What Is The Average Bra Size For Americans – And How Do YOU Measure Up?

Breasts come in all different shapes and sizes and I firmly believe that there is no “right” or “wrong” bra size. Still, I can’t help but be interested when research comes out showing what the average bra size is, not just to see how I measure up, but also because I’m curious and I like to know things. Yeah, it’s that simple.

So what is the average bra size for American women? Surprisingly, research has found that the average size has gone up… a lot. Intimacy, a brand that makes truly awesome bras, compiled research from sales data and customer surveys to find that the new average American bra size is 34DD. Yes, double D. This is pretty shocking, especially when compared to the average bra size of 1983, which was 34B. And just a few weeks ago, I wrote about how the average size was 34C, which was published in the book Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History in 2012. That means that in about a year, bra sizes increased a lot. 

I have to admit that when I first read this research, I was pretty skeptical. While a 34DD isn’t ginormous or abnormal, I would still call it a big size – especially when comparing it to the average sizes of 34B and 34C of the past. So, um, why are our breasts seemingly growing bigger by the month?

According to research, it’s not that our boobs are growing – it’s that we’re finally paying attention to what size we actually are. Women are going bra shopping and they’re getting real fittings, rather than just buying a bra that seems like it sort of fits even though it doesn’t.

A rep from Intimacy explains: “Instead of forcing D+ breasts into A to D cup bras, women are beginning to purchase larger cup sizes (G cup, for example) that actually fit properly. [Twenty years ago] the American market carried less than 20 sizes, so women with bigger breasts squeezed into bras that were two or more cup sizes too small. Therefore, the idea that breast size is increasing is perhaps slightly inflated due to women actually purchasing larger (and more accurate) bras for themselves.”

Okay, that explanation makes way more sense than thinking that our boobs are in the middle of a collective growth spurts. Gurl editor Caitlin and I once had the pleasure of going to a fitting at Intimacy and, as Caitlin wrote about before, it kind of changed our lives. I’ve been buying bras from Victoria’s Secret for as long as I can remember, but one fitting at Intimacy showed me that I was wearing a size that was way too small. I was shocked but also thrilled that I had found such a comfortable bra. I never even knew bras could be so comfy!

And Intimacy isn’t the only bra retailer that has noticed a shift towards larger sizes. Specialty bra retailers like Cosabella and Fig Leaves have noticed that more customers are buying bigger sizes.

I think this has a lot to do with what the rep from Intimacy said – people are more into bra fittings right now. But I would be really interested to see data from Victoria’s Secret, since the sizing there is so different from Intimacy. Whatever the reasons, it seems that paying more attention to our boobs can only be a good thing.

How do you measure up to the average bra size? Do you think it’s accurate? Have you ever had a bra fitting before? Where do you buy bras? Tell me in the comments.

 

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  • Deborah Ray

    Are they factoring in women with breast implants? This is the most common cosmetic surgery for women today in the US.

  • Troof Detector

    MMMMMMMM Titties!

  • MRAAlternate

    This is some bullshit study probably funded to make women buy more breast implants. It’s almost certainly not true that the average cup size in the United States is DD.

    • Emma

      eh, i believe it. remember that it’s an average. there are many heavier women with huuuge breasts in the US, so averaging that in with all the tinier breasted women.. etc.. also, women tend to buy bigger band sizes and lower cup sizes because they can’t believe they’re actually the size they are. i got two friends to go get properly sized after i found out i was a 30B (was wearing 32A and 34As) and one ended up being a 32G and the other a 34DD. they were both as shocked as i was.

  • Ty

    Oh cry me a river…you girls slam the hell outta guys on dick size ALL THE TIME.Especially on this very site.Yet,men are disrespectful? What a laugh.Take a hike with that you sad,doubleminded hypocrites.

  • StaceyStiles

    Do you think larger bra sizes could actually be due to increasing obesity in America, rather than the fact that everyone was wearing the wrong size before? Because even bra fittings aren’t completely accurate. I did a bra fitting at Victoria’s Secret and couldn’t even breathe in the in my “actual” size. I had to go up a couple sizes from what they were telling me.

  • Kimberly

    When they found the average size, did they find the average band size and cup size separately and put them together or what?

  • john

    my GIRLFRIEND’ S busts are too small even smaller than a tennis ball. In order to make them bigger i always touch , massage, suck and even sometimes fuck. Can anyone tell me wether it helps to increase breast size?

    • Sick of Disrespectful Pricks

      No, John. It does not “help”. Also, you should stop being a picky arse. If you have such a problem with her breasts, then maybe you should look for another girl, and stop trying to make your girl change. It’s rude, and not very considerate. You should love how she looks if you love her.

  • Jasmine

    Yes, but 80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra. Whenever I tell someone I’m a 30D, they laugh because they think

  • lisa

    My mom say good girl never should go bra less is that true? My are small at 36-C and my nipple are very big will they very get smaller Thank lisa M.

    • Emma

      hi lisa. 🙂 no, that isn’t true. you can be a good girl and not wear a bra. sometimes they are uncomfortable or you just plain don’t want to wear one. the female body is not something to be ashamed of. your breasts are beautiful out of a bra or in one. it is your choice. sometimes people get uncomfortable and while it really is their problem, not yours it’s nice to be respectful of that, so i’ll usually choose to wear thicker or darker fabrics if i’m not wearing a bra, but again, that is an individual choice. 36C is actually not that small either. your nipples will probably not get smaller, but they are perfectly normal and lovely. embrace your breasts! xx

  • January

    Wait, wait, wait… I call BS… If 34DD, which is my size, was the average then I should be able to find bras everywhere. Instead I’m lucky to find any at the super pricey Victoria Secret and I can never find them anywhere in department stores. How does this make sense?

    • Bonnnn15

      I agree with you, January.. I struggle to find any 34DD bras in stores. Which leads to me trying to buy online but then I have to pay for shipping, just to find out the bra doesn’t fit and I have to return it. Also, it messed up how clothing fits on me. Because my boobs normally require like a size large (or a loose medium), but I have a very short torso and clothes just never look right on me because my size has to be altered to accommodate my boob size. Like I’m not a 12 around, but sometimes that’s what fits my boobs. But like I’m only a 34 rib size and no clothing takes that into account. It’s so frustrating

    • Chelsea Gilchrest

      I can never find bras at Victorias secret that fit me. I am a 34DDD and when I went in there they tried to say that a 36 D was the same thing. HA! I don’t think so. The band was way too big and the cups didn’t even hold half of my boobs. Do they even train their employees to know anything about what they’re selling?

      • Emma

        they train them to sell the sizes they carry. it’s awful! i had the same thing happen. the women said they don’t carry my size, so she said 32A is the same thing. it’s NOT. when i finally got properly fitted (at nordstrom and agent provocateur) i found out i’m actually a 30B. the 32 band victoria secret tried to sell me is too big for me, even if it fits at the store or for a while after that, it eventually stretches some and no longer fits. you should always buy bras that fit on the biggest hook, so when they inevitably stretch some you can tighten them. same with the A cup. while it kind of works, my real breasts are a B, so it squishes out weirdly at the sides. don’t listen to whatever they tell you. go to a store that carries a bigger range of sizes and get fitted for real.

      • Troof Detector

        34DDD is awesome!

  • JJ

    I read somewhere that the average cup size has increased over time due to increasing obesity in the US.

    • StaceyStiles

      Ha, I just mentioned that in my comment.

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  • Cee

    This is the conversation I have every time we get onto bra sizes:

    “But you can’t be a FF cup! You look like –”

    “… Like what?”

    “Like… like a B or a C!”

    “This is what a FF cup looks like when the band is tight enough to do its job.”

    “So what band size –”

    “28. 28 around the ribs, FF in the cup. It’s proportional.”

    “You can’t be 28! I’m your size and I’m a 34C!”

    If you have to put up with this kind of conversation, this is the time to march your friend’s ass into a good bra-fitting place. Good place = one where they look at shape and fit as well as size and don’t try to squash you into a size just because it’s the biggest cup/smallest band they have.

    P.S. Victoria’s Secret measures the band size by going over the top of the boobs, which is insane. The band does not sit above the boobs. The band sits around your ribs under your boobs and if you’re measuring at all, it should be there.

    • Jeanie Weber

      Where do you buy your bras?

      • Cee

        Figleaves is good. They get new designs pretty fast and they have a good size range (read: below 30 and above H). Brastop, Bravissimo, Belle Lingerie, Brasandhoney…

        It’s a long list. What I tend to do is go to the official sites for brands that don’t suck (Panache and Cleo, Miss Mandalay, Curvy Kate, Freya, Empreinte, and more), find a bra I like, then google it until I find a nearby supplier. It’s a good way to find out exactly which sizes they’ll make for a certain bra, because some suppliers can’t be bothered to stock the whole range.

        • Emma

          omg, thank you for leaving this comment! great for anyone with a smaller band size!

  • Artemis95

    It’s definitely necessary to get fitted, particularly at a place that carries a variety of sizes. Certain stores that don’t carry larger sizes will actually intentionally size potential customers down to a size they actually carry in order to avoid losing a sale. This happened to me when I went to a fitting at Victoria’s Secret, which doesn’t carry anywhere near my size. I was told I was a 40 DDD (the largest size they carry). Thankfully, I recently got fitted at a store that does carry my size, and I found out they were wrong. My REAL size? 44 G.

    • Who Cares

      You are most definitely fat then.