Search This Blog

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Do you have adequate suspension?

    Labels, labels, labels. It seems at times we just can't avoid them, much less get them right. Still, there's one label that a lot of those of us who are MtF get wrong needlessly, something we share with a majority of natal women.
    I'm speaking of course about the label to be found on our bras. There is no need for a label debate about that one, it's an issue that can be solved with five minutes use of a tape measure, yet so many people get it wrong and wear the wrong size.
    As MtF crossdressers or transsexuals we have an extra disadvantage over natal women, we're not taught about these things as teenagers and those who are in the closet may find it difficult to walk into a lingerie store and ask for a fitting without embarrassment. In addition there are still too many suppliers selling breastforms without adequate sizing information, so those of us who need a little artificial enhancement may find ourselves not even knowing what cup size we've bought.
    So here follows a quick guide to measuring yourself and selecting the right bra size. It won't guarantee an eye-catching result, but it should at least lead you to a more comfortable fit and help you avoid the escaping boob look, or worse still, the escaping breastform look.
    Take two measurements in inches, one round your chest just under the bust and one round your chest over the bust itself, or over your breastforms if you wear them. Round the under-bust measurement up to the nearest even inch and that will be your band size. Take the difference between the two measurements in inches, if it is below one inch you are an A cup, if an inch you are a B cup, if two inches a C and so on. The table below gives a full cross-reference of this measurement versus cup size differences for UK and US sizing.

Over the bust/chest measurement difference and cup size
Band inch 0 <1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Cupsize U.S. A AA B C D DD DDD/E/F DDDD/F/G G/H/J I/J/K J K L M N - - -
Cupsize UK/Austr. A AA B C D DD E F FF G GG H HH J JJ K KK L
(table courtesy of Wikipedia)

    So for example if your under-bust measurement is 39.5 inches and your over-bust measurement is 44 inches then the difference is about 4 inches and you need a 40DD bra.
    Which means you should be all set to go and order the perfect undergarment. Assuming of course that you remembered to use a fabric tape rather than a steel one, you would not believe how cold a steel tape can be!

BBC H2G2 entry
Wikipedia entry


  1. While I can't speak to the crossdressers...

    For any transsexual who has issues of embarrassment with her boobs I say, get over it! Honey they are boobs and they're going to be with you the rest of your life. Besides way more women than you can imagine wear the wrong size bra... Why do you think the shops have fitters? oh and btw... they, boobs get bigger and smaller too so one fitting will not last forever!

    Honey, lingerie shops are in the business of selling bras! Bras hold boobs, if you are wearing the right bra and you got it from them you are going to come back and buy more!

    This is not rocket science and besides.. EVERY bra out there fits differently cause women come in lots of shapes and there is no such thing as a standard when it comes to sizing in womans clothing...

  2. This post is purely informational and has nothing to do with any reflections on identity. The majority of natal women don't get it right either.

    Besides, we all have that first hesitant step from the closet to get over.

  3. I'm sorry Jenny I didn't mean it to sound confrontational, rather, this is just one of those things that ALL women, with or without a trans history have to deal with, having boobs! They're part of what it is to be a woman and the smart thing for ANY woman is to go and get yourself a fitting! You're a woman, you've got boobs, you're in a lingerie shop... Seems to me to be the right place to be to get those puppies a new home! As you said the majority of women don't get it right so... no need to have a heart to heart trans-confession with the fitter or the clerk! Just go in, say you are really not so sure about your size and that none of your bras have fit that well to date and they will do all the rest! All you will have to do is try em on and then pay a small fortune at the register! Good bras are not cheap!

  4. My apologies too if I sounded a little sensitive.

    The motivation for this post came from my trying to explain bra sizing to someone a few weeks ago and failing to do so. I don't know whether it's embarrassment or something that people seem reticent to have them measured again and again as they change size or shape.

  5. Amen Honey! Boobs are supernatural in that respect aren't they? Trans history or no trans history they change size and shape for the rest of your life! And good luck with the sizing explanations! I think the formula for figuring out the relative placement of heavenly bodies is simpler than figuring out the formula for wrapping a bit of fluff round a human body!

    What's worse, when at long last you find the perfect bra, comfy and it fits! Word to the wise Honey, better buy several cause the manufactures have a fit alarm that goes off on the sewing line the minute you LOVE the bra...

    Whoop Whoop Whoop,may I have your attention PLEASE! A woman on the east coast of the USA loves her bra fit... Stop making that one immediately!

    So, pretty much every time I wind up in Victoria's Secret or Penny's shopping for my unmentionables I get a fitting and so do a WHOLE lot of other women for the exact same reasons...

    And we haven't even gotten to the fact that the ones you love stretch out and stop fitting have we?

    Hummm, you know we may be on to a global conspiracy here. I bet it's centered on keeping women uncomfortable and embarrassed lest they have the where for all to settle all the things that men get us into like wars and such!

    All that from a SIMPLE over the shoulder boulder holder!

  6. I think you and my wife would find yourselves in complete agreement on this matter.

  7. Yo know what.....I rarely wear one of those hateful things, except for when I go to the gym and then I wear a sports bra to keep 'em in nice and tight...NO bouncing allowed!


The People - Personal Thoughts

Cobweb Corner - Older Blogs, Not Recently Updated