Customers constantly tell us how much they ‘hate bra shopping’ and that it’s their ‘worst nightmare finding a bra’. If you’re being fitted by mainstream lingerie and department stores, this can be your reality. Often your size isn’t stocked, making it tiresome. Here are our tips on what to focus on when bra shopping for a fuller bust.
We love body acceptance but sometimes to get to this point you need to understand that often it’s the bra, not you that is making you feel unhappy about your body. If you have a larger bust and haven’t been fitted by a specialist it’s likely this is the case. It’s okay to not know that your size is wrong, sometimes severely wrong. How can you know something if you’ve never been told or shown options? In our experience, the problem is usually a back band that is too big and cups that are too small (often by a few cup sizes). The red flags can be underwires digging into breast tissue, gaping cups, four-boobed effect, bra straps tightened over the shoulder bones and your back band riding up, and basic discomfort.
You need to truly pay attention to your body and how it feels in the bra. The bra’s back band is the main support in a bra, it’s your anchor. The firmer your back band the more it can support the weight of your bust. If it’s shifting when you raise your arms, or riding up your back, these are signs you need a different size. The band should lie flat across your back without rising-up; it should sit evenly from front to back; always wear your bra on the loosest hook when it’s new, so that when the band stretches over time, you can get more wear by tightening the band.
We’re going to summarise the perfect fit for you:
The cups need to fit smoothly across the breasts without gaping, overflowing or digging into the breast tissue. The centre gore needs to either lie flat against your chest or at least not irritate or dig into your breast tissue. The underwires are to follow the perimeter of the breast tissue and rest snugly on the rib cage without any digging. Your straps shouldn’t be overly tight or digging into your shoulder bones as your back band should be taking care of the support. Nor should they be too loose that there’s no uplift.
Your bras, like anything else, wear out with frequent use. You’ll know when your bra has run its course when the straps are slipping and can’t be tightened anymore, or when the back band is on the tightest hooks and feels too loose. If your underwires snap or start poking through, that’s the clearest flashing red light. Alternate between bras so the fibres in your bras have time to rest and always hand wash.
Shopping for bras for a fuller bust can already feel hard but don’t forget that your body is wonderfully unique, which means your breast shape will determine the bras you can wear. Use this knowledge as a constructive way to shop. Rather than trying on bras you know won’t be the best fit, explore the varieties on offer better suited to you. A professional bra fitting with our Brava girls is great because they’ll fit you into the styles for your shape.
Lace, mesh, moulded, the list of fabrics can go on. What matters is how you feel in them. Old wives tales will have you believe that nothing but industrial shaped and stiff material bras are the most supportive. We’re a long way from telling tales now and it’s important to understand that you can feel great in a pretty bra as well as being supported. You won’t be sacrificing comfort or structure by choosing a beautiful bra.
Bras now have various structural designs in place to offer you support. Look out for side-panel support that connect fabric to the cup, allowing more strength to hold up larger busts. Underwired and moulded styles add shape and definition while interior slings in the cups help with projection.
You’re not alone. You may be made to feel alone when you go for a fitting in some stores, especially if there’s nothing to fit or if you are put into a bra that is just ‘good enough’ since its the best on offer. You might be made to feel like an odd size, you are not. What we want you to know is that you aren’t alone or the only one.
At Brava we have tonnes of customers in the same boat. Their ship has anchored at Brava and once you’ve had a professional fitting you’ll find there’s always a solution or a bra to fit. It’s about having the choice and realising that you’re not alone in this.