 42_Bands_2 44_Bands_2 46_Bands_2

Top 5 Best-Selling UK Bra Sizes:

  1. 32DDD/E
  2. 32FF
  3. 38FF
  4. 36F and 36FF
  5. 34F and 36G

Observations and Notes:

  • Given that E-G cup sizes account for 65% of our sales, it is not unexpected that they would make a strong showing in nearly every band size or that all of our best-selling sizes would be contained within the range.
  • Last year, only 44 bands had a good distribution for GG+ cup sizes; however, this year many of the bands saw purchases in these sizes with 34-38 bands having the most.
  • In multiple band sizes, the dispersion of cup sizes continues to approach a bell curve distribution, and I will be interested to see if this trend continues over the next several years.
  • We have sold bras in the 48-56 band size range, but the data points are scarce.  I feel like including them would not aid in identifying any trends or explaining our inventory selection.

Larger Cups and Smaller Bands

As a large cup/small band woman, I despise the lack of selection in 26-32 band sizes and GG+ cup sizes; however, my sales percentages are low for this demographic.  For the 9% of our customers wearing a 28 or 30 band, only 15% wear higher than G cup.  Even women in the 32 band are overwhelmingly likely to be a G Cup and under, with the 32DDD/E size being our best-selling for the entire store.  When we reach the 34 band size, the sales in the GG-K cup range improves immensely.  Nevertheless, despite the smaller sales figures, these percentages are way up from last year.  I had not seen anyone in a 28 band who wore higher than GG cup in my first year, and in 30 and 32 band sizes, higher cups were pretty scarce.  In fact, it was 38-44 band sizes which accounted for the majority of my GG+ sizes whereas this year, it shifted to 34-38 bands.  Data like this emphasizes the importance of and strengthens my commitment to our special order policy.  Given our sales records, we cannot afford to overbuy in the small band/big cup market, but hopefully, as we are in business longer, the growth will continue.

A Small Bands Addendum

During both statistical series, I have heard from several small band women who cannot understand why we do not have more sales here.  Holly from The Full Figured Chest wrote a great piece on the 28 band dilemma, but I want to add a few brief thoughts here as well.  With most of our 28 and 30 band size customers wearing between a DD and G cup, we’re looking at women who may not even realize how large their cup size is.  If these women shop at places using the +4 method, they could inadvertently be wearing anything from 32-36 A-DD.  In fact, most of the women who leave the store with a 28 or 30 band often came in wearing a 32C, 34D, or 36C bra.  Because their breast tissue isn’t as heavy as someone who wears a 32J, for example, they may never find the need to educate themselves about their correct bra size.  Furthermore, the options in the 28 and 30 band market, in general but especially in higher cup sizes, can be of lower design quality.  By this, I do not mean the manufacturers use shoddy materials in those sizes but rather that the overall fit of the bra has not been scaled as well to suit the needs of the small band customer.  I would like to elaborate more on this point in a future blog, but suffice it to say:  If it is hard to find a 28E bra which contours to your breasts as well as the 32C does, these women may just stick with the easier to find (and potentially cheaper) alternatives.

Bigger Cups for Every Band

Last year, I made a plea for more options in the G+ market for women wearing 40+ bands; however, this year, I’m extending this call to include every band size.  In the last six months alone, I have seen multiple women who need bra sizes higher than a K cup.  For women needing KK, L, LL, and even M cups, there is nothing that I can do short of recommending alterations, providing the name of companies which custom make bras, or discussing how to endure bras that do not fit properly.  After reviewing my post a year ago, I mentioned how I hoped Panache’s Sculptresse line would bridge the gap for higher bands, but again, the sizes are more consistent with Elomi.  There is a large market of women wearing 28-42 bands needing higher than a K cup, and there are just as many women in the 44-50 range needing higher than H cup.  Even if manufacturers only produce one, well-designed and well-executed style for these women, it would be better than the current options.

The Bell Curve

As I mentioned in the observations, I was excited to see our statistics for this year are approaching a bell curve with less spiking for certain sizes.  Part of this change comes from the overall increase in sales, meaning we have more data points to consider, but another component is how we have become known as a great bra shop—not necessarily a bra shop for certain demographics only.  As we expand inventory and continue to grow, I’m interested to see if the graphs continue to approach a standard bell curve.

Now, that you’ve seen all of the statistics, what are you thoughts?  Are there any other store owners out there willing to present an alternative view?  Professional fitters feel free to offer a view as well!

Erica

Erica
About

Erica is a lover all things lingerie and is passionate about helping people find the bra which fits and flatters. Side passions include reading, writing, hiking, dairy-free food, walking her Jack Russell terrorists, and dying her hair everything from black to red.

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12 comments on “Year 2 Stats: Bra Sizes
  1. kimhamham says:

    Absolutely love reading your stats. As a previous fitter in North America your stats make sense to me. I’m currently studying contour fashion and I seriously hope to do K+ cups. There’s a serious gap in the market for that.

    • Erica Erica says:

      Thanks! I’d really like to see a brand come out just for H+ cup sizes. I feel like it’s right around the H cup where the scaling starts to go awry, so if there was a brand that specifically focused on TRUE H-K cups, then maybe there would be some better fitting options. I have a bigger blog post on this topic coming soon, but I wanted to touch briefly on the issue with the series.

      • astrid says:

        My thoughts exactly! I really believe that a brand specialising in very large cups could develop a strong following and make a lot of money.
        Based on most women I come across in real life, I’m not surprised that H+ are an exception, not the norm, but an actor positionning themselves on that segment would have a quasi monopoly.

        • Erica Erica says:

          Astrid, even with a reduced market, you are completely right that a company which produced good designs for this market would really have an edge on the competition. Even if they played it safe with more generic colors/prints, I know a lot of women in that size range would absolutely love to have more options which don’t require them to settle.

          • anonymous says:

            as a 28jj/ (maybe k) wearer, I definitely agree with this statement. I don’t mind if they’re basic wear, I just want something that fits.

          • Erica Erica says:

            Maybe larger cup ladies need to pull our resources and start some kind of petition about the current offerings on the market? Sounds like a lot of us agree about needing better designs!

          • Tori says:

            Very much agreed. I’m literally (open in another tab) in the middle of a post on my frustrations with having essentially only one meaningful bra brand option for my size/shape. (Where “meaningful” = I can actually wear the bra for a work day. Putting an H/HH/J cup label on something that is unwearable-for-me doesn’t do me much good.) Essentially, it means that I’m forever compromising, forever settling — both in terms of a given line’s designs and in terms of apparent ideologies.

          • Erica Erica says:

            You’re right that slapping the size on the tag of a bra not meant for that customer does nothing to help manufacturers, retailers, or consumers. Design the bras for a smaller customer segment if necessary, but if a bra is not scaling properly, don’t try to sell it to us.

  2. Naira says:

    I guess this explains why Freya is so reluctant to extend the cup sizes beyond G in their half cup styles. I generally wear a 30G/28GG, and love how the Freya half cup makes my chest look, but I really would prefer it in 30GG, as the style seems to run a tad small, and my breasts seem to be getting a little bigger over time. Doesn’t look like small bands in GG+ cup sell well. Which makes me sad, as I realize it may be a while until Freya comes up with a size expansion for their half cups. I know that they have extended Patsy to H cup this season, but my understanding is the size extension will not happen next season. And I don’t really like Patsy in the current colorway. :(

    I see plenty of women around me who are clearly wearing a wrong size. If only every woman out there knew her real size and sought it out, I am sure the sales figures for small bands/large cups would have changed quite dramatically…

    And you are right, when my breasts were firm, I was more or less ok with the mainstream sizes (though could not wait to get the bra off at the end of the day), but after 2 kids I became at least 3 cup sizes bigger, tissue got softer, and I suddenly realized I had to either wear a burka or find a bra that supports.

    • Erica Erica says:

      Naira, I personally think Freya’s reticence is more a product of them not wanting to spend the time/design energy making the half-cups in larger sizes. My former sales rep told me the company tended stick to what it knew would work at least fairly well in higher cups. Since Freya would have to tread new territory offering half-cups in GG+ sizes (especially H+ sizes), they’re playing it safe and avoiding risk. That said, I didn’t care for either of the GG/H cup options this season (the other one being the Fan-Tastic). Both were rather monotone in palette, and I felt like they should have used a print like the blue Piper for one of them instead. Neither black and brown nor brown and ballet pink really rock my socks. :( I know designing bras for heavier breasts is harder, and you’re not going to please everyone. However, there are a lot of women who would pay to have those bras in their size if they could work out fit kinks. Maybe I need to make my own lingerie company . . . Oh wait, I can’t sew! Darn it! I’m thwarted! :D

  3. WideCurves says:

    I do not understand, at all, why big box stores in the US do not stock more cup sizes above DDD US/ UK E, across the board (and why more manufacturers don’t make them).

    Just look at the numbers….

    • Erica Erica says:

      I could be wrong, but I swear it’s about inventory overhead. It’s a shame because the demand is there; it really is. Manufacturers are listening though. Natori started as A-DD only, and now look at how much is has expanded. It’s just slower than we’d hope. :(

2 Pings/Trackbacks for "Year 2 Stats: Bra Sizes"
  1. […] my yearly statistical analysis series, I briefly explained how poor sales in certain size clusters could be attributed to poorer quality […]

  2. […] This was posted quite a long time ago, but since I have people still coming across this post I want to emphasize how most women are wearing the wrong bra size!! Professional fitters don’t always fit you right either. The best person to fit you is yourself! After having so much trouble these past few years I gave up. Especially after I went to the renowned Linda’s Bra Salon (my review here) and they measured me to be a 34DD when I had been wearing 36DD/DDD. I came across a subreddit on Reddit.com called A Bra That Fits I was able to measure myself, figure out my size, my shape and what bras would work best for me! I have yet to find a bra that is perfect for me but this is a long journey. Especially when you most likely will have to order online for the sizes most will need. I measured myself using their guide, posted for help and figured out I am a 34G/GG. I know this sounds like a HUGE size, but really this is the average size according to A Sophisticated Pair’s Sales. […]

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