Bra shopping is complicated no matter your bust size. From getting measured, to selecting the right styles and knowing if a bra actually fits you, the process can be stressful. However, fuller-busted ladies face a number of unique issues that can make bra shopping even more of a headache.
We’ll get into those issues further into this article. But first it’s important to know how often you should be bra shopping, and why:
You should shop for a new bra every 6 months
Bra shopping is definitely something that should be done on a regular basis, given that bras can wear out over time. If your bra has lost shape, giving you a ‘double bubble’ cup, the backstrap is rising up, or an exposed underwire has started digging into your armpit, then it’s time to hit the stores. Experts advise that as a good rule of thumb, you should swap out your bra for a new one every 6 months.
It’s important to re-check your measurements
When you’re buying a new bra, it’s also a good idea to re-check your size. Body shapes change over time, but many women will buy the same size every time. In fact, research indicates that some 8 out of 10 women are wearing the wrong bra size. This is an especially important point if you’re on the curvy side, as wearing a poorly fitted bra can impact your health. It can lead to issues including back and shoulder pain, skin abrasions and bad posture. So if the store offers the service, it’s really important to get checked. Alternately, if you’re ordering online you can check your size at home, using a tailor’s tape or even a piece of string. Check out our How to measure yourself for shapewear blog for further details.
The challenges for fuller busts
Once you’ve been measured (which can be embarrassing, no matter how professional the sales assistant is) you’re then you’re faced with seemingly endless choices. From full cup to balconette, and sports bra to multiway, it seems there’s a bra for every occasion. That’s before we even begin the wired versus non-wired debate!
But if you’re well endowed, as you wander the aisles, something will become apparent. You won’t struggle with too much choice. In fact, your challenge is the complete opposite. Here are some of the issues you’ll be faced with when buying a bigger sized bra:
1. Limited stock
Just as with clothes shopping, it seems manufacturing favours the majority. Good luck finding a bra that’s a bigger size, as there’s minimal stock available at this end of the spectrum. Indeed, many stores and brands don’t go above a cup size E, even though the average UK bra size is now a 36DD.
2. Forget pretty designs
The larger you go, the more you move away from the pretty lace and embroidered bras, at least on the high street. Also, styles are adapted, back straps move from two to three – or even four – clasps; and if you’re planning on wearing something over the shoulder, good luck finding a bra with dainty straps!
3. Minimal colour choice
This follows from the point above. As you move up the measurements, you’ll find that your choice of colour goes down. If you like neutral tones such as white, black and beige then you’ll be fine, but if you’re looking for a pretty colour then unless you visit a specialist store, your choice will be narrowed.
4. Limited style choice
There are so many styles of bra – strapless, multiway, balconette and backless, to name but a few. But the larger your cup size, the more you’ll struggle to find any style other than a full cup. Which is great if you want a full cup, and don’t mind your straps showing, but really there should be the same choices available in all size ranges. Sadly, also, there are very few bralettes available in bigger sizes. We know there’s an issue of support, but it’s a shame as these look amazing with low back and off the shoulder clothing.
5. Sports bra struggle
Full busted ladies need support when exercising more than anyone. However, trying to find a sports bra in a larger size that (a) doesn’t give you a mono-boob and (b) doesn’t restrict movement is a real struggle. If you’re above a D cup, we recommend going to a specialist store, or a plus size lingerie retailer.
Hopefully over time the stores will catch up with the need to expand their size ranges, and the styles offered. In the meantime, if you need help finding a bigger-sized bra then we have a fantastic range in stock. You can find some beautiful designs and be sure of an excellent fit, whatever support you’re looking for. Be that smooth contouring, with added panels to minimize under arm or back fat, or bras that provide amazing uplift, we can help you find the perfect bra for every occasion.