The founder of a British lingerie brand has questioned the reliability of the widely-reported statistic that the majority of women are wearing the wrong bra size.
Since the mid-1990s, the “statistic” that says 70-85% of women are wearing the wrong size bra has made the headlines around the world, but this may be little more than an urban legend, according to Emily Bendell, chief executive of Bluebella and fuller-bust sister brand More by Bluebella.
“I have always felt that this statistic has been slightly exaggerated. It makes a good story for journalists but is it really true?,” she said.
“I think it is a confusing stat, too – not all stores size in the same way so a woman can buy two bras of different sizes from rival stores which both fit her. So the stats may say that one of those bra sizes is the wrong size for her, but she knows they both fit. How does that experience fit into the statistics?”
This is not the first time that the ill-fitting bra statistic have been called into question.
In 2015, Ali Cudby, a bra fit expert and founder of Fab Foundations, an online bra fit training and certification programme based in the US, said the statistic was originally pulled from some anecdotal quotes in Women’s Wear Daily Interviews in 1995.
One quote said: “Foundations makers like to claim that 8 out of 10 women are not wearing the right size bra and retail sales help is frequently blamed for this.” (WWD “Dial F for Fit” by Karyn Monget, October 30, 1995)
“That’s right, the hallowed number is not based on any survey or study,” said Cudby.
“By the late 2000s it was further entrenched in the minds of consumers with more information from a single boutique’s internal research,” she continued.
“My guess is that the more people heard the statistic, the more they used it. I, myself, included the statistic in my book because it was already so well accepted in the world of lingerie and beyond, but using the number was an aspect of Busted! that always bothered me.”
Last year, author and breast expert Elisabeth Dale said she could prove that 100% of women are wearing the wrong bra size.
“How do I know? Because 100% of bra brands have different fit standards, not to mention use different methods to calculate bra size. Plus each bra style fits differently (compared a contour cup bra versus a cut-and-sewn bra),” she said.
“Women need to wear what fits them and focus less on arbitrary numbers and letters. That’s why I advocate knowing your Bra Zone (brands and styles that fit you—-including equivalent cup & band sister sizes).”
What do you make of the widely-reported statistic that 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size? Leave your comments below.