Bra shopping used to be one of my favorite things to do when I was younger, I was a 32A from the time I hit puberty right up until I had my son at 26. I don’t normally care for shopping in general but I would browse the Junior bra section for hours finding new bras, I easilly had ober 10 pairs of bras, one of my biggest problems was that I thought I was too small (thanks society) all the bras I had were more aimed towards younger girls who were just getting their first bras, nothing in the women’s section was in my size. I had never even heard of Sister sizes, if you don’t know what that is stay tuned because I will talk about it further down in this post. I’ll never forget that singular day in school when I overheard two boys talking about girls bodies and when one asked about mine the other siad “She doesn’t have a body”. That point was later solidified when I was in my mid twenties and surfing Blackplanet, one of the most popular groups among the men was one where it said something like guys prefered “Bad Grades C, D, E, F”. There was no mistaking that they were talking about breasts and what they considered to be bigger sizes. There I was being bombarded with the idea that men didn’t care for slim women with small breasts and I had no breasts to speak of so they obviously didn’t care for me. I want to say it didn’t bother me but I would be lying, I didn’t care about attracting anyone but the thought that I was unattractive was troubling. I often wished for bigger breasts (silly, silly goose) just to be thoguht of as feminine. I should explain that I was very much a tomboy before this hyper awareness of my “lack of body”, I frequently wore baggy jeans, big shirts, backwards caps, I hanged out with my brothers and cousins all the time so I was essentially one of the guys, I didn’t care for skirts and dresses and all those girly things my parents said was for girls. I was happy as I was even though people often asked me what I was…
Despite the occasional wishful thought for bigger breasts I was fine, I began wearing dressed and skirts and cultivating a feminine side that isn’t hyper feminine. I wore make up but not a full face, I still don’t know how to blend eyeshadow or know what half those toners and cc creams, and serums are for but I’m fine with who I am.
When I was pregnant with my son, I joined a few Birth Boards and one common theme was women’s breasts growing and leaking milk, I didn’t experience any of this, I guess my body was too busy trying to provide nourishment for my baby. I didn’t think it would happen to me but it did.
One day I had my baby and the next I had my breasts. I remember it so vividly, I woke up with HUGE (in my eyes) breasts, my milk had come in and I began to leak like crazy, it’s a good thing my son was eclusively breastfed because this was crazy. It’s funny the things you learn about your body after having a baby. No one ever told me about Let downs but up to this day I can still remember the tingle I’d get and then the leaking would begin. My usual 32A bras were not going to do so we quickly went shopping and I ended up with a C cup, I don’t really remember what band size it was but it was probably wrong.
My son nursed for one and a half years, I originally wanted to do baby led weaning but I ended up pregnant and in the hospital for 4 days and after that he just lost interest in nursing. There I was fresh from the hospital without another baby and my first baby didn’t want to nurse anymore. I was sad we wouldn’t have that bond anymore and fine with it at the same time because I wouldn’t have to be nursing him all hours of the day and night.
With the end of nursing I found that I needed to buy new bras once again. Here was a new problem though, French bras don’t use the same system as the US bras, both the cup and band sizes seem to be bigger letters and numbers, what should be a C is actually a D and what is a 34 is 90! Imagine my shock when I go from a 34D to a 95E but they are the same exact size. I think everything about the sizing system over here made me think I was bigger, fatter, than I actually am. To find a good bra my husband and I looked up international size conversion charts and then I just tried on different bras until I found on that fit.
I was content with my bras, they mostly fit but it seemed I kept having to buy a new one as soon as I got used to my newer bigger size. Sometimes I ended up with a really good fitting bra and buy two of different colors but one of them doesn’t fir right? I don’t understand how that happens but it did several times. Some of my biggest bra issues in the last year were falling straps, too tight band, and gaps at the top of the bra where it should have been flush against my skin. I thought I was at the biggest reasonable size but boy was I wrong. One day in my mom group one of the other moms posted about a Reddit group called A Bra That Fits and there was a calculator you could use to find the right sized bra for your body. You can find the Calculator here. I don’t remember what the calculator said was the ideal size for me but I remember thinking they were joking because it was a smaller band than I was currently wearing but a bigger cup, I decided to do some more reading on the group and learned all kinds of interesting things. Your size it semms isn’t the most important aspect of finding a bra that fits it’s the shape of your breasts. It’s a lot to get into and if you want to read more I suggest heading over to the subreddit and reading the beginners guide. This is my most recent results from the calculator: 28FF/G in UK, 75H in French sizes and 28F in US.
These are not full charts they are aimed mostly at showing how I found my French and European size from US or UK size. If you are interested in seeing a full chart I suggest Googling International Size charts, there are lots of different charts available.
75H is not a very common size to find here in France, most if not all the common stores only go up to Cup size E and if you’re luck you can find band size 110. Here is where knowing your Sister sizes comes in handy. A sister size is a bra that is either a larger or smaller band but the same cup volume, for instance, I can’t find a 75H here but I can usually find a 90E, 95D, or 100C, these are all Sister sizes meaning they might fit me just as well or better than my original size. You’ll notice I omitted 80G and 85F, well that’s because they are not readily available which I had the pleasure of finding out when I needed a new bra after starting to breastfeed my daughter and I couldn’t go into the store to try on any bras during the pandemic so my poor husband had to go in and try to find one of the numbers I tell him. I sent him to find a 75H, no, 80G? no, 85F? no, what about 90F? it looks like it would fit. Fine, and it was for like a few months until I looked at the calculator again and realized it was not the correct size!
This is not a full chart, I focused mostly on the Sister sizes of my own results, to find a chart suitable for you I recommend Googling Sister Sizes with your Country name on the end. I also limited the sizes to what I found was mostly available at the sites I frequent.
Now I have the right Sister sizes I ordered bras more suitable for my shape and fullness, I’m hopeful that I have finally found my bra that fits!