When they come in for their breast augmentation consultation, most women tell me that they want to be a “full C cup” and they want to look proportional. They think this means they will wear a C cup bra after surgery.
Problem #1: There is no standard bra cup-sizing system.
“C cup” can mean one thing if it’s made by Victoria’s Secret and another if it’s made by Vanity Fair. You might wear a B cup in a full-coverage bra and a C cup in a demi bra, even if the same company makes both styles. Your cup size is also affected by how tight you wear your bra band. If you wear it tighter, it will push your breasts deeper into the cup and you will need a larger cup size.
Problem #2: What looks proportional varies from person to person.
I prefer to describe proportional as a “C look” instead of a “C cup.” To achieve the C look, a 5-foot woman with a small frame might only need a B cup while a 5-foot-8-inch woman with a large frame might need a D cup.
During consultation, I show prospective patients before-and-after photographs of women who started out similar to them in height, weight, frame size and breast volume. Every photo notes the size of the implants that I used. Women look at the pictures and tell me, “too big,” “too small” or “just right.” It’s like looking through a magic mirror into the future. A woman is almost always consistent as to the number of cubic centimeters (ccs) she likes, so I know what size implant to order to give her the look she wants on her body.
When we are finished the process, women almost always ask, “What cup size will I be?” This is where they can get into trouble. Again, the letter doesn’t matter. It’s a cup size look. They chose a look, and it looked right to them.
Here is an example of that trouble: A 5-foot-9-inch woman with a large frame wanted to be a full C. She liked eight different pictures. They all had the C look on her body type and were all the same number of cubic centimeters (ccs). I asked her if she liked the look, and she said, “Yes.” When I told her she would probably wear a D cup, she said, “I don’t want to be a D.” She was stuck on the cup size. She decided to go smaller and was disappointed after surgery.
A woman with a small frame also wanted to be a full C. After voting on the pictures, she asked for her final cup size. I told her she would probably wear a B. “Can you show me something bigger?” she asked. She had looked at larger implants, and she didn’t like the pictures that were even a tiny bit bigger. She decided to stick with the size she liked in the pictures, and was happy with her decision.
What implant size is equal to a C cup?
Breast implants are measured in cubic centimeters (ccs), not cup size. On a woman who is completely flat-chested and has a medium-sized frame, a 450 cc implant would be equivalent to the average C-cup bra.