I'm going to have to separate all the data into a few different posts so bare with me here. Also, like I said before I'll leave the survey running and maybe update in a years time if I get enough responses.
So first off lets talk about the range of data that I have:
- In total I had 217 responses. I was only able to use 205 because 12 respondents were either outside of the height/inches that I provided or were repeat responses after I expended the range of height/inches.
- I had a wide range of weights and heights in the survey. I used BMI to determine this range. It's certainly an inaccurate measurement on an individual level but when it comes to statistics it's the easiest measurement. Also, I wanted to focus on BMI so I could determine if shops that focus on exclusively plus-sized or non-plus-sized bras were really offering bras in the correct size range. My respondents BMI ranged as follows:
- The smallest BMI that reported was 14.65 and the largest was 64.78. The smallest underbust reported was 18 (note I did not provide a smaller option than 18, regrettably) and the largest was 50 (again I had limited the top possible answer as 50 so it could've been above that).
- I had 4 respondents who were 40" or under (101cm) and the tallest responder was 73" (185cm).
I'll go through the results first and discuss the implications of them at the end. First, just a simple plot of the underbust measurement vs. the BMI.
In the following graphs I calculated the band size using
For Underbust measurements that were in between band sizes I gave a 0.5 value to each band size. For instance, to calculate the total number of respondents with the band size 30, N(30), I added the total number of respondents with an underbust of 29", N_29, and 31", N_31, multiplied by 0.5 and the total number of respondents with an underbust of 30", N_30, so thatBand Size=Underbust
This then assumes that roughly half of women who have an in between band size measurement go up a band size and half go down a band size.
Now without further ado the graphs
- USA 36.5% link (for some reason the stats on this link add up to more than 100%?)
- UK 38.4% link
- Germany 60% link
- Brazil 52% link
- Poland 40% ? link really crappy source if anyone has a better link please share!
- Australia 45.1% link
What I found surprising here is how narrow of a range that the overweight females fit into. Here we see that 100% of females fit into 26-38 bands. 91% of females fit into 28-36 bands. In principle, females in this range should be able to find bras in their back size (now that Panache plans to begin 26 bands, Ewa Michalak will custom make 26 bands, and Big Bra Bar started carrying the first 26 band bra) although women at the lower end might not find much variety at all.
- USA 28.6% link
- UK 37.7% link link
- Germany 24.4% link link
- Brazil 28.6% link
- Poland 44.2% link
- Australia 30.9% link
This group should be of interest for plus-sized stores and brands. Elomi starts at a 34 band and Lane Bryant starts at 38 bands in stores and 36 bands online (they only go up to DDD whereas 38's go up to H). That means that Elomi is only catering to 60% of the plus-sized community and Lane Bryant is only catering to 26% of the community in store and 45% online (although, probably much less than that because they only go up to DDD).
Actually, a manufacturer could cover 92% of the plus-sized community offering bands in a range from 30-44 or 75% in a range from 30-38. Clearly, brands that at offering bras starting at 38 bands or 40 bands are missing out on huge chunks of the plus-sized community.
- USA 35.5% link
- UK 23.9% link link
- Germany 15.6% link link
- Brazil 19.4% link
- Poland 15.8% link
- Australia 24% link
So after seeing this, the real question is. Why do brands ignore the sub 32 bands? Including women of ALL weights we actually have 66% of females whose underbust measures as 31" or below!!!!! That means 66% of women likely need 30 bands or under. Furthermore, 35% females measure at 29" or below, which means they could need 28 bands are below and 15% measure at 27" or below, which means they could need 26 bands are below.
The most famous brand, Victoria's Secret provides bra in 32A-40DD, which misses out on over the majority of the population. Playtex only offers bras from 32-54 bands. When are they brands going to wake up and smell the coffee?