We recently started working with Katherine Hamilton, and since they're a bra-fit-focussed brand, it seemed like a good time to remind everyone that there's no standardisation in bra sizes - like all garment industry issues, every brand has their own take on it.
KH intimates produce a smaller variety of styles than us, but with a much broader size range in each, and they offer a choice of knicker styles and so on. They use stretch silk and luxury lace, tulle and embroidery.
Now, you can see that they offer the same fit advice that we do for bras - but we rely on words and they've sensibly done some nice graphics that will get past the social media censors!
This is all sensible advice that everyone agrees on - but we differ on how important it is. Some women find it's absolutely crucial for them to get a good "technical" fit and adore brands that spend the years in perfecting wires and shapes that KH do.
Others, like me, find that they prefer not to wear a bra at all, or find that a bra that doesn't "technically" fit is actually more comfortable.
There's no solid evidence for either being better, by the way - if you ever want a long rant do ask me about the poor quality of research on this and the contradictory findings - so basically, just do what works for you!
Katherine Hamilton also illustrates bra measuring broadly the way we do;
Except we'd suggest not wearing a bra in the process and also, as always, we like to do it looking cross.
The big difference here though is that when you measure your underbust, for Katherine Hamilton bras to fit, your measurement is your back size, while we would suggest you add around 4 inches. So if you measure 30 inches under your bust, in Katherine Hamilton you would need a 30 back, and in KMD, usually you'd need a 34 (or an M in the styles based on the van doren pattern).
Broadly speaking, the "don't add anything, what you measure is your back size" is used by all the full bust brands - and they usually cut their backs a bit tighter than we would - whereas core size brands, and especially older core sized brands, tend to be working on the system we do.
This of course only applies in the UK, the rest of the world has its own systems and just so you know, the one we are most confused by is in Italy!
Now, because your cup size is based on the difference between your underbust and overbust, a brand that uses the "add nothing" method will mean that you find you have a bigger cup size.
A 28D in Katherine Hamilton and a 32B in Kiss Me Deadly are going to be roughly the same band size and cup volume. You haven't changed, and which one suits you best depends on personal preference and breast shape, it's just a different way of labelling things.
It's a bra, but not as we know it! Because the KMD Doren styles have no cup shape or wire, we can do them in S-XL rather than conventional bra sizes. It's ok if you hate that. It's not for everyone.
The proliferation of fit and sizing systems IS confusing, but it also means that you have more choice about bras than EVER before, so if you can bear to experiment it really does offer you some great opportunities. Just remember that bras are much more detailed than jeans and we all know how challenging it can be to find the perfect pair of those, and adjust expectations accordingly.
You can read more about KMD fit and find international size charts here, and remember, we're always happy to get your feedback about how garment fit works out for you. Just try to resist the urge to comment on everyone else's choices. They're just living their breast life, and I promise, no-one's going to suffer serious damage as a result.