Back to Basics: 5 Tips and 10 Places To Shop for Plus Size Bras
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If you’re plus size and looking for jeans, you can’t just walk into any retailer and expect to find a pair in your size. Similarly, if you try to find a plus size bra at your local lingerie boutique, you may be hard pressed to find what you need.
While plus size shopping in person may still be a challenge, online outlets transformed the plus size bra buying experience. Online, you can find plus size lingerie reviews, lingerie shown on visibly plus size bodies, and more sizing options than you’re likely to find in stores.
Here are my top five tips on how to find your perfect plus size bra:
- If you’ve never purchased a bra online, it’s a good idea to get an in-store fitting so you know you’re buying your current size. I would suggest a store like Nordstrom, or an independent lingerie boutique familiar with plus sizes. Don't live close to either of these options? Try a bra size calculator instead.
- Learn your sister size so you have more options. Simply speaking, a sister size is when multiple bra sizes have the same cup volume. In general, starting from your current size, if you go up a band size and down a cup size (and vice versa), you'll find your sister size. Because brands fit differently, one of these sister sizes may actually be a better fit.
- Check size charts in advance. Most brands give detailed information about the “typical” fit of the bra so you can make as an informed choice as possible.
- Look at return policies before purchasing. Finding the right fit may take a few tries, so it’s important to know the return policy. Some online retailers offer perks like free shipping and free returns.
- Read reviews and follow bloggers who wear similar sizes for tips on fit. I would recommend Georgina Cox of Fuller Figure Fuller Bust, Kelly Augustine, Lottie L'Amour, AmandaApparel, and Corissa of Fat Girl Flow!
Fortunately, in addition to providing comfort and support, plus size bra brands have stepped up their game with trendier styles. Although there are more and more indie brands offering custom sizing by request, I wanted to focus specifically on brands already making bras for band sizes above a 42. You can use the tips above as you explore the brands below to find styles that meet your needs.
This list is far from exhaustive, but here are 10 plus size bra brands you should consider:
1. Addition Elle
From lace bralettes and sports bras to cut-out, halter-style, push up bras, Addition Elle offers select styles up to 46 band and H cup (US).
Pro-Tip: Look for convertible styles that can be worn for both function and fashion.
2. Cacique by Lane Bryant
If you are shopping for plus size bras at a mall, Cacique by Lane Bryant is likely one store you've visited. Being one of the most recognizable names in plus size intimates comes with good and bad, but with sizes up to 46H and 50DDD (US) and on-trend options alongside everyday basics, Lane Bryant is still a plus size staple.
Pro-Tip: Their semi-annual sale is the time to buy!
3. Curvy Couture
It’s no secret that Curvy Couture is one of my personal favorite bra brands. From the Flawless Wirefree to the Strapless Sensation Multi-Way, I wear a Curvy Couture bra nearly every day. They offer a range of foundational everyday styles with sizing up to 46H (US).
Pro-Tip: Curvy Couture offers free returns so if you can afford it, buy multiple sizes and return what doesn’t fit for free.
4. Elila Lingerie
Since 2004, Elila Lingerie has focused on creating comfortable and supportive plus size bras. Every bra is cut-and-sew. With sizes up to 52N (US), Elila covers one of the largest size ranges in the industry. Find Elila bras online at HerRoom.com.
Pro-Tip: Check out Elila Lingerie How To Fit Your Bra to find your size for the brand before buying.
If you’re looking for plus size full bust bras in bold patterns and playful silhouettes, then Elomi has you covered. Their size range covers 34-46 bands and C-K cup sizes (UK). Find Elomi bras online through HerRoom.com.
6. Ewa Michalak
Ewa Michalak is a Polish-based full bust and plus size bra brand. While the brand has had some sizing and quality control issues in the past, it remains one of the most popular Polish intimates brands because of its fashion-forward styles in a wide array of sizes. Ewa Michalak offers bras in band sizes up to 60 and cup sizes up to MM.
Pro Tip: Read reviews in advance and be prepared that sizing may vary.
Glamorise has been making plus size bras since 1921, so they understand fit, construction and the need for support. Their size range is impressive both for smaller and fuller plus size busts. The Magic Lift Wire-Free bra is available from a 36B to a 56J (US). Find Glamorise online at Bare Necessities.
Pro-Tip: Select Glamorise styles work better for fuller busts than smaller plus size busts.
Parfait specializes in petite to plus size lingerie in sizes 32A to 44G (US). They are known for their padded Demi-Cup bras and in particular, the Charlotte, which has been worn most notably by Nicki Minaj.
Pro Tip: Their bras can be a snug fit. Size up in the band for added comfort.
9. Sculptresse by Panache Lingerie
Sculptresse joined the Panache Lingerie family back in 2013 as a plus size solution to their already full bust friendly styles. The brand covers cup sizes D-J and band sizes 36-46 (UK). From t-shirt bras to balconette styles, Sculptresse is modern with a hint of vintage inspiration. Shop Sculptresse online at HerRoom.com.
Torrid is the plus size brand I discovered when I sized out of Victoria’s Secret. Finding sexy bras in my size was a game changer for a body I was still learning to love at the time. With sizing up to 48DDD (US) for cup styles and 6X for bralettes, Torrid remains a trendy and sexy option for plus size babes.
Pro-Tip: Order bralettes based on what size you would wear in their tank tops since sizing is done by numbers rather than band and cup size.
Do you shop online or in person for plus size bras? Which brands are your favorites? Finally, what are your tips for shopping for plus size bras online?
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