The MisEducation of Bra Sizes

March 21, 2012

My last post regarding the Curvy Kate competition, Star in a Bra, was well received.  Well, maybe not as positively as some people may have liked it, but it certainly hit some nerves.  That wasn’t exactly my intention but I definitely wanted people to sit up and listen.  I do think that my comments were misconstrued and that quite a few people missed my point.  I think I need to clarify.

I have been battling the conquest to find the right bra size for some years now.  I’ve been wearing a bra since I was 13 – that’s seventeen years ago! – and I’ve never felt I’ve quite got to grips with my true size until this year.  My first bra was a 34B.  How wrong that was!

In the past year I’ve been wearing a 32F but in recent months (even weeks) it’s been established that I’m actually a 28GG-H.  To know that all these years I’ve been cluelessly buying wrong sizes that the simple math to finding one’s real size is hugely in part down to not ‘plus fouring’ is amazingly simple.  Yet this little piece of information is not channeling its way through our bra manufacturers to our stockists to our women.  We are still measuring wrongly and wearing totally out of proportion sizes and that can only affect the national averages of sizes.

One massive problem is down to the sizes stores stock.  What sizes a manufacturer will produce is a matter in it’s own, but what help is it if a brand physically makes a wide variety of sizes if the shops aren’t stocking them?  The effect of the non stocking of smaller back sizes means fitting consultants are fitting to what the shop has rather than what the customer needs, and hence the cycle continues.

Referring back to my comments on Star in a Bra, I said slim girls with big boobs are not being represented.  By this I mean girls who are not carrying excess weight, they’re slender and healthy and they have big boobs (maybe even hips).  When I said smaller back sizes need to be publicised more, by result of re-educating of the proper way to fit a bra, so many people across the world would find that they aren’t indeed the 32 or 34 back size they believed, and more realistically a 26, 28, or 30.  So there’s the mis-education of bra fitting and then there’s a specific body type – slim with big boobs – to push home to the public.  But the arguement further complicates with the fact that even someone with a small back size can be carrying more body fat than is right for the body.  (And coming from a model’s perspective, you have to have a fit body for your shape.) Simply labeling all women with big boobs as curvy is really not the way to go about it, but this is what some people can not understand when I say it.

Many of the comments in response to my controversial post said I was being negative toward larger body types when an attack on larger women is not what I intended.  I am not a hater.  I am purely saying slim girls with big boobs are not being represented.  Skinny people can be curvy too (see blog Thin and Curvy); the term ‘curvy’ is not a descriptor for ‘larger woman’.  Curvy Kate’s own model, Laura Butler (runner up in the first Star in a Bra competition in 2009) made a comment on Curvy Kate’s Facebook page proving my point that it’s still not being heard and understood, saying ‘And you say skinny girls are judged and put down… well welcome to the past 20 odd years of curvy girls being put down’.  This basically means skinny girls are in one corner, curvy, or larger women, are in the other.  Skinny can be curvy too!!

Referring back to my comment yesterday that skinny girls in the media are chastised and larger women are now heralded as the true curvy woman, again CK’s Laura Butler commented saying of the said slim girl with big boobs that ‘that is not wanted by the public‘. I disagree.  As I keep saying about proper fitting, if more girls knew their proper bra size then there would be bigger demand for the smaller back bras.  If women don’t know they don’t ask and they don’t have an opinion.  There are lots of girls out there who fall into the category of ‘slim girl with big boobs’ without knowing it.

My point, or arguement if you will, still stands: the word curvy is not just associated with the larger woman but includes slim girls too.  The Curvy in the Curvy Kate should embrace these girls more because with excellent education through the huge publicity Star in a Bra draws, they would be onto a winner and redefining the larger cup industry.

Becky x


  1. Cate

    December 2, 2012 at 8:19 am

    You contradict yourself through out this whole post lol. And referring to your Curvy Kate post- have you seen Laura Butler? She’s the most well-known Curvy Kate model. She has big boobs and her waist in tiny. Smaller than Julia’s.

  2. Becky

    December 2, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Hi Cate

    I don’t believe I did contradict myself. My two points are that curvy isn’t related to body size but shape and that many people don’t understand that a fully grown woman can be genuinely fitted as a 28 or 30 back, people believe it’s a size for adolescent women, which is why I want to see more slim women who fit this size to prove it. As Julia was publicised as being a size 8 I thought she was perfect for demonstrating the small back, large bust fact.

    Becky x

    1. Lisa

      October 12, 2016 at 12:06 am

      I’m fully grown and a 30FF. It’s not impossible.

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