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What does my bra size actually mean?}

What does my bra size actually mean?

Posted on August 10, 2020
Fit Advice, How to do

Bra size meaning: 10A….18G….12D…you are all familiar with the letters and numbers printed on your bra tag, right?!….But what do these combinations actually mean? Bras are highly technical garments and their sizing can be just as intricate. 


The Numbers

8…10…12….14….16… – these numbers are the bra’s ‘band size’. They actually have nothing to do with the size of your breasts, but rather, the circumference of your rib cage. And more often than not, they can differ from your clothing size (so if you wear a size 10 dress, this doesn’t always correlate to a size 10 bra). Band sizes in Australia and New Zealand feature only even numbers and can progress from size 6 up to size 26. The number is incredibly important to understand, because, without a band size, the letter is irrelevant.

The Letters

A…B…C…D…DD…E…Each letter actually represents a one-inch difference between your band measurement and your over-bust measurement…so if there is one-inch difference, you are an A cup…2 inches mean a B cup, 3 inches a C cup, and so forth….but heck!...we don’t measure in inches in Australia or New Zealand…which can make the calculations even more confusing! But not to worry, our expert fitters in-store or online can help you out!

Essentially though, these letters are all to do with proportion – that means, someone wearing 12D has significantly smaller breasts than someone in a 16D, even though they are both wearing a D bra. What’s more, the person wearing the 12D bra has breasts that are the same size as someone wearing a 10DD or 14C. It’s called your sister size

Fast Fact: What is with the size DD? 

Before the days of Kim Kardashian, Sofia Vergara and Amber Rose, women had a thing about not wanting to appear ‘too big’…and manufacturers realised they would sell more bras sized as DD rather than E, because alas, it sounds ‘smaller’. For a long time, DD was the largest cup size made and women distorted and squeezed their breasts in order to follow the trend for smaller busts. Today, however, those with DD+ are celebrated, and innovative brands such as Triumph are designing high quality, beautiful and supportive lingerie styles to suit these women. Check out our DD+ collection or browse below.


  • The best way to accurately find out your band and cup size is to book an online fitting. Our friendly team of bra stylists can assess your current bra fit and provide advice on what style of bra best suits your shape and needs. Alternatively, you can grab a tape measure and follow the advice on our bra size calculator
  • Your bra size can change as you gain or lose weight throughout different stages of your life. If this happens, you will likely need to adjust your bra to ensure you are obtaining the right support
  • Always fasten your new bra on the last hook. As it ages, move up to the middle or first hook. Depending on how you care for your bra and how often you wear it, will impact how long it will last you. Generally, it’s best replace it every 9-12 months.
  • Even though the letters and numbers correspond to specific proportions, there is no standardisation in fit for the bra and fashion industry. Bra sizes will vary between brands so its important you refer to company’s size chart or organise a personalised fitting.

Bra sizes also vary across the globe. An Australian/NZ size 10 for example is a size 4 in the USA, size 38 in France and Spain, a size 36 in Europe and a M in Japan! To avoid any confusion, check out our International bra size chart, which will help to convert any bra size into your Australian/NZ size.

Already know your size? Let us help you guide you towards a bra that is perfect for YOU using our Style Selector!