Finding a good bra is one thing, but when you are big-busted, finding a bra that properly fits is a whole other ballgame.
The days of fitting into cheap bras at La Senza or Victoria's Secret are of the past, and women with large busts know how tricky and expensive it is to get a good bra that lasts. Not only can it be difficult to find a bra that supports and lifts you the way you want it to, but finding a bra that works with a strapless dress or even stickies can become a challenge.
I stopped shopping at generic bra stores about six years ago and started getting fitted at specialty stores like Change. At first, I didn't even realize I was wearing the wrong size. My breasts would always "spill," my shoulders and ribs would be sore from tight straps and wires, and sometimes, it felt impossible to breathe. I always thought I was a 34D and for the longest time, I would only buy 34D size bras.
When I first had my fitting at Change, a store that carries European sizes, my size jumped from a non-existent 34D to an H and an I. When I asked for a North American translation of sizes, I basically was an E.
Before trying out these bras below, each one more than three times, the first thing I want to note is no matter where you go to buy a bra, make sure you get fitted. At some of these stores below I was a 40DDD and at others I was a 36DD. Size matters, especially when it comes to finding a bra that fits — the last thing you want is a sore back.
There is also a proper way of trying bras on. As a spokesperson from Change noted in my fitting, always cup your breasts and spread them out to the sides of the cups. Another tip she mentioned was to try the bra on with different types of clothes. We're all used to trying on things and making a decision on how it feels, but when it comes to bras, you want to see how it will look with a fitted shirt and a loose top, for example.
Below are eight bras not only worth the investment, but ones that will change the way your chest (and cleavage) look in clothes. From price to pros to cons, I tried out a variety of bras that offer different results. Take a look and let me know ladies, what's your favourite bra store?
La Vie en RoseThe bra: My Memory Convertible Strapless Bra from La Vie En Rose
The price: $49.95
The details: Adjustable and removal straps, underwire and a thick band.
Ideal for: Off-the-shoulder tops and dresses.
Pros: Am I feeling this right? A strapless bra that actually fits and stays in place? For anyone with a large bust, finding a strapless bra that stays put and covers your breasts can be quite the challenge, so I was surprised to find one that actually worked. The wire doesn't dig into your rib cage and you have enough support to wear this with an off-the-shoulder top or a T-shirt. And the memory foam on the inside is fantastic.
Cons: It isn't perfect, of course, so expect the bra to fall as the day goes on. But for someone who can never find a strapless bra to begin with, this one is worth a few manual push-ups.
Addition ElleThe bra: Ashley Graham Diva Demi Cup Padded Underwire Bra from Additional Elle
The price: $70
The details: Underwire, largest size 44DD, thick straps.
Ideal for: Anyone looking for a lift.
Pros: This bra not only fits well, but it offers absolute lift (lift I am not used to, to be honest). The design is sexy, the straps are thick and the bra works great with both T-shirts and loose-fitted tops.
Cons: The only con I have about this bra is that the two black strings that sit above the cups aren't removable. While they look great with a black tank, for example, they don't work with all cuts and colours.
ChangeThe bra: The Theresa from Change
The price: $115
The details: Beautiful lace details, underwire, soft and supportive straps.
Ideal for: Women looking for lingerie.
Pros: This bra is probably the sexist bra in the bunch. Not only is it a summer-friendly rose colour, but it pairs well with most attire. Don't forget to get the matching undies!
Cons: The only thing I see as a con is that it is not T-shirt friendly, you will definitely see some of the lace through a fitted shirt.
WonderBraThe bra: Perfect Curves Natural Lift Bra from WonderBra
The price: $42
The details: Foam cups, a mesh overlay and underwire.
Ideal for: Women looking for a comfortable bra, without all the fancy details.
Pros: This bra can sometimes feel like a sports bra. It fits like one, so for someone who just wants something comfortable to wear with an oversized shirt, this bra works. I also love the scalloped and mesh detailing over the cups, it just adds something different than a typical T-shirt bra.
Cons: I wish it offered a little more shape. While the bra works like a sports bra, it doesn't do the best job of making your breasts look more firm (but hey, not everyone likes that anyway)!
AnitaThe bra: Momentum Sports Bra from Anita
The price: $115
The details: Wireless, a net back and moisture-absorbing fabrics.
Ideal for: Big-busted women who love to run and have a hard time finding a bra that holds everything down.
Pros: Seriously, this is the only sports bra I've ever tried that actually holds everything down without flattening your chest or making it hard to breathe. For someone who isn't much of a runner but enjoys the occasional run (or jump rope), this bra is a must-have for your gym bag.
Cons: You may feel a little squished in the beginning, but trust me, you will get used to it.
Addition ElleThe bra: Ashley Graham Essentials Fatal Attraction from Additional Elle
The price: $65
The details: Underwire, see-through cups and a large strap.
Ideal for: Pairing with loose tanks and lingerie wear.
Pros: I love the idea of wearing a bralette, but unfortunately, this does not exist in a world beyond size "L." This bra is pretty close to a bralette, in terms of lightness, but it also offers good shape and support.
Cons: Of course, if you don't want exposed nipples on those chillier nights, I would skip this bra.
PenningtonsThe bra: Ti Voglio Padded Wirefree Bra from Penningtons
The price: $50
The details: Wireless, stretch fabric, sizes start at a 40 band.
Ideal for: Women who hate wired bras.
Pros: I would say this bra also feels like a sports bra. It doesn't provide much shape, but it is something I would wear on weekends or if I was just lounging around at home and felt like wearing a bra.
Cons: Because I am usually a size 34, fitting into the 40 meant I had to use the last clips on this band. But besides sizing, I would say this bra doesn't offer lift or shape compared the store's other designs. As a fan of the underwire, I would stick to a wired bra.
La Vie En RoseThe bra: Flexible Lightly Lined Bra from La Vie En Rose
The price: $52.95
The details: Silicone underwire, super light fabric, thin straps.
Ideal for: The T-shirt
Pros: What can I say? This bra does exactly what it is meant to do. With very soft lines and extremely comfortable fabric, this bra is easy to wear with just about anything. I also appreciate it comes in several colours.
Cons: I wish the cup was a little bit bigger, but don't worry, you won't spill out if you get fitted properly.