We all have pretty much heard about the shocking statistic of 80% of women wearing the wrong bra size which came from a study conducted by Marks & Spencer. This isn’t news to us. And for all we thought, it was because of how our bodies change frequently throughout the months - which is one reason, but there are several other reasons why we women are experiencing all the back pains, body aches, and poor posture, despite thinking that a bra would fix our problems.
After watching the Ted Talk by Laura Tempesta, a lingerie expert and the only woman in America to have a master’s degree in lingerie design, our perspective on bras completely changed.
For the longest time, women have been told that A cups were equivalent to smaller breasts and D cups were equivalent to larger breasts. The sad reality (we were shocked too), is that this isn’t true. In fact, Tempesta’s Ted Talk explains that a 38A, 36B, 34C, and 32D are all the same size. All these sizes accommodate the same size breasts, the only difference is the length of the underband. Surprising right? Wait, there’s more to it! A 38D, 36D, 34D, and 32D have absolutely NOTHING in common. You might be thinking, wait, what? What we might have initially thought of cup sizes might actually not be what they truly are. Hence, now you know why we are all experiencing these pains when we could have educated ourselves more on the truth behind bra sizing.
The sister sizing is one to blame. If you were to analyze your bras, you would find that a 36A is equivalent to a 34B, a 32C, and a 30D. Tempesta explains, “Most women are in the right volume or within the right sister sizing group, just wearing the wrong size underband.” The band sizes we see today were based off of the Victorian shirt sizes. Back then, the assumption was that clothing sizes matched the breast sizes. Meaning, those with a small shirt size would have smaller breasts and vice versa. So all these cups we see that sound so different from one another are exactly the same, it’s the bands that are different.
There’s another catch and one we wanted to stress upon. Based from Statista, the global lingerie retail market was valued at approximately $30 billion in 2018. Take 80% off of this number, that’s $24 billion worth of goods spent on the wrong products! We would agree with Tempesta on this, what other industry in the world could you think of where it is completely normal to spend on the wrong thing? None.
It’s time we take the initiative to properly educate ourselves about our bra sizes. Otherwise, we might be wearing the wrong products till we can no longer reverse the effects of back pains, body aches, and poor posture.