I found an article by Treacle on The Lingerie Addict that I feel I need to take some issue with.
It centres around the much-touted statistic that suggests 85% of women are wearing the wrong bra size – a stat that Treacle found in a recent Debenhams press release and feels is either erroneous or misleading. The point Treacle makes is that the emphasis always seems to be on women wearing the wrong size of bra, and not on the importance of wearing a well-fitting one (to me, they’re the same thing).
She does have a point about the stats concerning women surveyed over their bra sizes – it’s certainly in the interests of bra manufacturers or sellers to propound the notion that women are wearing the wrong size of bra in order to try and encourage re-fittings, and, subsequently, more sales.
I certainly can’t seem to find any independent studies or surveys on bra sizing/fitting – other than some medical surveys on physical discomfort or to dertermine the average breast size in a given population – which clearly raises a concern over something evidently important in everyday life.
However, even anecdotally I’ve spoken to several friends and colleagues and conducted impromptu bra fittings at nights out – and have found that a large percentage of them are simply wearing the wrong size of bra. Sometimes, this is down to a number of factors – for example, the variation in fitting between manufacturers and personal preference – although, quite often, it’s procrastination on their part; they find a bra style they like, it seems to fit and they never bother going to see about getting re-fitted. Often, it’s because bras are expensive, and changing them regularly is a big cost.
I even know of girls who have been refitted recently and changed from, say, a 34C to a 30FF – yet they’re too mortified to make the change out of some misplaced embarassment that their cup size is ridiculously big. “Oh my, if people found out I was a G cup, I would die”.
It’s difficult to know exactly how to go about determining if such a high percentage of women are wearing the wrong size of bra or not without conducting a proper, independtent academic study – however, based on the experience of women I know personally and the girls who work for Brastop and Curvy Kate, a high proportion of women are genuinely surprised to discover that they’re wearing a bra size that’s often ridiculously out of kilter with their actual fitting.
Personally, I went years wearing the same old 36DD bras before discovering I was a 32F. I’ve since gone up to 32FF, then to 30FF/30G – and it constantly changes over time due to weight loss/gain. I have a friend who was wearing a 34D bra for about 10 years, and, after constant pestering from me, finally discovered she was actualy a 30GG.
Recently, when the final 10 girls in this year’s Star in a Bra competition arrived for the makeover photoshoot, several of them discovered they were wearing the wrong size of bra – which could be down to the variance in sizing of Curvy Kate bras (which were the bras they were modelling) over their normal brand of bra, but it’s as equally likely that they were simply wearing the wrong size all along.
I guess the issue I have with what Treacle has said in her article is that it may well be a motivational tactic on the part of bra manufacturers to encourage sales, but the importance of wearing the correct size of bra simply can’t be understated – it’s relevant to your personal health, your comfort, your well-being and your self-esteem.
If you’re in any doubt about your bra size, make a trip to a local bra seller (choose one of good repute!) and I can almost certainly guarantee that you’ll be surprised by the outcome – you’ll feel better too.