Advanced Search
Journal search
Journal cover: International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology

International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology

ISSN: 0955-6222

Online from: 1989

Subject Area: Mechanical & Materials Engineering

Content: Latest Issue | icon: RSS Latest Issue RSS | Previous Issues


Previous article.Icon: Print.Table of Contents.Next article.Icon: .

Breast volume and bra size

Document Information:
Title:Breast volume and bra size
Author(s):Deirdre E. McGhee, (Biomechanics Research Laboratory, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia), Julie R. Steele, (Biomechanics Research Laboratory, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia)
Citation:Deirdre E. McGhee, Julie R. Steele, (2011) "Breast volume and bra size", International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, Vol. 23 Iss: 5, pp.351 - 360
Keywords:Anthropometric measurement, Biomechanics, Bra design, Bra fit, Breasts, Garment industry, Water displacement, Women
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/09556221111166284 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:The authors thank Steve Cooper from the Science Workshop, University of Wollongong, for constructing the breast volume measurement system. This research was funded by a University of Wollongong Early Research Career Grant and the New South Wales Sporting Injuries Committee. Author disclosure statement: no competing financial interests exist for either Deirdre E. McGhee or Julie R. Steele.

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to measure the breast volume of a large sample of women and their corresponding correctly fitted bra size, in order to demonstrate the range of volumes within each size and the variation amongst different bra sizes.

Design/methodology/approach – Breast volume of 104 women was measured via water displacement and was compared to their professionally fitted bra size, in the one style and brand of bra.

Findings – The mean breast volume of the left and right breast was 642 and 643?ml, ranging from 125 (size 10A) to 1,900?ml (size 24DD). The average professionally fitted bra band size was 12 (range size 10-24; Australian sizing) and cup size was DD (range A-G). A range of breast volumes was found to correspond to the same bra size and the volume of any one cup size was not homogenous amongst different band sizes.

Practical implications – Appreciating the range of breast volumes that correspond to each bra size is important in terms of both bra structure and design in order to provide adequate breast support. The large variation in cup volumes associated with different band sizes suggests women should not consider themselves to be an isolated cup size, but rather a combination of a band and cup size.

Originality/value – This is the first study to publish normative breast volume data, and the corresponding correctly fitted bra sizes, for a large sample of women. This is important information for bra design and to assist women achieve correct bra fit and support.

Fulltext Options:



Existing customers: login
to access this document


- Forgot password?
- Athens/Institutional login



Downloadable; Printable; Owned
HTML, PDF (107kb)

Due to our platform migration, pay-per-view is temporarily unavailable.

To purchase this item please login or register.


- Forgot password?

Recommend to your librarian

Complete and print this form to request this document from your librarian

Marked list

Bookmark & share

Reprints & permissions