Behind the Seams Personal Style Pop Culture

See Why the Half Cup Size Bra Doesn’t Exist and Find Real Solutions for Half-Size Problems

If you’re plugged into pop culture, you’re probably hearing about half-size bras. At Bare Necessities, we know the phenomenon is nothing new; it’s been tried many times before. Playtex introduced the “Thank Goodness It Fits” collection years ago, which included “nearly” sizes (Nearly A, Nearly B and Nearly C) and the “Half Sizes Too” line.

Half-sizes seemed revolutionary when they launched but, despite a big marketing push, the collections were discontinued—they just weren’t relevant. Here’s why they’re nothing more than smoke and mirrors…


We reviewed the half-size bras currently on the market and found a lot of inconsistencies. Typically, there is a half-inch difference from one bra size to the next. You would assume that a half-size would fall exactly between the two whole sizes, right? But that’s not what we found. In some cases, it’s 3/8” and, in others, we found it to be as much as 5/8”—that’s more than one full size!

To simplify the math further:

Half-sizes do nothing more than double the amount of confusion surrounding bra sizing.

And get this: A factory is generally granted a quarter-inch tolerance, meaning it’s allowed to be off by that much when sewing the garment. I don’t know about you, but I swell and bloat and size up and down quite a bit throughout the month. Is it really helpful to add half-sizes when a bra is likely to vary by a quarter inch anyway, and I’m fluctuating at least that much from one day to the next?

It’s a wonder these bras fit anyone. What’s really going on here is they’re using materials with very forgiving fit. Most of the half-size bras on the market are made using supple materials like four-way-stretch foam or memory foam. These fabrics warm to your body and conform to your figure. There’s a lot of leeway. A quarter inch here, a quarter inch there…it’s barely detectable.

A lot of awesome brands make bras using these ultra-comfortable materials because women love how they feel. Here are a few of our top picks in this category:

Spanx Bra-llelujah Front-Close T-Shirt Bra

Chantelle Modern Invisible T-Shirt Plunge Bra

Calvin Klein Perfectly Fit Memory Touch Push-Up Bra

Half-sizes are not necessary. A well-constructed, supportive bra developed by expert designers on a fit model and wear-tested on real women is going to work for 99.9% of us without half-sizes. They are a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.


Anyone can find the right fit if they change bra styles or try a different size. Many bra makers stock around 30 sizes; ThirdLove is trumpeting carrying 70. We carry 167 bra sizes and swimwear in 113 bra sizes to serve all figure types; we specialize in hard-to-fit and hard-to-find. Our incomparable size range lets full-busted and full-figured women look and feel amazing.

You might like the look of a demi bra or balconette, but it might not be your body’s best bet. Of course, we don’t expect you to know how to wade through the thousands of amazing bra styles out there—that’s our job! We’ve been in the bra business for decades. We take fit personally. Our certified, trained Bra Fit Experts can find your best fit over chat (visit or phone (call 877-728-9272, select option 4).

Here are some quick fit tips to consider:

If you could use a little extra room but don’t quite need the next cup size:

  • try loosening or tightening your straps
  • test out a different style. If you’re shallow up top, try a demi bra, a plunge bra or a memory foam cup.
  • consider your “sister size,” which means going down a band size and up a cup size. For instance, you might go from a 34D to a 32DD. Be sure to tighten the straps to bring the cups as close to the body as possible. That’s probably your best fit.

If you find your cups are generally a little big:

  • try a plunge bra. Regardless of bust size, petite women—often targeted by half-sizes—are best served by a plunge bra, which has a lower center gore that takes the pressure off the breastbone.

This is just some of the expert info our Bra Fit Experts have stored in the database of their brains. You can easily connect with someone who can narrow the selection on, or try our Expert Bra Finder tool for personal recommendations.

And no matter which way you go, know this: Bra fit is as much an art as it is a science. Our experts are here to help you get it right and make it easy.

To find your perfect bras, call or chat with a Bra Fit Expert at 877-728-9272 (select option 4) or

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Moira Nelson

Director of Design & Product Development
Moira is a bra biz veteran who’s passionate about building new brands and product innovation. Moira is also a relentless do-gooder, fighting for social justice and volunteering locally. She loves playing with her 95-pound rescue dog, Gracie.
Avatar photo

By Moira Nelson

Moira is a bra biz veteran who’s passionate about building new brands and product innovation. Moira is also a relentless do-gooder, fighting for social justice and volunteering locally. She loves playing with her 95-pound rescue dog, Gracie.

12 replies on “See Why the Half Cup Size Bra Doesn’t Exist and Find Real Solutions for Half-Size Problems”

chantelle modern invisible t shirt blunge bra size 36 F in grapefruit
looks like you are out of stock let me know when you get some in

Hi Jacqueline! Unfortunately, the grapefruit color was seasonal; we will not be receiving a replenishment. Call us at 877-728-9272 if you need anything else. Thanks for writing!

I have one boob smaller than the other. I am full on bottom shallow on top. My issue was always spillage a gapping. I did find bras that fit me after years of being put in wrong sizes.Unfortunately, I can’t fit into bras at VS,walmart,Macys,JCP and Soma,they don’t measure correctly or carry my size.I am a 32 G and 32FF in different style bras and brand.I just wanted your opinion on which bra style works best for by breast shape.I am also in search of a good supportive strapless bra.

Hi Isabel! Thanks for writing. Wacoal Halo Lace is great for uneven, shallow breasts, and it goes up to a 32G. If that doesn’t work for you, try Panache Envy in the 32FF (which is a US 32H). And if you prefer something lined, Wonderbra has graduated padding in the cup to help with shallowness, plus it goes up to an I-cup. Give us a call (877-728-9272 x4) or chat if you need more help!

I have had a forth of my right breast removed plus I have lost about 30 lbs going from 36Dd to a 32Dd and it is to tight but a 34Dd doesn’t fit right either. I mostly wear a T-shirt bra. Do you have a solution for me. I am either bulging out of the left cup or lost in the other cup. Help

Hi Carol, you could try a bra extender for the 32 band while you’re losing weight. However, it doesn’t sound like you’re adjusting the cup size as you change the band size, and when one changes, so should the other. Give us a call to discuss fit (877-728-9272 x4), because the 34 band would probably work for you with the correct cup size…. Thanks, talk soon!

I can’t fit a 36dd because the band is too tight but the cup fits. I can’t fit a 38d because the cup is too big. I have tried a 38c but the cup is too small. Do you have any suggestions?

Hi Manda! Thanks for your question. Sorry to hear you’re having trouble finding the right fit. Many bra bands do tend to run a bit snug at first and break in over time. We may need to get you into a different style that has a more generous-fitting band. When you have some time, reach out to one of our Bra Fit Experts at 1-877-728-9272, option 4. Our Bra Fit Experts are available Mon-Wed 8:30am – 10:00pm EST and Thurs-Sat 8:30am – 6:00pm EST. Talk soon!

Hi! I need help finding a better bra size! I used to be in a 36d but didn’t like that the band was tighter on me. I went to a 38c and love how the band fits but my boobs have gotten smaller and the cup is too big. I find there’s gaping space at the top closer to my armpits. But a 38b is too small cup wise. Any solutions?

So many solutions, Gabrielle! When you get a minute, please call or chat with our Bra Fit Experts who can get you into the perfect style to solve your fit issues. (877-728-9272 x4) Talk soon!

I used to wear 36C the band size is fine but the cup was a little big. I recently bought 36B and both the band and cup a little snug. I need to find a slightly bigger size than 36B. Please help.

Hi Natasha, thank you for your comment! Finding the right fit will come down to more than just measurements; sounds like you may be wearing the wrong style for your shape. You may benefit from a demi-cup if your breast tissue is a little less firm at the top. Please consider reaching out to one of our Bra Fit Experts at 1-877-728-9272. They can discuss your fit in further detail and help find you a style you’ll love!

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