A Canadian Fitting Guide For Buying Full

Full Figure. What does this mean? In the bra business it means you have a full, well defined bust. Whether you’re petite, tall or super curvaceous you have a bust that needs good support. The average cup size in Canada has increased since 2005 meaning there are more women searching for bras in sizes bigger than a D cup.

This doesn’t necessarily mean we’re getting bigger all over as a nation. In fact the most common error in bra fitting is that women are wearing too BIG a band size and too small a cup size. This bad habit has come from advice offered in the 1920s when fabrics were hard and unforgiving that said you must add 5 inches to your band measurement. Today that advice is totally WRONG! A large number of Canadian women have a band size of 28-32 inches with a cup size DD or more.

You may not even realize you’re a woman who needs a full figure bra because out-dated fitting techniques at your local department store have left you languishing in a 38C when you’re really a 32F. So how do you find out what size you are and what do you look for when searching for a bra that fits? Measuring yourself at home is much easier than people believe and it’s a good reference point if you go and have a professional fitting to ensure you’re being measured correctly and not forced into the sizes on offer in that store.

1) Stand side on to a mirror and wrap a tape measure around your ribcage underneath your breasts (the tape measure should be flat against your skin but not pulled tight). Make sure the tape is horizontal to the floor at the back and round the front. Read the measurement in inches. If it is an even number write that down, if it’s an odd number round up to the next even number. THIS IS YOUR BAND NUMBER.

2) Wrap the tape measure around the fullest part of your bust (over the nipples) ensuring it is horizontal with the ground at the back and front. Write down this number (to the nearest whole inch).

3) Deduct your first measurement from the second one (you will get a number between 1 and 15). Compare this number to the charts below.

CANADIAN SIZES 1=A 2=B 3=C 4=D 5=DD 6=DDD 7=G 8=H 9=I 10=J 11=K 12=L 13=M 14=N 15=O

UK WHOLE SIZES 1=A 2=B 3=C 4=D 5=E 6=F 7=G 8=H 9=J 10=K 11=L 12=M 13=N 14=O 15=P

BRANDS WITH DOUBLES 1=A 2=B 3=C 4=D 5=DD 6=E 7=F 8=FF 9=G 10=GG

It’s not ideal that manufacturers in different parts of the world use different letters to denote cup sizes. However, if you know your cup letter (as explained in step 3) then you can find your cup size for each manufacturer. Lots of boutiques offer a size chart based on manufacturer to make it easier for you.

4) Most women don’t realize that they have more than one bra size. For example, if your measurement result in you being a 34G then in some bra styles and brands you will fit a 36F. This calculation is very easy: If you try on a bra that is bigger in the band than your basic size (in this case 34G) then you need to come down a cup size. Most women with a full bust have found it hard to find correctly fitting, supportive and beautiful bras.

Now that you understand your size you can start looking for bras, but remember that the style of bra makes a huge difference to fit. Most full figure women need at least three full cup bras for day to day wear because these offer the most support in the prettiest designs. A full cup bra is one that encases each of your breasts completely keeping them separated and defined. Plunge and balconette designs are ideal for showcasing your cleavage but wont support you if you’re moving around a lot.