The 10 Best Bra Brands for Full Bust & Plus Sized Women

Editor’s Note: This has become one of our most popular blog posts of all time here on The Lingerie Addict. If you’re new to TLA, welcome! Please check our Full Bust and Plus Size categories for more articles about lingerie brands that may interest you. I’d also take a look at articles written by our columnist Holly as she’s TLA’s resident expert for both plus size and full bust lingerie. ~ Cora

Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links.

Credit: Vogue Italia. You can find this bustier at Hips & Curves.

Credit: Vogue Italia. Bustier via Hips & Curves.

Pop Quiz! Do you  know the average American woman’s bra size?

a) 36B
b) 36C
c) 36D
d) 36DD

If you answered d) 36DD, you’re correct. But if that number sounds a bit larger than what you remember hearing a few years ago, then you’re also correct.

Five years ago, the average American woman’s bra size was 36C. Ten years ago, it was around a 34B. But now, according to the New York Times, WWD, NY Daily News, and prominent bra retailers like Tomima of HerRoom, 36DD is the new average, and that means full bust bras are here and they’re here to stay. (Update: According to a survey by the lingerie retailer Intimacy, 34DD is the average American woman’s bra size as of 2013. Of course, any survey based on retail data is going to be at least a little bit skewed, but the general agreement, among both retailers and manufacturers, is that full bust and plus size bras are more necessary now than ever before.)

Fortunately, the lingerie industry is ahead of the curve (no pun intended). Not only are there more new brands specializing in bras for larger cup sizes, well-established companies are also expanding their size range to accommodate this new average.

Credit: Vogue Italia. Girdle/Garter Skirt via Hips & Curves.

Credit: Vogue Italia. Girdle/Garter Skirt via Hips & Curves.

But before we get into the list of the best bra brands for full figured women, let’s make sure we have the terminology straight. Though they’re often used interchangeably, “full bust” and “plus size” don’t mean the same thing. “Full bust” refers to the actual letter cup size, and it starts at around a DD/E cup (i.e. when bra engineering gets a bit more complicated than core or standard sizes, which is what the A/B cup to D cup range is called). “Plus size” refers to the band size and starts at around a 38-40 band. This article contains brands that extend into and offer options in both sizing categories.

To give you a quick example, a woman wearing a 34H bra would be full bust, but not necessarily plus size. Conversely, a women in a 40C bra would be plus sized but not necessarily full busted. While there are some brands that specialize in full bust or plus size only, it’s not unusual for the same company to make both… which is why I’m talking about them together in this blog post.

I firmly believe everyone who wants it deserves beautiful, comfortable, well-fitting lingerie. And I don’t believe that needing a full bust cup or plus size band means you have to resign yourself to plain bras in boring shades of beige. Since I get tons of e-mails every week asking about pretty bras for larger sizes, I suspect many of you feel the same way.

The 10 brands listed here are not only specialists in the world of full figured lingerie, they’re also companies with great reputations. Furthermore, if you don’t live close to an independent lingerie boutique, don’t worry… almost all of these brands are sold through online retailers with equally great customer service like Figleaves, Bravissimo, Bare Necessities, ASOS, Amazon, HerRoom and Nordstrom. After all, it takes some trial and error to find the perfect bra.

So with that out of the way, let’s get started with the list!

Bravissimo: Based out of the UK, Bravissimo is one of the most popular lingerie stores specializing in full bust bra sizes in the world. In addition to carrying brands like Panache, Curvy Kate, Freya, Fantasie, and Tutti Rouge, they also design and manufacture their own in-house range of bras. Bravissimo is an excellent resource for vibrant colors, fresh prints, and fashionable designs. They carry band sizes 28-40 and cup sizes D-L. Sale bras start around $25 USD (converted from British pounds), and their most expensive styles retail around the $60 mark. Bravissimo also carries basques, babydolls, and swimsuits.

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Panache, Cleo by Panache, and Sculptresse by Panache: Panache is a globally recognized brand specializing in fuller bust sizes. Cleo by Panache is the “juniors” line and features bright prints and colorful fabrics. Sculptresse by Panache is the plus size range and is the newest member of the Panache family. This is another UK-based company; you’ll find that most of the bra development for larger cup and band sizes is happening outside of the United States. Including all three ranges, the Panache company offers band sizes 28-46 and cup sizes D-K. There are also swim and sport lines.
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    panache sculptresse 1

Curvy Kate: Curvy Kate launched in 2009, and quickly grew to become one of the leaders in the fuller bust bra market with innovative marketing campaigns like their “Star in a Bra” contest. Their aesthetic is all about targeting a more fashion forward customer, and they offer cup sizes D-K and band sizes 28-44. Many newcomers to the world of full bust lingerie start with the Curvy Kate brand.

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Elomi: No list of plus size and full bust brands is complete without a mention of the Eveden Group. Owned by Wacoal, the Eveden group consists of five brands… and four of them are dedicated to the plus size and/or full bust size spectrum. Elomi offers bras in cup sizes DD-JJ and band sizes 34-48. Elomi shines when it comes to mature, understated basics and staples. Their look is sophisticated, not twee. As is true of several other names on this list, Elomi also makes sports bras.

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Fantasie: The second Wacoal Eveden brand in this blog post, Fantasie is known for their elegant fabrics and exquisite attention to detail. A common complaint of many full bust bra lines is that their ranges tend to be very bright and very cutesy… which is not what everyone wants. Fantasie offers a graceful, refined alternative to that aesthetic. Bra bands range from 30-40 with cup sizes ranging from D-J.

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Freya: The third Wacoal Eveden name on this list, Freya is most famous for their Deco style, one of the most popular (and most positively reviewed) full bust bra styles in the world. If you’re only able to experiment with one bra from this entire list, make it a Freya Deco (it’s the first photo just below). Freya produces bras in band sizes 28-40 and cup sizes B-K.

freya deco black

freya lingerie eliza
freya lingerie arabella
freya lyla lingerie set
freya patsy balconette lime


Parfait by Affinitas: As you’ve likely already noticed, bras for larger cup and band sizes can be expensive. A good part of this is because crafting a supportive full bust bra is in and of itself more expensive than crafting a core size bra (it requires different materials, different patterns, different engineering, etc.). But of all the names on this list, Parfait by Affinitas is one of the most budget-friendly with several beautiful styles for $40 or less. Parfait by Affinitas offers band sizes 30-40 and cup sizes D-K. Their Charlotte line in particular (shown directly below) is a popular choice.

parfait by affinitas charlotte

parfait by affinitas delphine

parfait by affinitas danielle

parfait by affinitas kitty

parfait by affinitas leslie

Miss Mandalay: Founded in 2005, Miss Mandalay was one of the first full bust brands to reach mainstream popularity with beautiful designs that put fashion on an equal footing with fit. These bras are not only supportive, they’re totally gorgeous. Band sizes range from 28-38, with cup sizes going from D-H. Miss Mandalay also has a beautiful swimwear line, proving once again that full bust doesn’t have to mean plain and boring.
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Tutti Rouge: The newest label on this list, Tutti Rouge just launched in 2013, but they’ve already become a customer favorite among fuller busted fashionistas who’ve been craving bright prints and fun colors. Tutti Rouge makes bras in band sizes 28-44 and cup sizes D-J. In addition, this is another budget-friendly style, with prices starting just under $40 (at current UK to US exchange rates). Sale bras can be as inexpensive as $24, an incredible price even if you’re on a budget.
tutti rouge frankie bra
fifi bra apple green
tutti rouge beatrice spotted mint bra
tutti rouge rosa
tutti rouge tallulah tattoo bra
Elila: In terms of prints and mesh and lace, Elila is not the most exciting name on this list, but they do offer something very rare in the bra world: bra sizes up to an N cup. Specifically, Elila produces the band size range 34-52 and the cup size range DD-N. Bras in this size range have to be functional above all, and so there’s a definite emphasis on the practicality of the design, but the lace styles in particular offer a bit of delicacy to balance the necessary structural support.
elila lilac jacquard
elila blue softcup
elila ivory lace
elila mesh embroidery
elila lace longline
And that’s it! Of course, this list is not exhaustive; new full bust brands are entering the marketplace everyday. But hopefully, this short little directory helps to put you in touch with a bra company that may work for you. Other names that aren’t included here include Gossard, Curvy Couture, Ewa Michalak, Harlow & Fox, Claudette, Wacoal, Empreinte, Addition Elle, and Goddess… just to name a few. No doubt, in a year’s time, there will be even more to share.
What’s your favorite bra brand? Was it included here? Do you know of any new brands TLA readers should try? Please share your thoughts in the comments!
  • The Place for Big Bras!

    Thank you so much for doing this post! The difference between Full Bust and Plus Size is significant. Our Canadian online boutique only sells full bust and plus size bras because understanding your fit and the importance of style is so important when you've got a lot going on upstairs!! We particularly love Alegro too for full bust women because it's affordable and SO pretty!

    • Twana Kelly

      I would like to order some plus size bras, but I am not sure where is the link to buy them on the lingerieaddict website. Could someone please help?

      • Treacle

        Hi Twana,

        We don’t sell bras here. You’d need to visit one of the brands listed to purchase from them.


      • Nikki

        As Cora has already said, The Lingerie Addict does not sell any lingerie through the website, it is a blog only.

        I would recommend looking online at





        For some of the listed styles. Figleaves has the largest size range available, and all of the sites listed do ship internationally. If you would prefer a brick-and-mortar retailer to online shopping, you can find a list of offline retailers at (though this is not a complete list and is constantly being updated/changed).

        If you are in the USA, you may also want to try Nordstrom, as they generally carry up to a UK H cup, and down to a 32 band, and their fitters are (generally) more skilled than those at super-chain-boutiques.

        • Randii MacNear

          Many of the brands you mention are not available at Norstrom. Yes, these have bigger sizes, but generally they fit you in a Warcoal for the larger bust. I have never seen all the fabulous bras you showcase here. Are there any stores in the Bay Area, or do you know of folks who hand make bras. You used to be able to find folks who special made bras for people.
          I broke my left shoulder 6 months ago, and I wear a 36 G. Would like to find someone to make me a one shoulder right side bra because I cannot wear any straps on my broken shoulder. Even sports bras don’t work.

          • Cora

            Hi Randii! Panache, Elomi, Fantasie, and Freya are all sold at Nordstrom. I’d check Nordstrom’s website to see what’s available in your local Nordstrom, and also to see what you might be able to get shipped in to try on. Regarding Bay Area boutiques, I’ve heard good things about A Revelation in Fit, which is a full bust focused bra boutique in your vicinity. As far as handmade bras, very few people produce bras to order in higher cup sizes, and those that do often charge a premium (3 figures per bra at minimum). It has to do with the labor involved as well as the materials, which tend to be far more expensive for someone who’s working by the piece (as opposed to a factory producing in bulk). Would a convertible/strapless bra with the strap removed on the broken shoulder be a possible solution? I hope this helps and best of luck with your search.


  • Laura

    Wonderful post! I wonder why the average bust size is so much bigger now in America. Is it because more woman are over the weight or is it because more women are getting implants? I have a feeling it could be a mix of both. What do you think?

    • Shailyn

      I would have to agree with that, I get my chest from my grandmother though, and in her youth, she was not overweight, and nor am I today, but seeing as the majority of Americans are overweight, I could see how they could have a DD, but at the same time, my mother, who indeed is grotesquely obese, only wears a C, so I believe that it could also be due to the number of implants, because genetics don’t just change like that in 10 years.

      • Stacie

        I disagree… the addition of extra HORMONES in MEAT is why girls are develping at a much younger age (my niece is a 32DD as 12 years old) and chemicals in the environment, which did not exist 100 years ago – affect the hormones in our bodies which affects our growth and the timing of it as well. Our food and the environment is what’s affecting the average bust size, not implants.

        • Heather

          It’s not just the food but medications and the water having so many chemicals adding why waste medication. Birth control pills are a big one when it comes to changing the genetic makeup. With so many parents allowing their young teenage daughters to be on the pill it opens up the door for whacked out hormones.

          Shailyn, genetics can skip a generation or more. Also you can’t just look at your mother’s side ween it comes to shape. You had a father, right? You weren’t some test tube baby I hope. That’s the case with me, shaped nothing like my mom. Her aunt and grandmother were well endowed, my mom and grandmother not so much. So I either get my curves from 3 generations ago, or my dad’s side…I think it’s a little of both. I had good food growing up and didn’t go on hormones until I was married and now I’m a G cup, though very slim. I also live in the US.

          • Lucie

            i agree that hormones and chemicals in many things are probably having an effect, but i have to say: hormones DO NOT change ‘genetic make-up’. They change the way your body responds to things but this has nothing to do with genetics.

    • Alisha

      Nothing has changed. If the methodology for calculating the average bra size remained the same for each study, it’s simply a matter of women wearing the wrong size. I wore the wrong size for years. Also, the same age groups would need to be statistically represented over the course of each study. What is the definition of “average American?” breast size changes through various periods in our life…adolescence, motherhood, old age. I call BS.

      • Ann

        There are environment and cosmetic changes as well.. most adults have a clear memory of puberty. Yes there is an increase in breast amongst pre-teen girls. I travel internationally and I hear the same thing everywhere.. China has also seen a raise in breast size.

        something has change

    • Susan

      My poor athletic daughter wears a 38 H. She is begging for a reduction. I really think the earlier development of girls and larger breasts has something to do with the environment and the added hormones in food and other products

  • bflycollection

    The average breast size is getting bigger across the world and there are a few reasons. Earlier use of the contraceptive pill, the increase of calcium in Asian diets and over using hormones and antibiotics in livestock which makes its way into our diet.

    The increase is bust size isn't proportional to us getting bigger all over – lots of girls have just got bigger boobs and a regular body size.

  • dottie’s delights

    I'm personally curious how they came up with this average. The WWD article says the 36DD is the median, but how do you order bra sizes that are using 2 different measurements? Would a 34B be considered bigger or smaller than a 32C? Perhaps they are finding the mean of the band/cup separately (which doesn't seem particularly accurate, since the cup sizes are relative)? I'd love to see the original study….

    • Jessica Allison

      To answer your question, a 34B and a 32C are actually considered “sister” sizes- they’re essentially the same size. If you go down a band size, you’d go up a cup size and vice versa. Likewise, a 36 A would be roughly equivalent to those sizes. Oddly, though they’re all the same size, that’s not to say they’ll all fit the same. Think about jeans: you can get them a 14 bootcut is the same size as a 14 straight leg, but they certainly don’t fit the same. It’s all about finding which option fits your body shape best :)

    • rit

      maybe they just calculate the volume. (i mean that seriously). all you have to do is use the measuremnts to calculate the volume of a demi sphere.
      its not 100% accurate but it is close enough

  • Treacle

    @Dottie's Delights–That's a great question. It's implied in the NYTimes piece that manufacturers and retailers are using sales data to arrive at the new averages.

  • Treacle

    @The Place for Big Bras–Thank you for the Alegro reminder! I have a feeling there'll be a pt. 2 coming soon. ;)

    @Laura–So glad you like it, lovely! The average bust size isn't just bigger in America–it's increasing all over the world. I imagine it has to do with a lot of factors.

    @bflycollection–And thank you for mentioning some of those factors! :)

  • Kristine

    @Laura, part of the reason is because more companies are offering larger sizes and more women are wearing the right size *because it's offered.* I currently wear a 28H, but for years I wore a 34DD because that was the smallest band/largest cup size I could find. When my mom was younger, she wore a 34DD, but had a 21" waist. Her rib cage definitely wasn't 13" larger than her waist, so she had to make do with a 34DD that didn't fit. Yes, Americans weigh more now than in the past, but with the prevalence of large cup 28 and 30 bands, you can't say large cups are because women are getting fatter. Yes, women are getting implants, but a lot of women are also getting reductions. Also, a vast majority of women who need large cup bras have natural breasts. Weight gain and implants do influence the average, but weight influences the band size more than anything (you have large band/small cupped women) and I definitely wouldn't say that implants are anywhere near one of the main reason for the growth in average cup size.

  • Kelly Rae

    You forgot my favourite brand: Empriente.

    • Mina

      Agreed! You’ve made an excellent list here of beautiful brands, though I find the fit of my favourite Empreinte bra really different from others I’ve tried and so very flattering. Many other full cup bras I’ve tried seem to have too much room in the bridge, which at a smaller band size sends the girls pointing off the the sides often. Empreinte really gets it, making the wires as close together as possible (which I know won’t be ideal for all large-chested ladies, but for me at a 34 G, it’s fantastic!). My favourite Thalia style also has a very subtle, almost bullet-like shape that looks spectacular under clothes.

      • DDtop

        Hi yes have to agree the Empreinte esp the thalia is great have a few and just fit like a glove.
        ive gone from them in 46D to 44F being male with a hormone imbalance plus P tumor etc

  • Lillefix

    Mine are definitely inherited from family. I have a very small band size combined with a very large cup size. I'm sure I'm a lot bigger than someone on war rations, but I'm normal weight, and would still be if I was a bit lighter or a bit heavier.
    You have not mentioned the company for full cupped women which I think is the best one, it is called Ewa Michalak. This is their website: though it is a Polish company, the cup sizes are like british ones. They have a very large selection of sizes, if you do not see your size at all on their webpage, you should send an email, because they do make custom sizes as well, for instance if you need a smaller band than 30 or 28 they will make it.

  • Debbie

    I guessed it wrong, thought it was 36C the average, ha! Would love to see an official statistic on this, don't believe much on the hype. @Kelly and @Lillefix I also noticed some other great brands were missed here, I guess it's because Treacle mainly focus on websites that she's affiliated with thru an Affiliate program for comission basis. I'm starting to notice examples from the same websites over and over. In conclusion this is an interesting article, love it although would like to see a real study basis on this.

  • Treacle

    @Kristine–That's a great point. It makes sense that women will buy bras in their size once those bras become available. I wonder if there will be more any more changes to the average over the next few years.

    @Kelly Rae, @Lillefix–Thanks for commenting! I'm making a list of reader suggestions for another article.

    @Debbie–Thank you for stopping by! Out of 20 links in this article, only 4 are from affiliate partners. They also happen to be the sites I buy my own personal lingerie from most frequently. As always, affiliate relationships are explicitly listed on my Site Policies page.

  • Eenie

    I've found Cacique bras fit me well and easily found at any Lane Bryant store. They have terrific sales staff that will help you find the right fit both in the band and cup. I've mentioned before that I'm one of those ladies bigger in the band than the cup, and I found I'm a 42C, but when I tried that size bra on, I muffined in the armpits, so moved up to 44C, which fits beautifully. Even though they are slightly on the expensive side ($38/bra was a bit of sticker shock)for my budget, I think they're well worth the price in the end.

  • Thursday

    Thank you for opening with the plus size/full cup distinction, treacle. I have the former but not the latter (38-40B), so most of the pretty bras I see are only ever window shopping. Australian brands are really quite far behind on making for my niche, so I buy a lot of European and American brands.

  • Darlene C.

    The terminology can get pretty confusing, but it's more accurate to distinguish full-BUSTED from plus size/full-figured.

    "Full cup" simply describes a style of bra–one that covers the entire breast, as opposed to a demi-cup, balconette or plunge. It can come in any size.

    But it's great that the lingerie industry is catching up to the distinction you've described.

    For the longest time, anything D cup and above was labeled "full-figured" in the lingerie departments where I shopped. Once, when I told another designer that my shirts are made for "full-busted" women, she sniffed at me and said, "It's 'full-FIGURED'". I protested that a very senior bra designer in Manhattan had given me this terminology, but she wouldn't have it.

    When I went to CurveNY this past February, everyone was making the distinction between full-busted and full-figured. It was gratifying.

  • Treacle

    @Eenie–Thanks for the recommendation! I've added to the list for the next article. :)

    @Thursday–While I was working on this post, I was surprised at how most full bust bra brands come from Europe, and I kind of wonder why that is.

    @Darlene–Thank you so much for the correction! I've just edited the text to reflect the proper terminology. :)

  • Anonymous

    Now if they would only make one for short plus size and full busted. I have bras from most of those and the wire jst comes up way too high. I did see some that I had't herd of and I will check them out

  • Cheryl Warner

    I agree with all of these recommendations, Treacle! What a beauty of a list – you picked all the ones I love!

    Cheryl x

  • Lillefix

    Latest comment by an anonymous
    I am so with you on bras for short, full busted bras. I have the wire problem too, in case you haven't tride them, the Bravissimo bras are lower under the arms than most, and so it is with Ewa Mickalak bras as well (I still have the problem with them though, they could well have been a bit lower, it does hurt)
    Everything by Panache is particularly high.

  • Anonymous

    Hi, thanks for the informative article. Have you
    heard of Prima Donna from Belgium. I believe
    they make great full figure bras.

    • Michelle

      PrimaDonna does make great full-bust bras: I cannot speak to full-figure bras, though. They recently introduced PrimaDonna Twist, which is supposed to be a more fashion-conscious line than PrimaDonna.

      PrimaDonna is my go-to, though I’ve recently discovered Freya’s underwire sports bra that works even for running! No more uniboob, and it’s made with a material that wicks sweat. I cannot wait until my Enell bras wear out so that I can justify replacing all of them with Freyas…

      • Jennine

        I second Prima Donna bras. They’re the only ones I wear (when I’m not nursing/pregnant). They totally changed my life and worth every penny. Besides, I’ve never seen anyone else successfully make a plunge bra with ONE hook for a DD+

    • MP

      I third Primadonna bras! I wear a 42 G/H and these bras are the ONLY ones I have found that can hold the weight of my breasts properly all day. Fabulous construction and worth every penny.

    • DDtop

      Hi Prima donna do have some large band sizes like 48 and go up to quite large cups so cover many ranges very nice brand quality make of bra’s

    • DDtop

      Hi ive a few Prima Donna’s now Ginza and Deauvilles in 44F and fantastic so comfortable and being now have more breast tissues than most female friends need the support as the Tgel has made them grow mad!
      but there worth the price for sure you can feel there right as you start to put on just one of those feels that this is right so going to work unlike some plus just don’t even notice wearing but also don’t press so hard on breast bone like some to hold you in so been designed and made properly.

  • glasscannon

    Great list! I'm between a 28J and a 30G, depending on the brand — and my younger sisters are 30F and 30FF, so it's entirely natural and hereditary. I've tried most of the brands on here, and when you get above an E cup, they can start getting really strangely shaped, unfortunately, so it does require a lot of trial and error. Add to that I'm only 5'1", and finding something with short enough straps and cups cut low enough, and I'm lucky to have a grand total of *3* bra brand/style/size combos that work for me.

    @Eenie — I think a lot of woman who start wearing correctly fitting bras suffer from sticker shock, but I had to giggle at your comment. The *cheapest* bra I've bought in the last 10 years was $38, one of Wonderbra's new D-G line (which I recommend, though their cups run small and the G is really more of an F or FF). My average everyday, no lace no frills bras cost about $60 each, and each of those usually lasts me about six months before the elastic gives out. My most expensive bra is a really lovely red satin balconette from Masquerade, clocking in at $95, but so, so worth it.

  • Zoggi

    The change in average bra size is almost certainly down to more women wearing properly fitting bras. Yes, an increasing number of women are overweight, but you only have to consider a typical bra fitting where a woman might go from a 36B to a 34D or 32DD, or a 42D to a 40F and you can appreciate how easily this will affect the average cup size. The increased demand for larger cups results in a wider size range being offered, which in turn raises awareness and encourages more women to get fitted. The end result is that finally it's starting to become recognised that DD cups are not necessarily large but average. In the UK the average band size is dropping as well as the cup size increasing, and this is entirely down to fitting as we're certainly not getting thinner! The average size is reported by Bravissimo as 34DD or 34E. If these statistics come from retailers then we don't always know how they're calculated, although Bravissimo specified that their estimate was based on fittings rather than their sales.

  • Kayla @ TheEclecticElement

    I bet I speak for every full busted woman here when I say that this is a needed post!

    I myself fluctuate between a 'late' Cs to a mid sized Ds to even a 'early' DDs! And I just have the hardest time actually finding a bra that fits me O.o

    I hope one day that I'll be able to try some of these fabulous companies that hit your list :)

  • JuliaB

    Hi Treacle. In the UK Bravissimo is very much a high street shop as opposed to just a web boutique. Also in the UK, Debenhams (a high street department store – one in every town) does a great range for the fuller bust, called "Gorgeous" – they are much less expensive than Bravissimo (shh don't tell anyone i said that) .. Also, Bravissimo is ranked in the Times top 100 best companies. This is a subject close to my heart (pardon the pun!) because for years I found it impossible to find a good fitting bra. I worship at the altar of Bravissimo! x

  • En Bouton

    ""Full bust" refers to the actual letter cup size, and it starts at around a DD/E cup (when bra engineering gets a bit more complicated than the standard A-D sizing)."

    I'm curious about how band size factors into this, as some of the smaller "full busted" sizes would equate to an A-D size on a larger band. Is a 30DD more difficult to design and construct than a 34C?

    As to why more people are wearing "full bust" sizes, I'm guessing better fitting advice and size availability are factors. At the age of 12, I wore a 34 band; ten years later, I wear 28s. This is not because I've gone down three band sizes – it's because I can actually buy 28s now, whereas in 2001 it was hard for me to find anything smaller than 34. There's a distinction between "more people need DD+ cups these days" and "more people are buying DD+ cups these days".

  • Amaryllis

    On the subject of the 'increase' in large sizes, I'm suprised that no one has mentioned either:

    A: The prevailance of home made underwear into the sixties (in Europe anyway) which obviously is going to attract those with less than shop friendly sizes the most, and take them out of the records;

    B: The diet has briefly been touched upon, but also women were far more active, have you tried running a household without electrical appliances? It's not pleasent or easy. Exercise actually changes your shape far more than diet;

    C: And I think most importantly, many manufacturers have changed the way that they size bras. I know that should I buy a bra from a supermarket it would be a completely different size to one of my nice traditionally sized lingerie makers.

    I'm sure that the complete picture of why this change is sizes has happened is a complex one, and cannot even begin to be picked appart without the proper data, who collected it, from whom, and why. Boring statistics!

    • Jennifer D

      Good points!

  • Whitney

    Eeee!! The last set has a nursing bra! I'm always (okay, often) on the lookout for pretty, supportive nursing bras. You'd think that section of the market would be naturally engineered toward larger cup sizes, but nooooo.

    It's always a triumph to find a style that is supportive (read: underwire), makes a good shape under clothing, and looks pretty all by itself. What woman needs good lingerie confidence more than a postpartum-bodied nursing mom?

    I'll get off the soapbox now. =) Thanks for the great list!

  • Zoggi

    "I'm sure that the complete picture of why this change is sizes has happened is a complex one, and cannot even begin to be picked appart without the proper data, who collected it, from whom, and why. Boring statistics!"

    This is so very true. If you want to know how much women's body shapes and sizes have really changed, you will need to look at records of actual body measurements, and conduct a study of original garments to find out if a 1950s 34B is actually the same as a present day 34B. Going by sales figures makes huge assumptions about the unchangability of bra sizing methods over time and ignores the women who wear bras that don't fit, and those who don't buy commercially made bras. It would be very interesting to read a proper study involving measurements of garments in museum collections, studies of vintage advertising etc together with women's body measurements then and now.

  • Treacle

    @Cheryl–Thanks for stopping by! It means a lot for my list to get an endorsement from an expert in full bust bras. :)

    @glasscannon–Really great comment…it's so important for these articles to have perspective from women who wear these brands and bras.

    @Zoggi–Thanks for your comments! I especially liked your remarks about how a proper study into bra fitting should be conducted…definitely food for thought.

    @Kayla–A lot of retailers are having sales to clear out old stock in many of these brands. It's a great time to try a few of them out and see what works for you.

  • Treacle

    @JuliaB–Thanks for bringing a more international perspective to this post. I appreciate the Debenham's recommendation as well…you can never have too much info for this sort of thing!

    @En Bouton–Stephanie from Dottie's Delights asked a similar question, and I would imagine that, yes, there is some difference between a 34B (my size) and a 28E (my sister size, twice removed). Even the cup volume was the same, there is probably some difference in construction. And yes, great point about how bra sizing is likely changing because the availability of sizes is changing.

    @Amaryllis–Great points, all. Thanks for sharing them there.

    @Whitney–You're super welcome. Thanks for taking the time to comment. And if you're looking for nursing/maternity bras in particular, try Hot Milk and Cake Lingerie…they both specialize in that area. :)

  • Missile Panda

    I have bought a few of Debenhams gorgeous bras but I found them to not be quite of the quality of that of freya et al. As a 34GG maybe they just struggle with the bigger of the big sizes ;)

  • KirstyM

    I've recently been reviewing some DD+ cup bras and have found that Pleasure State is also an excellent brand (is it perhaps only in Australia?). I was also surprised by the fit of bras from the By Caprice label.

    As a 32F I'm sick and tired of being labelled "plus size" by lingerie stores. I end up having to try to find a size that fits amongst racks of bras that have more resemblance to a barrage balloon than intimate fashions! I'm a size 10, I just have ample bosoms and hate how hard it can be to find bras that fit me. The brands you mention above are so expensive here in Australia – often over $100 for a simple bra.

    Maybe a post on DD+ bras you can get for less than $50 would be useful for budget conscious girls like me!

  • Whitney

    Ooh, I hadn't heard of Cake Lingerie–thank you! Gorgeous stuff.

  • Treacle

    @KirstyM–Thanks for commenting! Several of the brands mentioned in this post are below $50 (Freya & Fantasie, for example). If they're retailing for over $100 in Australia, that may be due to other factors.

  • suep

    I've just discovered your blog and can't wait to do more reading. I figured I would just be a reader until I came across the nursing bra comment.
    Bosom Buddies has 2 brick & mortar stores in the Denver area and a web site. While we do regular & sport bras in the stores, we started in and specialize in nursing bras. (In fact we started selling sport bras because our nursing moms couldn't wear their old sport bras with their new milk-filled breasts!)
    Just to add a bit of information to the comments, Hot Milk and Cake do have beautiful bras, but they are all soft cups.

  • KirstyM

    Treacle – yes you are of course right. Many brands as so much more expensive here in Australia.

    I think it's down to a smaller market and also a teeny bit of retailers having had it too good for too long.

    Might have to start buying in the US I think!

    • Bra Queen

      Hi Kirsty,

      You’ll be please to know the Freya are reducing their pricing to $59.95 as of this season which is much lower. I am based in Australia so understand thoguhts, the main factors for the price difference is shipping and duty tax, the retailers actually don’t have a large margin on the bras.

      I am working with some Australian designers at the moment so this will be great for fuller busted women. I can’t say too much as it will be revealed later this year but watch this space.

      Renee xx

  • ana

    Empreinte is missing!! It is my all time absolut favorite!

  • Heidi

    I have found that most of these brands are quite expensive here in Canada too… Retailing for close to $100+ and only found in "specialty shops" is a bit rediculous! As a larger cup/smaller band size, I can't buy your run of the mill bras, and trying anything from Victoria's Secret or LaSenza is useless! LaSenza attempted to carry "NEW larger cup sizes!" but that lasted maybe a year, and then I couldn't find them any more, and was told they don't make them that size any longer. I've since boycotted buying anything from either store (PJ's, underwear and all) and wrote a complaint email to LaSenza. All I got was your typical "we don't take customer feedback lightly" comment..

  • Viviana

    What if you're fat with small boobs, I wear a 48B, and I can never find an underwire Bra! Well a comfortable one that is. I end up wearing the lame soft cup bras cause I can't find anything good.

  • Anonymous

    I just lost 40 lbs and went UP to a DD and fill it. I was lying to myself wearing a D–a 42 D.
    Was freaking out that I had gotten so big, but when I lost weight and my bust didn’t go down… 36 DD

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  • indiraj

    i love this

  • Silverdrake

    I wore the wrong bra size for years. Department stores only went up to a DD (if you were lucky, and only in BORING BEIGE). I started shopping online at herroom and barenecessities and discovered I’m actually a 34F (UK size – why does the US continue to use the very confusing DD, DDD, DDDD?).

    What I would like to see: more colors and prettier styles in larger bras. We don’t all want to “minimize” ourselves or camouflage with drab colors. I was looking for a sky blue bra to wear in sisterhood with Egyptian women, but not having any luck even online.

    I would also LOVE to see a line of tops for larger-breasted women. If I buy a top that fits my boobs, it’s enormous everywhere else. I’m a petite person otherwise and always have to buy different size tops and bottoms. I mostly just wear t-shirts, because the seam on fitted tops that’s supposed to fit under the bust invariably cuts right across the middle of mine. American manufacturers are missing a huge market of women who need a curvier cut in blouses.

    I think the median size has gone up simply because more women are getting a correct measurement. I am not obese, nor do I consume hormone-laden animal products or have implants. I am exactly the same shape as my great-grandmother. My two sisters wear completely different bra sizes and take after different members of the family. Our bra size is not our fault, it’s genetics.

    • BreastWhisperer

      Silverdrake, look into the Prima Donna “Madison”…the new colour for spring is Sky Blue! When looking at fashion colours, they are usually “limited editions” and produced and ordered in smaller quantities, so when you find it, don’t hesitate!

  • BreastWhisperer

    I also have to mention Prima Donna as a fantastic option. Their “Madison” is a godsend. Amazing support, minimizing while still keeping a rounded shape, stretch lace panels that hug at the top of the breast AND it looks almost as discreet as a T-Shirt bra underneath fitted tops. I have four of them!

    As a fitter, I spend a lot of time trying to talk women in the FF+ and 38+ back range OUT of wearing lined and overly padded “T-Shirt” bras, especially those with medium to softer breast tissue. I’m a 36G, and padded bras are not my best option. Ever. There is a way to achieve smoothness without bulk, by going with an unlined seamless style. The Empreinte “Melody” and “Iva” are great options. If nipples are a concern, look into silicone reusable nipple covers (Bristol 6 makes a good one). Also, the Pleasure State line is a beautiful option up to a G, but I find that their fits are not as good as some other companies in the deeper cup sizes. Great for the boudoir, maybe not so great for every day.

    Again, I’m a 36G/38F, and I try to be very realistic about what is appropriate and what will work for me. There are certain styles that I may covet, but simply just do not work with my body type and weight. I have fit so many curvy and fuller figured brides who are frustrated with the lack of strapless options, but frankly, the technology simply does not exist, when the client is in a 40 back combined with a deeper cup size (F-K). At that point, a bustier or corset may be a solution, but even then the options are limited. If bare shoulders are desired, a halter style of dress will offer more support, have more bra options and be just as pretty.

    Also, when I ask a woman “what’s your bra size?”, we almost always answer with a cup letter. In my fittings, I tell my ladies that a back size is a far more accurate representation of the total body shape. A 120 pound woman, generally, should NOT be wearing a 36 or 38 band. Ever. Like I said, I weigh about 185 and wear a firm 36 to 38. So many of of my clients who are in a 38C Victoria’s Secret bra end up in a 32F, when correctly fitted with the proper back/cup combination. It’s a common mistake to overestimate your back size and underestimate your cup size, and I wholly fault retailers like Victoria’s Secret and their limited size range and also to a large extent, the media for perpetuating the myth that a DD cup is “big”. It’s not.

  • SomoneR

    I like this list, but it was just as I thought it would be- mostly European bra manufacturers. When will major American companies get a clue. So many American women wear the wrong size because they don’t know any better. 60 pounds and 20 years ago, I wore a 32DDD; I now wear a 34G. 20 years ago, I was stuck trying to find just a 34 DD without having to go to a specialty shop because American bra manufacturers don’t seem to understand that you can have a full bust without a full figure. Thank goodness for the Internet! I can now buy Fantasie and Panache. I am looking forward to trying some of the other brands you have listed.

  • Shay

    I just recently learned that I have been wearing the wrong bra size for years. Im a 36G and proud of it! Unfortunately, finding bras in this size has been a bear, which is why I had recently become obsessed with finding great fitting bras that don’t come in black, white, or nude. This blog has really enlightened me to the existence of some amazing full bust brands, however, I have tried a UK website and I just could not figure out the size difference. Am I still a 36G in UK sizes? because I tried an F size and it didn’t quite fit too well and I’ve asked around with no answer to my questions. Please help!

    • Treacle

      Hi Shay!

      I’m not full-busted, so please don’t take this advice as gospel, but I’ve found that I need to go up a cup size when ordering European brands. So, I’m a 34B US but a 34C for Europe. But I’d ask a full busted blogger like Holly from The Full Figured Chest, Cheryl from Invest in Your Chest, or George from Fuller Figure Fuller Bust to see what they have to say. Hope that helps and I’m glad you’ve found this blog enlightening. :)


  • SammiDownUndy

    First time reader, fabulous post and I’ll love checking out some of these brands. Have just noticed Curvy Kate popping up in the retailers here in old Sydney town so will be checking it out.

    I’ve got to say big boobs have been the bane of my existence for decades. DD went to F after my child was born. I have heard it all about so many different brands of bra’s for ‘bigger girls’ and have been so bitterly disappointed and out of pocket that often that I’d given up.

    I was actually put on to a party plan range called Intimo. I knew women that were evangelical about this brand but I’d ignored it until my chiro told me to take look at them. Have not looked back once. Bye bye Double Boob syndrome, Helloooo waist!

    It’s not any cheaper than the rate I pay retail (typically $70-120 for a bra depending on the brand – another aspect of being larger that irks greatly) but the construction is excellent, the lingerie range is beautiful and I finally have the thing I found the most impossible of all to get hold of – plain old tee-shirt bras!

    Now if ONLY I could find a brand that does lovely negligees and nightwear for girls with more plunge than perk in the boob department, I’d be truly happy.

  • Cake Lingerie

    Excellent post! The tips are also very useful regarding Nursing Bras .There is a gradual increase in blood supply to help your breasts prepare for feeding your baby later on. These changes show why it is important to wear a comfortable, supportive maternity bra.

  • Paula

    I am a 34DD and I like to wear tank tops and dresses with thin straps. I have been looking everywhere for T-shirt (smooth) type bras that I can use day to day with spaghetti straps. I also prefer to use unformed bras with no foam as they add bulk. Does anybody have any ideas? All the bras nowadays come with foam cups and huge straps that do NOT work for me. I miss the old days when bras didn’t have foam…

    Thanks for any ideas…


  • Melissa

    I looked through those sites and couldn’t find a single 44D bra. I’m so sick of wearing white, pink, or nude bras. I want fun bras like I used to fit in. But it seems the only bras that work for me are Platex…ugh… I have worn Cacique and Underscore, but they don’t seem to fit as well as Playtex. Can’t someone design fun fashionable bras for the large woman? I fit in Victoria Secret panties, but not any of their bras any more. I miss the Victoria Secret days…but the sad secret is: as you get older, you generally get bigger too.

  • aparna

    i am 82 kg now after my delivery…. my bra size is 38… i don’t know what cup size to breasts are too big sagging though i am nursing my baby… what kind of bra can i wear to reduce my brreast size

  • Bonnie

    *Sigh* Bra buying is such a chore for me. I’m a C cup, but a 40-41 band width (only 19 lbs overweight, but all around the middle). Most places only go up to 38, and bigger than that means “industrial” bras. Even this article – large cup sizes (great as those are hard to find in stores) but the same tiny band sizes.

    I miss pretty bras, but it’s been years since I could wear one, because they’re not offered, unless one fits in that narrow band range.

    • Ros

      I’m the same. 40C or 42C. Not a big enough cup for the big-busted bras; too large on the band size for most standard ranges. I was so hopeful because the example given at the top of the article was 40C, but I couldn’t find any of the top ten that actually offer this size.

      My solution is to make my own. Well, that’s the plan. I haven’t started yet, but I’m fed up of spending a ton of money on garments that I don’t like and which don’t really fit. I deserve pretty bras as much as the next woman!

  • / Vicki

    How do we know what the average cup size is, even if they get their number figures from lingerie or online A) Companies do their bra/band sizing different. B) Many are still doing add 4/5 to band measure- which gets to cup size.

    Ive been measured 30 and 4 count to 34 band, well to big for me, other women the same

    Both A and B will give incorrect results with band and cup sizing.

  • Catherine

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned Lunaire. Their sports bra is still the best I’ve found, and I’m pretty demanding of my sports bras.

  • MB

    Wow I don’t know how some of you ladies wear a 28 band??? My 10 year old daughter who is 5ft 75lbs and insanely thin was fitted for a 32 A just the other day and the band fits nice and snug. You ladies must be extra petite.

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  • Corey

    Thanks. This really helps with my pricing I’m starting a new bra company and I always get good insight.

  • JanetMarie

    I have a question.. Im a 38-40D on one breast but id measured on other im a 38-40 A Im having MAJOR issues finding bras that WONT HURT! or look like a deflated balloon on one side. anyway i can get help fiding bras?? every sales clerk i ask have me try on a million bras and by time i find one that somewhat fits.. i buy it and then next day i try on and doesnt fit right anymore.. (probably because of the agitation from trying on made my breast swell and fit better when i bought it)

    its uuber frustrating!!!

    • Treacle

      Hi JanetMarie!

      If there’s a cup size or more difference between your breasts, you want to buy a bra to fit the larger one and then use chicken cutlets or other support to fill out the smaller cup. So focus on taking care of the larger breast and getting a good fit there, and that should help. :)


  • susan

    If 36 D is really the AVERAGE size why is it so hard to find bras a little bigger, until F at least? Either this information is wrong or the manufacturers are completely ignoring the reality. If 36D is the average there must be plenty of women a bit bigger. I used to wear a Calvin Klein 36D even though I was F because it stretched but then they changed the model with that mousse inside. It was perfect before? Why do they think larger busted women want extra padding? And since Calvin Klein is American why do they stop at D or DD? That doe snt really reflect the reality of American women’s sizing, and this is an American brand? Same thing with Victorias Secret. Why do they sell nothing for larger busts? This doesn’t make sense. You have to buy a foreign bra even though the average American woman is a D cup? I see many bras online but I would like to know what actual stores have the brands you mention above, as I don’t really want to order and guess and send back over and over again. Is there any actual shop, say in new york city, that would have these bras to try on? I wanted to try a strapless. I wanted to try wonderbra strapless but there is a lot of confusing information about the band size being too small etc. Anybody have any luck with that or any strapless that really works?

    • Jodi

      Hi Susan,

      I’m not Treacle, but I was searching for something else, and live in NYC so I thought I’d help.

      If you want to try bras in person in NYC, try the Town Shop on the Upper West Side (Broadway between 81st and 82nd). They carry many of the brands listed here.

      • Treacle

        Thanks, Jodi!

  • NH

    WHY in the world are so many full-figured bras PADDED? I’d like a decent, DD cup that is smooth so I can wear under anything, full coverage, and not look like a porn star at work!

    • Ros

      Yes, this! Even for smaller bras, it would be nice not to have to buy padded ones. But when you’re my size, it’s flat out ridiculous. I do not need extra padding, thanks.

  • Rowan

    Thank you so much for this article! I checked all of the links to see if any of these brands were sold near where I live (Utah, USA) and found that Nordstrom carried several of them. Went there today and bought the first bra I’ve ever found that actually fit me–a Freya 34G. I never would have found it without you!

    • Treacle

      Yay! I’m so happy to hear that. You totally made my day. :-D

  • Angela

    Hi…thanks a lot for writing this post….felt so good to hear there are more like me….had thought I am an abnormal case…lol
    I completely agree with the difference of full bust….

    I totally agree that women werent buying larger cup sizes cuz they wernt available…

    You dont get a D where I live.It’s rare…Recently heard of E.I cant tell you how awed I was….
    When you get it, you buy it, but earlier we had to adjust with smaller cups, right….

  • Abi

    This bras are gud but they don’t sell them in nigeria

  • Jo

    I am a full busted gal (34G), so I thank you for making the distinction between full-busted and full-figured. I live in a rural area, so clothing stores, let alone stores that offer a wide range of bra sizes in fashionable styles, is a bit rare. Approximately six months ago I made a trip to be professionally fitted because I knew I was wearing the wrong size, but was so frustrated when I couldn’t find bras in the local stores that fit. Fitting a woman for a correctly sized bra is not an exact science, so I definitely recommend going for a free fitting before purchasing online. Although a bit pricey, I also recommend Chantelle. I find their bras give me a nice rounded shape and are very comfortable. I also wear bras by many of the manufacturers mentioned on the top 10 list. Since I am a former college athlete (cross-country and track) and Biomedical Engineer I want to put in a quick plug for the Shock Absorber sports bras. I prefer a compression style sports bra for running to hold the girls firmly in place so I can focus on form and speed and they have been the best I have found to date. Keep up the great work on this blog!

  • melissa

    I think nothing exists for me. I have tried a hundred bras and its always the same. Im a 38-40 around, typically plus, but my fave bra is a c, my others are d,…the problem is I have gained and lost weight over and over and now my boobs are just there, very heavy, not full, just there… I really hate them, In bras I have to continually lift and “fluff” them. I need major side support and lift, in all my bras, they “slide” down and just look awful. If you can help, PLEASE help!!!!

    • Treacle

      Sounds frustrating! Have you tried visiting a bra fitter? Or using one of the bra fit calculators available online?

  • Annierose

    I’m a one-brand woman and that brand is Goddess. I’m both plus size & full-busted, and most of their bras come in my size 42J.
    Annierose, coming late to this discussion because my daughter just sent me the link.

  • fysisoft

    wow wonderful collection and brands…Thanks

  • Bela

    Hi! I just discovered your website and am loving it! I am looking to find a few amazing bras that I LOVE. I am around a 34FF. (Was recently fitted.) I am looking for something very simple that is supportive and minimizing. Sexy not necessary- just practical. I live a very active life and just want the ladies to be supported and comfortable! Any suggestions? I am finding the wide selection a bit overwhelming. I don’t even know where to start.


  • Angel

    thank you so much for making this list!!! i have been in not even that big compared to some full busted women, but most small stores only go up to a 38c, and stores that go higher dont have much of a selection and its such a downer! this list is awesome, thank you so much!!

  • Belinda

    To all you ladies complaining about only being able to buy white and beige
    You can fabric dye your bras. Nylon does dye beautifully and cotton of course
    Kool aid give very pretty pastels (though you will smell kinda fruity for a bit)
    And I assume everyone hand washes and air fires ther bras correct?
    The washer and dryer will kill the elastic and warp your underwires. Also I’ve heard wires coming out and wrecking the dryer

    I dye all my old bras that are no longer quite white
    Also save the ones with the stretched out bands. I use te cups when I make my own bikini tops

    That way I get great support and coverage on skimpy style tops. And some pretty good cleavage when I use a padded bra ;D

    • Belinda

      A 38A, 36B, 34C, 32D all have the same cup size. So if you fit the cup but not the band you can by them off the clearance rack and use them to line your itty bitty bikini tops

  • L

    Estrogen pollution and obesity are two huge factors contributing to the increase of bra size. No pun intended.

  • Sossy

    Excellent and helpful post – but I’m not sure how many of these are available in the USA. I’d easily (well, maybe not super-easily) spend $100 or more for a bra that actually fits and is not painful. No implants & not full-figured, just blessed with a lot going on upstairs. Underwires hurt like crazy (they cut under my armpits), and as others mentioned, department stores seem to think women with 34-inch ribcages don’t need D cups.

    I wonder if the stats are based on women who repeatedly buy new bras just as an effort to find one that fits?

  • DW

    I buy Glamorise usually, and I have to shop online because I wear a 40I. But my poor teen daughter (who is not overweight) is a 32FF and sometimes can find bras at the Nordstrom Rack (we try not to crack jokes on the name of the store under the circumstances…). Nordstroms is the only store around here I’ve been able to find with a decent selection of bra sizes, and while the prices are terrifying and the products aren’t comfortable enough for my taste, at least my kid can find a good fit for modest prices in the clearance shop.

    • Paige

      You’re lucky if you live in a state that has a Rack in it. In New Mexico it’s like 800 miles to the nearest city that’s got enough stores in it to have a Rack and as a teacher there’s no way I can afford Nordstrom’s.

  • Dariana Wheeland

    I love your blog! Do you do reviews on post masectomy bras and breast forms?

    • Treacle

      Hi Dariana,

      My writers and I can only review items we’ve actually tried, and as none of us has had a mastectomy or been in need of breast forms, those are items are items we cannot legitimately review. HOWEVER, we do accept guest posts from our readers, including product reviews. And if someone would like to write one for The Lingerie Addict, I’d be more than happy to consider publishing it.

      Take care,

  • Laura O

    Just now finding this blog and spent some wonderful time reading everyone’s posts. Truly bra sizing and fitting is not an exact science…I’ve followed my mother who followed her mother as developing early and full…I started to wear a 32 DD before I was 13 and while my oldest daughter is probably 3 or so years away, it is blogs like this that will help me and other moms keep our daughters fitted properly and stylish. I would like to know of blogs or sites where I can connect with other moms raising daughters that will most likely be full busted like their mother and family members before…I’m assuming growing up with full breasts early has similar social issues that I faced and the more help the better.

  • JamiLynn

    I just wanted to say how much I appreciate you for writing and posting! I have always been a Victorias Secret (VS) girl (then woman lol) as they carried a specific wireless bra that still had the lift I wanted. I WAS a 34 to 36 C. Then, when I turned 26 I got pregnant and after I had my baby boy I never was able to lose the weight. I quit smoking and that didn’t help matters in that area. lol Though I don’t regret it! Anyhow… Now I wear a 40 DD and VS doesn’t accommodate for my size any longer. Needless to say I was crushed… when you have to shop in a different place because you have become too big.. well… that doesn’t feel all that great! lol And I have been searching for a GOOD bra for a while, to no avail, and then tonight I found your blog… I am so thankful! You, my dear, are great at what you do!! And it may not seem like It should mean so much but it does… TO ME. So… Thanks again! You’re The BEST!

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  • Rebecca

    Can anyone help me? I am brestfeeding mother and now cannot find a bra to fit my new larger breasts. I have worn a bra from dillards that is a size 34D but from Victoria secret a 34DDD. I have tried getting fitted but they ended up having me buy a bra that was too little. The bras are too small or too big. I do have larger breasts but I am not full figured so they may gape at the top. does anyone know what shape/style bra would be best or a website to help. I am getting desperate! I want a bra that fits me correctly:/

  • jaye

    ive always been a big busted girl and live in au the range here is poor and extremly expensive could you do a lost of online stores to help us whom don’t have the fantastic shops like us and uk. please help

  • Ladygodiva

    Full-busted all my life… finally got a 34gg in my 30s in the UK and never looked back, post nursing I wear a 36H. Bravissimo, Undercover experience, Traditional Lingerie (Woods), and Brastop are all places I shop regularly. For nursing bras I have worn up to a 36K (Royce) and 36H (Freya, Fantasie, HotMilk). The UK nursing bras are mostly non-wire but the support is better than most underwire bras. Fancee Free comes in larger sizes, but is kind of a bullet proof vest – and too large in front to wear under all but turtlenecks. As long as you know your size, running a google search can bring up lots of different places to buy.

    Remember that most of the EU bras are designed to fit lower on your back than the US-made and designed bras – you can tell by holding them up and seeing the difference in the cup placement. This makes many of the styles more comfortable for the fuller bust, with less stress on the shoulders.

    In person shops in the US I have used : LIlly Ann’s Lingerie in LIvermore CA, and Creative Woman, Wizard of Bras in Monrovia. Both places do excellent fitting, particularly if you can make an appointment. Lady Grace in Massachusetts also does a reasonable job, but is a more conservative style – mostly Goddess and Elomi in the larger sizes.

    Prima Donna are nice bras, if expensive, and often the shops that carry them will try to fit you into a ‘close’ size rather than one that fits. The department stores here are useless.

  • Louise K

    I personally prefer Bravissimo as they have a wide range for me to choose from as I find it difficult to get good bras, I am a 36FF.

  • Terry

    I am so happy to find a list of companies that have a range of full bust/figure bras. At 22, I find myself wanting underwear that is cute and flirty, but you just can’t find them in stores. for me, bra shopping has just been frustrating since my chest really came in (whether the cause is the hormones in the things I eat, or my equally busty grandparents from both sides is irrelevant.) I’m fully aware that my bras are in the wrong cup size, but with the more appropriate cup sizes, I hate how far the cup goes on the side and how almost all of the bras are boring, and will definitely give these boutiques a try.

  • Mina

    Could you do a list of good bra companies for small band size, full busted women? I’ve found that while it’s easy to find 44G in stores a 32G is particularly annoying (I only have one, and it’s tan and padded. I shouldn’t be wearing tan at seventeen. And why in the world would I need padding??). I have to say Natori and Wacoal are GREAT companies for 32DD or 32DDD in the US, but once you hit a G, there’s one bra and it’s lame.

    • Treacle

      Many of the companies listed here make bras in 32G.

    • Kylee

      Mina, I am in my late 20’s, wear a 32H, and have been in full-bust sizes since high school, so I feel your pain. For cute, flirty, young styles, the list hit on many of the best options I’ve found. Freya and Cleo are the youngest and most fun of the bunch. I personally prefer Panache, and have found an awesome fit in their Tango Plunge Bra (3256). It’s not as cutesy or patterned like Freya and Cleo, but it fits me like a glove and I can wear it underneath almost anything without flashing the top of my bra in a low-cut shirt. Everyone fits in everything different, so perhaps you’ll have better luck with those younger-looking options that I did because they never quite sat right on my frame, wearable but not great for me.

      You won’t find these bras in most department stores in the US. Nordstrom does carry a fair selection if you want to try some and get a feel for the fit. I usually try things on in a specialty store in Houston (where I live), buy one bra from them, and then order 2 or 3 more from an online retailer because it’s so much cheaper. I would recommend trying them first in a store because it’s hard to buy bras online without ever trying them (unless you first get a feel for how each brand fits you).

  • Suheiry

    Hello! I love this post! I found your blog through one of your Pinterest pins, and it’s been a God-send. I’m not exaggerating. I’m 5′ and wear a 34DD. Finding bras in my size is nearly impossible unless I go to Victoria’s Secret, which I’m not too fond of either. I can’t wait tor try out the brands you mention in this post. Also, I linked back to it in one of my own recent posts: I also did a similar post, but with swimsuits: I know you’re blog is strictly lingerie, but us full bust girls have just as much trouble looking for suits that fit just right. :) Thank you for this post!

    • Cora

      I’m glad it was helpful to you! Thanks for sharing it with your readers. :-)

  • Ms.Reyes

    Love all the suggestions! Thanx. I was just recently fitted at Linda’s in NY and found I was actually a cup bigger at 38E/DDD. My sis came as well and had been wearing a 36G but was actually a 32J. Her boobs are finally sitting up lol and she’s exciting to see these brands have so many colors and designs to chose from. I was afraid being bigger I would be forced to wear bras that were only full coverage as I prefer demi cups but balconnet bras are available and are pretty much the same but better. They can be a little pricey but once you know your size and a brand you prefer there are sellers on ebay who ship from Europe so the prices end up being cheaper even with shipping. Be sure to hand wash your new treasures as I was told that tide can break down the elastic. I have a special lingerie soap that’s gentle and will help your bras last longer. Store them flat and learn to put them on from the front; the hard way, which will help your bra last longer as well. The old way: turning the bra around stretches out the band and when flipping it up the cups and the underwire can lose their shape. Nordstrom also sells some of these brands online and offer free shipping and returns. So far, my sis and I are a fan of Panache, Cleo and Curvy Kate but I will definitely check out these other brands. Thanx again!

  • Catherine

    I recently bought a Panache 36J. Theoretically that is the right size, but I find that the wire sits way around on the side instead of closer to the front. It is just plain uncomfortable. Any suggestions as to what brands keep the band as the band and put the wire where it should be?

  • brabar|boutique

    I love this post! However, don’t forget about European designer Marlies Dekkers. She creates bras up to a 40F and they are not only the most comfortable bras you will ever find, but they are also the most beautiful. Her lingerie changes the way women feel about themselves. Having a bra that looks AND feels good is a dream come true! Please consider putting her lingerie on the list.

  • Sophia

    Hi there!
    I just found your page and i find it very interesting.
    I have, lika a lot of women here problems finding a Good bra that fits
    me without hurting me or make me look lika Madonna in her Im a virgin-video.
    I live in Sweden and have a huge problem finding bras in big sizes.
    I wonder if you can help me?
    My european size is 75J (I used to have 75I because that was The biggest size they
    had in The store. I bought it though it was too small for me).
    So I guess The next size from 75I is 75J, am I correct?
    And if I NOW have 75J, what size would that be in american size?
    Can you or someone Else please recommend me where I can find nice fitting bras
    In My size that doesnt cost a fortune? And IF there isnt any bras in My size
    thats not affordable, please give me names of brands and models that fits me even though they are pricy.
    Thanks for a great page & for making me Feel that Im not all alone on This planet with big Brests and ugly fitting bras.
    Please help me!

    • Cora

      Hi Sophia,

      I’m not familiar with which brands are available to you in Sweden, but I’d recommend searching for a bra size conversion calculator to figure out your size across brands. The blog post you’re commenting on right now likely contains some brands that make bras in your size.


  • Stephanie

    I never knew there were such hot lingerie items for bigger women. Really sexy too. Thank you for all of the detailed info you have given us here.

  • Mdawn

    I’m sorry but how can a company that only goes to a size 40 band realistically advertise as “plus size”? I wear a size 16-18. So yes im plus size but not huge and I wear a 42 band..sometimes needing up to a 46 depending on the style and width of the back and side panels. Do you know of any REAL plus size companies?

    • Cora

      In the lingerie industry, bands 38 and above are considered plus size. A 38 band will usually fit someone with a 38″ underbust measurement or higher. Curvy Kate, Elomi, Prima Donna, Curvy Kate and Goddess all make bras in that size range (but I wouldn’t consider any of them to be exclusively plus size companies). We also have articles on the site for 40-50 band sizes, such as this one here.

  • Yvonne

    Love your site. Trying hard to get a bra I created out to the women I have come to call my sisters. It was created out of a need like most things, I would love a company to add it to there line. I have a Utility Patent on it. It was created for the big breasted active women. Thank you for sharing companies that care for the big ones. Yvonne Johnston (

  • kate

    I found this information very helpful, but the comments made me laugh! Do you people not realize that companies change the sizing?? If you took a bra that is a DD today, and one that was a B thirty years ago, the only difference would be the l letters on the tag! They would be the same size! It’s the same with all clothing, jeans, shirts, panties…. It’s not our body size or the way we eat, its the clothes. Wake up people.

  • Kate

    It’d be nice to see actual PLUS sized bras represented here on the “Top 10 Bra Brands for Full Bust & Plus Sized Women.” 38 isn’t plus size…

    • Cora

      Hey, thanks for your feedback! Unfortunately, I haven’t really run across a standard definition of “plus size.” It seems to vary based on who’s talking about it and what they’re talking about. In lingerie, it starts around a 38-40 band size; that has to do with the lines the bra market and bra manufacturers are split along. This article is also a couple of years old, and if you’re looking for more updated information, I’d check our plus size category for other lingerie articles on the subject here:


  • Mia

    I personally prefer Prima Donna.

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  • Anna

    love the information. For a really sturdy bra that can be worn as both an everyday bra and a sports bra check out Le Unique bras. The breasts are supported with a banderine. No wires. Perhaps they can be featured in your blog as well.

    • Cora

      I had not heard of Le Unique, but I’ll definitely take a look.


  • Macky

    Thaaaaaank you so much for this post!!! Oh my god you have saved my life. I am so grateful you’ve done all the hard work for me. I’ve favorited this page like 100 times and put it on my “pocket app”. Just wanted to let you know I appreciate this post and keep it up! Started following you on tumblr :)

  • Delani

    I really like Prima Donna. Being a 40H, I need a well made bra to keep the weight off. I have tried other brands but they seem a little too flimsy. Prima Donna is well made and supremely well engineered. I keep thinking of them as suspension bridges. They have a nice range of neutrals was well as a few romantic ones but they start at about $80 and go into the $140s.

  • Fauve

    I really enjoyed reading this article, as well as most of the comments. It’s so reassuring that there are so many of us who have unconventional bra sizes. My issue is that most of these companies are European owed and the shipping and duty costs are so much that I can’t afford to update my bras as often as I would like.
    I live in Canada and have visited Bravissimo locations all over London England on many a previous trip. I thought I had my size all figured out, so when I went to order some bras after returning home I wouldn’t have to fuss about returns and such.
    No luck. I can’t figure out if my boobs just keep growing, or if the sizes are that different between the different brands sold by the same company. It is really frustrating.
    I ordered a strapless bra about a year ago, when it came in the mail originally there was no duty or extra charges. But defects in manufacturing caused a strap loop to come unfastened, and Bravissimo gratefully exchanged it. When I got the return item, along with a new order I had placed, I had to pay 40$ CND for customs!
    Shocked, I paid the fee and was excited to try on my new bra. So I get home, only to find that the new bra shipped doesn’t fit like the previous. I cant go through the hassle of ordering and waiting almost 3 weeks for delivery and being unsatisfied with the purchase, but even worse, sending it back and waiting ages for a replacement to be forced to pay on top of that extra shipping, customs, for the same item.
    WE NEED STORES IN CANADA! Or at least shipping from a location in Canada so we don’t have to wait so long!
    A fair number of my girlfriends are large chested and have the same issues.

    Does anyone know of a North American retailer?

    • Cora

      If you’re in Canada, try Butterfly Collection.

  • renee

    That’s all great but what about the plus size full bust ladies? I am a 46 ddd and it is super difficult to find a good bre. Cathrines just discontinued two underwire bras that I loved…so back to the hunt I go. Any suggestions? We need sturdy bras with a wider back and sides, no flimsy little 2 hook things. But we still like to be sex!

  • mjay

    OK. I’m a plus size girl age 31. I need bigger than a 44 at thr moment. I wear a 48 Dd depending on the brand. None of these go that high in girth. I started exercising and needan aawesome bra to do the coach to 5 k. This site didn’t help. Ehhh. I’d also like to know if anywhere customizes the cups I’m a total cup lower on one side. Ehh. Again. Ty

    • Cora

      We have over 2000 posts on TLA. I’d recommend searching our archives as there are quite a few articles discussing bras for higher band sizes…for example, this one: 8 Pretty Bras for Full Bust, Plus Size Women. Our FAQ in the header bar is a great place to get started.

      Have a good week!

    • DDtop

      Hi try the Elomi sports bra goes upto those sizes plus the Goddess/Glamorise best way is just do a search on line in the size you need and it will bring list of brands that do

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  • Kristin

    I would add two French brands — Chantelle and Le Mystere — to this list. They only go up to an H cup (close to American sizing), but I find them a bit more generous in the cup than the UK FF equivalent. Same goes for Wacoal. Natori is another that goes to an H cup, but their cups are on the small, shallow side.

    Claudette is a new brand that goes up to a UK G cup. It’s known for minimalistic design with very bold color palates.

    For a lot more range in sizes, the Polish brand Kris Line is quite good. Ewa Michalak, also Polish, gets a lot of high praise as well, but I haven’t had a chance to try any of those on.

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  • Dr. Susan J. Williams

    Please help me find a bra I like. I hate these microfiber sport bras. I like the “torpedo tit” or bullet etc. my band is 33.5 and the fullest part is 40. That seems to me each compny calls it a different size. Please let me know where I can find something that enhances not minimizes and soft on the shoulders. I have worn Pennyrich and Novall. Please tell me which is more flattering in a sexy way. Thanks. I await your suggestion. Thank you

  • Elspeth

    Can anyone tell me where i can find a 24 c Bra in Australia…. that doesn’t cost a bomb and fits well.. so hard to find.. sometimes I wish i had bigger boobs than a C just so i can get a decent pretty well fitting Bra.

  • Gigi

    I noticed a lot of people speculating as to why American women have bigger chests now. I think a lot of it varies. The hormones meats do not help, but then there are some who are naturally busty. I am a 34DD and I think I would be that way no mater what.. Granted, I need to lose a little weight right now but I am not overweight. But my size has not changed with weight gain or loss. I was a 34DD even at 120lbs. Every woman is different and honestly, with my bone structure, I think I would look funny if I were smaller.

  • Crystal

    So… plus size is ONLY a 40 band? None of these brands go above a 40. And I’ve tried Elomi 40’s before and they are small. They fit more like 34/36’s. This just makes me sad that I’ll never have a proper fitting bra.

    • Cora

      Hi Crystal,

      Have you tried searching sites like HerRoom or Lane Bryant? They both stock bra sizes in bands above 40. In addition, this particular post is over 3 years old now, but we have several blog posts dedicated to plus size bra options in larger band sizes (search the blog for “plus size”).


  • Sam

    Go into a “intimacy” store they go up to a KK cup! Life Changing experience!

  • Veronica

    I do not consider bras lingerie. I am looking for actual lingerie that will fit my 42 HH breast.

  • http://google darlynda

    Do you carry 50 or 50 b bras my sister in law needs bras please let me know Thank you

    • Cora

      We don’t carry any bras (The Lingerie Addict is a blog, not a retailer), but just searching for ’50B bra’ in Google brought up a ton of retailers stocking options for this size. Best of luck with your search!

    • http://DDtopX DDtop

      Hi try Ebay also many retailers list on there also in bigger band sizes plus from over seas and Elisabeth Dale The breastlife has a list of large band/smaller cups

  • Esther

    Ok, here is one for you. Where do I find bras that offer good support and look nice that are over a 50 inch band size???? If I knew how to sew, darn straight I would make my own and open a business to sell them too. I know there has got to be a place that makes and sells, WITHOUT costing me , my first born child.

    • Cora

      Have you tried I can’t speak to your taste, style, or budget preferences, but Elila and Goddess make some pretty (in my opinion) styles in the 50+ band size range.

  • Lisa Myers

    I have a problem with finding a bra that fits properly as well as falling out of the bottom!! They all start out fitting or seem to fit then by the middle of the day part of my breast are “leaking” from the bottom. I need help!!!!

    • Alison

      It sounds like you need a smaller band size. Try going down a band size and up a cup size. Or it could be also be that you need a bigger cup size, as the breast can push the cup away from the body if there’s not enough fabric to encase it

  • Vicky80

    Few more brands from Poland: Comexim (narrow wires), Krisline 28-49/50 A-KK diffrent styles for diffrent busts and figures.

  • Bobbi

    I’m a natural B cup , but my band is about 48 – 52 ( depending on weight fluctuations) … so hard to find bras to fit band which will stretch …. most of the time I’m SOL … also my upper abs are not flat, as I’m now an apple shape and carry most of my weight in my stomach area which protrudes right under the band. Harder to lose , but I keep trying. At nearly 50 years old. I’m finding it difficult to find things which fit. Cups with seams pucker on me and look ridiculous under any type of top. Any suggestions?

  • DDtop

    Hi can add a few things to this conversation i guess!
    Me being a male that has had to join the bra wearers some came from how i was at puberty looked girl like there but changed with things like meds as have Fibro/Raynauds things like Amytrypline and Nifedapine cause growth as Amy messes hormones up in males and females lowers in M raises in F’s.
    But the one many are missing is Glyphosate increased massively over the years (Roundup/weedkiller)Causes endocrine disruptor’s in males messes up T and lowers sperm levels plus gets into your DNA (read about it)and in Vietnam they sprayed masses of chemicals plus also else where then and since now this stuff has found it’s way into the air and water so our bodies don’t function as should we store instead of burning Kcals also so many foods are corrupted with junk as we can live on saturated fats our bodies are designed to but what we are not designed to eat is messed up foods like Hydrogenated fats/Pasteries etc another one that makes you keep weight on is preservatives as like heavy metals (cadmium/lead/mercury etc)which once in your body stay there so get a toxic build up so does preservatives reason i say that is two fold as the French eat a lot of bread buy few times a day as baked freshly many times a day can see them go to a window and buy at certain times of the day but you rarely see fat french people as theres don’t have preseravatives but also they have found we don’t decompose when been buried as we should when been exhumed!
    Another thing that is never thought about in the last few years!!! we went through 2 world wars where many thousands of tons of chemicals/explosives was dropped/fired etc etc into the air/land etc now that just don’t disappear that’s a contaminant!
    Agree on the BC pill it’s not so much the Estrogen but the type more as way it works on things plus plastics/cleaning/cosmetics with likes of EPA etc just look up tinned tom’s for one!
    And then we get to like’s of Chicken etc with growth hormones and the list goes on and on!

    They have now found i have a P tumor have/had very high Prolactin plus hormones all out of place/wrong which made them get very sensitive/sore esp nipples which like females when B feeding increases P so a dog chasing it’s tail situation?
    Then they put me on Tgel hrt which made them grow more including nipples and leaks!
    be doing nothing and like someones rubbing sandpaper over them etc!
    So now gone from 46D to 44E/F (conti don’t do DD) but must admit since wearing full time they have sort of settled down not painful like was so i guess a bonus but do get to wear some nice bra’s though!
    Have learnt a lot about breasts and bra’s though with fittings/shapes/sizes etc worked size out myself which lady confirmed i spoke to but did get fitted and said 44E was better with way it fits(wider cup) Now do have 70 odd bra’s quite a few are repeats on one type so can wear just those if i like as do rotate and handwash some i have got in deals or used like when they find got wrong size etc most of mine are the Eveden brand most Elomi but also Goddess just like and fit/work well.(you did miss that Fantasie do go up to 44 band in a few 6500/7000)
    But also Anita/Rosa Faia/Sculptress/Panache/Felina/Triumph/Playtex/Glamorise/Miss Mary of Sweden/Ulla/Empreinte/Prima Donna so you see all theses come in “plus” sizes as it were!
    some brands do odd sizes that are not listed too found two Fantasie in 44DD which isn’t listed plus Prima Donna Ginza.
    Have some sports bra’s the Elomi EL8040/1 do go to large band and cup size and Anita do too also Glamorise they do one called 1166 which can adjust front on 4 levels which for males is great as quite discrete even under a T shirt! as can pull them in as it were!
    But it’s something the brands are going to have to address if they want to flourish as many are getting larger!
    But also many miss the male market as “growing” likewise even things like BP/heart meds can cause it and like females many have been affected by things like you say the pill etc many are called baby boomer cases from the 50/60’s but does bring me back to the war thing?
    But im putting a lot of mine down to glyphosate as used it quite a lot and got sprayed when near a farm and wind caught it as skin changed where it was on me.
    But the funny thing is that many never realise is that both males and females have breasts just that some have more some have less they can still function on either! just that ours normally don’t develope that way! but it does affect many that it happens to many shut themselves away from life etc so there is a cost!
    But would be nice to have more understanding from people/society in general just like females like people to be more understanding of plus size.
    But did get an email from Prima Donna that they are looking to cover the male market plus larger sizing males tend to be larger bands/smaller cups but also many ladies are too plus some are wide set like males so we are not unlike!
    But must admit do now tend to buy matching bra and briefs as find the briefs so comfortable plus looks smarter!
    Always happy to help anyone!
    Sorry post so long but hope it helps someone!

  • http://unknown Cheryl

    Just a comment about a bra I have relied on – the only brand made in the US, and by union workers — which holds up your breasts without straining shoulders and minimizes. It ain’t so pretty –but it saves your back and probably keeps tissues from stretching over years of being tossed around. It generally serves as my sports bra as well. ( I made up an a elastic band with velcro to hold the straps together more which for bouncier activities) That standard model minimizes about 2 sizes. I have been ddd or dddd ( or f/g) for years, and this has been a godsend.

    EDITH LANCE bras – handmade in NYC. You can order them online at ABra4Me, which allows returns. Expensive but they last years — always hand washed. They are suspension bridges for the babes. The put the weight on the band which is arounf your middle — sort of like the way backpacks are balanced. For anyone whose neck, shoulders and back are strained with many other bras, this may be a godsend. It helps to have a fitting, and sometimes to have someone tailor them to your body. ( I like to reduce the 5 hook back to 4 hooks, eg, and have had too large cups darted when the next size down was too small)

    For seamless bras for knit fabrics – not when I am not going to be really active — Simone Perele is my favorite – And I’ve had Prima Donnas – another French maker, a more expensive that Simone P.

    I have one model of Shock Absorber sports bra which seems to work -without pulling on shoulders – the S00BV – keeps the breasts elevated and fairly immobile – but I don’t know yet how well it holds up.

    But again – I recommend women with heavy breasts looking for a practical everyday bra look into Edith Lances. while they still exist.

  • Beth

    I found this site while researching ‘bras for full breasts’. While I’m definitely not a lingerie addict, I appreciate all this info. I finally realized, after many years, that I was trying to fit in the wrong bra size. I tolerated the uncomfortableness. But when I started menopause about 5 years ago, and especially this last year when my full breasts became even fuller ‘cuz they were swelling up, I promised myself I would put in the time and effort to find a bra that feels RIGHT. I found a pretty good Wacoal bra at Macy’s. However my breasts are still so HEAVY-feeling, it’s causing me to scrunch up my shoulders, creating further tension. (It’s tough being a female!). Anyway thanks for the website.

  • Rae

    So I have a problem that doesn’t seem to be covered and I’m having a really hard time finding bras outside of Torrid because of it: I’m a 46-48 (On severe occasions I up a band size on my period and it SUCKS) with a cup size of B. I am a member of the itty bitty titty committee but without the tiny band size. Everywhere I go outside of the rare instance in Torrid I have to compensate via getting a smaller band and a bigger cup with extenders, which I hate, or I just wear a sports bra which is okay on my lazy days but some days I want to feel prettier than that. My only problem is my nearest Torrid is a 20 minute drive on the most terrifying highway ever (they’re building a new bridge and the construction has caused more accidents than ever), or I can order online but if I do that I’d like to try other brands too.
    Is there any brands that carry a minimum of a 46B? :(

    • Cora

      Look for the brands Goddess, Elila, Elomi, and Contourelle.