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When it comes to bra styles, bra fit, and sizing availability, customers can be very vocal with their opinions. And that’s generally a good thing – brands appreciate the feedback, and more than that, they need it to improve. But at the same time, there are certain things that lingerie brands would love for their fans to know and understand. And no, I don’t mean the tired “80% of women are wearing the wrong band size” statistic.

I’m talking about the fact that sometimes, customers can get frustrated that they’re not getting what they’ve asked for, not realising that their suggestions are actually very difficult to implement – or impossible.

So from lingerie brands to you, here are 5 things that you should know about bras and how they are designed:

Full-bust bras need to be constructed differently

When a brand releases a new collection and the core (A-D cup) and full-bust (D+) bras aren’t quite the same, there’s usually a practical reason for that. Maybe they’ve made that cute, narrow band a little wider, added an extra seam to the cups, or added a lining to make a sheer bra less sheer.

It’s not that the brand thinks fuller-busted women don’t want, or won’t look good in, the more delicate version of the design. It’s that, if they simply made a bigger version without making any structural changes, it just wouldn’t be able to support the weight of a heavier bust.

Size expansions take time

That bra brand you love but are sized out of? If there’s been a lot of demand for them to add new sizes and they don’t seem to be paying attention, they could in fact be plugging away at a size expansion behind the scenes. It just takes time – a lot of time!

It’s not uncommon for a lingerie brand to need 2 or 3 years to expand their size range, and more to really finesse the fit. One reason for that is what I’ve just described above – that they will have to draft new sewing patterns if they’re entering the full-bust market (or, say, going from D-G to G+ sizes). Maybe they’ll even need to hire new staff with the right expertise.

Another reason is that often, factories will specialise in a certain size range. So before the brand can even start sampling a new cup size, they may need to find and then negotiate a contract with a different manufacturer.

Related: How To Encourage Lingerie Brands To Make What You Want To Buy

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Ciara Bralette | Ciara Bikini in Surf

There’s a reason bras are expensive

Full-bust sized or not, all bras are made from numerous components. That means two things. One, it pushes up the price of the materials compared to, say, a t-shirt, because you’ll need to buy a lot more than just fabric to make a bra.

And two, they’re very fiddly to put together! With so many small pieces, and seams that need to be sewn just so (often to within a few millimetres to maintain a perfect fit), the biggest cost in bra-making is not actually the materials but the labour, because of how long each one takes to construct.

So while bras may be smaller than other garments and yet cost the same or be more expensive, that doesn’t mean they’re overpriced. In fact, lingerie actually has one of the lowest markups of the entire fashion industry!

All bras are delicate

Not just the lacy ones! Most lingerie brands aim to make their bras as robust as possible, but they’ll never equal a pair of jeans. Do your bras seem to grow old soon after buying them? Before you blame poor construction quality, ask yourself this: do you treat them with proper care?

All sorts of things can shorten a bra’s lifespan, from tumble-drying and using too-hot water, to wearing the same bra for multiple days in a row. Ideally, hand-wash all your bras, leave them to air-dry, and store your bras in a way that doesn’t crush their moulded cups. I promise they’ll last much longer!

There’s no such thing as the perfect bra

Have you ever seen people raving about a particular bra, but didn’t like it yourself? It doesn’t mean that they’re all wrong. While lingerie brands strive to create products that as many people as possible can love, there’s no ‘best’ bra out there that will work for everyone.

Beyond the simple fact that no one bra is made in every band and cup size, different bra styles work better for different breast shapes and densities too. Getting to know your own breasts in more detail than just their size will help you find the perfect bra style for you.

I hope this has given you a better insight into how bras get designed and made, and why brands aren’t just ignoring you when they don’t do things like add new cup sizes right away, or hand out lots of discount codes.

Do you have any burning questions about bras? Ask me in the comments below!

Related: Bra Shopping Guide: Tips For Buying New Bras

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Ciara Bralette | Ciara Bikini in Surf

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, 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!

Featured image lingerie:
Ciara Bralette | Ciara Bikini in Ivory
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Published by

Estelle Puleston

Estelle Puleston is the founder of, a blog dedicated to her love of lingerie. She works full-time as a copywriter and digital marketer for the lingerie and swimwear industry, and when she’s not doing that, she’s probably sewing or enjoying a good cup of tea.

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