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Bra sizes consist of a letter and a number, representing band size and cup size. The correct band size provides the snug and supportive fit you need for a perky profile. The cup provides coverage and additional support, preventing nipple peek-through. The right size bra keeps everything in and avoids the squished and squashed appearance caused by a too small cup on a busty girl with a D-cup size or up. While many stores carry a limited range of sizes, you can find D-cup bras with tiny band sizes that will fit even the most petite and curvy frames.
Fitting a Bra
Knowing your true bra size is the first step in getting a bra you love to wear. Even if you think you're wearing the right size, you might be wrong. The mistake is often a too-large band and too-small cup, especially if you're curvy and slender. When you're wearing a well-fitting bra, the band should fit snugly without riding up on your back. Back fat above and below your band is a clear sign of a poor fit. The center should sit flat against your chest between your breasts without gaping or pinching and the cups should be full, but not overflowing. While measuring systems vary widely, many women find they get the best fit if they wear a band close to their actual underbust measurement, rather than larger than their measurement. Subtract the underbust measurement from the full bust to determine your cup size. If the difference between your band measurement and full bust measurement is 4 inches, you need a D-cup bra, regardless of how small your band may be or how small you feel your bust may be.
Most department and lingerie stores carry D-cup bras down to a size 32 or 34 band and up to a 42 band. While a 32-inch band may sound small, many women with an average build have a 31-inch to 33-inch underbust measurement. All too often, women who need a small band are pushed into one of these sizes, just because it's what is available in the store. The cup size on a 32D is the same as that on a 34C, and your sales clerk may recommend this switch. However, the 34C will be too big in the band, leaving you droopy and making your bra feel like a torture device rather than lingerie.
Specialty retailers offer a larger range of sizes than you'll find at the mall. Bra bands in smaller 30D and 28D sizes are available in many styles, including practical full-cup bras, sexy balconette bras perfect for scoop necks and cleavage-enhancing push-up bras that draw attention to your curves. You may have more luck if you opt for a store that carries a range of bras imported from the United Kingdom for a better size selection. If you're a bit bigger than a D cup, but have been settling for the best fit you could get, you'll also find DD-cups and larger at these retailers in the small band sizes you need.
Tiniest of the Tiny
If a size 28 band is too large for your frame, consider placing a special order for a bra that fits. While you will not find size 26D and 24D bands in even the best-stocked lingerie shops, you can have bras custom-made to fit your frame, or you can seek out companies that allow special orders for smaller sizes. Some bra shops offer alterations, enabling you to make a bra you love fit your smaller frame. While custom bras don't come cheap, this is an investment from the inside-out.