Plus Size Bras
When it comes to choosing a plus size bra, it can seem almost impossible to find a bra that fits you well and provides enough support for your bust but doesn’t look like a bra you might find in your grandmother’s closet.
Finding a plus size bra that is adequately stylish and supportive can be a major challenge—especially on the mainstream fashion market that underperforms when it comes to targeting and catering to the undergarment needs of plus size women.
If you’re in the market for a new plus size bra, keep reading for your complete guide to plus size bras—including the most common types of plus size bras, information on how to accurately measure yourself for a plus size bra, and shopping tips that will help you find plus size bras that fit your unique body and bust just right.
Types of Plus Size Bras
There are many different types of plus size bras on the mainstream market. Some of the most popular types of bras for plus size women include everyday plus size bras, sexy plus size bras, and plus size sports bras.
Everyday Plus Size Bras
Everyday plus size bras should be comfortable, supportive, and stylish. You shouldn’t dread looking at yourself in the mirror when you put your bra on every morning.
The right everyday plus size bra for you will make you feel comfortable enough to get through your day without feeling restricted and while feeling confident about your body and yourself.
Sexy Plus Size Bras
Yes, sexy plus size bras do exist—they’re just unfortunately much more difficult to find on the mainstream market than sexy bras for women with smaller cup and band sizes.
Ideal sexy plus size bras are crafted from alluring material—like lace or mesh—but are still lined and include support features—such as thick, padded straps and extra band hooks in the back—in order to provide enough support while also looking sexy.
Plus Size Sports Bras
Plus size sports bras are one of the most difficult types of plus size bras to shop for because they have to fit just the right way and provide enough support that you are able to work out in them without feeling restricted but while feeling like your bust is supported and isn’t bouncing or moving along with your body’s motion.
Encapsulation sports bras that support each of your breasts individually are usually the most comfortable and tend to provide the most support for plus size women for higher-impact workouts. Compression sports bras, on the other hand, don’t offer as much support as encapsulation sports bras and they do not work as effectively when it comes to minimizing bouncing and movement while you work out.
How to Measure Yourself for a Plus Size Bra
Before you start shopping for a plus size bra, you need to make sure that you know which size fits you best. It is important to keep in mind that bra sizes can vary significantly across different brands, which means it can be tough to be sure which plus size bra size will fit you the best while you’re shopping.
However, accurately measuring yourself for a plus size bra can give you an excellent estimate for which bra size to search for on the mainstream bra market. Plus size bra sizes—and sizes for non-plus-size bras, too—are based on two different measurements: one measurement that determines your band size and one measurement that determines your cup size.
Measure your band size by wrapping a soft tape measure all the way around your chest underneath your arms just below your bust. Measure your bust size by wrapping a tape measure around the fullest, center point of your bust—this is usually approximately right where your nipples are located. Round both of these measured numbers to the nearest whole number.
To get your bra band size, add 4 to your band measurement if the measurement is an even number; add 5 if the measurement is an odd number. To determine your bra cup size, subtract your band measurement from your bust measurement. The difference in inches between these two numbers determines your cup size. If there is only a 1-inch difference between your band and bust measurements, your cup size is an A. If there is a 2-inch difference, your cup size is a B—and so on.
For example, consider if your band measurement were 33 and your bust measurement were 39. By adding 5 to your band measurement, you get 38: your band size. By subtracting your band measurement from your bust measurement, you get 6—which translates to an F cup size. This means that your ideal bra size would likely be a 38F.
How to Shop for Plus Size Bras
The actual process of shopping for plus size bras can be frustrating. One of the easiest ways to streamline the process of shopping for plus size bras is to shop online. Once you have taken accurate measurements of your body to determine your bra size, you should be able to choose the best size for your bust from an online store. Just make sure that the online store has a good return policy in case you purchase a bra that does not fit you well as you hoped it would.
When shopping for a plus size bra, it is also a good idea to shop from a store that specializes in plus size bras. Some retailers that sell bras in plus sizes but don’t specialize in plus size bras do not offer plus size bras with the support features you need to stay comfortable all day long.
Look out for these support features when you’re shopping for a plus size bra—thick and padded straps and band, lining, underwire, extra hooks in the back, etc. Extra support features such as these help plus size bras offer the right amount of both comfort and support for your bust.
Shopping for a plus size bra does not have to be a miserable process, and you should never settle for a plus size bra that doesn’t offer the comfort and support you need from your bras. Use this guide to shopping for plus size bras to revolutionize and streamline your bra-shopping process and ensure that you end up with a comfortable, supportive bra that fits you well the way you deserve.