a cup breasts

A Cup Breasts: Size, Examples, & Bras

A Cup Boobs Size

A cup breasts are tiny, right? At least, that’s what jokes about the cup letters will tell you, that the A stands for ‘almost boobs’. But do you really know what an A cup looks like?

You may be surprised to learn that an A cup is not actually the smallest cup size, and you may be yet more surprised to learn that one person’s A cup can be the same size as another person’s D cup. Here, we explain all of this and more, plus recommend the best bras for A cup boobs.

What is an A-cup?

A bra size is made up of two parts:

Number – indicates the size of the ribcage/body

Letter – indicates the size of the breasts

The letter is calculated by deducting the measurement just below the breasts from the one around the center of them. Each inch of difference represents one cup size, so a person who is an A cup will have a 1” difference between these two measurements.

How big are A cup breasts?

a cup breasts

The above is a simple definition of what ‘A cup’ means, but visualizing an A cup is a lot more complex. That’s because A size boobs come in lots of different sizes!

How To Wear A Cup?

Think about it this way: a person who wears an XS and a person who wears an XL can both have breasts that stick out the same distance, but on the larger person those breasts will be wider. Hence, they will have more breast tissue overall than the size XS person.

Now let’s add a third person to the example. They wear an XS, but have the same amount of breast tissue as the XL wearer. In order for that breast tissue to fit onto their narrower torso, it would stick out further from the body. The difference in the under-bust and over-bust measurements would be greater so it would no longer be an A cup, despite being the same size in terms of volume.

This is what we call ‘bra sister sizes’, different bra sizes that have the same volume. We explain it in more detail at the end of our bra size calculator page. The most important thing to understand for now is that A cup breasts are smaller on small people and larger on large people.

A cup examples – what do they look like?

Here is a comparison of a person wearing a 32A (left) and someone wearing a 40A (right):

a cup breast examples
Images via Bratabase

How much do A cup breasts weigh?

Different online articles will tell you that A cup breasts weigh the same as two chipmunks, two pots of jelly, eleven pancakes, or sixty five tea bags. But the truth is that it depends!

As we’ve already established, not all A cup breasts contain the same amount of breast tissue – so their weight varies too.

Are AA cups bigger or smaller than A cups?

Most people know that a DD is bigger than a D cup. Similarly, in the UK, where double letters are used frequently (see our international size conversion chart):

  • FF is one size bigger than an F
  • GG is one size bigger than a G
  • HH is one size bigger than a H, etc.

However, A cups are the exception. The next size up from an A cup is a B cup. An AA cup is actually a size smaller. And an AAA is smaller still.

AA, AAA and AAAA (yes, those exist too!) sizes are rare, however. Almost no ‘mainstream’ lingerie brands manufacture sizes below an A cup, so you will need to look for specialist small-bust brands. We recommended a few bras that come in these cup sizes below.

The size difference between an AA cup bra and an A cup one really depends on the brand, but will be no more than the difference between an A cup and a B cup. Here is a comparison image of AA (left) and A (right) cups on the same band size:

a cup and aa cup breast examples
Images via Bratabase

A Cup Vs B, C and D cups

A through D cup sizes are often called the ‘core’ sizes. They’re not necessarily the most common that women need, but they are the most common that brands produce. Especially the kinds of brands you’ll find in your local mall.

As we explained, each inch of difference between your ribcage and over-bust measurement represents one cup size. Hence:

  • 1” = A cup
  • 2” = B cup (breasts stick out ~1” more than an A cup on the same band size)
  • 3” = C cup (breasts stick out ~2” more than an A cup on the same band size)
  • 4” = D cup (breasts stick out ~3” more than an A cup on the same band size)

How common are A cups?

Compared to AA cups, an A size cup is very easy to find. But does that mean it’s a common size? 

There was actually a large-scale study into average breast size that looked at almost 342,000 sets of measurements from women across 108 countries (none of whom had had breast surgery). The results are very interesting, because they show a clear difference in the average size between countries and continents.

The average cup size in America is a DD or higher, many sizes beyond an A cup, so we can assume that most people in the US don’t wear an A. However, there are plenty of countries where an A cup (or below) is the average size. They are mostly located in Asia and Africa.

Example countries where the average cup size is an A:

  • In Asia: Cambodia, Japan, South Korea
  • In Africa: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania
  • In Europe: France

Example countries where the average cup size is smaller than an A:

  • In Asia: Bangladesh, Indonesia (also part of Oceania), Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, The Philippines, Vietnam
  • In Africa: Mozambique, Zimbabwe
  • In Oceania: Indonesia (also part of Asia), Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands

AA and A cup celebrities:

We’ve shown some anonymous A-cup wearers above, but there are a number of past and present celebrities rumored to have this cup size too. Here are just some of the famous names with whom you may share a cup or bra size:

Nicole Richie – 32A or 32AA

Audrey Hepburn – 32A

Natalie Portman – 32A

Chiara Ferragni – 32A

Dakota Fanning – 32A

Emily Browning – 32A

Rooney Mara – 32A

Lupita Nyong’o – 34AA

Margaux Hemingway – 34A

Kate Moss – 34A

Mia Farrow – 34A

Nicole Simpson – 36A

Implants for A cup breasts

a cup boobs nude augmentation

Do you currently wear an A cup, and are considering breast surgery to increase their size? Then here are two things you should know about.

There’s a limit to how much bigger you can go

Do you dream of having breasts that are a lot, lot bigger? Plastic surgeons are divided on whether that is advisable, but they do all agree on one thing – you can’t go directly from an A cup to a G cup!

If your surgeon were to insert too large an implant, your skin would not stretch enough to close the incision site. Some surgeons will be happy to increase your breast size quite dramatically, but in stages. In other words, you’d start with smaller implants, then replace them with larger ones at a later date.

Implants don’t come in cup sizes

As we described earlier, 40A breasts are wider than 30A breasts. So you’d need to add more volume to go from a 40A to a 40B, than to go from a 30A to a 30B. For that reason, there’s no such thing as a ‘one extra cup size’ implant that works for everyone.

Implants are instead sold by CCs (cubic centimeters). Generally speaking, 150-200cc will take you up one cup size. But you may need as much as 340cc.

The shape of the implant matters too. A more ‘raised’ implant will make your breasts stick out more (and therefore go up more cup sizes) than one with a flatter shape. Your surgeon will help you choose the right implant shape and size, with a focus on achieving your desired look rather than a specific cup size.

Best A Cup Bras

Shopping for A cup bras can be tough. Shopping for AA cup sizes and below can be even harder. Here’s some general advice on finding bras that will fit your small bust well:

  • Avoid horizontal seams – horizontal seams add depth to a bra cup. Since small breasts tend to be shallow, they often won’t fill out a deep cup and the fabric will look wrinkled.
  • Avoid tall cups – cups that come up high on the décolletage are called ‘full cup’ bras. However, small breasts tend to be especially shallow on the top half, meaning they won’t fill out the cup here and it will gape. Instead, look for bras labelled as ‘demi’ or ‘balconette’ which stop slightly above the nipple.
  • Shop at small bust specialist brands – although many brands make A-D sizes, their A cups are often just smaller versions of their B-D cups, with no adjustment to account for the shallow shape of A cup boobs. You’re more likely to get a bra that doesn’t gape if you shop with a brand that specializes in designing bras for small-bust needs. These brands are also far more likely to carry sub-A sizes you can try if the A still gapes.

Below are our favorite bras for A-cup wearers:

Best push-up bras for A cups

Arielle Bra by The Little Bra Company – available in 28-38 A-C

Ava Wireless Push Up Bra by Lulalu – available in 32-38 AA-A

Best strapless bras for A cups

Cora Convertible Push Up Bra by Lulalu – available in 32-38 AAA-A

Bows Strapless Bra by Dainty Lady – available in 28-44 AAAA-B

Amy Bra by Little Women – available in 30-40 AAA-A

Best everyday bras for A cups

Laidback Lace Bra by Pepper – available in 30-42 AA-B

Mesh Underwire Demi Bra by Timpa – available in 32-38 A-C

Conclusion

In the lingerie industry, an A cup is considered small-bust sizing. There’s no getting away from the fact that A cup breasts are on the smaller end of the bust size spectrum.

However, the key takeaway to learn from this article is that not all A cup breasts are the same size. 30As and 40As may look proportionally similar on their respective bodies, but side by side, the 40As would be significantly bigger! 

Despite many brands making A cup bras, if that’s your cup size then you may have struggled to find a bra that fits well. If your bras often gape or wrinkle, you very likely have a shallow breast shape. But by using the tips and links above to find bra styles and brands made for just this shape, you’re sure to find an A cup bra that fits like a glove.

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