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Interestingly, bra did not gain popularity until about 1920s during time of flappers when a flat chest was suddenly in, and women looked to minimize their bust line rather than enhance it.
Among first companies to jump on bra making bandwagon during this time was Maidenform Company, who created bra sizes in different bust size categories. As breast minimizing trend of early 20s faded and society entered 30s, idea of shape as acceptable became popular again, and Maidenform made an effort to make bras that would meet every woman's needs, including plus and full size bras.
Warner's was among first to create a cup sizing system that ranged from size A to size D, which are still standard sizes.
At no time does a bra prove more useful than during exercise or during pregnancy/maternity. You can rest assured that sports bra's which provide support during intense physical activity are most appreciated by women with large chests. Can you imagine what it is like to run without one?
Pregnant women now have nursing and maternity bras available to them, which make breastfeeding in public a much more easily accomplished task. New designs enable discreet feeding and offer comfortable support at a time when a woman's breast size may change or fluctuate in a time span of weeks or months. Some of more popular varieties are fashioned after sports bra style, that allow for fluctuations in size.
Finding Right Fit Fit is EVERYTHING when it comes to wearing a bra. More than 90% of female population at one time or another buys a bra that doesn't fit properly. Fortunately you can easily measure yourself to ensure that you get a proper fit.
Finding right bra size depends on two things: band size and cup size. Band size is usually measured in numbers, and generally ranges from 32 to 40+ (even numbers only). Cup size is alphabetical, and as discussed can range from an A to an EE or more.
To measure your chest you'll need a tape measure. Wrap tap lightly around your rib cage just below your bust line. You should then add five inches to this measurement, and that is your band size.
To measure your cup size, loosely wrap measuring tape around fullest part of bust. For most women this is about where nipple falls, or about mid-breast. You should then subtract measurement you get from your band size. The difference measured equates to your cup size and runs as follows:
- 1 inch – A cup
- 2 inches – B cup
- 3 inches – C cup
- 4 inches – D cup
There are many thoughts on which bras are best. Some women prefer under wire bras because they believe they offer best support. For some women, including nursing women however, under wire versions can be uncomfortable. Fortunately there is an incredibly broad selection of no wire bras that are flattering and just as supportive as their wire counterparts.
If you are not sure which you prefer, I recommend trying one of each. It won't take long before you decide which works best for you.
Antigone Arthur is an award-winning author and freelance writer providing consumer information on such topics as plus size and full figure bras, see through and sheer bras, and sports bras.