On my last excursion to Victoria’s Secret, I was a teenager with zero knowledge about bra sizing or fit. My 38DD hand-me-downs were in tatters with wires poking out the front and lace torn around the cup, prompting my mom to declare a fitting expedition to the mall. Our first stop was Victoria’s Secret because I wanted to buy “the cute stuff” that my friends wore. During the fitting, the associate told me to try a 38D but agreed to bring a 38DD after I informed her it was the size I was currently wearing. My breasts were spilling out of the cup, and my mom knew enough to see this wasn’t right. “Maybe you should try Lane Bryant,” was all the fitter offered in a tone so callous it crushed my fragile self-esteem. I felt fat and freakish. Lane Bryant fared a little better and at least noted that their 38 bands were too big for me, but I ultimately bought 38DDDs from Frederick’s of Hollywood. And the cycle of poorly fitting bras continued.
Since opening the store, I’ve been vocal about the incorrect fitting techniques Victoria’s Secret touts as the truth, but what compelled me to aggressively refute the information they provide was the feedback on my bra size calculator. Conservatively, I’d estimate 65% of the comments I’ve received stating the calculator resulted in the wrong size are from women claiming to wear Victoria’s Secret bras. While I’m not suggesting that all of those women have been misled about their size, I am willing, given their measurements, to note the majority are wearing bands too big and cup sizes too small.
As a result, I’m combining traditional blogging with a video to address the Victoria’s Secret Poor Fit Epidemic and prove why it does not work. In the video, I demonstrate the techniques Victoria’s Secret advises and try a bra in their suggested size. Once I’ve analyzed why this bra does not fit, I put on a bra in my correct size to demonstrate the difference.
Taken straight from their website, Victoria’s Secret advises finding your band size by measuring horizontal around your back and then bringing the tape up at a diagonal across the top of your bust. Because this way of finding the band includes breast tissue (as well as sits higher up on your ribcage), women inevitably add inches to their bands.
Then you measure across the fullest part of your bust and subtract the band from this measurement. Following their instructions, my suggested size is a 38C. Yep, a 38C. My usual size is a 30H/HH (found using the method in our fit guide). The difference between the two sizes would be downright laughable if it weren’t so depressing; however, what saddened me the most was putting on a 38C bra and remembering all the years I spent thinking this was how a bra was supposed to fit.
In closing, I want to emphasize that I am not criticizing Victoria’s Secret’s products in any way. My only intent is to dispel their inaccurate advice so that no woman suffers for years believing she is wearing the right size.