D-cup Does NOT Mean Big: Getting a Properly Fitted Bra, and Bra Reviews!!


I want to make it very clear that as I write this myTake I am writing about bras as a ***FUNCTIONAL*** piece of garment first and foremost. For such an important piece of garment, it is ridiculous that 80% of women are wearing the wrong size. Before aesthetics and appeal comes support, and while the appearance of cute bras as an amazing tool for us to have a boost of confidence matters to me, that is secondary. An ill-fitting bra can cause a lot of unpleasant symptoms like shoulder, neck and back pain, trouble breathing, lowered blood circulation and there are reports of even serious injury caused by wearing ill-fitting bras!! I firmly believe that bras do for our breasts what shoes do for our feet, now imagine wearing ill-fitting shoes on a daily basis and the RELIEF you would feel once you put on a pair of properly-fitted shoes for the first time ever. My goal is to simply make more people feel that way.

This myTake is NOT about men. If you're a male looking to fetishize women and bras here, you clearly aren't mature enough to have anything to do with breasts, go outside and touch some grass instead.


I grew up in a country where you are supposed to cover your chest with a large scarf not only in public but even at home around your male family members! This is a very common way of the upbringing of South Asian Muslim women. I've had a large chest since age 12, and it was a huge source of grief for me. It was a challenge to find clothes that fit, and it was an even bigger challenge to find bras that fit!

I looked online to find what bra size fits me, I did my own measurements and found my bra size, which was wrong as I used the +4 method. But it was a start. There is no education on cup size and people simply go by your bust measurement back home, which meant almost every bra in the stores was too large in band size, and too small in cup size. There was no store that sold my size, most that sold by cup size went up to a C cup, or D max and that is not enough for most women.

Bra stores are scamming us

When brands dont even care to fit their models correctly, we have a problem!
When brands don't even care to fit their models correctly, we have a problem!

The problem with brands like Victoria's Secret is that they don't want to carry inclusive sizes but they still have to sell bras. They carry only up to a D or DD cup and 32 band lowest, so to sell bras to women who are bigger cup sizes or smaller band sizes (which is not rare at all), they overestimate your band size, and they underestimate your cup size. They tell you that you are the biggest cup size that they carry and they keep going up in band size until you have a bra that covers your boob. That's why you end up with bras that hurt your shoulders and the underwire digs against your armpit: the band does not give you as much support when it should be giving you 80-90% of support, so your straps overcompensate and that's why women with larger breasts feel like their shoulders hurt. The band is way too big so it does not fit around the breasts as nicely as it should and you experience digging which causes a lot of discomfort. Don't hate on the employees though, they are doing what they are told to do, it is the people who run the brands. Bras should not feel that way at all! It is completely normal to have a cup size above a DD cup or a band size as small as 28, 26, and 24.

This is why we have stupid myths like A=flat, B=small, C=average, D=large and DD=enormous. A D cup is only a 4-inch difference between the underbust and bust measurements, no way is that a large cup size in any band size. Cup size is nothing without its band size at all: a 28FF is very small, but a 38FF is rather large. Most women who think they are a DD cup are closer to a GG cup in UK/J in US sizing.

Here's what changed everything for me: finding r/abrathatfits on Reddit. I have been in this rabbit hole of bra fitting since and I am here to summarize everything I learned.

Measuring Your Bra Size At Home

The two measurements you primarily need are your underbust measurement in inches which is just underneath your breasts, where your bra band goes, and the measurement of the fullest part of your bust, which usually is by the nipples. You have to be completely naked up top, unlike most places that tell you to wear a bra... don't do that. Measure yourself without a bra on, and write down your measurements on a piece of paper, in inches. The calculator you will find on the subreddit is more accurate as it requires you to have six measurements, so feel free to use that too.

Your underbust measurement is your band size. If it is an odd or decimal number, round it to the closest even number. For example, you can round out a measurement of 35 inches to a 36 band. Now you subtract your bust measurement from the band size, and the difference tells you your cup size. If your bust measurement was 38, then 38-36=2, and a difference of 2 inches indicates a B cup. Therefore, your final bra size is 36B. Now, this is simply your bra size on paper, in real life, you may find that something else, like a 34C, fits you better. This is why you should go to the store and try on some bras. You start with the bra size you calculated, see if it's too big or small, and adjust accordingly. Regardless of where you live in the world, it is good to know what your bra size is in UK sizing, that way you can easily convert your size to that of another country or region if you happen to purchase from them, especially because many brands and companies have their own sizing charts.

D-cup Does NOT Mean Big: Getting a Properly Fitted Bra, and Bra Reviews!!

I used to wear 34DDD/E in UK sizing as I was guilty of using the +4 method, but after using the calculator on r/abrathatfits, it calculated my bra size as a 30GG UK size/30J US size. When I tried out bras in real life, a 32G UK/32I US fit better. That's NOT a size anyone would think that I am, as most people wrongly guess that I am somewhere between a C and a DDD cup, and it explains why every bra I've worn had the issue of spilling out or the wires poking my skin. Because the bras sold in local boutiques are too expensive, I have gone to them for bra fitting just to make sure that I know my correct size, but I didn't buy any bras. After confirming what size fits me correctly, I ordered bras online and it is much more affordable that way.

How to WEAR a bra

It's unfortunate that we aren't even taught how to put on a bra correctly. But the way to do it correctly is called the "drop, scoop, swoop and smooth" method.

  • Bend/drop over so that your back is parallel to the floor and shimmy/jiggle your breasts by holding on to the wire so that all of the breast tissue falls in the cup.
  • Scoop your breast tissue from the side and swoop it towards the top of your bra.
  • Run your finger through the top of the cup to smooth out any lumps.
  • If your breasts aren't in the cup properly despite this method, you are wearing the wrong size.

A correctly fitting bra should:

I can FEEL the shoulder pain in the before image. Oof.
I can FEEL the shoulder pain in the before image. Oof.
  • Have a two-finger tension on the band and straps. That means you should comfortably fit two fingers through and any more than that means your band or straps are too big. Tighter than that means your bra is too small and it may even affect your blood flow.
  • Encapsulate ALL of your breast tissue. After the scoop and swoop method if you still have spillage that means you need to go up a cup size.
  • The gore should tack perfectly. If you did not understand what that means at all hear me out: The center part of the bra that is between the wires is called the gore. It should lay completely flat and firm against your breastbone. If it is not then you are not wearing a correctly fitted bra. It should not move at all as you move.
  • If you have some back fat, it is completely normal for some back fat rolls to form. That should not keep you from wearing a correctly-fitted bra. It is a very normal thing that happens to us. A correctly fitting bra SHOULD provide you with good support against your ribcage. If it is feeling too uncomfortable or constricting then you have a band that is too small, but if that's not the case then back fat is not an issue. It does NOT mean that you are too fat and you need to lose weight. It happens to me too and I am petite with a normal BMI.
  • You should feel relief from any back, shoulder, or neck pain. I wish I knew how COMFORTABLE a properly-fitting bra feels! I have no pain at all, and I still have an amazing lift and support.
  • If it is a new bra, it should fit perfectly starting from the outermost hook, and you go inwards as the bra loses elasticity over time.

Okay, but my bra size changes a lot because my weight fluctuates (or any other reason). What should I do?

Most people's bra size changes with time, and some may have constantly changing sizes due to weight loss, pregnancy and breastfeeding, building back and chest muscles, hormonal changes etc. You may want to look for bras with stretchy cups so that they can accommodate a bigger cup size. You can buy bra band extenders from Amazon if you anticipate your band may get bigger and when buying a bra you can get one that fits from the innermost hook first and you can hook it more outwards as your band size increases.

Okay, I know my size, where do I get affordable bras in my size?

There are many brands that sell bras in inclusive sizes, such as Panache, Ewa Michalak, Comexim, Freya, Natapar, Curvykate, Bravissimo, Pour Moi, Fit Fully Yours, Playful Promises... If you are in Canada look up Bratopia, if you are in the US look up Top Drawer Lingerie. You can also find fuller bust brands in Asos and Nordstrom. Yes, most of those brands are very expensive.

To get bras at an AFFORDABLE price, I wait for websites to go on sale. They do get sold out quickly (which proves that smaller bands and/or bigger cups are NOT uncommon), but I got my hands on some really cute bras that fit amazingly and my most favorite purchase is actually also my cheapest! If you don't mind second-hand, there are bra swap communities online where you can swap your bras that don't fit with others and get bras that fit you, or buy them from second-hand online spaces. I have one that I got second-hand and love!

Bra Reviews

Cosabella Khana Curvy Tall Bralette

Very unique color and design!
Very unique color and design!

Designed specifically for those with smaller frames and bigger busts, this is actually the most expensive bra I've purchased since my awakening. I bought it from a local lingerie boutique and it cost me $108 Canadian, NOT including taxes. This is why I don't suggest buying from lingerie boutiques if it is out of your budget, I am totally guilty of splurging on this.

It is very hard to find bralettes that actually fit fuller busts, so I was happy to find it, and I especially love the color of it, very unique! I don't wear bralettes outside so it is just a bra that I wear underneath my clothes when I want some comfort. I bought it in a size M and I think that was a mistake... because I don't feel very secure in it and I find that if I move too much my boobs spill out of it. I should have tried small and seen how that fit me. Even if I wore it out, I wouldn't be comfortable wearing it out for too long. It looks incredibly cute as outerwear if paired with white pants. I believe it also comes in a blue shade.

Pros: Unique, fitting, comfortable

Cons: Not very secure/stable, but that could be a sizing issue

Bravissimo Paradiso Plume Balcony Bra

Such pretty colors!!
Such pretty colors!!

I bought this bra second-hand from Poshmark, so it cost me way less than its original price, around $35 Canadian or so. I believe the brand no longer sells it so you can only find it second-hand.

This is a tricky bra and I understand why the brand had to discontinue it. It is built in a way that it will make your breasts look really WIDE, it really SEPARATES your breasts, and you won't have much projection, but it gives you amazing cleavage. I got it in a UK 30GG, and the band feels very tight. The straps are very far apart and almost fall where backpack straps fall. The gore does not sit firmly against the breastbone and from looking at other online reviews, it is the same for others who purchased it as well. You really need to be a certain breast shape to comfortably fit in this bra. I personally find that I can use its features to my advantage and I wear it under clothes that look better with less projection. The far-apart straps make it ideal for wider necklines. It goes well with any solid or mesh black underwear.

Pros: Great cleavage, great lift, wide-apart breasts, ideal for square necklines, colorful

Cons: Gore does not fit well, straps can dig in the armpits, may need to size up as the band is too tight, not stretchy.

Wolf and Whistle Maisie Red Balconette Bra

Probably the sexiest set Ive ever owned!
Probably the sexiest set I've ever owned!

I got it from the Playful Promises Website when they were giving away its matching underwear for free! This is why I love bra shopping online! The bra I believe is $36 US and the undies are $23 (which I didn't have to pay hehe). Very affordable, and Playful Promises even has a student discount of 20%!! As I am writing this myTake they have a huge spring sale going on.

Despite the very 'bedroom lingerie' appearance of the bra, it fits me well and gives me enough support that I can wear it underneath my clothes. Because it is a bright red color, it can show through clothing, but that is not a big issue for me because most of my clothes are opaque enough to leave free estate to wear any bra that I like. I got this in a 32I in US sizing. It is a mesh bra so it is amazing for hot and sweaty days because the mesh will allow the skin to breathe and not collect a lot of boob sweat. It also comes in black and blue!

Pros: bedroom appearance but functionally everyday-friendly, mesh good for boob sweat, looks good from the back too.

Cons: Not stretchy

Deja Day Rosalyn Magenta Full Coverage Lace Bra

Saving the best for last!
Saving the best for last!

I got this on a sale for $15 in size 32I US size also from Playful Promises. I believe it is still on sale with a few sizes remaining.

This is the best out of all the bras I mentioned so far. The color is so gorgeous, I almost want to flash everyone in existence! Not only that but the fit is amazing, I cannot get over how amazing it makes my breasts look, and it is something I have never experienced before. I feel like a celebrity on a magazine cover. The satin fabric makes it appropriate to wear under t-shirts or any clothing that can show texture, and the lace on top is stretchy which I love because it gives a really nice appearance and comfort. It is also available in a gorgeous emerald green color! I did not expect to love it as much as I do.

Pros: Gives an amazing shape and appearance, stretchy lace feels comfortable, satin texture is nice for wearing under clothing that could show texture.

Cons: I can't find any, I love this bra.

Final: Bra Fitting Resources

Out of all social media, I use Instagram the most so here are some great Instagram accounts I know: madisonxalexandra, fullerbustinspo, fullerbustbestie, theirishbralady, bellarosalingerie, weirwonderful, weirwonderfulfit

Outside of Instagram: r/abrathatfits, r/braswap, bratabase (a play on the words bra and database), The Bra Addict on YouTube.

I really hope this helps anyone to feel as great about their bodies as I do know since my bra awakening!! And thank you for reading. Even if you don't wear a bra, you may share these resources with your loved ones who do. Let me know how it goes! Happy Bra Shopping!!!

D-cup Does NOT Mean Big: Getting a Properly Fitted Bra, and Bra Reviews!!
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