When it comes to bra sizes, not all bras are created equal. The different terminology related to bra sizes, and extended bra sizing specifically, can be confusing if you're not familiar with it. Many women are wearing the wrong bra size altogether because of this.

If you are shopping for bras in extended sizing, the terminology can become even more confusing. We'll go through everything you need to know about bra size terminology here. Keep readying below for a breakdown of all the different bra size terms on the market including standard bra sizes, plus size bras, and full bust bras.

Standard Bra Sizes vs. Plus Size Bras

Differentiating between standard bra sizes and plus bra sizes is determined by the bra band size. Standard size bras are generally defined as those between band size 30 to band size 38. Plus size bras are bras in band size 40 and above.

Different brands and stores can define plus size lingerie differently, so it's always important to know your bra size itself to find what you're looking for. If you aren't sure of your band size, take your measurements with a tape measure or have a bra fitting done at your local lingerie shop.

Plus Size Bras vs. Full Bust Bras

There is also full bust lingerie which is defined as bras in cup size DD or larger. If you have larger breasts, you likely wear a larger cup size and therefore full bust lingerie. But you don't need to be considered plus size to wear a full bust bra. You can wear a standard band size of 34 and a cup size of G, for example, and be considered full bust. Full bust bras are determined by cup sizes.

If you have a larger band size and a large cup size, then you will likely wear a plus size bra by definition. However, you can also wear a bra size that's considered just plus size (i.e. large band size), just full bust (large cup size), or both. The two concepts can be mutually exclusive but can also overlap in certain sizes.

It's also important to note that a cup size is not consistent across different band sizes. Take for example bra size 36F. By cup volume, this bra size is the same as 38DD as well as 34G when considering sister sizing. One person could wear a size 38DD and another wear a size 34G and both have the same cup size by volume despite likely having different body types.

So when it comes to full bust lingerie, wearing a cup size of DD or larger can actually encompass a wide range of cup sizes including women of all sizes. A full bust bra simply indicates a someone with a bust measurement of 4 to 5 inches larger than their band measurement.

Concluding Thoughts

All in all, bra shopping can be quite confusing and even frustrating with all the terminology there is to know. Knowing your proper bra size is crucial to finding a good fit. Even if you think you know your best bra size, it's worth remeasuring every few years or before you purchase a new garment. Your size can fluctuate over time, so it's best to remeasure yourself to ensure you know your perfect fit.

Bra sizes can also fluctuate slightly based on the style of bra you're wearing or even across different brands. One band size might work for you in one brand but not another, or a D cup in one brand might fit like a DD in another.

To confirm your right size, all you'll need to take is take your bra band and bust measurement and plug both numbers into our bra size calculator. Remember that if your straps dig in or your band doesn't fit snugly, you might be wearing the wrong size. Measure for your perfect fit so you can find the right bra for you.

About the Author

Maeve Gesualdi is a Fordham University alumna where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Fashion Studies. Based in New York City, Maeve is part of the marketing team at Glamorise. Maeve regularly interacts with customers via social media and product reviews, as well as with influencers and models. She is constantly getting feedback on our products as well as gaining a better understanding of what women in our category struggle with and/or look for when searching for a bra. Aside from writing, she is passionate about all things travel and fashion.



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