One of the many pieces of misinformation we have been combating here at the store since we opened is what I’m going to call the “Add More Fallacy,” and I want to take the opportunity to address this with today’s blog.
So, what do I mean by the “Add More Fallacy?” Simple. It’s the widely circulated advice that you need to add inches to your rib cage measurement in order to find the correct band size. For example, this “How to find your size” article from About.com recommends that you add a whopping 5″ to your ribcage measurement if it is less than or equal to 33″ or 3″ if it is greater than 33″. Then, on top of this addition, you need to round up to an even number.
To analyze this methodology, let’s examine two women, Alice and Brenda, using the incorrect way of sizing. If Alice has a rib cage measurement of 30″ and a bust measurement of 37″, she would need to add 5″. So, 30 + 5 = 35. After rounding, we note that Alice wears a 36 band, and she must then subtract 36 from her 37″ bust measurement. Thus, according to this fitting technique, Alice wears a 36A cup.
Brenda, in contrast, has a bust measurement of 38″ and a ribcage measurement of 33″, which means she also needs to add 5″ for a band size of 38. As a result, when Brenda tries to subtract her band from her bust measurement, she winds up with zero! Clearly, from looking at her measurements, Brenda does not have a zero difference between her bust and torso, so what happened?
To answer this question, let’s calculate each woman’s correct size. Alice would wear a 30 band (a difference of three band sizes) and a US G cup (UK F) while Brenda would wear a 34 band size (a difference of two band sizes) and a D cup.
As our first video blog noted, wearing a band size that is too big for you can create fit problems because the construction of a bra is based on the proportion of the band. As you size up in the band, the placement of the straps, the number of hooks in the back, and even the shape of the underwire and center gore will vary. As a result, both Alice and Brenda will be wearing bras designed for women whose torsos are proportionally bigger than theirs but whose busts are proportionally smaller. Is it any wonder that women who use this method for finding their bra size often feel like their bras don’t fit them?
On that note, here are a few common signs that your bra is not fitting your properly:
- Your breasts pop out the bottom of the bra, especially when you raise your arms.
- Your breasts overflow from the cups of the bra causing “muffin top” or lumps.
- The straps of your bra give you deep shoulder indentations.
- The band rides up in the back.
- Your breasts are smashed together at the center of the bra or compressed by the underwire on the sides.
- The underwire digs into the your breasts or sides.
- You have frequent infections or rashes underneath the breasts.
If you ever have any questions about proper fitting techniques, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we are happy to help!
Erica and Debbie