Top 5 Fashion Finds for Larger Bands and Smaller Cups

Anita Rosa Faia Scarlett via Figleaves

Anita Rosa Faia Scarlett via Figleaves

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As a full cup woman, I often write about finding fabulous fashion styles in sometimes hard to find sizes. Over the years, however, more and more brands have expanded their size ranges or new brands have been created to fill this gap in the market. When perusing through the questions on The Lingerie Addict tumblr page, I found one that sparked my interest and investigation of another area in the market lacking quality fashion options. One of our readers commented about the challenges for the larger band/smaller cup population. My assumption had always been that the full cup market had the most limited options and that this group would fall into either the abundance of “average” bras found in most stores or in the well-represented plus sized shops. Boy, was I wrong!

I started my research scouring through site after site. The sites featuring plus sized styles mostly began at C cups whereas the average styles stopped at 38 bands. In places where the sizes were accommodated, the options were limited. In looking at the breakdown by sizes on Bare Necessities, I found that size 40A only had 14 options while 42A only had 10. This increased significantly when B cups were added. I was shocked to find that this paled in comparison to the 23 styles for 28F and the 100 plus styles for 32H. Options were further limited when fashion was the goal. Most of the bras in these size ranges fell into the dreaded white and neutral t-shirt bra or sports bra categories. A black bra wasn’t impossible, but where were the colors, prints, laces, and embroideries? Was this mission impossible? Not quite, but just about. Even Etsy, where I thought I would find more options given the number of indie designers in that marketplace, had no options for larger banded A cups.

In my research I did find one style that may work best for this group when it comes to fashion – bralettes. However, I understand the need or desire for more structure or support in coverage, so I focused my findings in that direction.

Here are the Top 5 fashion finds for the larger band/smaller cup group this season. It was quite the struggle and admittedly most include B cups vs. A. We talked on the site before about the challenges for brands to expand size ranges, but I do hope more brands do because women of every size should have the option of a fashion forward bra in their size.

Prima Donna Madison Full Cup Bra via Her Room

Prima Donna Madison Full Cup Bra via Her Room

The Prima Donna Madison bra is a real winner! In a summery peach, this molded, three part bra provides excellent support and shaping, especially for women with extra breast tissue under the armpit, as indicated on the site. The stretch Leavers lace across the cups provides a gorgeous, feminine look.

Conturelle Eternity Embroidered Lace via Her Room

Conturelle Eternity Embroidered Lace via Her Room

Conturelle is a brand worth investigating if you have a larger band size and smaller cup. There are not A cup options (that I’ve seen), but a wealth of B cup options. This style, Eternity, features an intricate lace embroidery on the cups and straps in English Rose.

Conturelle Joy Full Cup Bra via Her Room

Conturelle Joy Full Cup Bra via Her Room

Another style from Conturelle, Joy, is in a rich navy blue and features an eye-catching geometric embroidered mesh along the top of the cups. Side support through panels and boning create a beautiful and supportive shape.

Amoena Lina Wire-Free Bra via Bare Necessities

Amoena Lina Wire-Free Bra via Bare Necessities

Amoena is known as a brand specializing in mastectomy bras, however, I do think this style, the Lina Wire-Free bra, could be worn without utilizing the mesh pocket feature. This vibrant Coral Red truly pops in this simply, but classic style. As one of the few larger band brands I’ve seen accommodating an A cup, I imagine this brand could be a go-to.

Chantelle Merci via Her Room

Chantelle Merci via Her Room

This vibrant green from Chantelle is a great choice, especially for summer! Stand out in this stunning, three part cup bra made of sheer stretch lace for the ultimate in comfort while being fashion forward. Merci is correct!

What’s your favorite? Do you have brands or stores that meet the needs of this group that I missed? If so, please share! And if you aren’t following The Lingerie Addict on tumblr, you should start. Great questions over there!

 

16 Comments

  1. 11/07/14 at 11:00

    Bonmarche does a small handful of bras in 40 and 42B that aren’t too plain, no A cups. They’re not amazing designs though.

  2. Ellen
    11/07/14 at 18:36

    I really like your inclusion of Prima Donna and Conturelle as I have had lots of great luck with them. Conturelle’s Provence also has a very diverse fit for the small cup/larger band crowd as their bands are generally generous and the Provence works for someone who is shallower at the top of their cup. I wouldn’t always choose the PD Madison full cup, but find the version without lace works very well in these cases. PD’s Twist line has some great options , such as the A la folie (oftentimes the plunge style works best for our crowd). Also relatively new is Chantelle’s Mouvance plunge. It seems they have recently added an additional column of eyes in the back too, so sizing has been pretty versatile. Our younger customers appreciate the “lift & merge” effect it can help create.

  3. Krista
    11/07/14 at 20:57

    Thanks for sharing those other ideas! I hope this is helpful to our readers.

  4. jessa
    12/07/14 at 4:50

    I’m beginning to wonder whether our fast fashion of the rack sales culture is just doomed to fail those who are in any way non typical. There are so few people that don’t struggle to find some item of clothing, whether it be a large enough band with a small enough cup, a long enough leg, a dress that will fit both waist and hip, that I wonder whether off the rack clothing really serves anyone. I wonder if it’s time we all went back to altering our clothes or having them tailored?

    As a more useful addition, Ewa Michalak say they will sew a bra for you if they do not stock your size. While there isn’t much in stock in 40a, if you take them up on that then there’s much more choice!

  5. Thursday
    12/07/14 at 4:56

    Thank you so much for the post! I am indeed a frequent commenter with, “Sigh. If only it came in 40B.”

    I am not familiar with Conturelle, so am excited to look into their offerings. Chantelle has also been on my to try list for some time.

    I get a lot of mine from Cacique, who seem to be a divisive brand, but they make comfortable bras in my size, sometimes in nice colours and patterns. I certainly appreciate the wide bands (3-4 hooks), which suit my curvy torso better than narrow bands. I have also had success with Marks and Spencer from the UK and Lingadore (a Dutch brand), although the emphasis is still on moulded cups. Hips and Curves stock some nice non-padded styles with flexible soft cups which are just sized by the band (I’m wearing one right now!) so they are worth looking at.

    I have seen 40Bs from Simone Perele, but as I can’t try them on in person, can’t really afford to take a risk at that price point.

    Thank you again for the post – both for finding me new options and making me feel less crazy for constantly being faced by moulded beige bras!

    • Thursday
      12/07/14 at 5:00

      I wanted to add that sometimes Aussie brand City Chic do 18-22 (US40-44) bands in B cups in some more interesting styles (http://www.citychic.com.au/EMMA-PLUNGE-CONTOUR-BRA.aspx?p6255807&cr=jfyi__065650), and they are also pushing into the US and South African markets.

    • Ellen
      12/07/14 at 13:23

      If you do try Simone Perele, my experience is that those looking for wider, more comfortable bands really like the Caressence. They have a plunge that works very nicely on a lot of our clients.

      • Thursday
        13/07/14 at 2:34

        Thanks for the advice, Ellen – much appreciated!

  6. jessa
    12/07/14 at 5:00

    *off the rack not of the rack obviously!

    Mimi holliday also do some larger band smaller cups, but it seems to be limited to b+

  7. Lindsay
    12/07/14 at 16:11

    Thank you!
    I’m an out cross dresser and this is a real problem for me.
    I’ve never been able to find a big enough band to comfortably fit. I get very good help from sales staff but there are no options that work in the stores here. Now I have something to try.
    Thank you again and keep up the great work!

    Lindsay

  8. Lynn B
    12/07/14 at 18:02

    I had no idea of this problem of large band/small cup size until taking my boyfriend’s daughter out for her first ever bra fitting at age 19. All she had ever worn were pull on sports bras and the fitter at Nordstrom measured her at a 40 B. 8 years ago the only place I found that carried younger styles in that size was at Torrid, http://www.torrid.com/torrid/Lingerie/Bras.jsp. They do not carry below a B cup but their bands go from 38-44, B-H.

  9. Andy
    13/07/14 at 10:01

    As a male crossdresser, I too struggle to find large band/small cup bras. One great place I’ve found is called Dainty Lady, based in England. The make bras up to 44AAA! They have a great selection of styles and they’re very pretty and comfortable. Be sure to check them out!

  10. Jennifer
    15/07/14 at 0:57

    I’m a 40c and I have a hard time finding “pretty” bras. Lots of tans, white and black…but I have yet to find the really pretty ones. Thank you for your article!

  11. Marta Tsoneva
    23/07/14 at 18:09

    Hello! I am joining this conversation a little later, but I just came across the post. What a nice surprise to see Conturelle on the Lingerie Addict! Thank you! I represent Conturelle in the United States, and it was with joy that I just read the discussion here. Yes, in addition to serving the larger-busted community, we at Conturelle also offer something that I believe not too many other companies do: bands up to 46 and even up to 48 in some cases, in smaller cups like B,C. Just to give you an idea, the Eternity bra goes up to 46 in B,C and D; and the Joy 501 style – up to 48 in B, C, and D. For those wanting a smooth molded cup, our “Pure Balance” spacer goes up to 46 in B, C, and D, and up to 44 in E. We also have A cups in bands up to 46, those tend to be non-underwire styles. I would be happy to answer you if you have any questions about our bras. Have a lovely afternoon, and greetings!

  12. Krista
    08/09/14 at 20:24

    Thanks everyone for the great commentary. I will keep hunting! I know it is tough. This is such a wonderful community so please keep sharing. Marta, we appreciate you sharing Conturelle’s availability here in the US. I hope that helps our readers.

  13. DDtop
    05/10/14 at 19:25

    Hi Prima donna go upto 46/48+ in c cup and think theres a B also.
    Goddess and Elomi do some large backs in smaller cups also Anita and there are quite a few esp ones that the mastectomy bra’s

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