An ill-fitting bra is one of the top wardrobe complaints among women, and it's not hard to see why. The wrong size can mean painful underwire that digs into the skin, not to mention overflowing cups, unflattering lines and straps that are either too tight or won't stay put. On top of that, for years, the big bra makers have tricked us into wearing the wrong bra size with vanity sizing and a laughably limited range size spectrum. Now, companies like Leonisa are shaking up the game with actually-proper-fitting bras in a wide range of shapes, styles and-yes-sizes.
Not sure which kind of bra to buy? Try our Perfect Bra Quiz to find out!
Here are some of the top tips from our decades of experience helping women find the perfect-fitting bras!
1. Measure and Measure Again-Did you know that 80 percent of women wear the wrong bra size? That might explain why you count down the seconds until you get to take your bra off every day. To get the perfect fit, you have to start with the cold, hard numbers. No guesses or estimates. That means accurately measuring above the bust as well as at the fullest part (and then measuring again). You can always use our guide to finding your bra size for more detailed measuring advice.
2. Always Choose Adjustable Straps-Adjustable straps are essential to a good fit for larger busts. And yes, that goes for sports bras, too! They help ensure that the weight of your bust doesn't cause the straps to be too tight, leaving painful marks and pain in the back or neck. For those of us with a larger cup size and a petite or narrow-shouldered frame, adjustable straps ensure zero slippage.
3. Find Comfortable Underwire-Love it or hate it, if you're looking for the best support bra for a large bust, it's best to stick with underwire. But don't stress, because there are a bunch of actually comfortable underwire bras that will change the way you think about that metal you once hated. Underwire helps hold the breasts in a comfortable position while adding lift and definition. However, if you need a wireless bra that still offers fantastic support, check out our Back Support Posture Corrector Wireless Bra.
4. Skip the Skinny Straps-Straps are a big deal when it comes to support, can you tell? Slim ones are definitely a no-go for ladies with a C-cup or bigger looking for added support. Thick, sturdy straps play against gravity, helping maintain a good lift and prevent the sag that can lead to a poor shape and soreness. Make sure you choose a bra with wider straps made from a sturdy material that's not going to stretch or rip after months of wear.
5. Read the Reviews-As much as we know about bras, no one has your body or your personal pain points. With that being said, the hundreds of reviews on each bra style can help you crowdsource information so you know what works for women with a similar cup size and who have the same bra fitting issues as you do. Before you buy any bra, make sure to skim the comments section for info.
6. Consider Breast Shape-Size isn't the only thing that matters when it comes to finding a bra that fits. It's also about the shape of your breasts and the way they sit. For example, you may have asymmetrical breasts (one is larger than the other), east-west breasts (nipples face outward in the opposite direction of each other) or bell-shaped breasts (self-explanatory). Different bra styles are best-suited for different breast shapes, so doing a bit of research and digging into the reviews beforehand will help you find an option that feels made for you and your breasts.
7. Go for Extra Back Support-Women with bigger boobs tend to experience nagging back pain due to the weight causing stress on the upper back muscles. This extra weight can lead to chronic poor posture, which in turn can cause lifelong issues ranging from weakened muscles to digestive issues to poor self-esteem. Luckily, there are back support bras that can help. These bras feature super-supportive crisscross bra straps that actually help improve your posture 24/7. Amazing, right?
You could say breasts are like snowflakes-no two are alike (not even yours)! That means that finding the perfect support bra may take a little bit of time and experimentation. Just make sure you start off with a bra brand that has a wide variety of sizes and understands the needs of women with a bigger cup size.