Where to Get a Bra
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Where to Get a Bra
A question for women in the C-cup range or larger. I usually avoid
swimsuits and tops with a shelf bra, because I detest how my breasts
migrate toward the middle and get squished together. This is
uncomfortable to me for many reasons I won't enumerate. I'm wondering
if other women have invented a solution for this. I'm a seamstress,
and have tried to come up with something to sew in, but haven't come
upon a good solution. In the past, with an exercise bra, I've
safety-pinned the top and bottom of the fabric in the inside middle,
to create a pinched area of the fabric that keeps the two parties
separate ... but now I'm dealing with a swimsuit I like and am not
sure if pins will ruin it. Please, any ideas? Creative sewing tips?
Lift and Separate
I loved your post! I am a size D and for years I would have to
buy bathing suits 2-3 sizes too big b/c of my breasts. I cannot
address your questions about how to sew your bathing suit, but I
will tell you that Land's End sells suits that are designed for
women with D/DD sized breasts that are fantastic! I recommend
investing the extra money in a more expensive suit so your cup
size can be accommodated. It is totally worth it!
Big Boobs Mama
I know you asked for sewing advice, but here is a different
suggestion from a D cup. www.Brasmyth.com has bathing suits
with underwires. I have found them to be comfortable, to solve
the problem you mentioned (as well as a few others), and to be
extremely long-lasting. I can't do a shelf bra bathing suit
period and this has been a happy solution for me.
Yes, I said ''Heavy breasts''! I just got back from another
tear-filled bra-shopping experience. The girls used to be 34FF until
I had reduction. Then, they were 34C. In both sizes, I needed the
most supportive bras because my breasts are so heavy that regular
(pretty) bras could never keep them from bouncing. Even most sports
bras didn't work. Well, now that I've gained weight, the girls are
36D, and I am having more trouble than ever! I went to Nordstrom's,
like everyone recommends, where they fitted me just fine, but the
bras didn't work. These molded, soft-cup bras are a joke! That was a
year ago. So, today, I finally took myself down to Title Nine, where
everyone else seems to go, and still no luck. The girls fit into the
bras, but the bouncing was plentiful. I couldn't even work with the
one the salesgirl jokingly called ''The Last Resort'', whcih covered
half of my torso. Where do I go? I can't exercise anymore without
backaches from boob-bouncing, and I am down to 3 5
-year old bras that are too small but that hold me down enough.
What can a girl with heavy breast do? I can't believe that I am the
only one with this problem!!!
A Bounce in Every Step
I know you said you were fitted at Nordstrom, but as a former bra
fitter myself, might I suggest that although you fit into a 36D now,
you are really a 34DD? The cup size is the same, but the bra is
smaller around, thus giving a much better, snug fit, which should
result in less bounce. Sometimes this results in a bit of ''back
bacon'' (an unflattering small roll of flesh above the bra just behind
your armpit), which may lead you to believe that you need the bigger
size. Sadly, though, to get the support you need, you might need this
smaller size. And remember that the bra will stretch out. You may
need to try a bunch of different styles (I recommend Wacoal brand), but
this may help. Also, if you can find an adjustable racerback style, you
may have a lot more support.
Try Beauty and Attitude in North Berkeley on Vine at Shattuck.
2116 Vine St
Berkeley, CA 94709
I found the truly only comfortable bra I've had in years from them. The
staff are extra nice too!
There are exactly 2 bras that I can wear (and my boobs are definitely
larger than 36D). Both are Playtex Bras, non-underwire, style #4400
(cotton) and #4693 (soft cup). Both come in cup sizes DD and DDD, and
go up to 48DDD. I have tried many other kinds of bras but always come
back to these. A good online source for larger bra sizes is
Ladygrace.com, which sells both of these bras (the 4693 is their
best-selling bra, I understand), as well as many others in large sizes.
It's not the most convenient for trying new bras, but once you have a
style that you like, you can order it there without difficulty, while
most stores don't regularly stock cup sizes above D. If there is a
local store where large bras can be tried on and purchased, I hope
other posters will let us know, as I'd love that option too.
A fellow large chest
I am your size and found a sports bra at Title 9 a few years ago. It's
not that comfortable and makes me look like I'm right out of a 1950s
fashion magazine (lifts and points!), but I have to say that it does
give support. I still bounce a little but I feel that's okay, it brings
circulation to my breasts! I don't think mine are that HEAVY. As for
other types of bras, I'm also at a loss. I found a nice Playtex bra
once and should've bought a case of them as I can't find them in the
store anymore or online! Might try Victoria's Secret, they have larger
For heavy breasts try Goddess brand bras. Underwire bras are painful
to me so I use the wireless support bras although they do have
underwire bras as well. You can do a Google search on them. If you've
gotten your sizing done at Nordstroms you should be able to order your
correct size. I have ordered them from Roamans, Woman within and One
Stop Plus. If you look at the One Stop Plus website, they have many
user reviews posted for each bra. Any of those websites are reputable
and you can usually use online coupons to get discounts (Google search
as well). They are not going to be the absolute most sexiest bras
you've ever worn but they work.
wearing a 46FF AND supported!
I understand your frustration. BTW, although Title Nine has a great
selection of bras, I found their fitting expertise to be lacking. I
went there and one of their fitters looked at me with my clothes on and
said I didn't look like a 32DD and tried to convince me that I was at
32B. I've been professionally fitted at several other places and knew
the 32B wasn't ever going to work. Anyway, sorry for the digression.
I'm not sure if you've already tried the following, but I've found
these to be the best for me.
Goddess Sport Bra 5056
CWX (sports bra division of Wacoal)
also you might try biggerbras.com
I've found sports bras and non-sports bras in bigger sizes from England
and Japan to be much better constructed and supportive than American
companies. Good luck!
The only bra that's worked for me is Lilyette Minimizer. They sell
them at Macy's. I've worn them in all sizes-- before, during and after
pregnancy and nursing. Nordstrom bras have never worked for me either.
I wear a 32DDD/E which is pretty much impossible to find in stores, and
also need a bra that has a lot of support. I have been ordering bras
from figleaves.com. I search for all the bras in my size, select a
bunch that look like they could work, and send back all the ones that
don't. I usually end up with one or two after all that, and they are
usually the more expensive ones, but they tend to be higher quality and
will last a long time if laundered carefully. Good luck!
I have the same problem. Have you tried Title 9? They have a
bar bell system: 1-5 bar bells with 5 being the ones with the
least jiggle. It's a sports oriented store, but lots of the bras
are for everyday use. A friend told me about them and I've worn
them ever since. They have a store on 9th street down the street
from Smith and Hawken and a catalogue.
So, I called Nordstrom per recommendation of many who have
responded to bra questions in the past.
Unfortunately, they do not carry my size - which is somewhere
between 48 F, G, or H or thereabouts.
Can anyone recommend a store to visit to have a bra fitting that
carries such large sizes?
Thanks a bunch.
Call Bras for Body & Soul in Fremont, Phone: 510-790-1911. Their primary focus is
to serve breast cancer patients, but I wear a size I bra and am very happy with the
bra they put me in. They are the only place I know in the Bay Area with high
quality bras for large breasted women.
I would give Nordstrom another try and go in person for a personal bra fitting. I
didn't think I would ever find a bra that fit me, until I finally went to
Nordstrom. I thought I was a 40H or I, but it turns out I really wear a 34 or 36L.
Who knew! I now have bras that fit and support me for the first time in 20 years.
It has helped me look and feel better. Good luck!
It's mail order only but Decent Exposures will custom make your bras to whatever
size you need. They don't work for everyone but they work great for me. No one
else makes a size 34 F. Check out their website at decentexposures.com
Call Alla Prima in San Francisco 415-864-8180 (Hayes St.) or 415-397-4077 (Grant).
I am not sure if they have your size, but give them a call.
There's a place in Berkeley that's a clothing store and she has a couple of bras
only but a friend has gone there and she is large breasted. I am asking her and
will get back to you.
As a formerly busty lady, I found Lily Ann's in Pleasanton,
www.lilyannslingerie.com, and Alla Prima in San Francisco at allaprimalingerie.com.
Lily Ann's had lots of 36HH for me to try and Alla Prima was a little short on
stock but willing to order samples for me to try, although they would only hold
them for 3 days so I was never able to get there to try them. Once you have a
proper fitting and know what bras you like, you can order by phone. There also is
a small shop on Fourth Street but I didn't find them to be helpful - they lost my
request for an order twice so I gave up on them. Happy hunting.
I just got a 34F Panache bra at Nordstrom and I love it.
I recently put on a lot of weight and need to buy new bras. I am
trying to avoid Victoria's Secret, because in my experience their
bras fall apart quickly and easily. I went to Macy's and tried on
many bras (although there wasn't much of a selection in 38D), and
none seem to offer adequate support or a nice shape. Does anyone
have recommendations of where I could go to get some personalized
help in finding good bras? I know that having the right bra can
really help me improve my deteriorating figure.
1. There was a woman at Nordstrom's in Corte Madera who was very
knowledgeable a few years ago - sadly, I don't know if she's still
there, or even her name.
2. I recently had good luck with bluefly.com (http://www.bluefly.com)
which is designer discount, online only. Their stuff is very high
quality and always less than full price (which may be expensive, so even
discounted it's not super cheap but less than department stores). I
ordered several and returned the ones that weren't wonderful. There was
postage, but I didn't have to schlep all over. Oh, no sales tax, so it
You need to go to Beauty and Attitude on Vine St. in Berkeley.
You're going to get a lot of responses just like this one: Nordstrom's.
They have fitters who will determine your right size, and who will find
bra styles that work with your body (believe it or not, there's a lot of
styles and variations to choose from, and it does make a big
difference). I go to Nordstrom's in Corte Madera, but of course there
are others, depending on where you live (Walnut Creek, for instance).
I'd been wearing 38C for years, and found out I'm actually a 38D. It
made a world of difference in my appearance with my new bras!
I have often had frustrations over finding the bra with the right fit
for my body. I have always found the ''foundations experts'' at Saks 5th
Avenue to be very helpful. They really look at your size/shape and do
their best to help you find the right bra. (be warned, they are not
terribly shy about examining your bra for a good fit--but isn't that
what you want?) I don't have any experience there with larger sizes, but
they did help me when I was pregnant and my size went up considerably.
Best of luck
Probably the easiest would be Nordstroms. they are very helpful!!! There
used to be a place in the city called Champagne and Lace. They have nice
things. There used to me a place in Antioch but I'm not sure they are
still there.good luck!!!
For a great bra fitting, I highly recommend Nordstrom's. Their
saleswomen are trained specifically in fittings, and after measuring
you, they'll bring you several bras in your size. Like many women, I
discovered I have been wearing the wrong size for the past 20 years!
Nordstrom's is expensive, but they do carry bras in a range of prices.
THE place to go is Bras for Body & Soul in Fremont, 510-790-1911. They
specialize in bras for breast cancer survivors, but will fit anyone.
They have a wide range of bras. All are good supporting bras, without
underwires! They are philosophically opposed to underwire bras. I wear a
size you wouldn't even imagine exists, and I get great support from the
bra they fitted me with. The first time you go make an appointment for a
fitting, as it may take a while to find the right bra for you. They will
take the time it needs to fit you with the right bra.
I just recently stumbled into the Gap Body shop out in the Marina in SF
on Chestnut near Lombard and Steiner. I am also a 38D and know the
feeling of uncomfortable bras. I bought a couple bras there and LOVE
them. Earlier the same day I was in VS and had a terrible time looking
for bras and was so happy to find the gap store.
Go to Title 9, off Gilman in Berkeley! I'm a big gal, and had not
bought new bras in years. A friend told me to check out Title 9--these
are the most supportive, well-fitting, comfortable bras I've owned in
years....I bought 4, and am not disappointed, several weeks later. The
place is quiet and mellow (despite the fact that I brought my 3-year-old
along), and the staff is knowledgeable, helpful, and not pushy. The
store can also keep your information in the computer, so when you forget
the style and size you bought, they'll remember for you.
I just went to Nordstrom in San Francisco and was assisted by a very
helpful person in the lingerie department in finding the right bra. I
had never been fitted before and it was very nice to feel I was in the
hands of a professional. I recommend you go there and ask for a
Go to : Beauty and Attitude Lingerie
2116 Vine St
Berkeley, CA 94709
My 18 yr old daughter is also a 38D and did not have a good experience
at Macy's. I found this store on Yelp and they were great with her and
she not only found bras that fit, she found pretty bras that fit. Try
them. (they also fit my friend's daughter who is a 30D and has not been
able to find bras that fit her either). The are especially good with
younger girls but I got some there as too.
I wear the same size you do, and you're right -- it can be hard to find
much of a selection in that size range at some place like Macy's or
Victoria's Secret. I highly recommend going to Nordstrom. Their staff
are great at fitting you with the right size, and they have a good
selection of well-made bras. Now that I've found the right size in a
flattering style, I just order them online when I need a new one. I
might go in to the store itself every once in a great while to see if
there's a new style I like, but it's nice to know that when I need a new
everyday bra, I can just order one without taking lots of time to try on
bras that don't fit.
Granted, Nordstrom isn't the cheapest store around. But the right size
really does make a difference, and I think it's worth spending a little
extra to get a well-made bra that will continue to fit you, even after
you've washed it a few times.
Me and the (well-supported) girls
NORDSTROM! Now, plan on spending between $60-80 for a good bra, but it
is well worth it. I would also recommend getting fitted again for a bra.
At 5'2'' and 130lbs I am a 32 DDD which seems HUGE, but seemed even
bigger when I was squishing my breasts into a 36D because it was the
biggest size they offered at Vicky's. You'd be surprised what size you
really are, and how having a good fitting bra makes all the difference.
Especially when it is so hard being busty (shirts, dresses, people
staring and making comments).
My favorite brand at Nordstrom is Chantelle, they make beautiful full
figured bras! Also the perk of getting them at Nordstrom is that they
will take them back if you aren't satisfied, and will repair them for
free anytime! (My underwire came out of one and they sewed it up just
like new on the spot.) The Chantelle bras give great support and
beautiful shape. I took my Mom to get fitted and buy new bras and she
said she felt like she had a breast lift!
Nordstrom. - The sales people are helpful and know what they are doing.
They have a wide variety of styles and prices and quality.
Beauty and Attitude on Vine at Shattuck. They will measusre you and fit
you to the perfect bra for your body type/size. They offer top quality
bras but be prepared they are on the pricey side. I go there every 4
months or so to get re-fitted, I buy one or two bras in the store (its
worth it for the fitting/sizing they do) and then if I need more I
search for them on-line........
Several weeks ago I weaned my second kid and was mortified to realize
that all I owned were a bunch of dingy nursing bras. I was not looking
forward to buying new ones- I have seriously poor body image right now,
and envisioned very Victoria's Secret-esque type of lingerie
establishments as my only option. I ended up at Beauty and Attitude on
Vine in Berkeley (near Peet's) and found some great fitting, practical
bras based on recommendations from a down to earth , low pressure
salesperson. I will definitely be returning when the need next arises.
Frumpy Suburban Lady With Good Bras
Can anyone recommend a good place to get well-fitted for a
bra? My MIL and I are unusually sized (cup size is way larger
than chest width). We both need some good everyday and
We've both tried Nordstrom's fittings and were not satisfied
with their experience. I went to Berkeley's Beauty & Attitude
b/c of all the positive Yelp recommendations, but all the
sales clerk did was ask my my bra size, tell me I needed to go
up 1 cup (w/out measuring me), and gave me some pretty but
undersupportive bras to try on.
When I lived in Southern CA, there was a fantastic store for
women of unusual sized breasts that had just the kind of bra
you were looking for (for example, I prefer no underwire and
in cotton; they had a variety of nursing bras that fit those
specifications and my cup size was about 2x as large as I am
now), but I can't seem to find the same up here.
If anyone can help us out, our ''girls'' would be ever so
Needs More Support
My teenage daughter is in the same situation. We found great success at Title
Nine in Walnut Creek. The sales clerk - I think that her name was Susan - but I
am not sure - helped my daughter try on and select a bra that was comfortable and
provided by daughter with the necessary support that she needed and even talked
my daughter into a bra with a underwire. This was not an easy task - we spent
almost 2 hours in the store trying on different types of bras. My daughter loves
her bras, they fit her well and she can wear them both for sports and regular
wear. We have been to both Nordstroms and Macy's, and Title Nine was just far
superior in their selection and fitting for these types of bras.
This place has the kind of bras you are looking for:
Sarah's Bare Necessities Inc
1865 Adobe St # A, Concord - (925) 680-8445 Also - check out jms.com for online
Go to Claudette at Cotton and Company on College Ave! She's amazing.
I've just finished breast feeding my first am in serious need of some new bras. Old
bras don't fit right, nursing bras are too big. Can anyone recommend a shop where
someone actually works with you to find a good (and flattering) fit? I'm in El Cerrito
so anything on this side of the bay would be super.
Saggin' in the EC
Though not in Berkeley, I would recommend that you go to Nordstrom's.
Though their bras are more expensive, an expert will measure you and
determine the right size. You can try on a bunch of bras and they will
educate you as to what fits correctly. If you can't afford it, you
don't need to buy a lot of bras there, but you will have the basic
knowledge and information. Then you should be more able to find bras
that fit when you shop on your own. I've had good luck at the Corte
Madera Nordstrom (Marin) which is only a 15-20 minute drive from
Albany, and the San Francisco 5th & Market downtown location.
I need someone to fit me for a bra. I think I've been wearing the wrong type
and/or size. I remember an article in the Chron awhile back with
recommendations on high-end stores or boutiques that specialize in this, but
now I can't find it. I appreciate your recommendations!
wearing the wrong one
A La Folie on 4th Street in Berkeley is having a special bra fitting night
on Wed. Oct. 17th starting at 5pm. You should call (510) 845-1616 to find
out more details. The bras are gorgeous, and PRICEY, but the fitting
should be good and the event fun. If you can't make it there, head to
Nordstroms. Anyone of the sales people in the lingerie dept. will be able
to fit you well. Also on Piedmont Avenue just off Linda on the West side
of the street (not the shop near coffee shop) further down heading toward
McArthur near the stationer/used book store, there is a women's clothing
store where the owner can do a fitting.
in need of a good fitting myself
Try Zafu.com which has/had info. on what bra brands are best for which
sizes and shapes. Also good for jeans. Otherwise, try Nordstrom's in
right sized now
I recently had myself fit for a new bra (hadn't done it in way too long)
at Nordstrom in Walnut Creek. The women who helped was Caroline and she
was great. She spent a great deal of time with me and probably brought me
more than 50 bras to try on. She brought me everything from experience to
on the clearance rack. I would go back to her again. Best of luck!
Momma with new bras
All the advice you need in 4 words.
Erica - Nordstrom - Walnut Creek.
She took 15 years off my saggy rack.
was saggy 38c, now perky 34D
Don't go to cotton and company, they sold me really expensive bras that
didn't fit well at all, I bought them because I felt pressured to do so
-stupid I know.
I would recommend this place on Vine (beauty and attitude) they take time to
help fit you, and only sell you what actually fits. I didn't feel pressure
to buy anything.
This will probably sound silly, but I would love some input
from those of you in the same boat. I'm a 36A on a good day
and find it impossible to find a comfortable bra. I find
underwires to be utterly ridiculous since I have nothing
to ''support.'' I'd prefer one made of cotton and not too
expensive. Frankly I'd be happy to not wear one at all, but am
shy about the pointy-ness.
Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
Almost as flat as a Pancake
I know just what you're talking about. My one word of advice -
don't rule out underwires. I hadn't worn a bra for 20 years
because I didn't need the ''support.'' But there was that
pointiness problem. I finally went to Nordstrom's (downtown SF),
and one of their excellent fitters persuaded me that a) I should
wear a 32B, not a 34A, and b) there's a fantastic Natori
underwire bra (it's called a Body Doubles Contour bra) out there
for me. Even if you don't like Nordstrom/Natori prices, go for
the experience. I'm really glad I did.
You are so lucky!!!!
Wandering around Target, I love all the colored smooth bras
they have. So inexpensive and pretty....also, you can wear
those tank tops with the thin straps & little shelf bra built
in? I love those.
This is a problem I would like to have!
Hanes makes a comfortable, all cotton bra with no underwire--I think
they're called ''t-
shirt style'' and they're less than $10.00 at Target.
Olga has a line of bras that are made of comfortable material without
seem to fit well. Many department stores have staff to measure and fit
you as well so
you get the right fit. Personally, I like camisole tops, all cotton,
shelf bra, etc. because
some research suggests that holding the breast tissue in cups may not be
lymphatic circulation and drainage.
I am in the same boat.. small chest and no desire to wear a bra..
my friend recommended Barely There & they are great... try Bare
I am in a similar boat. Check out Title Nine --
www.titlenine.com -- which supplies fitness clothes for ''real''
women. They have several pretty bras, and a great selection for
small cup sizes (also excellent support bras for large cup sizes,
a good thing to share with our bustier sisters). Try the ''1-2
Barbells'' option under Bras & Undies. Also, my fabulously chic
and small-breasted aunt swears by camisoles. JJill, Territory
Ahead, and Coldwater Creek have charming as well as plain camis,
some with a shelf bra. If you are tall it is harder to find a
good cami (though they come in petite sizes) but Banana Republic
now carries tall camis in the summer at least. Much luck!
I feel your pain at trying to find small bras. I don't really need the
but prefer the look and feel of wearing one. Luckily, lately there seem
to be more
around. Macy's in Corte Madera had a whole section of them last time I
was there. I
think they were called ''small figure.'' The brand I liked best was
from Warner's -
lightly lined, not padded (though there are padded ones too). There's
whole range of ''Thank Goodness it Fits'' bras and Calvin Klein makes a
type - very light support. Or if you're comfortable with it, you could
try a camisole (I
sometimes wear them in the winter under more bulky sweaters and such).
Almost flat chested too
Try a sports bra or a nursing bra. I stopped nursing six
months ago, but I find nursing bras to work great.
no underwire sister
Take a look at Elita brand bras/camisoles. Many are simply
stretch material; quite a few are cotton. They are very
comfortable. Available at barenecessities.com .
At 38 A, I found the Playtex ''nearly A, nearly B, etc'' bras at Target
to be very
You mean I'm not the only one? I'm definitely ''in the same boat.''
After having a
baby, then breastfeeding, I went thru a long spell of discomfort with
I have finally found a nice crop of assorted underwire-free bras. Here
are some of
them, from most often to least often worn: Vanity Fair style # 19072,
Calvin Klein ''choice,'' size S/P; Maidenform ''for girls,'' style #
L3202, size 34A.
There is also another Calvin Klein and an Xhilaration (Target brand) in
the top bra
club, but neither have a style name or number. Have you visited
site can help you find your true bra size, they sell CK (notice 2 of my
have a great return policy. Good luck finding your comfy undergarments!
I am a 36A also (sometimes even 38A) and I just bought some
bras at JCPenney that are very comfortable. They are called
Ambrielle. I'd recommend them. I wouldn't say that they
enhance my size at all, but they are comfortable. And pretty,
in a very simple way.
Member of the IBTC
I'm in exactly the same boat, and I finally found a bra that
works for me: Playtex ''Thank Goodness it Fits'' size 34 Nearly A,
Seamless Stretch Foam Wire-Free Bra. No underwire, just a little
bit of padding so it's not ridiculous, but helps fill out a
t-shirt a bit, and (a huge problem for me) it doesn't ride up all
That being said, it's close, but could still be better - looking
forward to others' responses in case someone's found the
''perfect'' bra for us flatter girls.
Warner's makes a really nice line of wireless bras is small cup
sizes. They are lightly lined, not really padded so it looks
natural and they are comfortable. Mine even has convertable
straps so it can turn into a halter strap. I found mine at JC
Penny's I think, but I know you can find them online also.
mosquito bite mama
i just had to get new bras because after child #2 my headlights
were on. i am a little bigger, 34c, so i did get some underwires.
but, i went to macy's and got fitted. then i told her my concerns
and she went and got bras and gave them to me. they were so
comfortable i didn't even try any more on. i bought the two she
brought in. go get fitted. i even saw some non-underwire ones
with a little thickness that i was tempted to buy for myself. but
i needed a little more support. good luck!
Go to a store with a professional fitter. Real fitters go to training
sessions and learn
about the body types that different manufacturers are trying to suit.
There is a fantastic, kind and professional fitter at Nordstrom named
Crystal. I know
she works on Sundays. Ask for her at the counter. It does not cost
anything to have her
falling down 32 DD
I'm really glad you asked this question because I've wondered for years
what else is out
there so I'll be interested to read other responses. I've found a
pretty good option, a
bra by Jockey that is really basic, cotton, no support, inexpensive,
comfortable. I don't
know the style name but Macy's sells them. I think they're about $15-17
each but are
often on sale.
I am exactly the same way. The world of bras seems to consider
mostly the opposite problem, which is how do you find a bra with
enough support. My solution is to either wear a camisole with a
built-in shelf bra, or a nice simple athletic bra. Neither have
cumbersome wires or clasps.
I am in your boat, too - I only ''graduated'' to an A cup now that
I'm nursing ;) So is my mom, and our favorite bras are made by
Elita. They come in cotton or soft microfiber, and although I
think there are some with underwire, there are at least a few
that don't have any. They're really comfy - my favorite is the
''silk magic crossover bra.'' I buy them online at herroom.com.
Another option is Playtex, which makes a line called ''Just My
Size'' which includes a size called ''Barely A.'' I found a few with
molded cups and no underwire at a Playtex outlet store, but they
might be in department stores, too. Not as comfy, but more of a
typical bra. Sorry none of this is too cheap or convenient, but I
am so glad not to have to wade through rows of bras that are
useless for me anymore!
I am a 36A, as well. It is very hard to find good-fitting bras
that don't turn my breasts into overpadded torpedo t*ts. I do
wear underwire, which you said you were avoiding. It does give a
little lift, which I like. I tend to look for demi-cup bras, as I
have a hard time filling out full coverage bras. Wacoal makes a
very good bra, but I forget the name of it. It is a seamless
underwire. Jockey also makes a few good bras that come in 36A.
Two good resources are the Bare Necessities web site
http://www.barenecessities.com and Bra Smythe http://www.brasmyth.com
You can search by bra size, cup shape, underwire, no underwire, etc.
A word to the wise: If you find a bra you like, buy a bunch of
them! I don't know if our big chested sisters face this, but the
bras that suit my frame are constantly being discontinued, so I
have to start the search all over again!
My breasts are small and far apart, and the only brand of bra that fits
me well is
Playtex's rather desperate-sounding ''Thank Goodness It Fits''. They
come in ''nearly A''
and ''nearly B'' as well as ''perfectly A''. Sears carries them, as
does Macy's in Union
Square. Target has a few styles but usually only in white (why?). The
TGIF bras are
lined or lightly padded, though--if you're looking for something thin
and stretchy, they
may not fit the bill.
Thank Goodness I'm Flat
My body is different than yours, but I've found that Title Nine
in Berkeley has a very good and large selection of bras.
They're an athletic-focused store, so their bras are practical,
but not all sports bras. They're located on 10th street off of
Gilman, on the block behind the Walgreens and REI store located
on San Pablo.
A Good Bra is Hard to Find
I'm also flat-chested, and I just wear an undershirt to cover
up the ''pointiness''. I find bras uncomfortable and they really
aren't necessary for those of us who are not ''well-endowed.''
Flat and happy
I also have a 36A, and have found a couple of bras that work for me:
1) Warner's: Satin Tuxedo Wire-free Bra
2) Lily of France: Gel Touch(tm) Wireless. (They also have several
Also, using an extender helps make the bra feel more comfortable.
The extenders are sold in fabric stores (and they are usually
cheaper than retail stores, too).
This store in San Mateo was mentioned in the SF Chronicle last year as a
of small sized bras...I have never been to the store or bought anything
from the web
site but it looks like a good resource so I'm passing it along. The
store is at 212 E.
Third Ave., San Mateo, phone: (650) 348-8858, web site: www.lulalu.com
So after three plus years of back to back pregnancies and
breastfeeding, I am ready to ditch the maternity/nursing bras and
wear regular bras again. But, no surprise, my old ones no longer
fit. You always hear that there are specialists who can help you
figure out your correct size and the best bra for you, but i have
no idea where to go to get that help. Have any moms out there
found a good store or person to help them with this? i am so
ready for a comfortable well fitting bra again! thanks for any
You absolutely must go to Nordstrom. I went to Walnut Creek
but I'm sure they are all just as good. I am telling you - the
miracle worker I had took 10 years off my rack. I am a new -
perky woman. Funny me...I thought I was a 38c turns out I was
a 34 D. My clothes look SOOO much better on me now. It's
really worth the time and money to let the professionals do it.
They will chose a nice bra for you. Buy 3 of them and you'll
be set. Along with a lingere bag and some nice washing soap.
And while you're there...help yourself to a few pairs of hanky
pankys - they too will transform your warddrobe sister. I
wasn't a believer - but now I am. And they are surprisingly
comfortable...they almost remind me of maternity underwear
because they are stretch lace. Who knew a thong could be
Worth every penny
I recently went to A La Folie down at 4th St. They actually had a bra fitting event
week. The lingerie there is beautiful and the prices aren't cheap. However the women
there have real bodies and are I felt very comfortable there. I discovered I was a
larger than I always thought I was!! I can't recommend them highly enough. They are
friendly, personable, knowledgeable, approachable. Good Luck.
In a word, Nordstrom. All the sales reps are friendly and seem to
know what they're doing. I go to the SF branch in the old half of
the new Westfield Centre.
I have been a size 36-B since I was 16 (or so I thought). After
25 years and two children later I decided that I needed to
treat myself to a good bra fitting, since I doubted that my
size was still correct. I heard that Oprah dedicated an entire
show to bra fitting and she highly recommended the staff at
Nordstrom's. Recently, I read an article about bra fitting and
the writer was thrilled with her Nordstrom experience. So a few
weeks ago I decided to take the plunge and stepped into
Nordstrom for a bra fitting. They were busier than I thought
and all their staff was busy with women of all sizes and types.
A young woman came my way and I asked for a fitting. She guided
me into a fitting room and measured my chest. She then told me
to undress from the waist down while she went back into the
store to get bras. She came back with 6 bras, or so. I asked
her what size they were and she answered ''34D''. My first
thought was: ''Oh boy, I picked the one person who doesn't
really know their job!''. I tried on the first bra and it was a
bit too big. I wanted to say ''See!'', but remained polite. She
gave me another bra that fit PERFECT! I couldn't believe it.
The next one fit even better. I walked away with 3 bra's and
have been thrilled to pieces with my non-surgical breast
augmentation. I have recommended it to all my friends and two
of them went in for their own fitting and also realized that
they were wearing a completely wrong size. They loved the
service and were also extremely happy with their new, correctly
fitting bra's. Another friend told me that she went to
Nordstrom as well for a bra fitting and purchased one bra at
the correct size. Then she went to Marshall's to buy more at
the correct size. Good luck!
I have no idea how I happened into the bra section of the Gap in
Corte Madera but I am so glad I did! There was an older
saleswoman there - I don't remember her name - but she was
AMAZING. After pregnancy and nursing, I had no idea what bra size
I was anymore - only that my bras were huge on me. She measured
me and found me the perfect bras. Good Luck!
former c cup
Nordstrom is great for bra fitting!
I love the gals at Beauty and Attitude on Vine near Shattuck.
They are very helpful, honest and compassionate. They also
have a nice selection of comfy bras.
Victoria's Secret will measure you and help you find the right
bra - it's not just for the hot 20 somethings! I'm 40 and
recently found the right fitting bra - I'd be wearing the wrong
sizes for years! Have fun.
I think Nordstrom Walnut Creek or San Francisco are great. They have a good
sort of pricey, but really worth it. My sister says you find a good bra there, and
find a cheap copy of it at Target. They do great fittings. The worst place to go
Victoria's Secret. They don't know how to measure and their bras are overpriced.
I have gone from a 34C to a 40D to a 34B back up to a 42E now am a 34DD. Whew! I
got bras in every size...
Looking forward to retiring my nursing bras and need to find a
store that sells large size underwire bras. Any recommendations
for a store that does fitting and carries a large selection of
large sized bras, the department stores do not carry my size.
I know its a bit far to go but the girls at the
Bali/Playtex/Hanes store at the Outlets in Petaluma are worth
every penny...they have a wide range of sizes...and the outlet
prices are better than regular retail so if you end up having
to buy lots of sizes if you're planning on downsizing post baby
then that place is great.
you didn't mention how busty you are (and I don't blame you!)
although I am afraid that once you get past the DD mark you may
have to look into a Lane Bryant store to see if they've got
anything larger...or online for mail order sizes...good luck
and oh yeah there's a great Carter's outlet store there too!
Finding the right bra after the nursing bra could probably be
found at In Full Swing. This plus size women's clothing store
is of finer quality items. In Full Swing is located on College
Avenue near Claremont Avenue. I have found the ''just right''
clothing items there.
know about being busty
They have a great selection of bras with larger ladies in
mind! And the models are healthy, thicker women with, yep,
you guessed it, big breasts! Great site & great styles!
try title 9 sports its on a small street off Gilman behind REI -
they have different styles for different sizes and very high
quality stuff - expensive but worth it.
Try Title 9 in Berkeley.
I am a plus size gal and I go to Macy's and Nordstroms. They
should be able to help or give you alternatives. There is also
a Lane Bryant store in Emeryville. I don't know if they size
you, but I bet they do.
Busty Mama 2
It's been 0ver 4 years since I've had to get my large bras (I
had reduction surgery), but the only place I ever found my size
(34FF) was at a large women's store right near the Oakland
Library Main Branch. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the name
or exact address, but I know that it's next to a parking
structure near the library, probably on 14th street. I'm sorry
that I can't get more specific, but I hope this helps. The other
large women's stores didn't carry 34's, and the ''regular'' stores
didn't have FF's, so this was a real find for me!! If you have
any more questions or need more help finding that store, you can
I can recommend ''Bras for Body & Soul'' 2500 Mowry Av., Suite
130 in Fremont. Phone 510-790-1911. This is a very caring
store for women that actually got its start fitting women
recovering from breast cancer but has since expanded to fitting
all women and promising to find the right bra and give you a
thorough fit. You are guaranteed to find exactly what you need
and not wonder if you are going to be looking again in a few
months. Good Luck!
I have had good luck with Lane Bryant. They had a large
selection and they were actually attractive (not just white and
beige). I thought the prices were also reasonable. I don't
know about fitting service. I knew approximately what size I
needed and fitted myself.
The bra department at Nordstroms is wonderful. The women who
work there are trained to do a proper fitting for you and the
selection is huge. I am a 32DD and have had no problem finding a
beautiful (yes I said beautiful) bra for a full sized figure. I
struggled for years trying to find a good fitting, attractive
bra. Additionally, they have quite a few bra's for full figured
women for special occasions such as strapless, racer back etc.
Another option is Victoria Secret's catalog. They carry a pretty
good selection of full size bra's. Unfortunately, you won't get
the sizing service you get at Nordstoms and you'll pay shipping
even if you end up returning the bra but they do have a nice
selection if you're sure of your size.
Roslyn's Dress Shop has an incredible assortment of bras for
the larger-sized woman. They are located on Broadway across
from Oakland Tech High School. Although their bras are not
cheap, they will have whatever size and style you are looking
A couple of years ago I found a type of bra at Target (my
clothing source!) that suited me perfectly: it's like a sports
bra in that it is a single, stretchy piece of fabric with no
pads, no underwires, no lace, no Victoria's secret. Just comfy
and sufficiently supportive for a not tremendously endowed gal
(b-cup, that is). The difference from a sports bra is that the
material is lighter, a kind of nylon. Anyway, of course this bra
has disappeared off the face of the earth (or the face of Target,
anyway), and I can't locate a similar one to substitute. Does
anyone know what I'm talking about? Can you help me? I would be
enough with the wonder-bra already
There are some wonderful, soft, stretchy nursing bras by Bravado
that may fit the bill for you. (You don't have to unsnap them!)
Or you may want to try Decent Exposures. Many women rave about
them, and there are lots of choices in sizes and fabrics.
I like the one that Jockey sells. You can find it at
department stores or go online to jockey.com. They cost ~ $12
and they last because there are no fasteners to break off in
I have a couple of these and I love them:
the undies are really comfy and don't ride up :
I too had to find a replacement for a basic, sport-type bra
found at Target. It took a while but I really like the one
available in the Land's End catalogue: cheap, basic, no lining,
no uncomfortable seams, no underwire. It is marketed as a
sportsbra but is really very basic, made of thin,quick drying
I get my bras at Mervyn's in the Pinole Valley Shopping Center
(I-80 east, exit at Richmond Pkwy, go right to the shopping
They have a great underwear dept with the kind of bras you are
talking about (the only ones I like to wear). Good luck.
Elements on College avenue (Elmwood) used to carry a brand, ELITA, that has a
model exactly what you are looking for. I buy them four at a time, I love them
so much. They are probably more expensive than the ones in Target but they
are VERY durable (a pair lasts more than 3 years with frequent washing and
drying). I bought my last pair more than a year ago, so I am not sure if they are
carrying them anymore, but they did for at least four years.
Title 9 Sports has a good selection of sport-like bras that don't have a lot
of super support. Of course, they also have the ''crank down'' models, but
I think they have quite a large selection of what you seek. In addition,
you may want to check out onehanesplace.com and breakoutbras.com.
Both sites have some wonderful bras that sound like what you are
seeking. There is a store in Alameda called 'fashion after passion'' that
sells some stretch bras (they call them sleep bras because they are only
moderately supportive), and that might also work for you. Best of luck.
-- bra maven
I know EXACTLY what you mean, and for my maternity bras I ended
up with the same type of bra if not the same bra. Mine is
called ''barely there'' and I bought it at Mervyns. They go on
sale frequently. It feels nice, looks good under t-shirts, no
underwires, adequate support (but not really enough for
running), and comes in various colors (though not a huge
selection). It's shaped kind of like a gentle, simple sports
bra, but more comfy. Easy to nurse w/ also-you just pull it up.
None of these goofy snaps or velcro to deal w/ and you don't
have to search for your breast while the baby is crying.
Hi - Try the Barely There line, available at Mervyn's (and
probably other dept. stores such as Macy's, Sears or Penney's).
100% nylon, none of that annoying stuff you mentioned, and very
comfortable! Great if you can get them during a 2 for 1 sale or
a buy one, get one at 50% off, though they are not expensive.
no Victoria's Secret model either
I've found nice stretch bras, no bones or innards, at Nordstrom
and at Earthly Goods (the cheaper store, uphill on Vine) in
Berkeley. Earthly Goods may no longer carry the Elita brand, or
bras at all, but I also found them online. I think the site was
Sierra Blue. They come in both cotton and nylon-ish fabric, and
are quite wonderful. Cotton is more comfortable, but they wear
out. Nordstrom has their own brand, as well as a variety of
others of the same type, some reasonably priced and some very
I am looking for a halter bra to wear under a bridesmaid dress
that has a halter top. The women where I purchased the dress
said they've seen people bring in really nice ones, but they
didn't have any suggestions on where to find one. I am
nursing, so I definitely can't go bra-less. I know that a
halter nursing bra is asking too much, but what about a regular
Thank you for your suggestions!
I haven't shopped there myself, but I have heard that Victoria's
Secret has a good bra selection. Their stores are in some malls.
I am in a wedding this month and my friend who is larger chested is having a bra built into the dress. You may want to check with the bridal shop or a seamstress to see if they can do this for your dress.
there is an old-fashioned foundations/lingerie shop in san
leandro called bonnie's. they actually fit you and are not on
commission or bonus basis (my last visit to nordstrom resulted
in very expensive bras that didn't fit well - bonuses....).
they evidently have another store or warehouse so have access to
more than on site if necessary. i took my daughter there for a
prom dress bra, they advised us not to bother for that
particular dress instead of trying to sell us something!
The Gap halter/convertible bras are pretty nice (and cheaper than
Go to Nordstrom's. I was also a ''nursing'' bridesmaid this
summer and couldn't go without a bra. I spent many frustrating
afternoons looking at other stores, trying on bra after bra
without any help or the sales people having any knowledge. I
finally decided to go to Nordstrom's and I walked out of there
with a perfectly fitting bra in 10 minutes. It turned out I was
trying on the wrong size all along. You will pay more, but
saving yourself the frustration is so worth it. Good Luck.
What you are looking for is usually referred to as a ''convertable'' bra,
because you can convert it to either a halter bra, a criss-cross back bra, A-symetrical (just one shoulder strap, angled across the back) or
Victoria's Secret, of course, has at least one bra like this, but many
people don't like VS and many think that the quality is poor. For more
variety, you might check out Fig Leaves (www.figleaves.com), they have
a huge selection of all kinds of bras, including bras intended for bridal-wear. The only drawback is you have to order it and can't try it on until it arrives. However, they do have an excellent return policy.
Been shoppin' for bridal undies
I'm not a Victoria's Secret fan, but I was looking for something
similar and I found two styles there that can be worn strapless,
or with straps that convert to five different configurations,
including halter. You can also buy clear plastic straps (also
covertible) for them.
I don't have a recommendation for where to buy your bra, but
assuming you do find one, you *can* convert it into a nursing
bra! Check out these instructions:
Have fun at the wedding!
I used to be a 34B but am now a 34D. I thought that most women's breasts got smaller after breast feeding - but not so in my case. I was wondering if anyone has recommendations of where to go to get fitted for a new bra. Also, I would like a bra without an underwire but with a lot of support. Any suggestions? Thanks.
I can relate to your dilemma, although I'm down to a 34DD after
breastfeeding (from somewhere in the GGs). I don't know if
you're looking for a sports bra, but I've been very happy with
the bras at Title 9 Sports in Berkeley. They carry a number
of ''high impact'' bras that are extremely supportive in sizes up
to 40E. It's really nice to be able to try them on in the
dressing room and jump around a little to try them out.
They aren't cheap, but they're very good.
I was in the exact same situation. I went to Nordstrom's (in
Corte Madera, but I'm sure others would be good too). The women
in the lingerie section are very helpful, professional and
experienced. She measured me and brought me many different
types, including some sale bras. I've been really happy with the
bras I've bought there and the service there is really amazing.
I've had the same problem, and for a more supportive bra I've
switched to Bali bras. Bali is the only major brand that seems to
make good, supportive, soft, smooth-cupped, non-underwire bras.
Unfortunately they look like ''old-lady'' bras; they remind me of
the ones my mother wears. (My husband was quite disappointed when
I came home from bra shopping last time, but I told him I was sure
he'd prefer me to wear ugly bras rather than have my breasts
hanging down to my knees in a few years.) I've never been fitted
for a bra, but I go to Macy's and try on everything in sight. It's
amazing how different they can be.
36D, formerly 36B
I also have large breasts and have had a difficult time finding
bras that fit really well. I have done well at high end stores,
like Nordstroms, where you can find a person to ''fit'' you properly.
I normally need an underwire, but have found that the DK (Donna
Karen) sports bra was very supportive (even while horseback
riding) and comfortable. It does not have an underwire, so it
might be a good choice for you.
When I was a 36D (similar size), I really liked the Bali Double
Support wire free bra. Great support, very comfortable. You
can find them lots of places, I got them at Mervyn's or Macy's
usually. I have turned a few friends on to them also. They are
a great every day bra. I don't know where to have them fitted
around here, though I know you can make an appt. and have that
done at Macy's, which I did a long time ago.
There was something on bras not too long ago so it might not be
archived yet. I don't like underwire either. My favorite
sources are gaia (cotton yoga bras)(try www.gaia.com or
gaiam ). Blue Canoe (www.bluecanoe.com) has great organic
cotton bras. Try Jane's top. Decent Exposures (1800-524-4949
or www.decentexposures.com) has cotton bras, no underwire for
women sizes 30AAA to 58H. They come in fun colors and the
company is small and great to deal with. They even customize.
Hi, I don't have a recommendation of where to be FITTED for a
bra, but just last week I bought my first new bras in 4 years,
having spent much of the past few years in nursing bras (2
kids--now 1 & 3). I always liked the selection & decent prices
at Mervyn's, and after a little research, I chose to drive to
Northgate Mall in San Rafael. The Mervyn's there is very nice
(quiet, clean, HUGE selection of bras); plus (this was important
for me!) the mall (also very nice) has a small permanent, padded
play area where my toddlers could let off some steam after I was
done shopping. Good luck!
I just had a bra fitting done at Macy's in Hilltop last week. I
was so off on my bra size! She took my measurements and had me
try on about 30 bras until we found the right one. It was so
helpful! Bonus big sale, I bought 2 and got 3 free! I was told
they do fittings at least once a month, so give them a call and
get an appointment. I also got the feeling that they may just do
it if you ask them.
You may want to try a ''minimizer'' style bra. They tend to give
better support and help reduce your bustline so more of your
pre-pregnancy clothes will fit.
I too have been very frustrated with comfort and selection in
large-sized bras. But I just found some great bras at Lane
Bryant in the Emeryville shopping center where Trader Joe's is.
They have large sizes, big selection, and they're having a buy 2
get 2 free sale now. There wasn't anyone to help fit though -
that would have been nice.
To get a bra that fits, ask for Irene Pope in the lingerie
department at the Nordstrom's in Walnut Creek. She is also the
person who fits women who have had mastectomies, so, as you might
imagine, she is both skilled and sensitive. She knows the shape
and charactersistics of every bra in the shop, and seems to be
able to tell at a glance which models will suit one, and which
won't. After years of unsatisfactory purchases, and long,
unhappy try-on sessions, I was delighted to spend 20 happy
minutes in her care and walk out with a bra that fit like a dream
and made me look much better than I ever thought I could!
I wear a 38DD and the bras that fit me best are from Victoria’s
Secret. They don’t carry the full selection of the catalogue in
the stores and carry only a few larger sizes there, so I shop from
the catalogue and order on-line. Unless I’m reordering a style I
already have, I order a few different ones in the type I’m looking
for, choose the best and return the rest (I do this with all my
on-line clothes shopping).
Recently I wanted a smooth fitting bra for under knits- I ordered
4 possibilities from VS, found one that was perfect, returned the
others and ordered 2 more of the right one. They make plain ones
and sexy ones. I have a couple of the latter that fit me great and
are fun to wear. I wear underwires, but if the fit and style are
right, they can be very comfortable. The only beef I have with
their mail order is that shipping is expensive. But they have a
lot of sales.
Another great source is One Hanes Place. They carry ‘slightly
imperfect’ and discontinued Bali and Playtex bras. There’s an
outlet store with a good selection in the Vacaville Outlet Mall
(by the old Nut Tree), and there is catalogue and on-line
shopping. There are a lot of no-wire, soft cup Playtex bras
available. Not sexy, but practical.
Several months after weaning my toddler, I am still wearing my bravado
nursing bra as I like the elastic band on it. My preference is for an
undershirt, tho advancing age and 6 years of pregnancy/breastfeeding is
making me feel the need for a little more support. Can anyone recommend
a bra that they especially like for the comfortable fit?
the best bra in the entire world is right at your
fingertips. Log onto decentexposures.com. Not only
are the bras designed by women (these bras were originally
designed by a pregnant mom who couldn't find anything to
wear), the company is quite socially responsible. You
end up feeling good about the company you're purchasing
from and end up getting the most comfortable bra you
could ever imagine. Every shape and size of woman -
"support the women of the world" is their motto. I love
their bras and I hope you will, too. [request
that they stitch down the loop on the front] Good
The fantastic company in Seattle called
Decent Exposure may have what you
are looking for. Their bras fit women of
all shapes (as they are custom designed).
They have a wide variety of styles and
fabrics to choose from.
They sell by mail and can be found
in the back of mothering and parenting
type magazines. If you can't find them
there, call information in Seattle. I believe
they are located on Lake City Way.
They are a wonderful, small company;
run by the women who wanted a more
comfortable bra. They probably have a
web page, too.
If you like the Bravados, you'll probably like"Jane's Bra". It's all (or
90+%) organic cotton and has a big wide band on the bottom.
Check the website www.bluecanoe.com
Jane's Top is under Stretch Bras I think (#A160) for 28.00 and they have
other styles as well.
I think whether a bra feels good is a matter of personal taste and
depends entirely on what you're looking for. I have tried about 500
different bras in my life, looking for this combination of
ingredients: underwire for support, straps that don't fall down, two
hooks (not 1 and not 3), cute looking and not too matronly, smooth
under dressy clothes (I prefer nylon), doesn't annoy my hypersensitive
skin with ribbons, buttons, lace, and other scratchy things, and of
course, it has to fit (I wear a 38C so not all styles come in my size)
and it has to make me look beautiful and shapely. I am happy to report
I have found a bra that I like a lot and that meets all my
requirements. I have 12 of these in different colors and I sure hope
they don't stop making them: Olga "Simply Perfect Satin"
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