Bra Size Survey

A number of boutique brands have been discussing the issues they face talking to both retail and wholesale customers about bra sizing.

As independent brands (KMD, Playful Promises, What Katie Did, and Ayten Gasson), we all try to provide as many sizes as possible (at least up to a DD) but it is always a matter of choosing the most economically viable. Over the last few years we’ve been under increasing pressure to produce smaller band sizes (even down to a statistically unlikely 26, which in our sizing would require an adult woman to have an underbust measurement of 22 inches!) and larger cup sizes.

Whilst there have no doubt been significant changes to the average woman’s body since the era when bra sizing standards were first set, its not at all clear to us that this necessarily equates to the level of demand we’ve faced.

When we’ve explored in detail how people reach their conclusions about sizing, it’s looking to us very much as if there is at least one extra set of sizing assumptions being used. We all use the “old fashioned” system for estimating the initial size before fitting – measure the underbust, add 4 or 5 inches depending on if its an odd or even number to produce the band size, then measure the over bust, if that is 1 inch larger than the band size, advise them to try a B cup, 2 inches a C cup, and so on.

Customers using their underbust measurement as their band size, and then producing their cup size in the same way, will logically have more smaller band sizes and larger cup sizes.

In and of itself this is not an issue as we regularly provide conversion charts for all sorts of different bra sizing systems. The difficulty for us comes from not being entirely certain if this is the root of the
customer service issues, nor who is using which system and if it does translate consistently to ours.

To answer these questions, we’re using our websites and social media to conduct a survey. We’re asking women to put in their measurements, and what sizes they usually take in ours and other brands. We should have more to report later in 2011, and we’re looking forward to seeing what information the B.R.A/ASBCI initiative comes up with as regards the general issues around body shape and bra fitting.

Kiss Me Deadly
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VFD2BRB

Playful Promises
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SD7LYW3

Ayten Gasson
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/S2RRBW7

What Katie Did
http://www.whatkatiedid.com/src/bra_sizing_survey.php

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