Why You're Probably Wearing The Wrong Bra Size

Meghan Blalock

If there’s one shopping experience women find universally frustrating, it’s trying to find the right bra. It doesn’t matter what size you think you wear—everyone from a 32A to a 38DD has trouble finding a brassiere that properly supports, lifts, and fits. As it turns out, there’s a reason for that.

What You're Doing Wrong:

Michelle Lam, founder and CEO of lingerie company True &Co.,—an online boutique with more than 50 different brands, including Triumph, Elle Macpherson, Miel, and more—reveals the one thing that causes many women to choose the wrong bra size: imprecise cup sizing. It’s a misconception that a bra’s cup size actually measures the full size and shape of your breast.

“Not many people know this, but when you talk about the cup size of a bra, it’s really just the horizontal width between the underwires,” Lam says. “This whole area that’s actually the most 3D part of the breast is completely uncharted territory. That’s why the A, B, C, and D cups don’t actually mean anything. It’s been the same system since 1937.”

A Revolutionary Quiz:

To resolve the issue, Lam founded True&Co. with the missions of selling bras for women, by women, and gathering the data needed to design and develop a well-fitting bra. She and her team created their Fit Quiz, the first of its type, to truly understand breast shape—by asking women to simply fill out a 15-query questionnaire, no measuring tape required. (It's worth noting that Victoria's Secret also has a fit quiz, which asks many of the same questions.)

Once You've Found Your Size:

After seeing plenty of success with more than 500,000 women taking the quiz, Lam then used the data to engineer the just-launched Uniform line, True & Co.’s first in-house collection. It’s a lineup of 15 lingerie basics for women, including seven separate bra designs, meant for different kinds of breast shapes and sizes.

“We’ve collected over seven million data points about a woman’s body, and identified more than 6,000 different body types over the last two years,” Lam says. “Our whole goal is not to put you in a certain band or cup size; it’s really, when you look in the mirror, do you feel transformed into the most beautiful version of yourself?”

Her solution: The site’s brand new True Spectrum bra sizing system (pictured below).

Instead of limiting you to a band and cup size, the chart takes into account the actual shape of your breast when determining a size. It even accounts for how your breasts sit on your chest. All the pieces in the Uniform line use the Spectrum system to ensure the perfect fit, and it even recommends what standard size bras correlate to your Spectrum size from the other brands available on True&Co.  

How It Works:

After shoppers take the True&Co. fit quiz, answering the questions about how their bras fit you as honestly as they can., they're assigned a color—everything from Citrine to Violet to Sapphire—and a size ranging from Small to Large. All the bras in the Uniform line (priced between $42 and $44, and with four different color options) follow this Spectrum sizing system. The goal is to find a bra size that truly considers not only the band and cup size, but also the shape and weight of the breasts.

The Perfect Fit For Traditional Sizing:

While True&Co.'s new sizing system is really handy because it doesn't require a tape measure or any other such tools, there are ways you can measure your perfect bra size in the comfort of your own home. Scroll down to find out how to determine your own perfectly fitting bra!

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