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In case anyone was curious how the bra hunt was going...

The saleswomen at Nordstrom were very helpful, although the first one first said "Okay, looks like you're between a 32 and a 34," at which I raised my eyebrows, but hey, she had the tape measure. Then, after trying a few things in the 34DDD range, she went "Hmmm" and fetched the larger-busted saleswoman, who determined that no, 32 was right. Between 30 and 32 really, but closer to 32.

Sadly, the bra I liked best does not come in my size. The 32DDD was close, but not quite there.

I did come home with a bra (also a 32DDD, but wireless, so the cup size is less important). It's not perfect, but it's better than my existing bras. And the information gained from this expedition will be very helpful in hunting about online.

Also today I got the car's oil changed, dropped off a few things at Goodwill, and went to the library. Go me.

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Oh WOW. Who knew Nordstrom had such a range? Anything in 32 that's above a C is cause for a freakin' party. Thank you for posting this. I am so going to Nordstrom soon.

So about that first line: DDD is a G?

DDD is one size smaller than G. The actual size I am is 32G, but in that particular style the 32DDD was close enough and they didn't have it in a 32G.

Nordstrom does have quite large letters! One style I tried in an H and that was still a bit small, but I didn't like it anyway. I think I tried on everything they had in a 32DDD or 32G, so there's not a really huge range, but it is likely worth a look.

So it's A, B, C, D, DD, DDD, G, H?
Please tell me there's a good reason for that.


There is no good reason. The bad reason, which I am fairly sure is the actual reason, is that bra manufacturers don't like to admit that sizes other than A, B, C, and D exist (and they're kind of iffy about D). So back in the mists of time, some manufacturer who had only those four sizes thought "Hey! I can make bras for people with itty-bitty breasts and also great big ones! I will call my new sizes AA and DD, because they're off the ends of the scale!"

European manufacturers generally just use letters: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, but American ones do all kinds of bizarro wackiness, like A, B, C, D, DD, E, EE, G, or A, B, C, D, DD, E, EE, F, FF. Note the total inconsistency!

The system A, B, C, D, DD, DDD, G, H or A, B, C, D, DD, F, G, H does seem to be most common, I think because it gets the higher letters in the right place (DD = E, DDD = F) and means that women who've been getting bras from manufacturers who only go up to DD (most of them, expect for the ones that stop at C or D) can switch to the brand that goes higher without having to convert anything.

It's a mess. But it's better than women's pants or shirt sizing. Isn't that a depressing thought?

you're the second person on my flist to post about going out to get measured and buy bras! It's a sign! I'm supposed to do it, too!

(I need to, pretty badly, but I've just been too depressed about being a 40B to want to face up to it. I can't find 38B's most of the time. 40B's won't exist on the rack for me at any of my usual stores, ever.)

You can't find 38Bs? What sizes do they sell? Are all these bras I see on racks like, decoy bras that don't fit anybody?

38B's are just barely findable. 40B's are nigh impossible. I don't even dare to worry about the 42B range....the industry seems to believe that 1) one is either petite, with small boobs, 2) "average" sized, with size C (this is from the 34-38 range), or 3) gigantic, with cup sizes only measured in the D-F range. Larger doesn't exist in spite of pornish fantasies, and small women with large boobs pretty much only happen in Hollywood.

I've never enjoyed being "gigantic" with small boobs. For one thing, with shoulders that broad, I'd have to hit a D cup to get cleavage -- they just don't squish together any smaller than that, ja know?

The last sentence of the first paragraph was supposed to be heavily marked with sarcasm, coming from the point of view of the brassiere manufacturers. Not sure if that came through.

Yeah, it was clear that the whole first paragraph (except the very first bit) was the Industry View.

I'd thought 34-38 A, B, and C were considered "the normal sizes". Apparently not!

OH, hells no! Pity the woman who wears a 38A. I think C is considered normal for that range up into 40, then it becomes the top end. I once found a 40B...once.

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Thanks, but that doesn't help me shopping in the store.

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I'm not interested in online, I want to try it on first.

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Ooh, free returns. That's handy.

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