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Sweet Nothings turns 4 years old today! I still can’t really process my good fortune to have started a project that’s brought me so much joy and has given me the chance to meet such interesting, passionate, smart, talented people, from my readers to designers, retailers, other bloggers, and brand reps. You all are such straight up cool people: I’ve learned SO MUCH from you, both about lingerie and about life (oh my gosh, sometimes I go back and read my earliest posts and I’m like oh you sweet summer child, you were funny but you didn’t know as much as you thought you knew). Whether you’ve been reading since the beginning (hi sis!) or today is your first visit, thank you so much for being here.
With this anniversary in mind, I thought it would be nice to go back to basics for a hot second and do a refresher on where you can find bras in bigger cup sizes, since that’s sort of my whole raison d’être. I would be lying if I said this post weren’t in response to some click-baity Buzzfeed-style articles I’ve seen floating around social media lately bemoaning an absence of D+ bra sizes in stores like K-mart and Victoria’s Secret. And right off the bat, let me be clear: for people who don’t have regular access to the internet, some disposable income, or access to a credit card or some means of participating in e-commerce, then yes, the lack of affordable bras in a wide range of sizes is a genuine problem.
These posts make me want to wail and gnash my teeth and screech to the heavens “HATH YE NEVER GOOGLED BEFORE?”
I’m for sure going to tell you about some great places to find bigger bras online, but allow me to be old real quick: you kids today have no idea what I suffered. Let me take you way, way back, to the far-distant past of 8 years ago, when some people still blanched and said it was “weird” that I ordered underwear online, and many retailers large and small had minimal to nonexistent web presences. Instagram or Twitter accounts? HA, no. I had been fitted for the first time at a Nordstrom in Virginia, and I was super-jazzed about finding new bras, but once back in New York I struggled to find a large retailer that stocked D+ sizes. I was new to the city and didn’t yet know about the smaller local boutiques, so, being a millennial, I began surreptitiously Googling at work. I found brands. I found stores. I found Bravissimo. I found message boards. I found so many options. My beautiful people of the internet, I love you with all my heart, but I beseech you: type “buy [your size] bra” into Google and go live your best lives.
That said! Let me Google that for you.
Here is a handy-dandy primer for finding bras bigger than a D cup. Some lingo: bras in these sizes are often referred to as full-bust bras; occasionally full-bust sizes will overlap with plus sizes, but not necessarily. This list is US-centric and skewed towards stores with a national presence and a robust e-commerce model with accessible return/exchange policies, but I will include some of my favorite independent and smaller boutiques at the end. There are, of course, many many retailers stocking D+ bras besides the ones on this list; however, these are all stores that I’ve had great experiences with. All stores provide options AT LEAST up to a UK G-cup, if not higher. If you’re new to these stores, you may need to try brands you’ve never heard of in sizes that are unfamiliar. Finally, if you feel like you’ve seen these before and you’re still not finding a bra you like, why not take a glance at my review archives? Over the last four years I’ve tried lots and lots of full-bust bras from small and large brands alike, and I always link to retailers that have the bra (or others like it) in stock. Let’s go bra shopping!
Click any image below to be taken to the product page.
I have a soft spot for Nordstrom, since I had my bra fitting epiphany there back in 2007. While you will find the omnipresent Wacoal, Chantelle, and Felina that make up the bulk of most US department stores’ lingerie inventory, you will also find SO. MANY. GOOD. BRANDS. There’s Freya! Fantasie! Claudette! Panache! Elomi! Seriously, so much goodness, NYC can’t get its Nordstrom flagship opened fast enough for my liking.
Bare Necessities is one of the major US-based lingerie e-retailers, and their inventory is massive. With tons of continuity (available all the time) and fashion (limited-edition or seasonal) styles from tons of brands, you can find bras in sizes from 28DD to 44N to 56H. If you want lots of options, from maternity to strapless to basics to special occasion, you have a good chance of finding it at Bare Necessities. They have great swim options too!
Most of this list is US-centric, but I’ll include a few that are UK-based, just because the UK remains leaps and bounds ahead of the US in terms of the development, marketing, awareness, and fitting of full-bust bras. I’ve had consistently great experiences shopping from Figleaves over the last few years. Furthermore, Figleaves has a US-based returns center, so even though your order will ship from the UK, if you need to do a return or exchange you can send your return to a US address and avoid dealing with customs. Score! Figleaves stocks tons of the most popular full-bust brands across a huge range of sizes and price points, and they also carry several in-house brands that are exclusive to them.
Bravissimo is like the fairy godmother of full-bust bras, and it was the first website I ever saw that made me feel genuinely excited about the lingerie shopping experience. Real talk: returns are a pain, but that’s mostly the USPS’ fault. Bravissimo stocks many of the major UK brands, but they also have their own in-house label (with some styles up to an L cup!), bra-sized swimwear, supportive nightwear, camisoles with built-in bras, and a sister brand called Pepperberry that sells clothing designed for those with fuller busts.
Brastop is the final UK-based retailer on this list (like the others, they offer international delivery). They’re a major retailer for Curvy Kate (I believe they share owners), and they also stock a selection of lingerie and swim styles from other popular UK and European brands. They’re a particularly useful resource if you’re looking for past-season styles on sale, although as with any international e-tailer, be sure to read the return policies and shipping rules carefully before purchasing.
When I started writing my blog some of my friends were horrified that I bought underwear on Amazon; now the retail behemoth is actively and aggressively building out their lingerie business. Simply typing your bra size, a brand name, or the name of a particular style into the search window will return a range of results, both from Amazon’s own shipping centers or from smaller retailers who sell via Amazon’s platform. If I notice that a product listing reads “ships from and sold by [a small boutique]”, I usually try to visit the boutique’s site and buy from them directly, but Amazon is a good resource for seeing what’s out there, picking up a past-season style or colorway at a discount, or even adding a bra or two to your order of bulk cat food and baking chocolate (wait, just me?)
This one may be a surprise: even though they don’t carry as many brands or sizes as some other stores, Kohls actually has a semi-decent range of full-bust offerings, including from Fayreform and Curvy Kate, as well as a huge collection of styles from Parfait by Affinitas.
And now to some of my favorite full-bust friendly indie retailers:
I’ve ordered from Breakout Bras A LOT, both for myself and for friends, family, and clients. I have had consistently EXCELLENT customer service, lightning-fast shipping, great fitting advice, and they’ve even let me place pre-orders. Many product listings including detailed fitting information about specific models and styles, along with recommendations for similar styles if you fall outside a given bra’s size range. So helpful!
A SOPHISTICATED PAIR
So. much. love. for. A Sophisticated Pair. Erica Windle, the owner, is so amazingly knowledgeable about fitting all kinds and sizes of bras, and her Burlington, NC-based store is a welcoming, approachable place to get a bra fitting and amazing customer service. You’ll find bras, hosiery, some clothing, and a selection of lingerie items to complete your underwear wardrobe. Erica’s blog is a phenomenal resource for bra reviews, and the site also features a bra size calculator, seasonal trend overviews, spotlights on local businesses, personal essays, and insightful looks at the challenges and rewards of running a small business.
Zathiya is a Texas-based e-boutique that specializes in Polish lingerie. Why Polish lingerie? Many Polish lingerie brands, especially Ewa Michalak and Comexim, have a reputation for offering a fit that is unmatched by any other brands (the underwires are narrow and the cups offer a lot of projection), in wide size ranges and beautiful, bold colors. For Americans it can feel intimidating or risky to order from overseas if you’ve never tried a brand before, but since Zathiya is based in the US, exchanging is a breeze! Aisha, the owner, offers great fitting advice, has her own bra size calculator, and she is a pleasure to speak with.
Dear Scarlett is another US-based small retailer specializing in fuller-bust bras. As with the other smaller retailers on this list, you won’t find hundreds and hundreds of options; instead, there’s a curated collection of tried-and-true brands, shapes, and styles that are beautiful to look at and comfortable to wear. Online orders arrive packed in beautiful, eco-friendly packaging, and if you’re in the San Diego area you can make an appointment for an in-person fitting and shopping experience. You can also pick up some lovely hosiery and loungewear to complement your new bras.
Thank you so much for making the last four years such a blast. Have an awesome week, and happy shopping!