In talking with my teenage daughters recently I realised that there is a little confusion out there about cup sizes and how they change as you go up and down the back size chart. I dare say that most men also suffer from this misconception. The confusion seems to lay in the cup size, for example ‘Is a C cup in a 32C different to a C cup in a 38C?’

The answer is yes. As the Bra band size (the numbers) increases so does the cup as it naturally gets wider to sit properly on the band. (Otherwise you would end up with two tiny cups that only covered the front of the breast). So if you wear a 32C and your Mum wears a 36C then her bra, her cup sizes and her breasts will be larger than yours. It’s all dependent on the back (band) size. Hope that clears this up…

ROSA FAIA – Selma Big Cup Bra with underwire


It is for this reason that some lingerie fitters will try to sell you a bra that’s not quite the right size when they have sold out of your size. There is a degree of flexibility in the back sizes and cup sizes that can mean you leave the store with a bra that’s not really your correct size. For example let’s suppose you are a 34D cup but the bra you have chosen has sold out in that size. The fitter might suggest you try a 36C instead which will feel looser on the back but will probably fit your breasts. They might suggest you do the bra up on the tightest setting and nine times out of ten you will probably then buy the bra. The problem with this of course, apart from the fact that it will never be as comfortable as it should be, is that once it has been washed a few times and the fabric has stretched a little then you won’t be able to go to the tighter setting on the bra since you are already using it and the bra’s life span will be considerably reduced. If you are paying good money for a well made bra you really want it to last as long as possible so this may be a costly mistake.

Anita since 1886 – Clara wire-free bra

While we are talking about cup sizes, the style of bra you choose will be dictated to a degree by your cup size. A larger cup size in a smaller back for instance can bring its own set of problems. The breasts are automatically heavier and can cause a back ache or shoulder ache if not properly supported. A wide band along the back of the bra will help to offer more support and comfort in a larger cup size as will wider straps especially if they are padded so you may need to choose a little more carefully if you are a larger cup size. Fleur from Rosa Faia is a great choice for a large cup size as is Abby series seen below.

ROSA FAIA – Abby Big Cup Bra with underwire

Whichever bra style you choose make sure you are properly fitted by an experienced bra fitter. Please check out the store finder on our website to find an Anita Stockist near you.

  1. Floraison intimates was the first business to provide half-cup sizes, with an emphasis on size diversity for its female clients. They’re best known for their Classic T-shirt bra, which has over 46,000 reviews, almost all of which are positive.

  2. Wow such a fantastic and detailed explanation. Going to save this for future reference in case we need to refer to it. Thanks

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