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June 02, 2010


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Not to mention the fact that a 36C with padding is drastically different from the same size without padding. Let's just say that you buy the former if that's what you are, and the latter if that's what you aspire to.

OMG--this brings me back when I had my first bra fitting at JC Penney, and they didn't carry a small enough size...suffice to say I was below a 'junior junior'...horrors!

Thanks for taking me back Fritinancy!

Sounds more like they were catering to those dumb guys' standards of physical attractiveness than "those dumb dames".

Fascinating stuff! I've recently switched bra brands, and had to navigate the difference between US and European cup sizing. I have to say the Euro version makes a bit more sense than continuing to add endless D's.

When I was in Paris for the summer as a student (waaaay before Victoria's Secret) my roommate and I decided to get ourselves those sexy bras (blue lace, in my case) not yet marketed to Nice Girls in small Midwestern towns. We pointed and mumbled, and the saleswoman came out from behind the counter, cupped our clothed boobs in her hands, and handed over the goods. (Yes, they fit. Those French -- amazing.)

The topic reminds me of another pet peeve: The bogus statistic that "85 percent [or whatever] of women are wearing the wrong bra size." Um, surely that means -- at best -- that x percent of WOMEN WHO ASK FOR FITTINGS are wearing the wrong size ... or that the size in the new brand doesn't match that of the old. But more likely, it's just a marketing fiction.

Re guesstimating bra size: I once had a friend who grew up in Central America, where her father had a business manufacturing Maidenform bras. She said that her father would bring bras as hostess gifts, and that they always fit. (Of course, I'm not sure how he or they verified that....)

As a guy, I of course know of any of this only by hearsay. But women of my acquaintance have always maintained that to get the proper size, a lady should visit that venerable Seattle department store, The Bon aka The Bon Marche, latterly (alas) just Macy's. More than one young lady I know was introduced to the mysteries of bra sizing by the unflappable, all-business veterans who staff the Foundations department at The Bon.

As another commenter notes, I also have heard that many ladies are not sized properly. Only as an observation (haha), I'll suggest that the error here is that some women believe that they wear a band size that is in fact smaller than their own actual circumference. (Which, frankly, can look sort of painful.)

Mike: The Town Shop in Manhattan was another such temple of mammary mysteries. When its owner died in 2003, the New York Times ran a wonderful obituary whose lede read:

"Selma Koch, a Manhattan store owner who earned a national reputation by helping women find the right bra size, mostly through a discerning glance and never with a tape measure, died Thursday at Mount Sinai Medical Center. She was 95 and a 34B."

(Link: http://nyti.ms/cyC1VG )

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