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Your Favorite Internet Shopping Guide to Stylish Curvy Clothes: Size 12 +

Please be advised that all of the "Editor's Picks" featured in this section are hand-selected by Elegant Plus. Although every effort is made to keep featured products current, retailers can sell out of popular styles before the Editor has had an opportunity to update the page. All selections are available at time of posting and purchases can be made directly from the retailer on the associated shopping link. All of the shopping guides include designer selections which are noted with the designer's name in descriptions.
 


 

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Everyday bras in more voluptuous proportions have become more diverse in styles, colors and fabrics in recent years.  Still very difficult to find in most brick-and-mortar retail stores, on-line lingerie specialists and plus-size clothing stores both have stepped in to fill the void.  While sexy bra styles have gained popularity in recent years, simple every day styles are still much in demand.

Bras are definitely a garment where you get what you pay for.  Buying the best that you can afford in the proper fit will keep the rest of your outfit looking fabulous, in addition to providing pain-free support for the girls.

 

 
 

Plus-Size Bra Sizing

Two different measurements can make a bra "plus-size".  The first is band size.  Generally bands larger than 36 are harder to find, although a few 38 and 40 bands can be found here and there at mainstream retailers.  The second measurement is cup size. Many view D cups as the beginning of the "plus size" range.  The fact that smaller band sizes can be combined with larger cups, and larger band sizes with smaller cups is a situation only a hand full of lingerie specialty retailers recognize. 

It should be noted here that when shopping on British websites band sizes are the same as American, but cup sizes are measured differently.  For example, a British 40D equals an American 40C, so American shoppers should size up one cup size from their usual bra size.

Lane Bryant's extremely well engineered Cacique line is one that regularly offers larger bands with cup sizes as small as A or B, in addition to larger cup sizes up to DDD.  As they've extended their line more and more options have become available in larger cup sizes to F, G, and H.  Bra extenders are another trick for smaller cup plus-size women with larger rib cage measurements.    Other plus specialty retailers have also added full figured bra lines.  Some of the sexiest options are available from Torrid and Ashley Stewart.  European styles are regularly stocked at Evans.

Women with exceptionally large cup sizes larger than DDD, can often find options at on-line lingerie super stores such as Her Room and Bare Necessities, in addition to some of the plus specialty retailers such as Just My Size in cup sizes up to F.

Bra Types

Underwire bras when fit properly (over 80% of women wear the wrong bra size) not only provide much needed support to larger busts, minimizing pain, but also do not chafe or rub.  Some women still prefer no wire, especially for leisure and sleeping.  Lane Bryant has invested significant resources in understanding fit issues, making their plus-size underwire bras some of the most popular.  Available from upscale department stores such as Nordstrom are other particularly well fitting options from Elomi and Wacoal, both labels regularly receiving rave fit reviews from full-figured women. 

T-shirt and seamless, smooth bras can be worn under the thinnest and tightest of  fabrics without leaving lines.  Available in microfiber, cotton, and smooth satins they can range from full coverage to deep plunge styles to accommodate a variety of necklines. Widely available, some of the most popular styles are from brands such as Parfait,  Bali, and Le Mystere which are available from retailers such as Her Room.

Minimizer bras, side support bras, and back smoothing bras are engineered specifically with plus-size women's needs in mind.   Larger busted women should also look for a minimum of three hooks for best support, while gel straps can ease shoulder aches. Just My Size regularly carries a variety of styles from well known brands. 

Front closure bras are gaining popularity, especially with older women and those with mobility issues who have difficulty with the gymnastics of back closing bras.  Popular full-figured bra brands with these features include Olga, Playtex, Goddess, and Glamorise which are all readily available from JC Penney's especially deep plus-size bra department.

Specialty Bras

There is a growing demand for sports bras as women become more athletic and participate in various types of fitness classes.  Look for Moving Comfort sports bras at Zappos, while those on tighter budgets often recommend Champion sports bras which are more widely available from retailers such as Just My Size. The growing activewear collection at Lane Bryant has also added particularly attractive, well fitting options in recent years.

With American average busts considerably larger than they were in the past, it isn't surprising that their is a demand for full-figured nursing bras.  A special class of bras are mastectomy bras for breast cancer survivors.  There are full-figured options from Just My Size and Bare Necessities.

Sexy Plus-Size Bras

Many of the plus specialty retailers have begun to offer feminine and sexy bras specifically engineered for more voluptuous figures.   These retailers also often recognize that a larger band size does not guarantee a larger cup size, and often carry options in B and C cups in band sizes larger than 38, in addition to D, DD, DDD or even larger.

British retailer Evans, along with the American specialty retailer Lane Bryant are among the best.  Torrid also regularly offers a sexier selection for larger sizes.  Plus lingerie specialist Hips & Curves has added bras to their collections recently, as well.  Full-figured exclusive brands have also sprung up to fill the demand for more feminine, pretty and sexy bras and include Curvy Kate, Freya, and Panache which can be regularly purchased from lingerie sellers such as Her Room.

Cotton Full-Figured Bras

Many women prefer the comfort and breathability of cotton for everyday wear.  These bras are rarely 100% cotton with a touch of spandex added for stretch and wearability, so those with allergies should read fabric content labels carefully.  The brand Leading Lady makes a latex free version in sizes up to 42DD which can sometimes be found at some of the large on-line specialty lingerie sellers such as Her Room. Usually low cost and unlined, cotton bras come in both underwire and wireless styles.  Many are seamless making them good choices as t-shirt bras, even when unlined as the heavier fabric than finer meshes and laces used in other bra styles conceals nipples.

Some of the best brands for fuller figures to look for include Bali, Glamorise,  Grenier, and Fruit of the Loom.  Many can be found at the lingerie e-commerce super sites such as the aforementioned Her Room, and others such as Bare Necessities.

Colors tend to be basic: white, beige, black, and occasionally a light pink.  Lane Bryant regularly offers cotton bras in more colors and patterns for those who want something jazzier.

The Editor's Picks Portion of This Shopping Guide Has Been Discontinued

 

 

 

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Plus-size clothing featured is hand selected by the Elegant Plus Fashion Editor from our extensive network of plus-fashion business partnerships. Although Elegant Plus earns a small fee on all purchases, it is a completely free shopping resource for the consumer, and many times we are able to provide links that offer consumer discounts and free shipping offers upon landing on the partner retailer's site.