Cup Sizes for DDDummies

Okay, what’s the obsession with the letter “D”?

This question ranks up there with “Why is a size 8 different depending on which designer you buy?” and “Who’s brainy idea was it anyway to put the fall collection of clothes into stores during the dog days of August?”

Most bras have a cup size, starting with “A” and proceeding in alphabetical order as the size increases. I have personal experience with this because I’ve gone through those first 4 letters in my late teens and early 20’s until I settled sometime around age 30 at a size D. (All naturally produced as well – a feat that is somewhat less fascinating when you’ve grown them yourself.)

I remember thinking “hmmm” when my size went from D to DD. It was after that year I was constantly traveling on business. All that restaurant food had resulted in a few extra pounds that had shown up, evenly distributed, on “the girls.” However, what was it with the size of my newest bra? I wondered suddenly why I wasn’t wearing an E? After all, E comes after D.

My good news is that I got those pounds off and went back to my size D. I heaved a sigh of relief. It’s a lot easier to get nice bras at a reasonable price in a size D than a size DD.

Then I got pregnant. I kept telling my “girls” that size doesn’t matter. After all, women with less than half of my breast volume manage to nurse their newborns into chubby little cherubs just fine. I worked hard to keep my weight gain healthy. I did all the right things. I exercised. I rested.

My breasts ignored me. Suddenly, I was a DDD. A triple D? What’s wrong with F? I’ve never seen three D’s in a row in any schoolroom display that I remember.

It got even more interesting. After the birth of my son, I actually went up another size! Most women will gain 1-2 cup sizes between pregnancy weight gain and nursing. Generally, the biggest contributor to the increasing breast size is weight gain.  Of course, there are overachievers like me, who will go up 2 or more cup sizes.

So, I calculated my breasts at a G, which I frequently described as “Good God – how did they get so big?” However, I was wearing one nursing bra sized in an E. So, E apparently comes after DDD.

I did some research. Cup sizing seems to be an art for the illiterate. For instance, after E, comes EE. After EE, some manufacturers actually use EEE.  At that rate, you’d only get to Z after you’d gone up 69 sizes. (That’s A + B + C + 3 sizes for every other letter, until you get to Z.)

I have found some higher-end bra manufacturers who simply use the alphabet as God intended, one letter per cup size. Strangely enough, brands that follow the lettering of the alphabet also tend to cost more.

I wonder what makes a G more expensive than an EE?