Back to School Bra Shopping: D+ Bras I Wish I’d Had in College

Gossard Superboost Lace Deep V Bralette, 30-44 band sizes and C-G cup sizes

Gossard Superboost Lace Deep V Bralette, 30-44 band sizes and C-G cup sizes

I’m here to share some fun and useful things with you, but before we get started: this post was inspired in equal part by Esty’s piece for The Breast Life, an excellent roundup for college students, and by the hideous, hateful, true evil that is Weight Watchers’ app for children. CHILDREN. I remember thinking, upon seeing the title of the article at The Breast Life, “oh! that’s so smart! Bodies are still changing so much well into our twenties, it would be really helpful to set up an 18-19 year old with lingerie and knowledge ready to meet that change,” and then, from the depths of hell, my brain remembered the phrase “the freshman 15.”

That phrase is always brought up in a sneering manner, as though people who gain weight in college have somehow failed at something. It is always mentioned with the intent to censure and shame, it is particularly lobbed as an insult at women, and it suuuuucks. Here’s the thing: yes, your lifestyle usually changes radically if you leave home to go to college, and yes lifestyle changes affect your body’s size and shape, but also, your body is just not designed to stay the size and shape of an 18-year old forever! Puberty doesn’t magically end at 18; many people’s bodies continue to grown and mature well into their twenties (and beyond), and it really would be more surprising if people didn’t get bigger in college. Your bones, your muscles, your skin, and yes, your breasts: they change. It’s not a flaw, it’s what we’ve evolved to do. Be kind to yourselves and ignore this fucking awful Weight Watchers BULLSHIT. They are putting CHILDREN on diets, my god, I need to go lie down.

All that being said, it is not uncommon for some people to head off to college and find themselves wanting or needing to update their underwear at some point (or several points) during their time in school. This post is designed to suggest bras that might be useful for different students’ lifestyles, but I also want it to be a bit of an intro to D+ bras for folks who’ve never worn them before but find that, as they’re settling into campus life, their old sizes aren’t working anymore. These are the bras I wish I’d had (or even known about) when I was in college myself. I’m trying to stay away from luxury stuff and really focus on a variety of everyday styles and trusty basics, but I had to throw a couple of fun ones in too.

One last quick note: almost all the bras in this roundup use UK cup sizing conventions, so if you’ve only worn US bras that keep adding Ds (DD, DDD, DDDD, etc.), or bras that don’t use double letters, you may wear a different size in these brands than you’re used to. UK cup sizes progress from a D cup like this: D, DD, E, F, FF, G, GG, H, HH, J, JJ, K, KK, L. For some reason there’s no EE, yeah, I don’t know why, but it’s the industry norm. So if you try on, say, a 34F, and it’s a little small in the cup, the next size to try is 34FF, not 34G.

EVERYDAY BRAS

I think of “everyday bras” as a catch-all for t-shirt bras, nude bras, support-focused bras, and easy-to-throw-on bras. These bras offer excellent shaping and support in comfortable fabrics, with options for those who want molded cups and those who want sheer, breathable fabrics.

Rougette Isla Bra, 30-40 band sizes and D-G cups

Rougette Isla Bra, 30-40 band sizes and D-G cups

Curvy Kate Delightfull Bra in Plum, 32-46 band sizes, DD-K cup sizes

Curvy Kate Delightfull Bra in Plum, 32-46 band sizes, DD-K cup sizes

Freya Fancies Plunge Bra in Emerald, 28-28 band sizes, D-K cup sizes

Freya Fancies Plunge Bra in Emerald, 28-28 band sizes, D-K cup sizes

Figleaves Smoothing Non-Wired Plunge Bra, 30-40 band sizes and A-H cup sizes

Figleaves Smoothing Non-Wired Plunge Bra, 30-40 band sizes and A-H cup sizes

Curvy Kate Top Spot Brain Red, 30-40 band sizes, D-K cup sizes

Curvy Kate Top Spot Brain Red, 30-40 band sizes, D-K cup sizes

Nubian Skin Naked Fuller Bust Bra in Berry, 30-40 band sizes and DD-G cup sizes

Nubian Skin Naked Fuller Bust Bra in Berry, 30-40 band sizes and DD-G cup sizes

Cleo by Panache Everly Bra, 28-38 band sizes and D-H cup sizes

Cleo by Panache Everly Bra, 28-38 band sizes and D-H cup sizes

Elomi Matilda Plunge Bra, 32-46 band sizes and D-JJ cup sizes

Elomi Matilda Plunge Bra, 32-46 band sizes and D-JJ cup sizes

Curvy Kate Lifestyle bra, 30-40 band sizes, D-J cup sizes

Curvy Kate Lifestyle bra, 30-40 band sizes, D-J cup sizes

Curvy Couture Cotton Luxe T-Shirt Bra, band sizes 34-46 and cup sizes C-H (US)

Curvy Couture Cotton Luxe T-Shirt Bra, band sizes 34-46 and cup sizes C-H (US)

Gossard Glossies Bra, 30-38 band sizes and A-G cup sizes

Gossard Glossies Bra, 30-38 band sizes and A-G cup sizes

Curvy Kate Lemonade Balcony Bra, 30-44 band sizes, D-K cup sizes

Curvy Kate Lemonade Balcony Bra, 30-44 band sizes, D-K cup sizes

Freya Deco Plunge Bra, 28-38 band sizes and B-GG cup sizes

Freya Deco Plunge Bra, 28-38 band sizes and B-GG cup sizes

SPORTS BRAS

I played some sports in middle school, and I did ballet until I was 18, but I didn’t really start using a gym for anything other than P.E. until college, where I … did not have good sports bras. I’d wear an underwire bra under a crop top sports bra under a shelf-bra camisole. Times are better now! I’ve already written about the only sports bra I can wear for distance running that doesn’t shred my skin, but there are tons of other cute styles out there you can try for cardio, team sports, yoga, dance classes, or even just relaxing.

Shock Absorber Run Sports Bra, 30-38 band sizes and C-G cup sizes

Shock Absorber Run Sports Bra, 30-38 band sizes and C-G cup sizes

Parfait Wireless Sports Bra, 30-40 band sizes and D-G cup sizes

Parfait Wireless Sports Bra, 30-40 band sizes and D-G cup sizes

Shock Absorber Active Sports Bra, 30-40 band sizes and B-HH cup sizes

Shock Absorber Active Sports Bra, 30-40 band sizes and B-HH cup sizes

Bravissimo Inspire Sports Bra, 30-40 band sizes and F-L cup sizes

Bravissimo Inspire Sports Bra, 30-40 band sizes and F-L cup sizes

Royce Impact Free Wireless Sports Bra, 32-40 band sizes and G-K cup sizes

Royce Impact Free Wireless Sports Bra, 32-40 band sizes and G-K cup sizes

Freya Force Sports Bra, 30-38 band sizes and DD-H cup sizes

Freya Force Sports Bra, 30-38 band sizes and DD-H cup sizes

Elomi Energise High Impact Sports Bra, 32-46 band sizes and DD-K cup sizes

Elomi Energise High Impact Sports Bra, 32-46 band sizes and DD-K cup sizes

Panache Sports Bra, band sizes 28-40 and cup sizes B-J

Panache Sports Bra, band sizes 28-40 and cup sizes B-J

WIRE-FREE BRAS

Underwires are fantastic for shape, lift, stability, and support, but sometimes you just want to chill. There are some great options on the market beyond the shelf-bra camis of my college years that will allow you to study, relax, and even sleep with support (but without aggressive underwires).

Sugar Candy Crush Non-Wired Bra, XS-2XL (covering 30-40 bands and F-HH cups)

Sugar Candy Crush Non-Wired Bra, XS-2XL (covering 30-40 bands and F-HH cups) (psst this is the bra I wear on long-haul flights, it’s super soft and great)

Cleo Lyzy Bralette, 30-38 band sizes, DD-H cup sizes

Cleo Lyzy Bralette, 30-38 band sizes, DD-H cup sizes

Rougette Hallie Fuller Bust Bralette, 30-42 band sizes and DD/E-FF/G cup sizes

Rougette Hallie Fuller Bust Bralette, 30-42 band sizes and DD/E-FF/G cup sizes

Curvy Couture Cotton Luxe Unlined Wirefree Bra, 34-46 band sizes and B-H cup sizes (US sizes)

Curvy Couture Cotton Luxe Unlined Wirefree Bra, 34-46 band sizes and B-H cup sizes (US sizes)

Freya Fancies Bralette in Emerald, XS-XL

Freya Fancies Bralette in Emerald, XS-XL (I reviewed this style here)

Curvy Kate Unwind Bralette, band sizes 30-40 and cup sizes DD-JJ

Curvy Kate Unwind Bralette, band sizes 30-40 and cup sizes DD-JJ

Bravissimo PJ Top, band sizes 28-38 and cup sizes D/DD-HH/J

Bravissimo PJ Top, band sizes 28-38 and cup sizes D/DD-HH/J. Bravissimo makes a whole range of supportive sleepwear for fuller busts, from camis and tank tops to chemises and matching PJ sets.

Rougette Gigi Bralette, band sizes 30-48, cup sizes DD/E/F and FF/G

Rougette Gigi Bralette, band sizes 30-48, cup sizes DD/E/F and FF/G

Bravissimo Zara bralette, 28-38 band sizes and D/DD-HH/J cup sizes

Bravissimo Zara bralette, 28-38 band sizes and D/DD-HH/J cup sizes

FUN BRAS

These bras offer the same great D+ sizes as the everyday bras above, but there are some fun “extras”- crop type styling, decorative straps, super-plunging cuts, bralette-inspired details, and more!

Cleo by Panache Sofia Crop Top Bra, 28-38 band sizes and D-J cup sizes

Cleo by Panache Sofia Crop Top Bra, 28-38 band sizes and D-J cup sizes

Bravissimo Tank Top with Built-in Bra, 30-38 band sizes and DD-J cup sizes

Bravissimo Tank Top with Built-in Bra, 30-38 band sizes and DD-J cup sizes

Elomi Charley Longline Underwire Bra, 34-40 band sizes and E-HH cup sizes

Elomi Charley Longline Underwire Bra, 34-40 band sizes and E-HH cup sizes

Curvy Kate Superplunge Lace Bra, 28-40 band sizes and D-J cup sizes

Curvy Kate Superplunge Lace Bra, 28-40 band sizes and D-J cup sizes

Bravissimo Alexa Plunge Bra, 28-38 band sizes and D-H cup sizes

Bravissimo Alexa Plunge Bra, 28-38 band sizes and D-H cup sizes (I have this in black; I love the lace back and the great lift and shape it gives)

Elomi Sachi bra, 32-46 band sizes and DD-JJ cup sizes

Elomi Sachi bra, 32-46 band sizes and DD-JJ cup sizes (reviewed here)

Cleo by Panache Piper longline bra, 28-38 band sizes and D-H cup sizes

Cleo by Panache Piper longline bra, 28-38 band sizes and D-H cup sizes

Wolf & Whistle Fuller Bust Lace Detail Bra, 32-36 band sizes and B-G cup sizes

Wolf & Whistle Fuller Bust Lace Detail Bra, 32-36 band sizes and B-G cup sizes

Sculptresse Dionne Bra, 36-46 band sizes and DD-J cup sizes

Sculptresse Dionne Bra, 36-46 band sizes and DD-J cup sizes

Cleo by Panache Harper Shimmer T-Shirt Bra, 28-38 band sizes and D-H cup sizes

Cleo by Panache Harper Shimmer T-Shirt Bra, 28-38 band sizes and D-H cup sizes

Have fun at school y’all!

1 Comment on Back to School Bra Shopping: D+ Bras I Wish I’d Had in College

  1. Janice
    September 5, 2019 at 2:31 pm (2 weeks ago)

    This is a useful round-up of styles for all women, not just students. It is great to show the variety of patterns, shapes and sizes available. I wish these had been available when I was going to college, I wore 2 bras, one on top of another until I was about 25, horrible, but the only way I could fit a 30 H bust. Thanks for this

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *