For any woman the right bra is important - for large-breasted ladies it is absolutely essential. A good fit, made with bigger boobs in mind will provide much needed support and take the strain off that aching back. So what exactly makes for a good fit? We take a look at the dos and don'ts, as well as some of the best options available.
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Are you wearing the right size?
Ideally all women should get professionally measured in order to ensure they are wearing the right size bra, but if you are unsure as to whether your current undies are helping or hindering your chest, there are a few tips to help you.
The first rule of thumb is to look at yourself side-on whilst wearing the bra. The band should be level, horizontally, all the way round. If it's pulling up at the back, the band size is probably too big, and that means the straps will be taking all the strain.
When it comes to cup size, any bagginess means a smaller cup will suffice, but if the baggy look is seen only as creasing around the nipple, it could be that a smaller band size will fix the problem.
The four-boob bulge is not a good look - your cup size is too small, so try the next size up. And if you prefer an underwired bra, remember the front should lie flat against the breastbone (if it's not, go up a cup size) and the wire at the side should not dig into the breast but sit on the ribcage.
While you may be proud of your curvy figure, there may be times when you would prefer not to draw attention to your big bust, and that's where minimiser bras come in. For a reasonably priced but comfortable bra (£38 from Amazon), the Triumph Shape Minimiser bra is designed to give you the appearance of a chest one cup size smaller, but is soft and comfortable, with wide adjustable straps and underwire support to keep everything in place. Available in sizes up to a 42F.
There can never be a time when a good supportive bra is needed more - sports for larger-breasted ladies can be a real pain. But thanks to Panache, there's a sports bra for sizes from 28D to 40H. With the recommended 'encapsulated' fit, meaning the breasts are separately supported, the makers claim it reduces breast bounce (in all directions) by up to 83%. Available from www.amazon.co.uk and other retailers from £35.
Your breasts might be sitting big and proud with the support of straps, but what about when you're heading out in that gorgeous strapless number? Never fear - the big bra makers of the world have risen to the occasion and there are now a number of excellent strapless bras for larger busts on the market.
While Wonderbra's 'Ultimate Strapless' only goes up to an F cup, both the Freya Deco (£31 from Bravissimo) goes right up to a GG cup and the seamless moulded cups offer all the support you'll need. Panache have also come through with the Evie (also £31 from Bravissimo). Available from a D to an H cup, the balconette design will mean you feel secure even without the straps, but the pretty design is not only supportive but offers a touch of elegance - perfect for big-breasted brides.
Sexy or pretty
There was a time when plus-size bras were bland, boring and functional. But these days it's a different story and even high street shops have added a welcome sassiness to their larger cup sizes.
M&S now stock bras up to a J cup, and the Per Una Perfect Fit Comfort Embroidered Bra (£19.50) provides that touch of femininity without a hefty price tag.
But for a full range, there are shops designed to offer curvy girls a wide choice of styles, ranging from pretty and classic to bold and sexy. Try www.desina.co.uk for gorgeous designs that go right up to a K cup.
Have you found the perfect bra? Leave your recommendations below...