Full-Figure Sizing Is An Unfulfilled Opportunity in U.S. Bra Market, Reports NPD

Port Washington, NY, June 11, 2018 — The top selling bra size in the U.S. is 38C, according to the Bra Sizing Report from The NPD Group, a leading global information company, illustrating the importance of the full-figure segment. New visibility into bra sizing indicates expansion into extended sizing, including full-figure and plus sizes, is a growth opportunity for the mature intimate apparel market.

In 2017, U.S. women’s bra sales held steady at nearly $7 billion, but the $5.2 billion non-sport bra segment declined slightly*. However, just as we continue to see emerging trends in the plus-size market and increased focus on body positivity, full-figure sizes (38+) are a growing segment within non-sport bras, now accounting for 43 percent of dollar sales. In addition, The Future of Apparel, a new report from NPD, projects dollar growth in non-sport bras through 2019, indicating the segment is ripe for opportunity.

“The underserved full-figure and plus-size market continues to be one of retail’s major merchandising mistakes,“ said Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor, The NPD Group, Inc. “With retailers focusing on assortment productivity, brands adding new styles become a harder sell in proposition, but size extensions are a straightforward way to expand on successful existing assortments.”

Alpha sizing – commonly referred to as simple-sizing (S/M/L/XL) – is also on the rise in non-sport bras. In 2017, alpha-sized non-sport bras captured 18 percent of non-sport bra dollar sales, which was an increase of three share points compared to the prior year. This growth directly aligns with the prevalence of comfort trends in overall apparel.

“Bra sizing insights at this level of granularity, which are critical to understanding and meeting the needs of the consumer, have not been accessible by the industry up to this point,” added Cohen. “Loyalty is a natural consequence of personal purchases, and providing the full-figure market with the bra options they seek expands the potential for a loyal customer base.”

Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Bra Sizing Report, U.S. Retailer Leader Panel, 12 months ending December 2017
*Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Consumer Tracking Service, 12 months ending December 2017

Stay current in your industry

Press Contact

Janine Marshall

The NPD Group, Inc.
900 West Shore Road
Port Washington, NY 11050

Want more?

Complete this form to hear from NPD.


Subscribe and get key market trends and insights relevant to your industry each month.

We will not sell your information. View privacy notice. | Cookie Settings

Follow Us

© 2020 The NPD Group, Inc.