Why Is It So Hard To Find Bras Over A G Cup?
In the past decade, the lingerie options for the full-bust customer have expanded enormously. No longer stuck with boring bras, people today have more fashion-forward choices than ever before in the DD+ range.
However, it is still much easier to find a chic bra – or any bra at all, for that matter – in a DD to G cup than it is to find one in a GG or above.
Let’s talk about size breaks
The reason is down to something called ‘size breaks’, points at which significant changes need to be made to a garment to get it to work for larger sizes. There’s a size break at a DD cup, hence why ‘full bust’ begins here.
You can create a bra in an A cup and simply scale it up (i.e. make each piece of the sewing pattern a little larger) for the B-D cups. But when you hit a DD, you almost need to redesign the product again from scratch. If you don’t, it isn’t going to fit right and/or offer enough support.
A GG cup is another size break. Although it’s still a full-bust size, 34GG breasts weigh significantly more than 34DD breasts, and so need a different style of bra. For example, you may have noticed that 3-part cups (separated into one upper and two lower sections by a horizontal and vertical seam) are a particularly popular full-bust bra style, thanks to the support the seams add. However, at GG+ this may no longer be enough. You may need 4- or 5-part cups.
But just why are seemingly so few brands interested in making these larger sizes?
Problem 1: Finding a factory that specializes in G+ cup sizes can be challenging.
Lingerie factories often specialise in a particular size range. When an A-D brand wants to branch out into DD+, it may be that their current factory doesn’t have the expertise to do it. So they’ll need to find a separate manufacturer to produce those larger sizes.
Likewise, brands wanting to expand their size range beyond a G cup may find that their existing manufacturer won’t do that – and you have to look a lot harder to find a factory that can make a 40GG than one that’s happy to make a 32B.
Problem 2: Larger cup sizes can be more expensive to produce than smaller cup sizes.
It sounds obvious but a bigger bra requires more fabric – and if you’re using a luxury lace which can run into the hundreds per metre, the difference in cost can be significant. For enhanced support, you’ll probably also need sturdier wires, wider hook-and-eye fastenings, wider strap elastics, and the addition of a lining. Again, these all add to the price the brand pays.
Let’s say a brand is already making bras up to a G cup and now wants to expand, but the larger cup sizes will cost them more. They have three choices. They can charge more for GG+ or increase prices across their size range to absorb the cost, neither of which customers will be keen on. Or they can simply make less profit on the new sizes – which, financially speaking, does not make the size expansion a particularly attractive business option in the first place!
Charlotte Padded Bra in Dusty Rose/Black
Problem 3: A lingerie brand may struggle with getting the fit right.
Although all bodies and breasts are different, it’s generally easier to predict the shape that smaller cup sizes will have. Two sets of 32Cs don’t tend to vary much, whereas two sets of 32Js can be very different. Creating a GG+ bra that fits well on most customers is challenging.
Coming back briefly to the cost issue, this may mean hiring more fit models than usual, to ensure the bra works for a range of women. If nothing else, there’ll be a need for more time spent on the design process.
Problem 4: There’s a lack of demand when compared to other bra sizes.
Although there are plenty of people who wear, or should be wearing, a GG+ cup size, they’re not the majority. If the brand produces fewer than their usual number of bras though, they may not qualify for bulk discounts on supplies (see again: the increased manufacturing cost).
Even if the brand is willing and able to produce GG+ bras, retailers may not be interested in ordering these larger sizes because they’re worried they may not sell. There needs to be enough demand to shift the product, and for many lingerie brands, their biggest customers are not individual people but the boutiques who order wholesale.
How to encourage more brands to make GG+
So what can you, the end customer, actually do if you wear a GG+ and would like to have more lingerie options? If your local full-bust lingerie boutique doesn’t carry bras above a G cup, make sure they know there is demand for them! At the very least, you may find that they can order your size as a special request, even if they don’t begin stocking it as standard.
And if you’re looking for a cute, GG+ bra right now? Check out the Parfait Charlotte Padded Bra, which goes up to a K cup!
If you wear a full-bust size that’s quite far into the alphabet, how easy or difficult do you find it to get hold of bras you like?
Charlotte Padded Bra in Red/Black
We Highly Recommend
Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.
Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.
If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.
Happy bra shopping!