Saturday, 24 December 2011

Curvy Kate's Sizing... Letting Us Down?

Today I saw an interesting graphic revealing the sizing for some of Curvy Kate’s upcoming, and long-awaited bras (you can see photos of their Autumn/Winter 2012 collection, and sizing information, here). Especially with the new “Smoothie” bra having been trumpeted as the first ever J-cup molded bra, I think a lot of people will be quite startled and disappointed to see that it doesn’t go up to a J-cup in anything other than 28 and 30 bands.

On the one hand, this is a rare reversal of what the sizing looks like for many bras. Most companies seem content to either end the sizing at the same cup size over every band size...

Masquerade 'Capella' Size Range
....or to go up to higher cup sizes in only the higher band sizes, which doesn’t really make sense. For instance, Bravissimo's bras go up to a J in 28 band, but up to K-L in bigger band sizes.

Bravissimo 'Alana' Size Range
This seems odd as a 30J would have the same or similar cup volume to a 28JJ; it’s obviously a decision they make based on demand rather than ‘fairness’, but it has always annoyed me.

So Curvy Kate’s sizing for these bras does technically make a little more sense—they end the cup sizes at a proportionally equal volume for every band size (except the 28, which would need to go up to a JJ for all to be equal). This does at least convince me that Curvy Kate knows how proper bra sizing works, with cup sizes changing proportional to band size, something I’ve never been convinced that Freya is fully sentient of.

However, Curvy Kate’s decision also goes against what I think of as their whole philosophy of inclusive sizing, and especially the way in which they bring certain types of bras to sizes that have never had them before. I thought that’s what they were trying to do with the creation of a molded bra up to a J-cup. But for those wearing a 38 back, this bra only goes up to a G, which is hardly revolutionary; I know plenty of people who need sizes bigger than that. I’d also prefer if this bra went up to a K cup in a 28 band--that way even if they do cut off the sizes proportional to band size, at least they'd make it up to a GG or H in the 38 band. Curvy Kate’s Showgirl and padded bras have always come in fewer sizes than their unpadded bras, which seems like a real shame as it is often those with the biggest boobs who most desire the shape and support of padded bras, and who have the fewest options elsewhere. I know what I should say—that “it’s a start”—but I wish they would have started this with a bigger bang. I’m sure Curvy Kate wants to make sure to get the shape and support exactly right before they put bigger sizes into production; maybe I'm wrong about this, but I’m convinced that most people who are sized out of the Smoothie would have been happier with a slightly imperfect version rather than none at all. 


  1. I have one Curvy Kate bra, the Princess, I believe, in a 32J. I now refuse to buy any of their bras (and definately not without trying them on), as I brought that off ebay, and it's far far too tight in the back and the wires start digging into my boobs after a couple of hours. This means I probably need a 34HH/J in their bras, which seem non-existent for a lot of their lines, as well as the 32J.

    It's a problem I've not had with Fantasie or Freya, I've happily brought their bras online in 32HH/J and had them fit perfectly and been comfortable for hours (with only some early wearing tightness).

    That, and Curvy Kate seems to be sold in even less shops than either of those two, so finding them to try on isn't worth the effort for me.

  2. Nicola, my Princess does have a much tighter band than any of my other Curvy Kate bras, so you might have better luck with the 32 bands in some of their other designs. Freya and Fantasie do have slightly looser bands in my experience, though, so you might be right about needing the 34 in Curvy Kate. I personally find that my Curvy Kate bras sometimes start giving a weird shape throughout the day, so I tend to stick more to Panache. It's a bummer.

    It's such a shame that Curvy Kate's bras don't all come in the big cup sizes in the middle and higher band sizes. Since I wear a 28, I tend to be a bit unaware of what is going on in band sizes above a 30, but I've now discovered a whole new frontier of sizing unfairness.

  3. Also, I've just double checked their sizing charts and all their unpadded styles, plus the Daily Boost which is padded, come in 28-40 D-K. It's just the Elegance and Showgirl bras that don't have as many sizes.