Dismal D+ Options in the US

Specialty bra stores (and Nordstrom) stock D+ bras from the UK. What are the US D+ options like?

  1. Many bra brands make up to a DD cup… but DD styles are usually “full coverage”.
  2. JCPenny carries up to a US I cup (UK G cup)… but the band sizes start at 36.
  3. Victoria’s Secret just started offering some cute bras in beyond a DD cup… but they only went so far as DDD.
  4. Soma has D+ options… and they start at a 32 band… but they only offer up to a US G cup (UK F cup).
  5. Ferderick’s of Hollywood has bras for 32DDD… but the few 32DDD options look like armored trucks covered in frills.
  6. GAP has a 34DD… but no 32DD.
  7. Cacique makes up to a US H cup (UK FF cup)… but only for 38-46 bands, 36 and 48-50 bands stop at DDD.

And so on. There really is this notion that a D+ cup means you’re overweight (I’ve addressed this one)… and that DDD is incomprehensibly huge (and this one, too). Most D+ bras here are plus sized… it’s nearly impossible to find a large cup with a small band. Countless snarky articles talk about the introduction of larger cups to handle our “obesity” problem and plenty of thin people think they are fat when a VS fitter puts them in a 32DD (when they should probably be US 28G). Most D+ styles are pretty hideous (mostly minimizers and very high cut bras), which doesn’t help matters much. But there’s also the idea that huge breasts are sexy. Which of these bras looks “sexy” to you? That ugly grey minimizer used to the the only option for DDD cups at Victoria’s Secret and is still the only option at many bra stores. If big breasts are supposed to be so sexy, why is the only option to minimize (ie: squash) them? And if the stereotypically “sexy” figure is a small waist and a big bust, then why do D+ cups only start at larger band sizes? Our attitude about breasts is bafflingly contradictory. There is one thing about the US bra scene that I like: I prefer the US bra sizing system to the UK one. I’m not a fan of DD instead of E… but the rest of the letters run alphabetically, with no repeating (some just continue to add Ds, but that’s bizarre). It’s clear… it’s logical… it’s simple to understand. But it’s a lot scarier to hear “you’re a 30K” than it is to hear “you’re a 30H”. Why? Because we’re taught that a D is “huge”, a DD is “really huge”, and anything above that is a joke. Like this: Um… that’s not even what an F cup looks like. Not even close. This cartoon captures the frustration of the D+ crowd… … but the person in the image is clearly MUCH larger than an F/G cup (US or UK), and this image just perpetuates the myth that anything over a D is incomprehensibly huge.  So perhaps our logical sizing system does play a part in scaring people away from wearing a well-fitting bra. But blaming our sizes is as silly as blaming a knife for a stabbing. The real problem is that our culture is mistaken about a) how bra sizing works, b) how to fit for bras, and c) how big (or small) sizes really are. If we consider 34C to be the “average” size (using the +4 or 5… or 6 method), then the “average” person should probably be wearing something between a 28F and a 30DD… possibly with even bigger cups, since many people wear bras that don’t fully contain their tissue. Is it strange to think that DD-F cups would be an average looking size? Here, taken from Lobby Biuściastych, is what D and DD cups really look like: Some of these people could even wear smaller bands/larger cups, so there might be some F and G cups in there. And they look… well, average. But even if your breasts ARE “huge” (whatever that means), there’s nothing wrong with it. And there’s nothing wrong with an A cup either! No one is the wrong size… they’re just wearing the wrong size! My fingers are crossed for better bra education and more D+ options in the US!

8 thoughts on “Dismal D+ Options in the US

  1. I feel like this is analogous to finding workout clothes of you wear a size 16+. Apparently they decided if you are a 16, you don’t exercise or something. And of course trying to find workout clothes if you are a DD. Just annoying, the built in shelf bras have no space for anything over a D. Nowadays I am just shocked if a store has my size.

    I am in the midst of losing weight. At my heaviest I wore around a size 18-20. And my bra size was a 36Hish. Apparently, being over a size 16 also means it is impossible your band is under 40. Many times I went to a fitter, and they automatically grabbed a 42 or similar to find a bra to fit me. Now that I am half way to goal, I am “down” to a 34H. It isn’t getting any easier as I get smaller. And it is just plain annoying.

    1. Speaking of which, one thing that blows my mind is when people make fun of the way overweight people look in workout clothing. Really? Oy vey.

      Congratulations on the weight loss! I understand how difficult and strange that can be with hypothyroidism… my weight does weird things even after just slightly adjusting my medication!

  2. I adored your D+ rant :) Working along side all the bras and measurements all day can be baffling! The UK sizes, I would say are better, although they do use the rest of the alphabet…at least it’s simpler! Luckily you have great brands such as Curvy Kate that are going stateside :) Hopefully they will influence the rest of the US :)
    Loved the post!
    discover your next favorite bra

  3. Thank you so much for that last part! So often on bra-fitting blogs and forums, you read about how a DD or a G is really not that big and while I know it is not meant that way, it sometimes has the undertone that a “really big” size would be a bad thing.
    Also, I might be biased because I have so many friends who actually fit in the A-C range, but the D-DD cups in the pic still seem bustier than average to me.

  4. Hey! Love your site! I’m a 32F myself, and while they don’t care A LOT in this size range, I LOVE Journelle in NYC and would love even more to hear your thoughts!

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