This was probably the most difficult part for me to write so far because there are a lot of dependent factors here and I wasn't sure of the best way to present the data. Hopefully, they'll still be some good point to take away from this. :)
- I had 179 respondents who included their bust size standing up and had an underbust size that I could use.
What I wanted to see is how cup sizes are distributed across band sizes and if there were any conclusions we can draw from there. In previous sections I counted women who were in between band sizes as half points in each band size. In this case I doubled counted them because I was more interested in the distribution across the band size itself (so if a woman has a 27" band her cup size will be shown both for the 26 band range and the 28 band range).
For the cup sizes I simply subtracted the bust from the band size. Clearly there is an art to fitting one's cup size and some women need to go up or down one cup size. According to this article it sounds like women actually universally need to go up at least one cup size from their measured size if they have a D cup or above so if anything the cup sizes might be lower than they should be.
Here's the total distribution (I only used a range of 24-38 bands because I didn't have enough above and below that- you can even see pretty clearly that for women in the 24 and 28 band region that the data starts to thin out):
|Note: In this case I simply subtracted the underbust from the bust without any assumptions about band size so there is no issue of double counting.|
Extending this point further, you often hear "Curvy" being used interchangeably with "plus-sized" but if you compare BMI to the difference between Bust and Underbust if anything you see the opposite
I'd say the moral of the story is that we need many more offerings of cup sizes across all brands. The practice that you often see where 28 bands stop at a smaller cup size doesn't appear to make sense in this context. Now, I'm curious to hear back from the lingerie shop owners and what their experience is when it comes to band sizes vs. cup sizes. Do you see any correlation at all between the two? Or is it pretty much just random white noise like I'm seeing in my graphs?
Just to let you all know. Some of the topics that I still plan are covering:
- Bust variance (how bust measurements vary depending on standing, leaning over, breast perimeter, and laying back)
- Bust/Underbust/Waist measurements. Do these converge to a method for standardized clothing?
- Is there a correlation between frame size and underbust measurement (I'm not 100% sure if I have enough data to see this but I'll sure try!)
Ok, now off to bed! :D
I want to also mention that in regards to bands being stretchy and how this might be affected as you go up/down in band size. Bratabase has done some wonderful stats up looking at the stretchiness of bands, which you can see here. It looks like the larger band you have the more it stretches (with the exception of a 38 band but I wonder if that's more due to the very low number of 38 bands that were reported).
Another thing that becomes clear is that the bands stretch to the number shown on the label. So even though the average 28 band is about 22" at rest, when you stretch it, it reaches 28" plus some change.
However, that's not all. There was an interesting article in the Daily Mail that found that going by your underbust and bust measurements alone won't help you find your perfect fitting bra. Ok, that might not seem that surprising because we all know that trying on many bras in person is the best solution BUT what IS surprising is that
For example, a back size of 34in and a bust measurement of 38in give a bra size of 34D. But according to the academics, this method is out of date, because it was only designed to go up to a D cup. Half of women in the UK now exceed that size.SO, what that's saying is not only is plus-four wrong but in 76% of cases women with larger busts may need to go down another band size (so now we have the 2- method).
In the University of Portsmouth study, 45 women were measured using both the traditional method and the best fit approach.
The researchers found that using the traditional method led to overestimating the back size in 76 per cent of cases and underestimating the cup size in 84 per cent.
That begs the question... where are all the 26 bands???