War on Plus Four: The Manifesto

Wonder Woman


Wires that poke. Straps that dig. Gaping cups and underarm fat. The constant, nagging need to readjust. The inability to move five paces without needing to readjust again. And don’t even get me started on what can happen when it’s hot…

All women deserve freedom from the discomfort caused by ill fitting bras.  So Busts 4 Justice and the War on Plus Four are on a mission to demolish all of the bad information, calculators and guides that continue to keep women in these sizes. And we promise to keep on fighting – for as long as it takes.

Interested in joining? Have an idea/request for a campaign?  Swing by on Facebook, Twitter, or drop me an e-mail on busts4justice@gmail.com. Or why not initiate your own skirmish yourself? There’s a whole lot of work to be done.


Q: Isn’t the War on Plus Four just replacing one arbitrary rule with another?

A: No. The War on Plus Four isn’t a case of +0 vs +1.  We want +4 calculators to be abolished and replaced with clear, visual guides to help women recognise their perfect fit. Where numbers are insisted on, we suggest a neutral +0 starting point, with high emphasis on using that as a base from which to find your perfect fit – be it +0, +2, +4 or even -1.

Q: Why do you bother? 

A: Because I know how – and I don’t use this phrase lightly – life-changing a perfect fit can be. I spent 10 self-conscious, uncomfortable and sedentary years loathing my body for burdening me with uncomfortable 34E behemoths that weighed me down, got in my way, and made me look huge. Simply by switching to a 30G, I dropped a dress size, kissed goodbye to my quadra-boob and PDAs (public displays of adjustment), and took up sport.  My boobs don’t even look particularly big any more.

Q: What does a perfect fit look like?

A: A firm band that stays horizontal to the floor around the back and lies flat to the chest at the front. An underwire that fully encases the breast tissue. Cups that sit smooth without spillage, puckering or gaping. Shoulder straps that don’t dig in. And most importantly, you should be able to forget it’s there from the moment you put it on in the morning to the moment you take it off at night.

Check out Bravissimo’s guide to see if you’re getting your perfect fit.

Q: Who’s next on the hitlist?

A: If your fit advice makes you part of the problem, not the solution – then consider this fair warning. It’s only a matter of time…

Q: What else can we do?

A: Brands are a big piece of the puzzle, but we can make a difference everyday by passing on our knowledge of good fitting lingerie. It may be a while before the impact the War on Plus Four is having on brands filters down to consumers. But by sharing good fit with mothers, aunts, sisters, friends and daughters, we can make a real difference to comfort, support, body image and confidence… one woman at a time.

What do you think? Will you be joining us?

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23 Responses to War on Plus Four: The Manifesto

  1. Pingback: Playtex remove bra calculator… what next for the War on Plus Four? | Busts 4 Justice

  2. This is such a useful manifesto because it explains the crucial self-esteem and health core of demanding better fit information from manufacturers and resellers. Great job xx

  3. Christina says:

    A Sophisticated Pair has released their bra calculator (it’s in beta) at http://www.sophisticatedpair.com/bracalculator.htm and it does away with the +4

    • I’ve checked it out! And they have some really interesting plans for taking it forward and adapting it for specific body shapes AND have a visual fitting guide alongside. I love how they’re really embracing such a difficult challenge – I think it could prove to be a revolution in bra calculation!

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  6. Dear all,

    Thank God at least you have options in your country. I am a 32F, (I took me 10 years of wearing the wrong bra size, even by being measured in Victoria´s Secret).

    If D cup is already quite hard to find in Mexico, – if you´re lucky you would rarely find in in 36+ sizes-. 32F was science fictional.
    I had to travel EVERY year to the US just to buy undergarments. Can you believe that?
    I kept wondering, “Why the hell all the fuzz, the trip, the time, the expense to get a proper bra?!”
    You have to absolutely be kidding.

    So, fed up, I started my own lingerie brand last year. I launched my first collection, going from size 32C to 38DD. (including D, DD, F & G cups).
    Not surprisingly, I was not “that special”. So many mexican girls have the same issue.

    Mexico´s manufacturer think we are all 34B misses.
    They offer cups A, B and C. (No kidding). That´s all. I mean, THAT´S ALL. (Somebody shoot me please)
    Brands who offer “plus” sizes, like Fredericks, think there is nothing sexier for us than feeling Robocop or phisically disabled by wearing their garments.

    So, I decided to offer girls two things we were missing: Sizes + sexy designs.

    So far, my brand has done quite well.
    I´m preparing my second collection. I will produce twice bras as the first one, adding 14 sizes.
    So excited!

    What´s this all about has to do with this post? That not only we are fed up with wrong bra calculators. We are sick of garments which doesn´t consider us AT ALL.
    Clothes should work for us, not against us.

    Lingerie should make us feel sexy, confident, comfortable… not miserable.
    Lingerie should celebrate who we are, not try to squeeze our bodies like sausages.

    That´s why I´m fighting this battle from my trench. I educate my clients, I fit them properly, I tweet and facebook about what a proper bra should feel like.

    I feel I can make a difference… one pair at a time.

    Best regards, and believe me, you will keep hearing from me repeatedly.

    Big hug from a mexican believer!

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  18. LibraryChick says:

    Current bra fit calculators don’t take what I call “drop” into account (the number of inches or centimeters between the bust measurement and the band measurement), so there is always going to be a problem using a formula for smaller women as well. I’m half-Asian, half-Scottish/Anglo blend, 5’2 1/2″, 125 lbs. My bust measurement is 35″ and my band measurement is 31.5″, but there is also only a 2″ drop between where I take my bust measurement and my band (underbust) measurement. I’m just that high up on my rib cage or that tiny. My overbust (about an inch under the armpit, above the bust) measurement is 34″. Some fit calculators put me at 34A, some put me at 34B, one even puts me at a 32C, but I’ve found the best fit for me happens to be 36A so I can actually breathe without underwire or elastic digging in to my chest or without having a “back fat” problem. When I can’t find 36A, I buy 34A (or 34B if it’s a brand where the cups run small) and then just use a bra extender for the extra inch or two I need in the band. For me it’s easier to fit to the cup size and then just buy the bra extenders to get the needed band size since it’s nearly impossible to find 36A in my country where it’s not designed for a fleshier girl on her first training bra or for someone who likes lots of hot padding. (Apparently US manufacturers think all A cup women want to be larger, even though A suits my proportions just fine.) There is no way I would even consider trying on a 32C, as I know I don’t have enough actual tissue to fill out those cups. I don’t need much support, but I don’t like falling out of the bottom of my bra, and that’s what happens if I go to the kids’ department for my proper size.

    Here is another site with some ideas on calculating bra fit. It may not work perfectly for everyone, but at least the blogger has some ideas on common fit problems she has experienced.


    I haven’t used Playtex’s bra fit calculator in years, I actually liked when they had the Thank Goodness It Fits line (discontinued as of June 2010). I was a nearly B in that line. I guess they figured out small breasted women aren’t where they make their money.


    • I hadn’t seen this. It’s pretty comprehensive and the results are interesting (e.g talking about my prominent sternum, and a couple of tips to avoid wire pain)… but after all that I totally disagreed with the advice, when it recommended styles I now avoid due to discomfort in that very area! I wonder with so many subtle questions to answer, if it actually isn’t quite difficult to navigate. interesting though!

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