I’ve been on a quest to find the top bras for big busts for as long as I can remember. Just as I’ve been blessed with extra wide feet–and therefore have a challenge finding shoes–I’ve been blessed with a large cup size. Well, it’s a blessing and a curse. Really. Because finding bras to fit a large cup size isn’t easy.
You know what’s else isn’t easy? Finding the best bra for big heavy breasts that’s also a pretty bra. Like not just boring cotton bras but maybe something with a little lace or detail. No one wants to be wearing a bra that looks like something our grandmother wore. Even we women who need bigger bra sizes should be able to find pretty bras that are also supportive.
Why it’s so hard to find bras for big busts
Here’s another challenge in my question for those elusive top bras for big busts. Not every woman who needs a bra with larger cup sizes is a plus size or full figure woman. I’m sure some are. I am not.
In fact, when I do a Google search for top bras for big busts, I get results like “best bras for full figured” or “best plus size bras” or “top rated full figure bras.” This is a problem. I may not be a skinny Minnie, but my bra band size is 34. That’s definitely not full figured or plus size.
It’s my cup size that’s the “problem.” Let’s just say that just like I have doublewide feet, I have a double-digit bra cup size. When I was younger and wanted to buy my pretty bras at a place like Victoria’s Secret, I was SOL. That was sad.
By the way, I just discovered a subreddit called “A Bra that Fits.” It’s fascinating information about finding the right bra size. I hope to spend some serious time over there educating myself.
Best places to buy bras described
But I soon learned that one of the best places to buy bras is your local lingerie store.
When I lived in the Detroit suburbs, I need to drive to the next county to find a proper lingerie store with high quality bras and a professional staff. When I lived in the Philadelphia suburbs, there was one such store just two towns over.
Now that I’m living in Western Pennsylvania, I haven’t been able to find such a store. Lucky for me years ago I also learned that Nordstrom is one of the best places to buy bras–especially the best brands and top rated bras for big busts. And if your local Nordstrom doesn’t have what you need in stock, they can order it for you. Or you can order it online and either pick it up in store or have it sent to your home.
Thanks to the certified bra fitters at Nordstrom, I learned that I was wearing the wrong bra size. By some estimates 80 percent–or eight in 10–women are wearing the wrong size bra. In fact, they’re the ones who told me I should be wearing a 34, not the 36 or 38 that I’d had on for years. In fact, in some brands, like Natori, I’m actually a 32-band size because the bra is super stretchy.
I can also thank Nordstrom–and their super enticing emails that I get on a regular basis–for introducing me to some new brands that would definitely qualify as top bras for big busts. These include Wacoal and Parfait. Parfait is technically a plus size lingerie brand selling some of the best plus size bras. These include full size sports bras.
How to find the top bras for big busts
Another great resource for bigger bras sizes is the website Bare Necessities. On Bare Necessities (not the “Jungle Book” song), you can shop by bra size.
Right on the home page you can shop bra sizes in order from smallest to largest. So the smallest band size the website offers is 28 and the largest brand size is 58. Even though I don’t need full figured bras, I would say this is definitely a great place to shop for some of the best plus size bras.
After you select your band size, then a box pops up letting you know the different bra cup sizes you can get. These are the bra cup sizes from smallest to biggest. For my band this ranged from 34AA to 34O. O as in Oreo. I didn’t know that bra cup sizes went up that high. The largest I’d ever heard about was a G cup. Shows you how little I actually know! I’m so glad that I researched this topic for this blog post.
Bra cup sizes explained
In writing this blog post, I really needed to take a step back and have bra cup sizes explained to me. Turns out that the difference in bra cup sizes isn’t how much “flesh” you have. Rather, it’s the difference between the measurement of your rib cage (the band size) and the measurement over your boobs.
If you’re ever been fitted for a bra in a store, you know that they took two measurements. They measured under your breasts, for your rib cage or band size. And then, with your bra on, you were measured over the top. The difference in the under your breast and over your boobs measure is your cup size.
Bra cup size calculator
So exactly how does this bra cup size calculator work? Well, take me as an example.
When I measured my rib cage, I got one number. Then, when I measured over the top of my bust, I got another number. Then I subtracted the difference. For me there was six inches in difference between the two numbers. So, according to the magical bra cup size calculator, that means that I have DDD or F cup size.
Check out this graphic below for how the numbers from the bra cup size calculator work out.
Bra sister sizes
But bra cup calculators and bra cup sizes explained doesn’t end there. There is also something called bra sister sizes. That is, two different size bras that might be “adjacent” on a bra measuring scale and could fit the same person perfectly. For example, someone who wears a 36C could also, potentially, wear a 38B. A 32 G cup bra size might also wear a 34FF. A 40 E cup bra size could try a 42DD, too.
Best fitting bras for large breasts
It all depends on how your bra fits. And for ladies like us with large breasts, fit is everything. The quest to find the top bras for big busts is a lot like Goldilocks. You don’t want a bra that is too small, or a bra that is too big. You want a bra that fits just right.
So how do you know that you’ve found the best fitting bras for large breasts? The band isn’t squeezing you, the cups aren’t puckering (too big) or barely containing your girls (too small), and the middle of the bra is sitting right against your skin.
Three of the best places to buy bras
So what are some of the best places to buy bras for bigger breasts? Here are a few recommendations.
I talked earlier about the site Bare Necessities and probably set it up as one of the best places to buy bras for big busts. What I like about the site is its version of the bra cup size calculator. After you click on your band and cup size, you’re prompted to tell the site which brands you wear in that size.
“Tell us your brand. We’ll convert all our styles to your equivalent size and suggest the best bras for you.”
Why does Bare Necessities do this? Because American bra cup sizes are not the same as UK or European bra cup sizes. The website says that by “converting” this information for you, it should make your shopping easier.
Right now, you can get this BOGO deal at Bare Necessities: Buy 1 Bra, Get 1 50% Off + Free 2-Day Ship on Orders Over $70.
Nordstrom in store and online
There are a number of reasons I like buying bras at Nordstrom. First, I know that the staff in the Nordstrom bra department is well trained. They have certified bra fitters. They’re the ones that explained to me that even though I thought I should be wearing a 38 bra, I really actually needed a 34. Wow–that’s a huge difference.
If you need to get a good fitting bra, head to your local Nordstrom.
Second, Nordstrom carries all kinds of bras. This includes cotton bras, underwire bras, wireless bras, front closure bras, push up bras, sports bras, minimizer bras and more. And if your Nordstrom store doesn’t carry it, they can order it for you.
In addition, you can shop online at Nordstrom.com. You can have your bras shipped to your home, or you can shop online and pick up in store. This gives you the added convenience of trying on the bra in store with one of those aforementioned bra experts nearby to help you decide.
Next Nordstrom carries so many brands of bras. This includes Freya, which makes sports, plunge and even nursing bras. I’ve gotten my Wacoal bras at Nordstrom as well as a bunch of different styles from Natori. Nordstrom also stock Panache as well as well as Parfait, the British brand I just recently tried and loved.
Stock up on the top bras for big busts during the anniversary sale
Another thing to keep in mind: the Nordstrom anniversary sale is always a great time to buy bras. I mean I would never describe the bras at Nordstrom as being cheap. But if you shop during the anniversary sale, these bras definitely become more affordable.
Also, always check Nordstrom Rack. Many of the same bras you would find at a regular Nordstrom store could end up marked way down at a Nordstrom Rack store.
Finally, Nordstrom offers free shipping and free return shipping. That means you never have to pay for shipping when you shop on Nordstrom.com. That’s not always true of every other website.
Believe it or not, Amazon carries many of the same bras that you’ll find on Bare Necessities or Nordstrom or any other website. Of course, shopping on Amazon comes with other conveniences, which is why you might want to buy your bras there.
First, if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you get free two-day shipping. In some markets, you might even get same-day or one-day shipping.
Second, you can buy just about anything on Amazon. So if you want to shop for bras or Brillo pads, Amazon can get it done in one shopping trip.
Finally, Amazon has a pretty generous return policy. Therefore, if the bras you buy don’t work out, you can send them back, usually with no problem at all.
Why you should invest in top bras for big busts
As someone whose blog focuses on getting the most value for your time and money, I understand that talking about bras that cost a lot of money might sting. I get it. Given my past frugal days, people often end up here looking for the cheap and inexpensive. But here’s why you don’t want to cheap out when it comes to your boobs.
If you’ve got heavy breasts, then you’re likely to, eventually, have large sagging breasts. And no woman wants that. What’s one of the best ways to avoid big sagging breasts? Invest in supportive bras that can lift your chest. It doesn’t have to be a push up bra, but if does have to be a bra that’s well constructed and can hold large breasts.
Did I miss anything in this post on top bras for big busts? If so, post a comment and let me know. If I find additional brands or information on this topic, I’ll be sure to update the article.