Made for You

The way a bra is cut, assembled and sewn has a big impact on how it fits your unique shape. In this section we'll dissect each part that goes into a bra and explain its function and how it affects your bra fit.

The Cups


A cup size letter, such as a C cup, is not equal in volume across all band sizes. Here is an example: say you are a 36C. If you move to a 38C, your band size goes up and so does your cup size by one size. If you move down to a 34C, your band size goes down and so does your cup size by one size. If you want a larger band size but want to keep your same cup size, you should move to a 38B. If you want a smaller band size but want to keep your same cup size, you should move to a 34D. Also see Your Sister Bra Sizes for a more detailed explanation.

The cup size letter is actually a measurement of how far your breasts project from your chest wall. Each letter denotes a 1" increase in your body’s circumference around your bustline. When you take your bust circumference measurement and subtract your under bust circumference measurement, the remaining inches represent your cup size. A C cup, for example, is a 3" difference between these two measurements. A 3" difference is a big deal with small band sized women, but not such a big deal with larger band sized women. A C cup shape and depth changes with each band size.


Women with cup sizes larger than a D cup have an added challenge because many bra manufacturers have chosen to create their own letter naming conventions. For example, a DDD cup size is called an E cup size in some brands, and an F cup size in yet other brands. So, if you don’t know how a certain brand names their cups, you can wind up with the wrong cup size and think the bra is running too small or too large in the cups.

My suggestion is to figure out how many cup sizes larger you are than a D cup. Say you are a G cup size in Chantelle. This means you are three sizes larger than a D cup. Now, you can look at any bra, see how they name their cup sizes, and count up three cup sizes from their D cup size to find your size. At HerRoom, when you look at the sizes available for any of our bras, we always display the cup sizes in order from smallest to largest. So, in our Chantelle example, find the D cup in the bra you want, count up three sizes, and you’ll arrive at a G cup.

In an effort to help you find your cup size in any brand, HerRoom has created the Universal Cup Size™ system, which we display to the right of every D cup size and larger. Keeping with our suggestion about finding how many cup sizes you are starting at a D cup, our system is simply that number with a D. So, if you are the next cup size after a D cup, you are a D2. If you are seven cup sizes larger than a D, you are a D8. We make this all very simple. Just UCS® using our simple tool, and you can search for bras on our site using your UCS®. Or, see your UCS® on all our bras when you look at our size drop down

Universal Cup Sizing™ Cup sizes larger than a D are called different letters by different brands (a DDD cup size in one brand can be called an E or F in other brands). So know your Universal Cup Size™ and you can find your correct size in any brand at HerRoom. Learn how to find your Universal Cup Size™.

Of course, HerRoom also has our fabulous brand size comparison chart as a quick reference in our Bra Sizing By Brand area.

Bra Cup Styles

  • Contour Cups - Contour cups are lined with a thin layer of foam for modesty. They are usually seamless but can also have seams.
  • Cut & Sew Cups - This is another term for cups with seams. They are many times also called 3-part cups and 4-part cups. Cut & sew cups are the most supportive cups. The more seams, the more supportive a cut & sew cup becomes.
  • Demi Cups - A demi cup provides less upper breast coverage. Also called a half cup, this cup style is designed to expose to upper half of your breast, and usually comes with wide-set bra straps.
  • Full Cups - These cups are designed to cover all or most of each breast.
  • Minimizer Cups - Minimizer cups reduce the projection of your breasts, so these cups are more shallow and wide than average bra cups.
  • Molded Cups - Any bra cup that has built-in breast shape formed from a molding machine. Molded cups are usually seamless and unlined.
  • Multi-Part Cups - This is another name for cut & sew cups. A multi-part cup means there are several fabric pieces used to create each cup. Most lace cups are multi-part. And, multi-part cups are always the most supportive bra cups.
  • Padded Cups - A bra cup with padding included.
  • Petite Cups - A bra designed for a woman with a short and/or petite build. The cups will be pared down and sewn closer together. Many pre-teen bras are made with petite cups.
  • Push-up Cups - The bottom of the cup has padding to push your breasts up and give them a fuller look.
  • Seamless Cups - A bra cup without any seams in its cups. This style of cup almost always has a breast shape pre-determined by a molding machine. A seamless cup can also be a contour cup where it is lined with a thin layer of foam for modesty. A seamless cup can be rigid or stretchy.
  • Soft Cups - This is another name for cups without underwires. Other names for this type of cup are wire-free cups and wireless cups.
  • Support Sling/Panel Cups - An internal piece of stiff support fabric sewn inside the cup or incorporated into the design of the cups. A support sling is kind of like a hammock sewn in along the bottom and sides of the cups to give additional support to the breasts. A support panel is generally a vertical panel placed along the arm edge of the bra cup. It helps push the breast tissue under one’s arms forward for a more flattering and thinning look. There are also support panels that totally encircle the edges of your bra cups. These panels create clear breast definition and move your breast tissue in a forward position.