UK Bra Sizes (Cup Sizes) and Breast Implant Sizes

How Breast Implant Sizes Affect Bra Size

Once you understand the basics of UK bra sizes, you’ll be equipped to find that perfect bra, offering both comfort and support after your breast augmentation surgery. UK bra sizes combine a number range that represents the band size (the measurement around your body, under your bust) with a letter that signifies the cup size (the difference between the measurement around the fullest part of your bust and the band size).

Consultant Plastic Surgeon Anthony MacQuillan expertly guides you to achieve the desired results with your breast implants surgery.

Bra Size Elements

To truly master the art of selecting the ideal bra, it’s crucial to grasp the two main aspects of bra sizing: the band size and the cup size. In the UK, band sizes generally begin at 71 cm and can extend to 102 cm or beyond, with increments of 5 cm. This figure indicates the circumference around your ribcage, just beneath your bust, where the bra band rests. It plays a vital role in providing the bulk of the bra’s support.

The cup size, indicated by letters starting from A, represents the volume of your bust in comparison to your band size. Advancing through the alphabet denotes larger cup sizes, with each letter signifying a 2.54 cm difference in the measurement across the fullest part of your bust and your band size. For example, a 2.54 cm difference indicates an A cup, a 5.08 cm difference a B cup, and so forth.

But here’s where it gets a bit tricky: because the cup size is relative to the band size, the same cup size on different band sizes doesn’t mean the same thing. A 34C has a larger cup volume than a 32C because the band size is larger, which means the person’s body frame is larger, requiring more volume in the cup. Understanding this relationship is key to finding a bra that fits perfectly after your breast implants surgery.

UK Bra Cup Sizes: A to K

Beginning at A, often perceived as the smallest standard size, we move up the scale through the more commonly known B, C, and D cups, reaching into the less charted territories of DD, E, F, and beyond, up to K.

To visualise the differences, picture an increment of 2.54 cm for each increase in cup size. However, this doesn’t merely translate to volume but also to the shape and distribution of breast tissue, which bras are designed to support. Understanding this helps in selecting not just a size but a style that complements your body shape, whether you’re a B or a J.

Introduction to Breast Implants

Unlike bra sizing, which is relatively standardised, breast implant sizes are measured in cubic centimetres (cc), reflecting the volume of the implant.

The choice of implant size is personal and should be made considering your body frame, existing breast tissue, and desired outcome. A common method for visualising potential sizes is the “rice test,” where rice is filled into a stocking to mimic the volume of the implant and worn inside a sports bra.

Choosing the right implant size is about balance and proportion, not just about achieving a certain cup size. It’s important to have a thorough consultation with Anthony, who can recommend the best sizes based on your body and goals.

Deciding on breast implant size involves more than just picking a number; it’s a careful consideration of aesthetics, lifestyle, and physical health. Here’s how to approach this decision:

  • Consider Your Lifestyle: Active individuals or those in physically demanding jobs might opt for a size that complements their daily activities without causing discomfort.
  • Visual Aesthetics: Think about the look you desire. Do you want a natural enhancement or a more noticeable change? Anthony can help visualise different sizes with sizers during your consultation.
  • Physical Frame: Body shape and chest width play a significant role in how implants will look. A size that looks proportional on one person might look different on another.
  • Future Considerations: Think about long-term implications, such as potential for sagging or changes after pregnancy. Discuss these aspects with Anthony to make an informed choice.

Factors That Influence the Final Bra Cup Size

Several factors affect how a specific implant size will translate to a bra cup size, making the process highly individualised. Understanding these factors can help set realistic expectations for the outcome of breast augmentation surgery:

  • Existing Breast Tissue: The amount of natural breast tissue present plays a significant role in determining the final cup size. If you have a larger amount of natural breast tissue, you may notice that a given implant volume leads to a more significant increase in cup size compared to those with less natural tissue. This is because the implant adds volume to the existing breast tissue, and the combined effect can vary widely among individuals.
  • Chest Width and Body Frame: The width of the chest and the overall body frame are critical in choosing the right implant size. A wider chest may require a larger implant to achieve the same visual proportion and increase in cup size as a narrower chest. Similarly, if you have a larger body frame, you may find that larger implants are necessary to achieve your desired aesthetic, as the implants need to complement the overall body proportions for a natural-looking result.
  • Implant Placement: The placement of the implant, either above (subglandular) or below (submuscular) the pectoral muscle, influences the final appearance and perceived cup size. Implants placed under the muscle (submuscular) may appear slightly smaller than those placed over the muscle (subglandular) because the muscle compresses the implant, leading to a more subtle enhancement. Therefore, patients desiring a significant increase in cup size might consider different implant volumes depending on the placement technique.
  • Implant Type and Shape: The choice between saline and silicone implants, as well as the decision between round and anatomical (teardrop-shaped) implants, can affect the final cup size and breast appearance. Silicone implants tend to feel more natural and are less likely to ripple than saline implants. Round implants provide a fuller appearance at the top of the breasts, potentially leading to a perception of a larger cup size, while anatomical implants offer a more natural slope but may not increase the cup size as dramatically.
  • Patient’s Lifestyle and Preferences: Personal preferences and lifestyle also play a role in choosing implant size. Athletes or individuals with active lifestyles may prefer smaller, more manageable implants that do not interfere with their activities. In contrast, someone looking for a more noticeable enhancement might opt for larger implants.
  • Surgical Technique and Experience: The skill and experience of the plastic surgeon also influence the outcome. Anthony has extensive experience in breast augmentation and he can provide valuable insights into how different implant sizes and shapes might look on a patient’s unique body frame, helping to achieve the desired result.

The translation of implant volume to bra cup size is not straightforward and depends on a multitude of factors. A thorough consultation with Anthony, who can evaluate these factors in the context of the patient’s goals and physical characteristics, is essential for achieving a satisfying breast augmentation outcome.

Measuring for the Perfect Bra Fit after Breast Implants Surgery

The quest for the perfect fit starts with accurate measuring. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Band Measurement: Without a bra, or wearing a non-padded one, measure snugly around your ribcage, directly under your bust. Round down to the nearest even number. This is your band size.
  • Bust Measurement: Measure the fullest part of your bust, keeping the tape measure level and snug. Round to the nearest whole number.
  • Calculate Cup Size: Subtract your band measurement from your bust measurement. Each 2.54 cm represents a cup size. For example, a 2.54 cm difference is an A cup, a 5.08 cm difference is a B cup, etc.

This process might seem straightforward, but it’s fraught with common pitfalls. Breathing too deeply, measuring over clothes, or using a worn-out bra for reference can skew your numbers.

But measuring is just the start. Next comes the trial and error of trying different bras to find the one that feels like it was made for you. Be open to trying new styles and sizes, especially if you’ve never been professionally fitted before. A bra that fits well should feel secure but not tight, with no spilling, gaping, or pinching. The band should be level all around your body, and the centre gore should sit flat against your chest.

Common Fitting Problems and Solutions

Whether it’s the band riding up, cups gaping, or straps digging in, each problem has a solution that can significantly enhance comfort and support:

  • Band Riding Up: This usually means the band is too large. Try going down a band size and up a cup size. The band provides the majority of support, so it should be snug against your body.
  • Cups Gaping: If your bra cups are gaping, it could be a sign the cup size is too large, or the style doesn’t suit your breast shape. Experiment with a smaller cup size or try a different bra style, like a plunge or push-up, for better fit.
  • Straps Digging In: This might indicate that the band isn’t offering enough support, placing too much pressure on the straps. Consider a smaller band size. Also, adjusting the straps can sometimes provide a simple fix.
  • Underwire Pain: If the underwire is poking or uncomfortable, the cup size might be too small, or the bra style isn’t right for your breast shape. A larger cup or a different style, such as one with wider underwire, can offer relief.

FAQs about UK Bra Sizes (Cup Sizes) and Breast Implant Sizes

Can my bra size change even if my weight stays the same?

  • Absolutely! Your bra size can be influenced by various factors besides weight, such as hormonal changes, exercise habits, ageing, or even changes in your diet. It’s why regular fittings (at least once a year) are recommended to ensure you’re always wearing the right size for comfort and support.

How do I know if I’m wearing the wrong bra size?

  • Common signs include the band riding up your back, straps digging into your shoulders, the centre gore (the piece between the cups) not lying flat against your chest, cups overflowing or gaping, and general discomfort. If you experience any of these, it might be time for a fitting.

What should I consider when choosing breast implant sizes?

  • Consider your body frame, current breast tissue, lifestyle, and desired aesthetic outcome. Discuss with Anthony who can provide visualisation tools or sizers to help you understand how different sizes will look on your body. Remember, it’s about achieving a balance that feels right for you.

How often should breast implants be checked or replaced?

  • Breast implants aren’t lifetime devices, and it’s recommended to have them checked regularly. While there’s no fixed rule on timing, Anthony suggests an MRI or ultrasound 5-10 years after surgery and then every 2-3 years thereafter to monitor for any changes or issues. Discuss with Anthony the best follow-up care plan for your specific type of implants.

Further Reading about Surgery with Consultant Plastic Surgeon AnthonyMacQuillan

Medical References about Breast Implants Cup Sizes