Can you make me a full C cup?

When women come in for their breast augmentation consultation, most tell me that they want to be a “full C cup.” They want to look proportional, and 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 need 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 make the band. If you wear it tighter, it will push your breasts deeper into the cup and you’ll need a bigger cup size.

Problem #2: What looks proportional varies from person to person.
Think of “proportional” as a “C look” rather than 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 each breast augmentation 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. Each 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 almost like looking through a magic mirror into the future. A woman is almost always consistent with the number of cubic centimeters (ccs) she likes, so I know what size saline or silicone breast implants to order to give her the look she wants on her body.

When we are finished, women almost always ask, “What cup size will I be?” This is where they can get into trouble. The letter doesn’t matter. They chose a look, and it looked right to them.

Here’s an example of that trouble: A 5’ 9” tall woman with a large frame wanted to be a full C. She liked eight different pictures; all had the same size implants and would give her a C look on her body. When I told her she’d 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’d probably wear a B. “Can you show me something bigger?” she asked. She had looked at larger implants, but 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.