People with big boobs understand: finding a comfortable and supportive bra is much harder than it should be in the year of our Lord 2021. As recently as 2013, the average American woman’s bra size was a 34DD—so why is it such a challenge, even now, to find a bra in that size? To make matters worse, some women don’t even know there are bras available in sizes beyond a double D—yes, there are Es, Fs, Gs, Hs and beyond.
Thankfully, more bra brands are now catering to the specific needs of busty women, designing larger cup and band sizes with comfortable, flattering fits that are functional, stylish, and affordable. To get a survey of which brands are doing it best, we consulted bra experts and influencers to learn where we should be shopping for our next bra, whether it’s a strapless, minimizer, push-up, T-shirt, or even sports bra. First, make sure you know your perfect fit (ThirdLove has a great calculator, but remember that most brands fit differently). Next, get shopping. Your boobs will thank you for it.
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Curvy Kate is a favorite brand of Atlanta-based TikTok bra influencer Madison Anne, who went viral in 2020 for her instructive bra-fitting and bra-testing guides. “I’ve been wearing [Curvy Kate] a lot recently,” she says. “They have a lot of options in bra styles, as well as swimwear.” The British-based brand uses UK sizes, but they’re easily convertible to US sizes, ranging from bands in 28-46 and cup sizes from D-K.
If you’re looking for a supportive sports bra that will keep everything in its right place—without any discomfort—look no further than this style from Panache. With more than 1,000 4+-star reviews on lingerie retailer Bare Necessities, this high-impact bra features breathable mesh and is also convertible to a racerback. While you’re shopping, check out Panache’s array of everyday and sexy styles as well, available in cup sizes D and up.
Madison Alexandra first went viral on TikTok after posting a video of her undercover, trying on bras at the mall to test how poorly they fit. Ever since, she’s become one of the app’s foremost bra experts. She swears by the “wizardry” of Polish brand Comexim, which is available on Amazon. “They have these really great customized, narrow wires,” she says. “And for some reason they give great cleavage without [a lot of] padding.” The company uses a non-standard sizing chart, so be sure to consult it before you order, but reviewers rave about the superb fit.
Alexandra whole-heartedly endorses British brand Elomi if you’re struggling to find a band that doesn’t dig into your skin. “It’s a great brand for women who have larger band sizes,” she says. “Some [brands] stop at a 40, whereas you may have a 44 J.” Elomi carries band sizes up to a 46 and cup sizes up to a US O.
If you want the look of a bralette but the functionality of a bra, try this plunging mesh style from retailer CUUP, which carries sizes from a 30A to 38H. Wrote one reviewer, “This has quickly become my favorite bra––it’s comfortable and lightweight, while giving wonderful underwire support. It’s true to size and easy enough to wear everyday, but also has an understated sexy vibe.”
“An underwire bra will provide the best support and shaping for larger breasts, keeping the breasts forward and lifted,” says Cathy Devine, Vice President of Innovation at Soma. She recommends the Stunning Support collection as her top choice for larger-breasted women, which is available up to a 44G. Key features of these bras include a unique C-shaped, anti-poke wire and patented cups with thin, molded pads that lift and smooth, providing a fit that lays flat and disappears under lightweight tops.
Repeat after us: Busty. Women. Can. Wear. Strapless. Bras. Wacoal is a top choice for those on the desperate mission for a strapless bra that won’t slip. This underwire option is a favorite of Anne’s, as she says it’ll stay in place without any wriggling or readjusting.
Bravissimo is a beloved retailer among bustier women, but the site also carries its own line of bras. Alexandra recommends their styles for a structured, supportive fit that still incorporates plenty of gorgeous, lacy detail to boost your confidence.
Plus-size-exclusive retailer Torrid is home to a variety of gorgeous bras, including this push-up style made to lift your breasts and smooth your back. “[Torrid has] a very large range of bras that you don’t really see in department stores,” says Anne, who recommends visiting one of the brand’s flagship stores if you want to get a personalized fitting.
“It’s totally normal to have three or four close bras sizes in your closet because of [differences in] manufacturing,” says Alexandra, who cites Freya as one of her favorite bra brands due to its size variety. Try a number of styles, from moulded to plunge to spacer to balconette, available in B-K cups.
“Busty girls no longer need hot, heavy-duty pads and straps in order to achieve their desired fit and shape,” says Jessica Pfister, Vice President of Le Mystere. “We now have microfibers, meshes, and lace available to us that are beautiful, have a super-soft hand feel, but are also incredibly supportive.” Le Mystere, in particular, curates a lovely selection of everyday bras that offer full coverage without looking frumpy.
Alexandra loves bra brand Attollo Lingerie because it caters to women with small bands and large cup sizes. “Some brands won’t adjust the width of the underwire for a more petite frame,” she explains. “So you end up with these bras that stick you in the back with the wire because it’s made for a bigger body. Attollo customizes their wires so they’re narrower.”
Too often bra brands focus entirely on functionality and forget about, well, the fun. That’s why Anne loves up-and-coming lingerie brand Uye Surana, which is a woman-owned small business based in New York City. Their bras and bralettes fit band sizes 28-44 and cup sizes A-J, and they’re available in gorgeous colors and styles like this summery sunflower bees print.
Lively is home to a number of super-cute bras, bralettes and swimwear. But one of Anne’s favorite traits of a Lively bra is that it features built-in hooks, so any style can be transformed into a racerback. You can get this beautiful v-neck plunge bra in sizes up to a 36DDD or 38DD.
Scotland-based bra brand Molke has mastered the ultimate comfy no-wire bra. They’re great for nursing mothers, as they don’t include clips or fasteners, and they come in a size range all the way up to a UK 48M. Just be sure to check the fitting guide to see if you need a “stellar,” “cosmic,” “super,” “mega” or “thunder” size.
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