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How Do I Choose the Best plus Size Bra?

Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus

When buying a plus size bra, don't get caught up in the sizing numbers and letters on the box or package. If you've been professionally measured for bra fit, then it can be beneficial to look for that particular size of bra before trying them on. Otherwise, grab a few different bra sizes and try these on to start finding the best fit for you. The best plus size bra for your body is going to offer smooth, full coverage without slipping, binding or bunching. Look for thick, adjustable straps and at least three rows of fasteners in the back.

Trying on bras with the back fasteners on the middle row can be a good idea. This way, if the elastic material in the back section of the plus size bra you end up choosing stretches a little after time, it's possible to still get a good fit by using the tightest row. If you start out using that row from the beginning and the bra looses some elasticity later on, then you won't have another option. Thick straps are a must to look for when shopping for plus size bras, as they help add support and can create comfort on the shoulders. Bra straps that are too thin are likely to dig into the skin and be uncomfortable.

A plus size sports bra.
A plus size sports bra.

If the back section of a bra rides up, this is a sign that the band size is too big. Band size is typically expressed in numbers placed with the cup sizing letter, so if the back of a plus size bra you're considering is riding up, go down in the size number until you find the best fit. When the back of a bra rides up, this causes the front to sag so the whole point of buying a supportive undergarment becomes lost.

A plus size strapless bra.
A plus size strapless bra.

The cups of the bra you choose should fit comfortably. If there are any loose bunches or ripples of fabric on the cup sections, the plus size bra cups are likely to be too big. It's then advisable to go lower in the letter signifying cup size when trying on bras to find the right one. Going from a DD to a single D can often solve the problem since the fit difference between the two is usually minimal. If instead, bra cups don't cover as much in front as they should, or dig in to bind the skin for an overflowing look, it's best to try larger cup sizes for a better fit.

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Discussion Comments


One thing I'd suggest if you're looking for large size bras, is to make sure you get more comfortable bras and fewer fancy looking bras.

Unfortunately, when you've got a large bust size, it's almost impossible to find bras that fit both criteria.

Whenever you get one that fits tightly enough to keep everything contained, and keeps this done with a lot of lace and frills, it isn't exactly fun to wear for long.

For everyday use, you should try to find one that might not look so pretty, but has nice wide, padded straps and a wide back strap. It'll look better under your clothes and it won't leave marks on your skin at the end of the day.


@Iluviaporos - Even if the bra does lose its underwire, you don't have to throw it out. You can replace the wire (or buy a new one at a sewing store) sew a patch onto the bit that has worn out and it should be fine.

But, it does make sense to try and make sure your bra fits properly in the first place.

You should also try to get one that's made with very good materials, which means not just going to the cheaper bras. I know that the expensive bras, particularly the ones that are made for a larger cup size, can cost a lot more than the average bra. But, with the extra wear you'll get out of them, it can be worth it.


One of the ways to see if your bra fits properly in the shop is to lean over when you've got it on so that your torso is parallel with the ground and then straighten up.

Your bra should still look good without anything falling out. If it's too big, you might pop out the top somewhat, and if it's too small, it might ride up your back and pinch at the sides.

It's important to get a good fitting bra, not only because it's more comfortable and looks better, but also because it means the bra will last longer.

I've worn many plus sized bras and they almost always have to be thrown out before they wear out because they tend to lose the underwire through the front seam.

I eventually realized this was happening because I wasn't wearing the right size and it was putting stress on the fabric at that point.

Wearing the right size means that there won't be stress put on the fabric at any one point and the bra should last longer.

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    • A plus size sports bra.
      By: Karen Roach
      A plus size sports bra.
    • A plus size strapless bra.
      By: Brooke Becker
      A plus size strapless bra.