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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17 Comments

  1. avatar Ty says:

    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.

  2. avatar StaceyStiles says:

    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.

  3. avatar Kimberly says:

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

  4. avatar john says:

    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?

    • avatar Sick of Disrespectful Pricks says:

      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.

  5. avatar Jasmine says:

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

  6. avatar lisa says:

    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.

  7. avatar January says:

    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?

    • avatar Bonnnn15 says:

      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

  8. avatar JJ says:

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

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  10. avatar Cee says:

    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.

    • avatar Jeanie Weber says:

      Where do you buy your bras?

      • avatar Cee says:

        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.

  11. avatar Artemis95 says:

    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.

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