Size Matters

We’ve got an inflated sense of self.

I’m not talking egos, I’m referring to sizes- specifically bra sizes.

I lived with a retail mogul for twenty years. He told me that the fashion industry had begun changing size charts in the 1990’s. As America

got larger, sizes began to reflect the growing girth of the nation.

A size 6 in 1980 was now a size 3, and manufacturing began adding sizes to both ends of the spectrum- size 0 to plus 3.

The same has happened to the bra industry as well. What was a standard “B” cup is now a “C” cup, so the D cups and higher are now easier to find in stores- because they used to be identified as a cup size smaller. I can’t tell you if this is the norm across the industry, but Victoria’s Secret and Aerie are two of the biggest companies selling this delusion.

I recently became aware of this trend when my then fifteen year old daughter came home from a shopping trip, and proclaimed, “I’m a C cup.”

I asked her how she figured that out, and she told me she was fitted for a bra at Aerie. Her measurements put her into one of their c-cup bras.

Now, I am not jealous of my daughter, nor was I ever smaller than a solid B- cup all through my high school and college days.  I can gauge a size based on previous knowledge. There’s no way,  based on the standard measurements used to fit a bra, she is a C-cup.

It makes her so happy, and there is the rub. What message is the industry sending young women? Bigger is always better? That it’s not desirable to be less than a B – cup? In a world of implants and Wonder bras, is substantial cleavage the new standard for teens?

I’m not too old to remember my teen years. While no one wished to be flat chested, we all seemed contented with our average B- cup breasts.Everyone shopped at the 5,7,and 9 store, and we worried more about shampoo scents, than cleavage.

I wonder if this is part of a  worldwide trend or just uniquely American.




2 thoughts on “Size Matters

  1. No, not just American. It happens here in Australia as well. I have been shopping in the same chain clothing store for forty years and have not gone up a size. The mirror lies to me. The clothing store knows best for my ego (but not my health).
    As for the bra size. I was an A-!
    It is interesting that the clothes industry want us to feel that we are smaller than we really are – except for our bra sizes!

    1. Good to know that we aren’t the only ones participating in this delusion!
      I sure wish I could find the size charts from the 1960’s and compared measurements to today’s size charts- crazy!

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