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It’s not easy shopping for a bra — especially if you need that seemingly impossible combination of supportive and chic. Plus, many stores sell only A-DD bras, and that doesn’t come close to covering the spectrum of women’s actual sizes.
The result? We’ll often settle for something that doesn’t quite fit, says bra expert Kimmay Caldwell. With more than a decade of bra-fitting experience under her belt, Caldwell sees two issues the most: bands that are too loose and cups that are too small. “Women are mistaking loose for comfortable,” she says, adding that many women consider anything larger than a C cup as too big and opt to size down instead (not a great idea).
Elisabeth Dale, founder of The Breast Life, a site dedicated to bras and breast health, agrees. “We’re so fixated on these different numbers,” she says. “Why not wear something that fits? You’re going to feel so much better.”
Turns out, it is possible to find a good-looking, comfortable bra that works — but you need to streamline the process by zeroing in on brands that specialize in fantastic bras for big-busted women. To find the best bras in various categories, we consulted our two experts. “A bra that fits should feel like it’s giving you a nice hug, not choking you or moving or riding up your back,” says Caldwell. Find your new huggable bra below. A few styles are on sale now!
Best for Everyday: Prima Donna Deauville Full Cup Bra by Bare Necessities
The Prima Donna Deauville is a “workhorse bra,” says Dale — perfect for those long, busy days. It’s on the pricier end, but Dale promises that the three-part cup design, which has an extra seam to support heavy breasts, is extremely supportive and long-lasting. The elastic lining at the top of the cup is form-fitting, so you won’t get that annoying gap between breast and cup. And no worries about pesky wires poking out — this underwire is triple-wrapped for comfort. Choose from six colors!
Sizes: 30-46 band; C-K cup.
Most Versatile: 24/7 Perfect Coverage Bra by ThirdLove
Some 17,500 reviewers have given the 24/7 Perfect Coverage Bra a perfect five-star rating, and for good reason: Extremely comfortable memory foam cups provide coverage and a slight lift, while a double layer back smooths you out in all the right places. This is a cult favorite from ThirdLove, known for its inclusive sizing options. In five colors.
Sizes: 32-48 band; B-I cup.
Best Minimizer: Visual Effects Underwire Minimizer Bra by Wacoal
If you’d like to downplay the size of your breasts, the Visual Effects Underwire Minimizer Bra is for you. Caldwell swears by it for minimizing size while maximizing comfort. Not only does it fit like a glove, it has a breathable mesh back to prevent bulging.
It's a hit on Amazon with over 1,200 perfect, five-star ratings. One fan reports: "LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!! So comfortable. I wish I knew about minimizer bras years ago. Makes my chest look smaller and super comfortable. It is also pretty. Good Riddance Victoria’s Secret."
Sizes: 30-44 band; C-I cup.
Most Supportive Wireless: Scoop Neck Bra by True Body Lift
There’s a misconception that to get a lift, you need a wire. Not true, says Dale. This super-soft pullover bra promises up to one inch of lift — while also keeping its shape wash after wash.
One 40-42DDD wearer says: "It fits perfectly and yes, it does 'lift' without those uncomfortable underwires. Very pleased!"
Sizes: 30-44 band; A-DDD cup.
Best Bralette: Adrianna Lace Bralette by Parfait
According to Caldwell, this trendy bralette provides as much support as a typical wire bra. Featuring a wide elastic band, it’s made of soft lace and microfiber and comes in a variety of colors, on sale now for $38 (was $48) on Amazon.
One happy shopper reports: "It's so hard to find a bralette that fits well when you are bigger than a C cup. I'm really pleased with this one...Smooth across the back and no spillage in the armpits. Like that it has hook and eye closure rather than having to pull it over my head. Much better fit and quality compared to Cosabella." (Tip: Customers also say to order a size up.)
Sizes: 30-42 band; D-H cup
Best Back Smoother: C Magnifique Minimizer Bra by Chantelle
Worried about back bulge? Join the club. According to Caldwell, bras with soft, wide straps help smooth things out. This minimizer bra features wide wings to combat the dreaded underarm bulge, and a four-column, two-row hook back for extra support.
Says one five-star reviewer: " I absolutely love this bra!...It has a thick band around the back so back fat is reduced. I like the full coverage for everyday wearing. I feel like I am really held in and it completely cuts out the crazy cleavage. Also have zero underboob. It has no padding (soft cup), which I prefer because it makes me feel smaller. Thicker straps on my shoulder is nice so it doesn't dig in."
Sizes: 32-44 band; C-I cup.
All-around support is crucial when working out—and this underwire bra with wide, cushioned straps claims to reduce bounce by 83 percent. Wow. And if you click quick, there are a few sizes in a few patterns are on sale this long weekend for as little as $40, with standard colors at $70.
Sizes: 28-40 band; B-J cup.
With some 20,600 five-star reviews, this Vanity Fair bra — with lightly padded, contoured cups — is a winner. And there’s no wire!
Says a fan: “This is the most comfortable bra I have ever worn! It is DEFINITELY NOT one of those bras you can't wait to change out of at the end of the day. The materials are of very high quality — silky and substantial but not overly heavy; and it provides excellent yet very comfortable support.”
Sizes: 36-44 band; B-DDD cup.
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.
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