UK vs US Bra Sizing

Hello Ladies,

Because manufacturers employ different bra sizing systems, determining which size to buy quickly becomes challenging and confusing.  Recently, I have fielded questions about how US and UK sizing differ which I hope to address with today’s blog.  Fortunately, band sizes tend to be equivalent, e.g., a US 32 band is the same as a UK 32 band.  Mostly.  Since the bra industry suffers from a lack of standardized sizing, variation in how tight or loose a band is cut varies even with UK manufacturers, and across the pond, the problem exists too.  Natori, for example, often has a stretchier band compared to Wacoal which uses firmer materials and a tighter cut.

Where the differences surface is how UK and US manufacturers label cup sizes:

Measurement (in.) US Size UK Size
1 A A
2 B B
3 C C
4 D D
5 DD DD
6 DDD E
7 G F
8 H FF
9 I G
10 J GG
11 K H
12 L HH
13 M J
14 N JJ
15 O K
16 P KK

As the chart indicates, American manufacturers essentially cycle through the alphabet without utilizing a multiple letter system beyond DDD.  In fact, some US brands (and many European brands) will label a DD as an E and a DDD as an F.

Like band size, there will be variation across manufacturers in how generous or small the cup is designed.  Even within a brand, there isn’t much consistency—a sad statement which can be made of UK manufacturers as well.  One of my customers needed a 32DD in the Natori Cool Contour, a 32DDD in the Natori Calais, a 34DD in the Wacoal Embrace Lace, and a 32DD in the Freya Deco.  All of her bra sizes were clustered together, but there wasn’t a strict system for traversing from one manufacturer to another.  Sometimes the style of bra can impact whether you need to change cup sizes, but there are still inconsistencies among bras with similar designs.  Check out the Freya Deco in size 34E (US DDD) and the Wacoal Reveal in 34DDD:

The cup shape for both is virtually identical and requires the same amount of breast tissue to fill the cup; however, the band on the Wacoal is much shorter:

Keeping in mind the inherent differences in bra design, you can still use the chart above to alleviate any confusion about how UK and US cup sizes correlate.

Additionally, to make the process of buying a bra even more daunting and risky, some US brands, like Parfait by Affinitas and Elle Macpherson Intimates, utilize UK sizing systems. If you’re hoping to buy online, you need to determine what sizing method a manufacturer employs before ordering.  A UK H cup is three sizes bigger than a US H cup, for example, making it essential to know how a brand sizes its products.

I hope the clarification helps, and if you ever have questions about specific brands or styles, I’ll do my best to answer them.

Erica

UK vs US Bra Sizing
Erica
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.

116 thoughts on “UK vs US Bra Sizing

  • June 7, 2013 at 12:09 pm
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    I like your blog… No, I LOVE your blog. This is THE best explanation on bra sizing by far and only. I’ve tried to explain this to some of my friends and all I get back is blank stares. I pretty much said the same thing that you stated. We, women in general, are not just ONE size in all bras. Different bra manufacturers means different cut, styles, material, etc, etc, etc. So we cannot pick a size and run with it. We actually have to try them on. I must admit that there were bras I thought were gorgeous BUT they didn’t look right on me. As I get older my cup size increase, I am not complaining, I promise you I am not complaining. But I have a small back, 28 – 30 inches, and that is due to what you have stated, the make of the bra by certain manufacturers. But I cannot go more than 30 inches in the band size.

    Now I do have a question, several really, but for now just one: How often should I buy bras? I am a 28 – 30 FF – G. Bras ain’t cheap! 🙁

    Reply
    • Erica
      June 7, 2013 at 1:52 pm
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      Glad you enjoyed the post Rishia! To answer your question, I recommend buying new bras as the old ones wear out or no longer fit. If you create a rotation of at least three bras, you can typically work out a replacement schedule across several months. Also, I recommend checking out these articles:

      http://sophisticatedpair.com/Bra_Care_Instructions.htm

      http://sophisticatedpair.com/Lifespan_of_Bras.htm

      They can help you make the bras you buy last longer which will be easier on the bank account. 🙂 Finally, if the styling works for you, consider purchasing brands like Cleo by Panache or Parfait which tend to be cheaper ($39-$55 per bra).

      Reply
  • June 8, 2013 at 10:10 am
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    Thanks for posting this. I recently bought a Fantasie bra in 38K. Do you happen to know if that would be a British or US sizing?

    Reply
    • Erica
      June 11, 2013 at 3:20 pm
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      Hi Karen! That would be UK sizing, so in US sizing, it would be a 38O. 🙂

      Reply
  • October 8, 2013 at 11:52 am
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    I absolutely love your blog because I have been arguing with my mom who wears U.K 42c and she said I should buy the same size in the U.S. Do you think that will fit her?

    Reply
    • Erica
      October 8, 2013 at 3:03 pm
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      Hi Bernice! If she wears a UK 42C, then a US 42C should be about the same. Unfortunately, manufacturers are not super consistent, so she may still have to tweak her size. I hope this helps, and thank you for the kind words about the blog!

      Reply
  • October 16, 2013 at 3:48 pm
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    What is the US bra equivalent to a UK N cup. I am a 38N and I can’t find a bra to buy ANYWHERE. Help.

    Reply
    • Erica
      October 16, 2013 at 4:12 pm
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      Sadly, a UK 38N is definitely going to be a tough to find size, and the largest I have seen is an UK L cup. If US companies make that size, it would most likely be around a V cup. Hopefully, more manufacturers will acknowledge the need for higher cup sizes and product some options!

      Reply
    • November 23, 2014 at 11:25 pm
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      Goddess makes an N cup. You could try and see how the fit is.

      Reply
  • November 17, 2013 at 6:36 pm
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    I bought a bra in Ireland last summer at Bramora. The lady put me in a panache 34HH and for the first time ever a bra fit!!. I have since ordered bras from Bravissimo (still panache) and can wear an H or HH depending on the style (plunge needs to be a little bigger). If I wanted to order from a different company and try a different brand what would you suggest? I am so tired of the guessing game and I cannot find a store within 200 miles that I could get sized in. I thought I would try ordering from Fig Leaves but don’t want to deal with all of the trial and error and shipping charges. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Erica
      November 21, 2013 at 11:03 am
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      Hi Kristin! Send me an email at sophisticatedpair[at]gmail[dot]com with information on which bras you have tried and loved as well as your personal preferences, and I’d be happy to provide you some recommendations for other companies! 🙂

      Reply
  • November 30, 2013 at 12:46 am
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    Hi Erica – I found your article while searching for a conversion chart as I’m trying to buy a bra online for the first time. The one I’m looking at is Cleo Women’s Lucy Balconnet Bra on Amazon and it says it has UK sizing. The part that confuses me on your chart (and, admittedly on everyone elses) is that I’m a US 38HH but there is no HH option on the charts. Would that mean that I should size it for a US I bra (meaning a 38G) or just stick with the plain ole H (making me a FF in UK sizing)? Also, I’ve read that with balconet bras you should go up one cup size so you don’t fall out. Is this true?

    I’ve been sized at Nordstroms but they didn’t have the 38HH in stock so they stuck me in a 38FF that I bubble over the top with. Sadly there aren’t any other stores within 2 hours of me that can fit my cup size so I’m not 100% positive that 38HH is correct. I’d really appreciate any help that you could give me.

    Reply
    • Erica
      November 30, 2013 at 10:13 am
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      Hi Amanda! In what bra do you have the 38HH? Perhaps it really is a UK HH cup which is why the FFs are so small. Thus far, I haven’t encountered a HH in a company that uses strictly US sizing, so I can totally understand the confusion. Once I have a frame of reference for what size you need, I can better recommend which size to buy in the Lucy. Hope that helps, and if you want to discuss this privately, please feel free to email sophisticatedpair[at]gmail[dot]com.

      Reply
  • March 31, 2014 at 8:17 am
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    I just found this blog and I love and appreciate you for founding this much need info

    Reply
  • May 28, 2014 at 12:14 pm
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    Your blog has been very helpful! I am currently trying to find nursing bras and according to my current measurements 32″ underbust 38” over bust i thought i would wear a 32F UK size but when I ordered that size in a Hotmilk bra is seemed to snug all around. I am afraid to go up a band size because the band seems to fit but I also am afraid the 32FF would be to big in the cup. Please help. I have tried the 32FF in Curvy Kate Emily and had to return because the straps were cutting in to my arms so I thought the cups were to large maybe??? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Erica
      May 29, 2014 at 5:47 pm
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      Hi Bridget! I’m not familiar with Hot Milk sizing, but if you feel like you have overflow in the cups, then definitely size up to the larger size. Manufacturers are not consistent even within their own brand, so it’s possible you may wear a 32F in other brands but need a FF in Hot Milk. Given the sensitivity of lactating breasts, I think it’s better to err on the side of a cup a little too large than too small. Have you looked at other brands too? Freya and Cake both make nice nursing bras in that range!

      Reply
  • November 23, 2014 at 11:17 pm
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    When I was a 42 bust I was wearing Wacoal in a 34H . I decided to try Cleo and bought a 34G . At that time, if the gore was a little shorter in height , it would have fit exactly like my Wacoal I have in 34H. Same cup size , but gore came up a little higher.
    I still wear my Cleo , its small and I have quad but I like the firm cups. I’m going for my band size of 32 and I need a plunge , for a 44 bust.

    Reply
  • March 1, 2015 at 7:58 pm
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    I love your blog. Ok so I am a 34GG in freya and I also can wear a 36GG in a freya. I love my freya. I went to a store that is about an hr away from me. The woman had me try 2 different bras. One was a Fantasies 34HH moulded full cup the price was 74. The other one was
    Elomi 36HH bandless cost was 78. When I Measure my self I am under 34 and around my girls was a 44/45. Can you please tell me what would work for me when I or a bra. I never tried any other ones. I bought a goddess in usJ and UK it’s a 34GG. It Fits ok in the size, but I could probably go a cup size bigger. I definitely can go up a cup. I also bought a Wacoal in a 36G, but it lefts under. So I probably would have to go at lease a size or two bigger in the cup. I only bought those because they were on clearance and my bras that I bought in freya my dog ate like 4. So I am wearing right now a 38H us that is cacique. It’s weird because the one that is black doesn’t fit and the one in white fits but it a little big. I have a fantasie without padding and its a 34GG. I could probably go up one cup. I also bought a freya without any padding in a 34GG and it fits Good, but freya only goes to GG. I also have a twist that was 130, but my cousin who sells these gave it to me for 20 is a 38G and it doesn’t fit. It’s to small. Please help me

    Reply
    • March 1, 2015 at 8:20 pm
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      I just measured myself again and the bra that I have on is the white cacique 38H. The band is a little lose and the cup is a tiny big, but I wear this one when I am just laying down during the day. It does be job. I also have another cacique that has some padding under and some Ontop. This one is a 38G and does not fit. It’s to small. I also ordered a Chantelle size 34H and a UK 34FF and it makes my girls like Madonna boobs. The cup sticks out and it’s to small. The women told me that it would fit. so I tried it on at her store and when I put it on when I got home it was definitely small and I don like pointed boobs

      Reply
      • March 1, 2015 at 8:37 pm
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        I also forgot to add that I bought an Elomi about a year ago that is EL 1221nue in a 34GG that is a hard cup or something. Yeah I tried it on at the store and the women said it looked really good on me. So when I put it on as soon as I got home I hated it and never wore it. So once I find the right bra size. I am just going to put the ones that look like crap and don’t fit and just sell them. The twist I have seen on eBay for 140-150. So If I sell that I will make 100 on it. Sorry for all the post. Once I posted the first one. I forgot about bringing up the other bras. Oh and I am top havey. I had my boobs done. I had 3 kids and my girls would get bigger. I bought my bras at Victoria secrets and I would get a 36 D-DD. when I had my girls done the first time I was a 34DDD there and a 34FF at the bras store. I ended up getting them done again 11 months later due to one being bigger then the other one. So the first set he put 450 in the left and 500 in the right when my right was always bigger. The 2nd time he put 750 in both. I have so much breast tissue that no one knows I had them done since they look and feel real. So maybe that’s the problem I am having. I have a few FF that I want to sell as well since I don’t fit in those now. So hopefully I will be able to and get all new bras

        Reply
        • Erica
          March 4, 2015 at 11:56 am
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          Hi Doris! After seeing this post, definitely consider looking at some of the suggestions I made with a more open top cup like Cleo Marcie or the Anna Pardal/Comexim bras. You may also want to check out styles with a stretch lace like Panache Jasmine or Envy too. The lace tends to accommodate fuller tissue better, and the other styles should be open enough at the top to not cut into any tissue.

          Reply
    • Erica
      March 4, 2015 at 11:54 am
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      Hi Doris! Based on your measurements I would look at around the 34GG to UK H cup, particularly since you have found some bras which fit well in this size cluster, but you may want to start with H cups in general to ensure you have enough cup depth. Freya does make this size in several of their bras, so if you love the brand and find it fits well but need a higher cup size, don’t rule them out entirely. You may also like the following styles (depending on breast shape): Cleo Marcie, Cleo Lily, Panache Jasmine, Panache Floris, Anna Pardal Emmeline, Elomi Bijou, Fantasie Rebecca, and Elomi Amelia. I hope this helps, and if you have more questions, please feel free to email me!

      Reply
  • March 19, 2015 at 1:21 pm
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    Hi Erica nice blog! I’m a 38F UK what do you think my US size will be im buying online and I really don’t want to risk getting it wrong information online varies so much

    Reply
    • Erica
      March 19, 2015 at 1:28 pm
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      Hi Faith! If you wear a UK 38F, then I would look at US 38Gs. That’s the direct equivalent; however, American manufacturers are just as inconsistent as UK ones in terms of sizing. I like to look at reviews to see how people felt the band and cups ran to double-check. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  • April 19, 2015 at 9:46 pm
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    Hi Erica, my name is Liz and I’m interested in buying some Dita Von Teese lingerie. I know her bras are UK sized, but I’ve been researching charts and I am either told that a 34C (US) will be a 34D in UK sizing. Do you know if that is true for her bras? Her brand is Von Follies. Thanks!

    Reply
    • April 19, 2015 at 9:47 pm
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      sorry didn’t mean to say “either”

      Reply
    • Erica
      April 21, 2015 at 4:36 pm
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      Hi Liz! I’m not sure how Dita’s lingerie is running (but check Lingerie Addict since I believe she reviewed a piece in that size from her collection), but typically a 34C in US is a 34C in UK sizing. I don’t believe there is a significant cultural difference between those two sizes although I have read other information on it. I think it depends more on the brand itself than on whether it’s UK vs. US. In addition to checking out Lingerie Addict, I would double-check Bratabase to see if they have measurements available. It does seem like there are stateside retailers of Von Follies, like Bloomingdales, too if you want to see if a local place would have it available to try in person. Hope this helps!

      Reply
      • April 21, 2015 at 9:41 pm
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        Thanks Erica, that was very helpful!

        Reply
  • June 5, 2015 at 10:50 am
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    If im a 38dd in us what bra size would that be equal to in UK size

    Reply
    • Erica
      June 5, 2015 at 11:00 am
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      Actually, 38DD is the same in both UK and US sizes, so no worries on that one! 🙂

      Reply
    • Erica
      June 5, 2015 at 11:07 am
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      It could be that it’s a different in style or manufacturer. Technically, a US 38DD is the same as UK 38DD, but some companies cut more generously while others cut smaller. I usually recommend trying a manufacturer’s bras first to see if they work before ordering swimwear simply because some brands may never work for you. The cut of the bras and the shape of the cups may be at odds with you, which can create fit issues.

      Reply
  • June 5, 2015 at 11:04 am
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    I ordered a swimsuit top and it was 38dd from Curvy Kates from UK which I wear in the states and it was way to small

    Reply
  • June 12, 2015 at 1:00 pm
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    I’m a 38b in the UK but I’m all back 🙁 so I find I can’t get nice bras as they make the back straps so tiny, my partner in America wants to post me some sexy underwear and lingerie over but I don’t know what to tell him help. 🙁

    Reply
  • July 5, 2015 at 8:02 pm
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    Hello Erica,

    I’m trying to figure out what size bra U.S. and UK I need. My measurements are 36/41/31. I can never find bras that fit me in stores in the U.S. so I’m looking to buy online. I prefer plunge bras or bras that show a little more cleavage. What size bra should I be looking for and where should I be looking? Thanks! -Kelley

    Reply
    • Erica
      July 7, 2015 at 1:58 pm
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      Hi Kelley! I am happy to help. While I haven’t posted it on the blog yet, I did come up with an FAQ based on some of the questions I had here and in email. There are some links for getting started with finding a size as well as explaining how band/cup size works. I also make some style recommendations too. http://www.sophisticatedpair.com/email-faq/ You may also want to go to websites like Freya Lingerie, Panache Lingerie, or Curvy Kate and search for a retailer/boutique in a nearby area. Sometimes there are some fabulous boutiques a little further out, but having access to a fitter as well as the ability to try the bras first would really help.

      For cleavage bras, I’d look at the Freya Deco, Parfait Jeanie, Wacoal La Femme, Anna Pardal, and Comexim to get you started. If you need more specific suggestions after you had a chance to read through the articles, please feel free to email me, and we’ll go from there. Have a great day! –Erica

      Reply
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  • September 1, 2015 at 2:58 pm
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    I love your blog posts. Thanks so much for sharing what you know about this subject. It really feels like a jungle to me. :)) I wanted to ask you if you know anything about the Fantasie sizes. Most of the time I wear a 65G European size. I recently started to order bras from UK and have figured out that a 65G should be a 30F. But I noticed on a tag on a couple of bras by Fantasie, that say: UK 30F, EU 65F?

    Do you know anything about this?
    :)) And thanks again for sharing your knowledge. It has helped me a lot when picking bras.

    /Pernilla

    Reply
    • Erica
      September 11, 2015 at 9:56 am
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      Hi Pernilla! I am glad the blog has helped you navigate the jungle. 😀 Fantasie has been confusing people lately. Eveden has two sets of tags out there on the marketplace, and I know at least one of them is wrong. I never look at EU sizes because we don’t have any brands which strictly use that system in the store, and it is easier to help ease letterphobia with a UK size than with a European one. However, I know that Fantasie sometimes just takes their cup size and applies it across the board, meaning they will say a UK F cup is also a US F cup. This is not the case at all because a UK F is actually a US G. I wouldn’t pay any mind to Fantasie’s tag sizes except for the UK since that is what applies to them as a brand. Their conversions other sizing systems are not always accurate and have raised a lot of questions here lately too. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  • September 11, 2015 at 9:00 am
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    Hi,
    I am looking to buy a bra from Boux Avenue and I was wondering how their sizes run. I measured myself and found myself to be 28 inches around the rib cage underneath the breasts and then 32 inches around the breasts. So I assume that would make me a 28D. I have bought a UK sized bra off Amazon before, the Cleo Neve Plunge t-shirt bra, but I found the band to be too tight and the straps set too wide apart, making the cup wires dig into my armpits. I have a small rib cage so that bra was too wide. What would you say about buying bras from Boux Avenue? I found some cute ones I really like but I’m uncertain if they’ll fit me well. I’m currently looking at the Chloe Balconette at the Boux Avenue website.

    Reply
    • Erica
      September 11, 2015 at 10:02 am
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      Hi Veronica! I’m honestly not familiar with Boux Avenue as they are a totally separate retailer than me, but if you tried a 28D which felt tight, I’d consider looking at a 30C instead. There’s a lot of great styles out there in that size range too. If there is a style from Boux Avenue you really love, I’d check them out on Bratabase and see if there are any reviews/measurements. 🙂

      Reply
      • September 11, 2015 at 11:57 am
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        Thanks! I’ll try that!

        Reply
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  • January 8, 2016 at 7:27 am
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    Hi Erica, I usually buy Fantasie 32 G which fits me well but want to try Wacaol would I need the same size or do the Wacaol bras come up smaller?

    Reply
    • Erica
      January 14, 2016 at 1:43 pm
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      Hi Lynda! The Wacoal 32G is smaller in the cup than the Fantasie 32G. You’d actually need to look more at the US I cup for an exact size. Now, that said, Wacoal often cuts a pretty tight band, so you may be happier with a US 34H in their bras. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  • February 12, 2016 at 7:48 am
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    Hi Lynda
    My measurements say 35 around to cage above breasts ) -37.5 ( around beasts ) 32 ( around to cage underneath the breast ) I am wearing 34DD UK size . Am I wearing correct size else please correct both UK and U.S. Size .
    Thanks
    Nia

    Reply
    • Erica
      February 12, 2016 at 12:26 pm
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      Hi Nia! I would say you could wear either a 32DDD (UK 32E) or a 34DD (UK 34DD) based on your measurements and how tight you prefer the band to fit. Hope this helps!

      Reply
      • February 12, 2016 at 5:04 pm
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        Thanks Erica . That was a quick response . I am sorry to address you wrongly above .

        Reply
  • February 13, 2016 at 10:32 am
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    Hi Erika, I am confused. I measure a 28 underneath my breast but a 38 in bra band size fits me! I don’t get it. My cup size is DDD/E. What’s up with that???!!!
    Sand

    Reply
    • Erica
      February 25, 2016 at 1:10 pm
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      Hi Sandy! You measure 28″ beneath the breast tissue but wear a 38 band? That sounds like a pretty steep difference in measurement vs. band size. Is it possible the 38 fits you best because you actually need a size like 28J or JJ but have sized up to ensure cup coverage? I did this myself as a teenager and college student. A 38DDD gave me coverage, but the band was hopelessly big. Can you comfortably wear a 38 band on the loosest set of hooks when new? And is all of your breast tissue encapsulated by the cups?

      Reply
  • February 21, 2016 at 1:50 pm
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    Hi, I really want to order some bras from the UK but have no clue what sizes to get. I have measured my band at a 30 and my bust at a 36. I have one 30G US that fits really nicely but what size should I get in UK?

    Reply
    • Erica
      February 25, 2016 at 1:50 pm
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      If you wear a US 30G, I’d look for UK 30F in the size. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  • February 24, 2016 at 7:48 pm
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    If a panche bra in 36 k is to small in the cup size but I was measured in a 34 JJ in a US store called intimacy. What size do you think I should looked in to. Sorry desperate in PA in the US. I hate bras they never fit right.

    Reply
    • Erica
      February 25, 2016 at 1:51 pm
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      Hi Amy! Was the Panache bra in 36K the UK size? If so, you may need a 36KK or UK 34L. Most manufacturers do not make that size, but I know Bravissimo carries L cups as does Ewa Michalak. I’d look through their offerings!

      Reply
      • February 27, 2016 at 2:23 pm
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        It was a UK 36k. Now you see why I hate bra shopping nothing fits right. I live in the US. What size would I need in a bra from the US. And do you know of any place that sells the size I need so I can try them on? Thanks for your response.

        Reply
        • Erica
          March 10, 2016 at 3:21 pm
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          Hi Amy! I totally understand the frustration, but I don’t think you’re going to find any US companies making larger cup sizes. You can find someone to custom-make a bra, but the Ewa Michalak styles have received some very nice press. You may also want to check out the blog: https://rollsandcurves.wordpress.com/

          She wears a UK 36L and has fabulous tips and product reviews!

          Reply
  • March 3, 2016 at 10:13 am
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    In Malaysia the only brand that I wear/fits me is Xixili in 38 G or H. If I intend tend to purchase from USA what would my size be? Can you suggest a good brand. Like lacy under wired 3/4 cup. Please help. Tq

    Reply
    • Erica
      March 10, 2016 at 3:23 pm
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      If you buy from the US, you’d probably need a US 38G or H too. There’s a ton of bras in that size though. Check out Large Cup Lingerie. They are a UK company that offers free International shipping from time to time. That would probably be the easiest!

      Reply
  • March 5, 2016 at 4:06 am
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    I have always found it troublesome finding the right bras. I have found a brand in the US, Warner that are consistently comfortable and I need a 34D for their specific brand. When I bra shop in the UK no matter where. I find I try bras in that size and all seem squashed. Can you recommend a brand similar to their style and what rough sizes I should be looking at in the UK?

    Reply
    • Erica
      March 10, 2016 at 3:25 pm
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      Hi Nisha! I am not as familiar with Warner bras, but I have seen from customers they sometimes run generous. You may want to size up to a 34DD in the UK. Most fuller-bust companies like Panache, Curvy Kate, Tutti Rouge, and Freya offer a wide selection of DD cup bras. You may also want to check out some local department stores and see what brands they have too, just realize that you may need a 34DD or even DDD in something other than a Warner’s bra!

      Reply
  • March 9, 2016 at 1:47 pm
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    Hi Erica,
    I was fitted in an Elomi Caitlyn US36GG/UK36GG…except that the underwire digs into my rib cage, the material is too thin so the whole world can see when I’m cold, and the dumb embroidery at the top can be seen through clothes. I have a few Elomi Amelia US36GG/UK36GG & Fantasie Rebecca US36GG/UK36GG, but it seems to sit about an inch off my rib cage at the middle/cleavage so I get the underwire marks on my boobs.

    Based on reading the comments does that mean I’m really a UK 36GG and a US 36J? Also, what brand and styles would you recommend?

    Reply
    • Erica
      March 10, 2016 at 3:28 pm
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      Hi Alicia! It sounds like you may actually be a UK 34H or US 34K if there is issues with the bra lifting away. Check out our Common Bra Problems (http://www.sophisticatedpair.com/common-bra-problems/) to make sure you don’t need to change sizes. You may also prefer to switch and try styles from another brand like Panache or Comexim. If you truly are a 36GG, the Freya Deco is a nice smooth t-shirt bra as is the Freya Idol. Fit Fully Yours also has some t-shirt bras in that size range too. I find that GG+ cup sizes often are suited more by cut-and-sew bras though. Good ones from Panache are Jasmine, Envy, Olivia, and from their Cleo line Marcie and Blake. Their Sculptresse line also has the fabulous Chi Chi and Flirtini bras. I wouldn’t choose Panache for molded cups as I find they run shallow, so I’d stick with Freya or Fit Fully Yours instead.

      Reply
  • March 10, 2016 at 2:23 pm
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    I am a US 36GG. I used to squeeze in to DD because I didn’t know. In stores that’s pretty much the biggest size you can find. I’m so excited to know my size now but also, now I’m lost at finding my size conversions. I would be grateful for any advice!

    Reply
  • April 4, 2016 at 8:42 pm
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    I have an Elomi “Etta” in a 38J that fits well and looks good when wearing a dress. This style; however, is not good under a t-shirt. Molded cup bras do not fit well at all, no matter the size or brand. I have purchased (mail order) and returned at least 10 in the past month. What style do you suggest?

    Reply
    • Erica
      April 7, 2016 at 1:38 pm
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      Hi Jill! You *may* be able to wear the Elomi Amelia in 38HH because Etta can be a touch small sometimes, but generally, most molded cup bras stop well before the Uk J cup. Or are you wearing a US J? If it’s the former, then you may want to switch tactics and look for bras that have more discreet seaming. Panache sometimes blends a little better than Elomi because of the seam placement. If you wear a US J cup, again, think about Amelia and possibly the Bijou from Elomi. Have you tried the Freya Idol at all? That’s doing well on special order although I haven’t tried it on anyone in your size yet. I’d avoid anything molded from Panache because I think the shape is a big shallower. Goddess just came out with a new non-padded smooth cup bra . . . Yvette? Also, check out Fit Fully Yours. The Maxine is available up to J cups (band runs small though so maybe try a 40J or 40I instead). There’s also the Gloria Smooth from them too. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  • May 17, 2016 at 6:56 pm
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    Hey! I’m looking at swimsuits online for the well-endowed and I’ve never dealt with bathing suits online or UK sizing. The swimsuit i’m looking at is here: http://www.herroom.com/elomi-es7052-kissimmee-bikini-swim-top.shtml
    I wear a 36G (US) in wacoal and natori bras. I’m concerned about having to ship back an ill-fitting suit top because of minor differences in design. What’s your advice in dealing with this dilemma?

    Reply
    • Erica
      May 18, 2016 at 11:25 am
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      Hi Morgan! Swimsuits are always a little tricky (like bras), but I typically suggest starting with your normal size. If you are consistently in a 36G in Natori and Wacoal, I would order a UK 36F. If you can swing it, I’d order the UK 36FF too just to make sure you can try two different sizes to see which fits best. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  • June 25, 2016 at 6:46 am
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    Hello! I hope you’re still answering questions! I wear a 38H, in lane bryant bras. I find if i go to a 40H, the band feels too loose, but I need a bigger cup, because my chest starts to spill over just a bit. What would my sizing be in UK? Please help! I’m trying to order from bravissimo’s website, and it’s all so confusing!

    Reply
  • July 10, 2016 at 9:24 pm
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    Hey Erica – hoping you can assist – my wife wears a Victoria Secret Body By Victoria 38DD – where I am looking for help is that I wanted to order her some ‘sets’ fro Bravissimo which she has forever wanted to try – so I have to order online as we are in Canada BUT I am concerned about size; sizing charts suggest US/UK are on par: 38DD to 38DD – there were also ‘sister’ sizes to boot on the Bravissimo support site – but some comments on the Bravissimo suggest their MO is to order up one cup? With your in-depth knowledge/understanding was hoping you could aide me in this endeavour?

    Reply
    • Erica
      July 12, 2016 at 8:52 pm
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      Hi Terry! I recommend checking through our Bra Naked Truth articles for more information because I do a great breakdown on finding a starting point size and correcting fit issues. Because of my experience owning our own store, I know that VS sizing is not always the best place to start, particularly if you are thinking of going with a UK company. Check these articles out:

      http://www.sophisticatedpair.com/bra-naked-truth/

      There’s the UK conversion associated with the charts in the series as well as on the calculator. Depending on what brand you are looking for, it really can change which size she’ll need. Some companies run tighter or smaller in the band/cup. I don’t know where you are in Canada, but there are actually quite a few boutiques which could fit her and make this process a lot easier. There are also some Canadian online retailers too (although none will stock the Bravissimo brand as that is their in-house collection) which could make things cheaper on shipping, particularly for any returns. Regardless, check out the fit advice because it will help you figure out if she really needs a 38DD or if there is a size that will fit her better. 🙂

      Reply
  • July 21, 2016 at 3:30 am
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    HELP…..Hi I wear a uk size 34GG in all my bras, fauve, fantasie, panache, Im getting married and have a low back dress so need a low back bustier, have been looking at the wacoal and le mystere bustiers, what size would I order?, cant get them here in uk, have to order from usa. Sandra

    Reply
    • Erica
      July 21, 2016 at 10:19 am
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      Hi Sandra! Most of the low back bustiers stop lower in the cup (at most around the US DDD/UK E) cup. Depending on how low the dress is, there are low back converters which can drop the back of a regular bra low enough, but it may also be an area where you need to work with alterations. In situations like these, I think it’s best to talk with a local fitter as well as your seamstress. In some cases, we have worked with alterations to lower the back of an existing bustier to be concealed under the dress. Other times we have taken an older bra and had it sewn into the dress. It just depends on how low the back is. To the best of my knowledge, there is no true low back bustier in a 34GG (US 34J), but there are regular styles like Panache Masquerade or Evie, Elomi Maria, Goddess Adelaide, and I think an option from both Fantasie and Freya. These could be redone to suit the shape of the dress, but it will add to alterations. I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful, but these situations tend to be easier to resolve in person and in conjunction with the alterations professional. 🙁

      Reply
  • July 21, 2016 at 7:53 pm
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    Hello Erica, I have just recently discovered the wacoal retro 36 DD. I love this bra and have it in numerous colours. I would love to try A Freya plunge, but it runs in my mind from my time in the UK that the cups run smaller. Can you offer any advice?

    Reply
    • Erica
      July 22, 2016 at 9:59 am
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      Hi Janie! Is that the classic Retro Chic? If that fits okay, you may want to look at the 36E or F in Freya. The original Wacoal Retro Chic is a pretty generous cut, so I’d try both an E and F cup (I’m leaning toward F though). 🙂

      Reply
      • July 22, 2016 at 12:36 pm
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        Hi Erica, wow that was a super fast response. Thanks for the advise. I will let you know how I get on.

        Reply
          • August 1, 2016 at 5:58 pm
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            Hi Erica, I have asked you questions before on bra sizing, but can you help with panties. I am thinking on buying the Freya vixen plunge bra, (you recommended that I bought two cup sizes bigger, I am a 36 dd in the Wacoal retro and will be trying the 36 F in the Freya Vixen. I also love the wacoal retro panties in a medium, what would you recommend size wise in the Freya Vixen Panties. I like a full panty, but I don’t think the Freya look a generous? Can you help?

          • Erica
            August 2, 2016 at 2:46 pm
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            Hi Janie! It’s been a while since I wore Freya undies, but I found them to be comparable to stretchier panties like the Natori Bliss series or the Wacoal Halo Lace or Bodysuede. I never tried the Retro Chic, but I’d start with a Medium and see how those go. Hope that helps!

  • August 13, 2016 at 2:23 pm
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    Hi, I have a question: US size 32B is UK 32B or 32C? I’ll be very thankful for the answer!

    Reply
    • Erica
      August 13, 2016 at 2:25 pm
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      Hi Mary! Us 32Bs and Uk 32Bs are technically the same cup size although, as we all know, manufacturing isn’t standardized. As a result, you may find you need a different size depending on the style and manufacturer! 🙂

      Reply
  • September 4, 2016 at 5:46 pm
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    I think it also varies from store to store (of course), and although band sizes are the same, cup sizes can vary a lot. I usually fill out an American cup size C, but while getting fitted at Debenhams, I ended up having to ask to try on larger sizes because a C was incredibly small. I ended up requiring a DD or E (UK size). Again, this can probably be attributed to different brands or stores, but I think its important to keep in mind that international sizing isn’t perfectly equal.

    Reply
    • Erica
      September 7, 2016 at 11:49 am
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      Hi Zaira! True, sizing is not always one-to-one, but I think it has more to do with different brands too. Even in America, there are some companies with more generous cups, and within certain brands, individual bras can also run differently. For people purchasing online, I recommend reading reviews and possibly contacting the retailer to gauge their opinion on sizing. It could help give a better idea on how the cups and band size run and increase the chance the purchase will be successful. 🙂

      Reply
  • September 7, 2016 at 10:19 am
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    Hello, i am a 38HH in us sizing and am not sure how that transfers over to uk sizing…

    Reply
    • Erica
      September 7, 2016 at 11:45 am
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      Hi Allison! A 38HH sounds like a UK size already. US companies often do not use the double letters. In American, that would be more like a 38L. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  • October 16, 2016 at 6:20 pm
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    I am a 40 I in U S but I sag even though cup size fits. Suggestion about size and where to order bras this size. Right now I wear Glamorize Thanks for help. Never knew any one else to talk to about this issue.

    Reply
    • Erica
      October 26, 2016 at 5:34 pm
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      Hi Deb! Have you tried Goddess or Elomi? They give a lot of lift and are better quality than Glamorise. Check out: Keira, Kayla, Adelaide, and Yvette from Goddess, and Cate, Amelia, and Morgan from Elomi. Keira is about the same price as Glamorise, but the support is amazing!

      Reply
  • November 25, 2016 at 7:33 am
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    Hi Erica, I took your advice to Deb about Goddess or Elomi over Glamorise. Thank you, I had been going to try Glamorise because I have found Glamorise in larger sizes, but now I am trying to work out which Goddess or Elomi to purchase. I could be wrong, but the Elomi and Goddess seem to me to be tight/small fittings – little stretch in the fabric which is great when you are a plus size, but harder to get one to fit online. Which of the Elomi or Goddess would you consider to be the roomier fitting size for size? Are the sizes directly comparable or is one a UK and one a US sizing. I get so confused … I am 50″ around the ribcage/underbreast and 59″ around the fullest part of the cup, so I have no room to go past the end of their range in most styles of their bras. I also like a fuller coverage. My breast tissue starts really high, and I don’t like to have too much of it exposed over the top of the cups. Are you able to offer any insight into one brand over the other? Perhaps suggest a particular style in a particular size? Can you perhaps suggest a totally different brand and size and style that may be preferable given all the parameters? I should mention that I really only wear soft cup bras as my size changes dramatically in the course of the day due to lymphedema and underwire is just too uncomfortable. Any help would be much appreciated.

    Reply
    • Erica
      November 26, 2016 at 12:40 pm
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      Hi Sam! Based on your measurements, I would say you are probably about a US 50I. Elomi uses UK sizing while Goddess uses US sizing; however, Elomi does not offer any styles in 50 bands and only has one soft cup options anyway. Instead, I’d look at the Goddess Audrey in size 50I or possibly J depending on your tissue. It features a full-coverage design, restricted stretch straps with a movable shoulder cushion pad, and a wireless design. It does have side stays to keep tissue forward, but they can be removed easily if you prefer. It’s one of our best-sellers for that size although the color selection is a bit limited sadly. Glamorise may still be on the table. Check out their Magic Lift 1000 and 1005 bras. In my experience, Glamorise can be a bit stiff at first, so you may want to wash them with a little fabric softener before wearing for a full day. There’s also the Elila 1303 Lace bra if you prefer something a little prettier. The band and cups runs small, so I would order the 52I. Hope that helps!

      Reply
      • November 28, 2016 at 4:06 am
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        Thanks so much Erica. I really appreciate your time and the sharing of your expertise. 🙂

        Reply
  • December 11, 2016 at 4:48 pm
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    Hello I usually wear panache bras in a 30G in and want to try other brands as well. Would it be the same size for Fantasie bras? Also for panache on the bra tag it says UK 30 G/ US 30G but when converting to US sizing wouldn’t it 30 I as referenced in your chart? Also I would appreciate it if you could recommend a few bra brands for my body type (small waist, large boobs) thank you.

    Reply
    • Erica
      December 13, 2016 at 11:01 am
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      Hi Jali! I’d start with a 30G (which yes, is a 30I in US sizing–the UK companies had inaccurate tags for quite some time and are only now remedying them) in Fantasie, but the shape and fit is different. I’d be more inclined to recommend Freya for you because they seem a bit more friendly toward small band/large cup. The Cleo line from Panache is also quite nice, and then there are Polish companies too like Comexim, Ewa Michalak, and Samanta. If you aren’t there already, I highly recommend checking out Bratbase too. They keep detailed records/reviews of a lot of bra brands and styles. It’s a great resource for researching individual bras or brands. Hope that helps!

      Reply
    • Erica
      December 27, 2016 at 12:13 pm
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      I would say around a US Q, but most US companies do not make that size unfortunately. I’d focus more on UK or Polish companies (Ewa Michalak comes to mind as having potential) instead. Hope that helps!

      Reply
    • Erica
      January 24, 2017 at 3:19 pm
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      Hi Monica! No, it actually means there can be quite a difference between UK and US cup sizes. For example, a US H cup is equivalent to a UK FF cup. Meanwhile, a UK H cup is equivalent to a US K! That’s a big cup size difference, so if you are not sure of which sizing system a manufacturer uses, always ask the retailer before purchasing. 🙂 It’s essentially just a labeling difference, but it can create havoc when purchasing bras from retailers (like us) which stock both American and UK companies!

      Reply
  • February 9, 2017 at 12:43 pm
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    Hi. I just discovered your blog and thanks for the info. I’m looking to shop some U.K. Stores online, but I don’t know my U.K. size. My U.S. size is a 42G. Any idea what that would be in a U.K. size?

    Reply
    • Erica
      February 10, 2017 at 11:36 am
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      You would need a UK 42F, but if you’re shopping US retailers like Lane Bryant or Catherine’s, their sizing is not always consistent with UK sizing. You may actually need a much larger cup. If you’re in the US, there are a lot of wonderful boutiques who could fit you and who also carry UK brands in that size range. It could be worth seeing if one is local instead of going through the UK with costly shipping and returns. 🙂

      Reply
  • February 15, 2017 at 10:21 am
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    Hi I’m new. While looking up converting UK to us sizing I found out from a bra fb page that I am no where near the 36C i have been wearing from a 34GG on my large side. I believe that makes me a 32J in us but now I’m trying to find place or brands in the US that sell that. I’m also short so I need bras with lower wires as a full cup wire normally cuts into my breast bone. Any advice or help would be awesum
    I and going on a yr of trying to find my good bra. I had finally brought some bras from UK online and somehow at the time I’d had measured for a 32J UK and that’s so big in cup I can put my fist in as well. But it’s like 14$ to send it back. So there’s no way I can continue to buy from the UK. I have been wearing sport bras for like a yr now I’m ready for a nice good fitting bra!

    Reply
    • Erica
      February 15, 2017 at 12:42 pm
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      Hi Chrissy! A few ideas: First, if you are wearing 34GGs in American sizing that would be a 34J. Watch taking measurements too. I find we had the most issues with returns on our online store when people took measurements leaning over rather than standing upright. If the 34GG cup fits okay, then that’s where I would stay and instead focus on trying other styles. To that end, there’s nothing better than trying on in person, so I recommend seeing if you have a local shop. Go to retailer websites like Panache, Parfait, Freya, or Fantasie and see who their stockists are. Stores that carry those brands often have a wider range of sizes. Based on the need for lower wires, I’d look into Freya Hero, Deco, or Idol; Panache Jasmine or Cleo Marcie/Hettie, or the Elomi plunges like Matilda, Carmen, or upcoming Soraya. If all of those are still too tall, it may be time to for something Polish, like the brand Comexim. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  • February 18, 2017 at 3:05 pm
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    Im fifteen and i wear a 38HH in US what would i wear in UK

    Reply
    • Erica
      February 28, 2017 at 12:05 pm
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      That sounds like a UK size. American companies would call a HH an L cup. So I’d go with the HH. 🙂

      Reply
  • March 5, 2017 at 12:19 am
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    Hi Erica, I wear Elomi 42H in US sizing. In the past the UK and US size was the same, or at least I would look for the Elomi bras that had the same size for both. Now it seems the majority of the Elomi bras say they come in the UK sizing – could you tell me what UK size I should be looking for in Elomi? Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Erica
      March 13, 2017 at 11:26 am
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      Hi Heather! Your question falls under what I call “The Great Tag Switch.” For years, Eveden blindly put the UK size down as the US size for Elomi, Freya, and Fantasie. As a result, most people assumed their UK size and US size was the same when in fact, their US cup size was significantly higher. Then, in the last 18 or so months, they realized (or finally cared about) the error they had made for over a decade and unveiled new tags with the correct sizing for the US. We have fielded more than a few frantic phone calls from customers and even outright returns because people checked the US tag, saw the size was different than in the past, and sent the bra back with a note saying we sent the wrong size. It’s been a royal pain in my . . . Anyway, if you buy a 42H in Elomi, that is your UK size. In US sizing, a 42H is a 42K. Most retailers default sell Elomi in UK sizing because that’s the preferred sizing method of the brand. I hope this clarifies/helps!

      Reply
      • March 13, 2017 at 12:02 pm
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        Thank you so much Erica for the info you provided on the background! I can imagine the royal pain 🙂 I sure do appreciate you letting me know my sizing needed as well. I like to buy new Elomi bras rather often to try out new styles and colors and really like the bandless Elomis, but anymore I would start looking and could never commit because I was no longer finding both the US and UK size – so happy you cleared that up. Can I bug you for one more question? I’ve been wearing Elmoi for maybe 10 years and I love them – if I wanted to branch out is there any recommendation of other brands that have a similar fit taking into consideration the size I wear? Thank you!

        Reply
        • Erica
          March 13, 2017 at 5:22 pm
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          You’re very welcome, Heather! Even within the Elomi collection, there’s some great new styles. Check out Morgan, Matilda, and the upcoming Mitzi. Goddess is their sister line, and it uses some of the same fits at a cheaper price point. You want the US 42K there though! Finally, check out Sculptresse from Panache. Their wires are narrower in most styles, but Candi is essentially an improved version of the tried-and-true Elomi Cate/Caitlyn. I did a review (you can search for it) where I loved it.

          Reply
          • March 14, 2017 at 12:15 am
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            Excellent Erica! You just don’t even know how helpful you have been. You have seriously brightened and broadened my bra world and now I’m so excited to be able to buy new bras with the knowledge you have graciously shared! I’m sure there are others just like me who will run across this post and be forever grateful. Can’t wait to check out your reviews and other info on your site as well as some of the new Elomi collection. I’ve wondered about the Goddess, Sculptresse and Panache so that is cool – I will check them out. Thank you very much for taking the time to give your recommendations and assist me with sizing for both Elomi and these other brands!!!

          • Erica
            March 14, 2017 at 1:00 pm
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            You’re very welcome! I know the struggle, so it’s good to get the reassurance you need to try other styles. Definitely watch some of the reviews, and if you have questions, you can always email too. 🙂

          • March 29, 2017 at 1:11 am
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            Hi Erica, Just a quick note letting you know your sizing help worked great – I bought the Matilda (off the chart cute and great fit!) and then an older Elomi style Etta (worked great too). I also checked out some of your reviews (you are one brave soul) and really appreciated seeing the fit of so many bras.That is so cool there is someone like you doing this. If I run into any other questions I’ll be sure to email and will be checking back at your online store as well. Thanks again!

          • Erica
            March 29, 2017 at 10:40 am
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            Yay! So glad to hear that, Heather! Matilda is a freakin’ awesome bra. I can’t wait until we stock that in the shop. 😀 If you like Etta, you may also like Nina too as well as upcoming Mitzi.

  • March 26, 2017 at 3:19 pm
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    what is 40HH in inches…i got a gf…and i got no clue what size to buy…

    Reply
    • Erica
      March 28, 2017 at 3:39 pm
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      It’s hard to say, Nickky. It could be she has a 52 to 54″ bust depending on her shape. I always recommend double checking the sizes in her closet if you can because that would give you a starting point. 🙂

      Reply
  • May 12, 2017 at 2:04 am
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    So if I am a 36H in us sizing would I be a 36Kk in eurpoean sizing?

    Reply

What are your thoughts?