After my last post complaining about how Ultimo bras fit me horribly yet possess a number of features I like, I got to thinking about all the bra features I used to be able to enjoy when I was young, still developing, and could get away with wearing department store and Victoria’s Secret garments. So I decided to make a list of all the bra features that I want that are currently missing, or exceedingly rare, from the DD+ bras that do exist.
I realize that the DD+ shape (or even smaller than DD but coupled with an under-32 band) has different garment requirements than smaller breasts, but I think most of the things listed below could work just as well for larger busts—or even better in some cases than existing alternatives—and I’ll never understand why they’re not produced.
Before beginning, I do have to state the caveat that for each item listed here, there are at least a few manufacturers who do offer the feature. However, an under-32 band size and financial constraints (no more than $50-$60 per bra, please!) in many cases are an impediment to taking advantage of what those manufacturers have to offer.
1. Cotton!! I know I’m repeating this from last week, but I just cannot stress enough how much I miss cotton bras. How many times have you read a bra review that complained about “slight itchiness/scratchiness”? Well cotton makes an excellent completely itch-free alternative. Even just partially cotton fabric content would make me happy. Not only is it softer and more comfortable and breathable than synthetic fabrics, but it’s also much less delicate. I actually used to throw my plain old cotton bras in the dryer—and they would survive!
Darlene posted about a couple part-cotton options last year, but a quick search for more Faubourg bras only turned up one option that has cotton (on Figleaves.com), but the top half of the cup looks to be mesh, which, as you’ll see below, is not my favorite. The brand Amoena Mia also makes a couple very pretty part-cotton bras for DD+, but neither goes below a 32 band. And I have never, ever, not once, for any price, seen a small-band-big-cup bra that was anywhere close to 100% cotton.
2. Bands made out of sturdy, opaque fabric instead of mesh. I hate mesh bands! They just don’t last. And while there are certainly other compounding factors contributing to the dreaded back bulge (too-narrow band, two clasps instead of three, incorrect size…), a mesh band with elastic along the upper and lower seams also doesn’t help. The mesh tends to have more give than the tougher elastic, at least with the cheaper (relatively speaking) brands that I’m limited to.
3. Laser-cutout bands. Oh, how I miss the Victoria’s Secret Angels Secret Embrace Push-Up. Its back (well the whole thing, actually) is all one piece, cut out of this magical, non-fraying, smooth fabric that’s stretchy and strong enough not to need elastic along the edges. JC Penny and similar department stores usually had knockoffs that did the job just as well, too. No back bulge!
4. Straps that attach more toward the center of the cup instead of far out to the side. Half the bras I own have straps that rub along the inside of my armpit and/or fall off my shoulders. And this is while wearing the correct band size! I should really just start removing and re-attaching the straps to a better location.
5. Cups that gradually blend into the strap. What is with DD+ bra manufacturers just plopping the straps on with no gradual lead-in? It’s just bad design. The straps can easily come loose or unsewn this way, and the bit of support that comes from the strap is all concentrated in one spot instead of spread out over the whole cup. Here’s an example of straps “tacked onto” a Cleo by Panache bra of mine:
Note about numbers 5 and 6: I actually do own some bras in the correct size that have one of these features—but none with both! Most of my Fantasies and Freyas, for example, have number 5 down, but the straps are still attached far out to the side.
Here’s a bra I own that is quite successful, only I wish the straps were an inch (maybe even 1.5 or two) further inward (it’s a Keia Isabella molded cup tee shirt bra, courtesy of eBay). The straps have the gradual attachment I prefer, but they rub my armpits and always feel like they’re on the cusp of falling off. Yet the band definitely feels tight enough (though I notice here that the right strap could stand to be tightened).
I actually don’t own any bras with the straps much further inward, but here is a pretty good example from the Victoria’s Secret website (it’s the Body by Victoria full coverage…and please disregard the bad Photoshopped cleavage):
6. This one is something that under-DD bras also lack, but how about some 24 and 26 bands? It’s hard enough wearing a 28, but I know 24 and 26 gals out there have it infinitely more difficult.
7. Glitter and sequins! This one’s kind of a joke, but I do get jealous when I’m stocking up on panties and there are sparkly, spangly bras all over the store that I can’t wear. Forget the tree, I want to decorate my ta-ta’s for Christmas!
No wonder unaware DD+ women have a tendency to refuse to go up a cup and down a band into “weird sizing” territory”—it means leaving all these fabulous bra characteristics behind! What are the bra features you wish you could find in your size?
I’m a 36G, I wish I could find a racerback bra!
Bea, that’s on my wish list, too!
Oh my gosh yes! I forgot about that one…I want a front-closing racerback.
YES! THIS! Soooo true… I think this explains a lot of the resistance women have to wearing the right size even if they know what it is. Thanks for writing a post on this, now I won’t have to 🙂
All of the above! I did find a Bravissimo bra with quite a lot of cotton but they seem to have discontinued it. It wasn’t the most supportive bra I’ve ever had but it was nice to wear.
The other thing I would like is more bikinis in my cup size – UK 28FF which I think is a US 28G (?). 30-bands are just too loose and I’m not crazy about wobbling all over the beach! They are starting to appear over here but not much choice and often in colours that don’t suit me. I have very pale skin and bright colours make me look like a ghost. Not my best look .