Larger Sizes Aren’t Simply Bigger: A Lesson in Bra Grading and How We Did it Better

Have you ever heard of bra grading? If not, get ready to learn. The aim of grading is to make bras that fit a number of different sizes within a collection, usually by starting with a core size pattern from which multiple bra sizes are developed to fit actual women.

Have you ever had a bra where the cups were slightly too wide, where the straps were too long or short, the underwire pinched or the cups were too deep? These are all some of the problems that result from standard bra grading; many methods are slightly flawed and can provide you with a bra that may not fit your proportions and shape perfectly.

Seeing women go through this ordeal because of something that is supposed to support them is terribly disheartening – and something that I’ve personally struggled with for years. Fortunately, experiencing and witnessing this problem spurred us on to develop a grading system that could produce a bra that genuinely provided a better fit. Our bra grading system has been researched and tested on multiple models just to make sure that our bras are offering superior fit and support.

Whilst the whole system of grading may sound simple, it can be an incredibly complex process. Grading can be a fairly straightforward process for simple garments that only use a few pieces of material, such as a thong in just 3 consecutive sizes, but grading becomes significantly more complex the more complicated the garment – and bras are extremely complex garments! Not only are they composed of lots of different pieces but they have the job of shaping and supporting soft and malleable breasts that come in a variety of sizes, shapes and weights. The larger the bra size, the more important this support becomes. Your bra should be your best friend and not a series of wings, straps, and slings.

When researching our bra sizes in the range of 26-36 band sizes and D-HH cup sizes it became clear that, unlike smaller breasts sized in the “core” size range (30A-34C), larger breasts don’t tend to simply get bigger or smaller proportionally. Instead, breast volume tends to increase more in height and depth than in width. For example, if a woman has breasts that increase in size from a 30D to size 30F, her breasts don’t tend grow much wider, otherwise they would be growing around her torso and under her arms, which doesn’t happen in most women. Instead her breasts become fuller; they project further forward with maybe a longer breast root (the area where your breasts grow from your body).

Through this process of looking at how breasts grow, we saw the need to change the traditional grading system to one that is more personable and more accurate for our size range because your breasts are more than a simple mathematical formula. In trying to serve larger cup and smaller band women, we wanted to create a bra that truly gave every one of our customers the best fit possible.

We updated our grading system to account for how larger breasts grow by developing underwires that are narrower than the average UK based brand. Wide wires can cause all sorts of fit problems, but one of the most common is underwires that rub underneath your arms and cause pain. Not only can this be extremely uncomfortable, but it can also hinder the ability of the bra to offer a flattering rounded and forward projected shape.

To resolve this issue we worked hard to identify the sizes where shape changes and to design underwires that specifically accommodates these changes. The end result is bras that fit snugly around the breast root, neatly holding the breast in the cup and maintaining forward projection and lift. We’ve been thrilled with the reaction to our bras so far – seeing how they make our customers feel beautiful and supported has been the most rewarding part of the business so far!

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