Parfait Bras and Lingerie in Large Cup Sizes

Big Girls Bras Tips, Tidbits and Advice

How to Choose a Bra

Selecting a bra is about more than finding the "prettiest" bra or finding a bra in your favorite color - selecting a bra has real health and comfort-related considerations.

A bra that doesn't fit well and offers too little support can displace your breast tissue, pushing it under the arm or flattening it around the breast wall. Bras that don't provide adequate support can stretch the breast tissue over time, making your breasts sag and droop.

The right bra that offers good support helps keep your breasts youthful and firm, and can make a big difference in shaping and making you look slimmer and proportional under your clothes.

A bad bra that doesn't fit properly can spoil the most expensive dress. Get the right bra to look and feel your best.

Are you Wearing the Wrong Bra?

The Expert's Three-Point Fit Guide are the Gore, Underwire, and Band

How to Tell if You're Wearing the Wrong Bra, or Your Bra is the Wrong Size

Do your bra straps cause red marks on your shoulder?

Do your bra straps slide down unless you're constantly adjusting them?

Do your breasts bulge over the top of the cup in a double bump?

Do your breasts droop or look generally out of shape?

Does your bust fall forward, instead of being in its central position?

Does the bra pull your shoulders forward?

Does your bra band ride up in the back?

Does the center of your bra fail to touch your breastbone?

Any of these things may be signs that your bra isn't right for you, or may not be the correct size. These problems indicate that the band is too big or small, or that the cups are too large or small, depending on fit-related issues. For full details on finding the proper size, check out our Guide to Finding the Right Bra Size.

Potential Health Problems for Ill-Fitting Bras

Points of a well fitting bra

If your bra fits poorly it isn't just unflattering - it can cause potential health problems, too. These are a few of the health problems related to ill-fitting bras:

Shoulder pain
Neck pain
Headaches
Stretching the breast tissue
Compressing or distorting the breast tissue

If the bra doesn't provide good support, you may experience pain and stretching of the breast tissue, leading to droopy breasts.

If the bra is too tight, it can also cause pain, and it can compress or distort the breast tissue over time.

If the cup is too small, it can compress your breast tissue and squeeze it out around the sides, top or bottom of the bra.

Particularly harmful is compressing the breast tissue between an underwire and your body. Wearing a poorly-fitting bra isn't just a fashion faux-pas; it can lead to health problems and ultimate distortion of your breasts.

Finding the Right Styles

The Right Bra Style for a Small Bust:
A balcony-style bra, with or without padding, can highlight the natural curves of a small bust. Balcony-style bras provide lift and a lovely, curvy shape, as well as a nice neckline. Half-cup bras are also a good choice for a small bust, and selecting a bra with padding at the sides and under the bust provide extra lift. Avoid square-cut bras, as they serve to flatten the look of a small bust.

The Right Bra Style for a Large Bust:
Women with large busts should look for wide shoulder and back straps for firm support. Full cups provide better shaping and contain the breast better than other bra styles. Underwire bras provide the best support for big busts. Lace and decoration on the bra makes the bust appear larger, so if you want a smooth, natural look, a plain bra style without too much lace helps your bust appear smaller.

Different Clothes Require Different Bra Styles
Finding the right bra style isn't a one-size-fits-all proposition. Different bra styles provide different shaping and work best with different types of clothes. Tailored suits and shirts, for example, look best with a bit of uplift and firm control. When you're wearing jeans and a t-shirt, though, you might prefer a soft, seamless bra to shape you and wear well under the clingy tops. Flesh-colored bras are good under light clothes; wear dark-colored bras under dark tops to avoid flashing white bra, and backless bras go best with a low-cut party dress or sun top.

Bras with lycra or a bit of stretch are good choices if you're losing weight or if your weight varies over the course of the month. Breast size may change with diet, pregnancy, exercise, age and taking the Pill. Breast size can go up premenstrually, so women may need larger bras during the days leading up to a period. Pregnant women may experience hormonal changes that increase an entire bra size in a week, and should avoid underwires because the breasts may become fragile and sensitive.

Wear Sports Bras When You Exercise

Some women consider sports bras as "optional" during exercise. They're not. Any excessive breast movement puts a significant strain on the ligaments that hold the breasts in place, causing them to stretch and resulting in long-term sagging.

Everyday bras simply don't provide enough support and hold the breasts firmly in place during exercise. Sports bras are specially designed to allow freedom of movement while holding you firmly in place, and they're made of fabrics that channel moisture away from the skin to the outside of the fabric. Sports bras come in different shapes and styles suitable for different activity levels, but they're absolutely vital to wear when you exercise.

Some Interesting Facts about Bras and Breasts

Breast sizes are growing. From 1990 - 2000, the average size had gone from a 34B to a 36C.

Twenty to thirty years ago, a DD cup was unusual; now G, H & J cups are not uncommon. Changing diet and The Pill are the culprits.

Bra-wearers are getting younger. Twenty to thirty years ago, 12 and 13 year-olds bought teen bras; now 8 and 9 year-olds are taking the plunge.

Today, the biggest selling bra color is nude and skin tones. Five to ten years ago, the biggest selling bra color was white, while ivory and cream were a close second. In 1971, skin tones were bestsellers, and were second favorite until about 5 years ago. Tea rose was the favorite from the 1920s through the 1950s.

Higher number of separations, divorces and remarriages have boosted the demand for attractive lingerie.

Bras for Your Figure Type

Different figure types have different types of bodies, and bras best-suited to one figure type may not work well for another figure type. These are some examples of the most common figure types, and the best types of bra fits for these figures:

Small-Busted
AA to "small B" cup sizes. Breasts with this body type are firm and spread farther apart. Bras for this body type cup breasts for light support and natural shaping. Bras that work well for this body type aren't well-suited for full-figured women with larger busts.

Average Bust
B to C cup sizes. These are the most common bra sizes, and many manufacturers design bras for these sizes. Depending on age and overall figure type, breasts may be firm or fleshy. Bras in these sizes provide shape and support.

Full-Busted
C and above cup sizes. In young women with these cup sizes, breasts are fuller, firmer and require good support. Good bras for this body type lift and mold the breasts for attractive shaping. More mature women in these cup sizes tend to have larger breasts with less elasticity. Complete cup coverage for shaping and firm support are the best bra characteristics for mature full-busted women.

Large Sizes
38-50 B and above cup sizes. Women in these sizes have a "plus size" figure and typically wear a women's dress size of 14+. The band size is larger, but the breasts may have the same size and proportion as women with smaller frames, and therefore may not require larger cups. The best bras for full-figured women are specially designed to provide comfort, shaping and support in these sizes.

Do you have a bra fitting question? Call us. 1-954-484-2701.

How to Put on a Bra

Have you ever wondered if you're doing it right when you put on a bra? Have you had trouble getting bras to fit properly, or felt like there had to be a better way to get your bra on? Here's everything you need to know about how to put on a bra, how to get it to fit your breasts properly - and how NOT to put on a bra!

Putting on a Bra "The Right Way":

1. Slip the bra straps over your arms

2. Lean forward so your breasts fall into the cups

3. Reach behind you to hook the bra

If you're wearing an underwire bra, you may need to adjust the band so that the wire is laying flat against your chest wall and cradling your breast. The underwire should never lay directly on your breast tissue, or it can cause discomfort, and over time, can deform your breasts.

Ideally, if you're putting on a new bra for the first time, you should be hooking it on the loosest setting.

If you're using the middle or tightest setting, you won't have anywhere to go once the bra band starts to stretch. If you use the loosest setting, you can switch to the mid and then the tightest set of hooks as the bra wears - which means you get a longer lifespan from your bra.

How NOT to Put on a Bra

A common technique that some women use to put on a bra is to hook the bra in front, then slide the bra around so that the hooks are in the back and slip the straps up the arms and over the shoulders.

This is NOT a good technique to put on bras for a variety of reasons:

1. This technique stretches out the bra band, or requires you to wear a band that's too large

2. To fit the straps up your arm and over the shoulders, you'd be wearing the straps too loose

Basically, if you're doing it this way, it's not possible for your bra to be properly fitted. You're not getting enough structure and tension from the straps, and you have to wear a band size that's too large, which means you're not getting enough support. You're also shortening the lifespan of your bra by putting it on this way.

If you have trouble reaching behind you to put on the bra, instead of compromising and using this technique, you'd be better off wearing a front closure bra that you can easily close in front. With a front close bra, you can perfect the fit and wear a bra that's properly sized instead of compromising on fit and size.

The Scoop and Swoop Breast Positioning Method

When you first put on a bra, your breast tissue usually isn't properly positioned within your bra cups. Your breasts may be "squished" or pushed out of shape by the process of putting on the bra. You've got to perform a "scoop and swoop" to adjust your breasts within the cups before you can test whether a bra fits properly.

To "Scoop and Swoop":

Reach into your cup with the opposite hand - reach into your right cup with your left hand, and vice versa.

Slide your hand under the root of your breast tissue toward the bottom and back of the cup, and bring it up and forward into the cup. Your breasts shouldn't be "squished" or squeezed into a cup - adjust your breast tissue into the cups properly.

When you bring your breasts forward and up into the cup, you may find them bulging out the top of the cup or between the cups. Make sure your breasts are separated into their respective cups, and if possible, tuck any excess breast tissue poking over the top of the cup back into the cup. If it won't fit and you've got an extra bulge over the top of the cup, your cup size is too small.

Once you've adjusted your breasts and situated them in the cups properly, it's time to check the bra for the vital Three Points of Fit.

Do you have a bra fitting question? Call us. 1-954-484-2701

Quick Fixes for 3 Common Bra Problems

Bra Cup FittingBra Band Fitting

Images courtesy of Panache Lingerie.

Is your bra overflowing? If you're spilling out or overflowing from your bra, either on the sides or over the cup, your cup size is too small! This is such a common bra problem and is so easy to fix.

Quick Fix: Just try a cup size larger. That's it!

For example if you're wearing a 34B and the band seems supportive and snug but you're getting the dreaded "double boobs" effect over the top of the cup, try a 34C. If double boobs persist, try a cup size larger until your girls are completely enveloped in the bra cup with no spillage.

You might also want to try different styles of bras as different cup construction works better for different breasts.


Is your bra riding up in the back? If your bra is riding up in the back, it's almost always because your band size is too large. No, really. Even though it seems disconnected, when we wear a band size that isn't snug enough, we overcompensate by tightening our straps, thinking support and lift should come from the strap.

Quick Fix: To fix, try a smaller band size until your breasts are supported mainly from the band.

In a bra that fits well otherwise, you'll probably need to compensate cup size by going up one cup size for each band size you go down. These are referred to as sister sizes. For example, if you're wearing a 36C, go down to a 34 band size but up to a D cup size. If it's still too loose, the next size to try is a 32DD.

Yes, it may take a little getting used to the snug band feel but 80-90% of your support is meant to come from the band. The band of your bra should stay horizontal, or parallel to the ground, and, bonus, your straps won't hurt anymore!


Are your bra straps hurting your shoulders or constantly falling down? Bra straps can pose big problems, whether too tight, digging in and leaving indentations that can become permanent, or slipping off your shoulders non stop. The too tight bra straps are typically due to wearing a band size that's too loose, so we compensate by shortening our straps, mistakenly thinking the bra straps should support us.

The ever slipping bra straps is also often caused by a band that's too loose - but can also be partly due to a combination of sloping shoulders and bras with wide set straps.

Quick Fix: Try a smaller band size and be sure to adjust your bra strap. If your shoulders are sloping, try bra styles with straps that are closer set or try a simple accessory like the Fashion Forms Strap-Mate.

When trying a smaller band size, remember to go up a cup size for each band size you go down, i.e. a 36D would become a 34DD. It might feel snug at first though not so tight that it causes pain or discomfort breathing. Remember, most of your bras support will come from the band!

Always adjust your bra strap for a custom fit that is neither too loose nor too tight. If your shoulders are sloping, try bra styles with straps that are closer set (typically full-coverage or minimizer styles will work well), or try a simple solution like the Fashion Forms Strap-Mate.

Party Dress Solutions

Be the belle of the ball in your best party finery.

A beautiful party dress can make us feel magical - but the right undergarment has the transformative power to give us spell-binding confidence. A wardrobe mishap can quickly kill your mojo; a little extra insurance in the form of supple shapewear, fashion tape, or a well-fitted strapless bra will go a long way to keeping you cool and poised.

The right undergarment is better than a fairy godmother; it can ease worries about bumps and bulges, accidental over-exposures, or droop. With BGB, you can rest easy knowing you're smooth as butter with a silhouette that sizzles - no wand required!

Va Bien Ultra Lift Low Plunge Body Briefer 1500
Va Bien Ultra Lift Low Plunge Body Briefer 1500

Perfect for plunging necklines or low back styles, with a double lined front center panel to flatten the tummy area.

Va Bien Ultra Lift Seamless Foam Cup Strapless Convertible Bra 1506
Va Bien Ultra Lift Seamless Foam Cup Strapless Convertible Bra 1506

Originally designed as a strapless bra, this do-it-all powerhouse convertible bra can also be worn as a traditional bra, halter bra, over the shoulder, or criss-cross bra.

Fashion Forms Extreme Silicone Gel Petals with Travel Case 16556
Fashion Forms Extreme Silicone Gel Petals with Travel Case 16556

These silicone gel petals can be worn up to 25 times and give you a smooth look with or without your bra.

Bra Terms and Words You Should Know

Bra
'Bra' is the common term we use to refer to a 'brassiere' today. it's typically an undergarment with a band that goes around the chest and back, cups that support the breasts, and straps to give it all structure, although bras come in many styles, cuts and shapes.

Bralette
A bralette is a soft cup bra style that resembles a short crop top. it's typically unlined, and they're common in teen styles and as sleep bras because they don't offer too much support.

3/4 Cup Bra
A 3/4 cup bra is a bra with a lower cut, typically in a push-up style, which offers deeper and sexier cleavage than a standard full cup bra. A 3/4 cup bra is a good compromise for women with larger cup sizes who want a sexy, cleavage-enhancing bra; a smaller cut may not offer adequate support, but this style is perfect for full breasts.

Backless Bra
A backless bra is a bra that's designed with a low-cut, typically adjustable back band. it's designed to be worn under a low back or backless dress without showing.

Find the Bra that's Best for You