Have you ever wondered what the measurements behind your bra size mean? What are their origins? Who invented this troublesome system? We will explore the meaning behind it all.
Introduction to the Bra Sizing System
It wasn’t until the 1930s that we got a bra sizing system that we know today. Up until then, bras were only available in sizes small, medium, and large.
All that changed, however, with the advent of the A-D bra sizing system. Who is responsible for creating this system is subject to debate.
It is mentioned either that S.H. Camp and Company or William and Ida Rosenthal from Maidenform. According to this system, breast size corresponds to a cup size.
We still had no number so that you would be either small, medium, or full size for your band and the A-D for your breast cup size to find your bra size.
At the end of World War II, the numbers were inducted, but they did not coincide with band size as they do now.
Instead, it referred to the fullest part of the breast, the bust line. In other words, if you measured 33 at the fullest part of your breast but your breasts still looked small, you would be a 33 A.
1975 Bra Intervention
1975 marked the introduction of the official regal regulation of bra sizing.
Under the new European Common Market bra sizing system, a woman’s bra size is determined by measuring her full bust and under the bust.
The number portion now represents the band measurement or underbust measurement.
Letters represent cup sizes, and cups represent the measures of the whole breast. It was all measured in inches and divided into lettering by a chart.
The Meaning Behind Your Bra Size
So what’s the significance of your bra size? Well, actually, your bra size has two separate meanings. Let’s break it all down.
Assume you are a 34B. Remember that the number portion of the bra size represents the bra’s band and size.
This is the part that goes around your ribcage and hooks in the back. As a result, the 34 in a 34 B bra size indicates a 34-inch bra band size.
The letter part, of course, refers to your cup size. What your cup size represents is your breast volume or the fullest part of your breast.
But, the meaning behind these measurements goes deeper with some heavy mathematics involved, back to the letter (cup size) portion of your bra size.
Your cup size is actually the measurement of your bust line or fullest part of your breast, and your band size is subtracted.
The number difference you get matches the cup sizing lettering chart that classifies the numerical measurement into letters.
For example, say your bra band size measurement and bust line measurements give you a difference of 2 inches. The number 2″ matches the letter B on the cup sizing chart; thus, the B dictates your cup size.
Now that is the inside look into what your bra size means. Next time you’re bra shopping, you can shop with a little bit more confidence and bra know-how.