Up until September of 2010, I was wearing a 34C. I have and have always had large breasts. Not frighteningly large, but definitely more than two handfulls.
(I have a hunch that the “fitters” at VS tell everyone that they are a 34C.)
At some point, I realized that my 34C bras were containing less than half of my breast tissue. The underwires sat ON my breasts and the volume of the tissue that “quadraboobed” was greater than the volume of the tissue within the cup. The VS fitter told me I looked more like a 34D, but that still contained less than half my tissue. By September, I had “graduated” to a 34DD, but even that didn’t quite contain me.
I later decided that I must be a 34DDD. Then my breasts grew… so I tried a 34G (US)/34F (UK) and the cups fit mostly fine… but my bands kept sliding up my back, as my breasts dragged the front of the bra down with them. That seems to counteract the purpose of a bra. Back in my 34C days, I once asked a VS fitter why my bands always slid up my back. She replied that I needed a “low fitting band”.Now that I am comfortably in a 32H (US)/32FF(UK) (and a 30 in certain bras), I can say that no one should need to look for a “low fitting band”, just a “correctly fitting band”. My ribcage measures 30.5 inches, so a 30 or 32 band should be just right.
But every once in a while I think: “my breasts aren’t THAT big. I look like a DD… and, you know, I can see a back roll when I wear a 32… so maybe I’m really a 36DD… (or a 38DD, if I don’t want it to show under a shirt).” And so every once in a while I actually buy a 36DD… and my breasts pop out, and the back slides up, and the front slides down. And I am not supported. [According to the “add 4 or 5 inches” rule, I AM a 36DD… except for the fact that I’m not.]
So I can choose to either buy bras in a frighteningly large size that FIT and feel fabulous or buy bras in a size that I think I am and look and feel terrible. (I can also buy cheap 36DD/38DDs and alter them to fit!)
I am writing this blog because I have found blogs to be immensely helpful in my personal search for the “perfect bra” and always consult reviews of bras before I make my purchases. I am still searching for the perfect fit, but I hope this blog can be helpful to other people who are confused about their bra size.
Nota bene: the “add 4 of 5 inches rule” isn’t a noticeable problem for someone 34C or under, since the weight of the breasts doesn’t usually manage to drag the front of the bra down. However, once your back band starts migrating up the back, it’s time to go down a band size (or three). When going down a band size, always make sure to go up a cup size, since a 34C and a 32D have the exact same cup-volume.