Solving the problems of bra sizing

The problem I find with with bras is that I don’t really know what size I take. It’s not that I’m wearing the wrong size because I haven’t measured myself, it’s just that the current sizing system is confusing and there’s no real way of knowing if the size you think you are will fit in every shop.

However, it looks like I am not alone. A number of boutique lingerie brands have begun talking about the problems they face when discussing bra sizing with retailers, and also with their online customers. There is quite a variety in women’s clothes sizing (lingerie especially), but these brands have a sneaking suspicion that there might be more than one bra sizing system in use in the UK alone. Catherine from Kiss Me Deadly says that:

“Boutique brands in the UK tend to use a method standardised some decades ago. This involves measuring under the bust, then adding 4 or 5 inches and basing the band size on that, then working out the cup size based on the difference between the band size and the overbust measurement. Obviously, its not an exact science, but that’s where we start as a guide. We’re finding, though, that that is tending to give people a larger band size and smaller cup size than they sometimes think they are. Its very confusing for people. We’d like to help.”

Being a former psychologist, Catherine has a firm belief that statistics are helpful, and has managed to convince other designers that collecting measurements would be a good idea, so they’ve set out to get as many women as possible using a tape measure. Catherine says, “It won’t be the worlds most scientific bit of data gathering, but we’d really like to get some idea of some numbers and how it all fits together.”

If you’d like to help out and do the survey, you can take it via a number of different brands websites – Kiss Me Deadly, Playful Promises, Ayten Gasson, or What Katie Did – and they’re offering a choice of discount codes or prize draw entries to tempt you all into taking part (these will be active until January 2011). They’re also all using their surveys to ask a few key questions to help develop their brands and customer service in general, so it’s a great chance to tell them anything that’s on your mind if you’ve shopped with them before. So, why not become part of something that may change the way bras are sized in the future? At the very least, it may make it a damn sight easier to order one online that fits. I, for one, will be eagerly awaiting the survey results.

Images are via the aforementioned Kiss Me Deadly, Playful Promises, Ayten Gasson and What Katie Did.

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