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Bra Hacks for Women with Larger Breasts

If you have larger breasts, every day can present a different challenge. Whether you’re dealing with falling bra straps, popped underwires, or tight bands having larger breasts can be a hassle that makes a daily chore like getting dressed complicated and, frankly, annoying. To help with this, some great tips and tricks were compiled to make your life easier.

a woman with a big bra

See a Professional Fitter Every Six Months

While you may think you know your size, a lot of women find out that they’re wearing the wrong cup or band size when they see a professional bra fitter. When you wear a bra that fits you perfectly you’ll get better support than you were with a poorly fitting bra. This can result in less back pain and better posture.

If you have larger breasts, you’ll benefit from seeing one since you’ll be able to get a precise size determination that will help you feel more comfortable. An average fitting doesn’t take long and most department stores have a trained bra fitter on staff so you don’t have to go to a specialty store or take a significant chunk of time out of your day.

Once you get fitted, you’ll be able to find bras that fit perfectly, but this might not last. A woman’s body changes periodically especially during and after a pregnancy or menopause. Thanks to these changes most experts recommend you get re-fitted every six months to a year. This will ensure that you’re always in the right size bra no matter how your body changes.


Sister Sizes

As a big-breasted woman, you know that a lot of mainstream stores don’t carry bigger sizes or will only have certain styles in larger sizes. If you find a bra that you absolutely love but they don’t have your size, you can try on a “sister size” bra. This is a bra that is basically the same fit but a different labeled size. For example, if you’re a 36DD you can try a 38D—a size more readily available than a DD-cup. Make sure you try the bra on to ensure that it fits you the same way your normal size fits.


How to Check if Your Bra Fits Properly

If you’re between fittings or you simply just don’t want to go get fitted, there are things you can do to check to see if your bra fits you perfectly.

  1. Raise your arms over your head

If the bra stays flat against your body and your breasts stay nicely in the cups, it fits properly.

  1. Reach around to your back

Slip two fingers between your bra and back. If you can slip more than two under the band, you’re wearing the wrong size.

  1. Check for gaps or spillage

The easiest way to see if you’re in the wrong cup size is to see how the cups fit. If there are caps in the cup and it doesn’t lie flat, the bra is too big. On the other hand, if your breast tissue is spilling out of the top of the cups or out of the side of the cups your bra is too small.


Pick Bras Made for Big Breasts

Since you have an ample chest your bra is being called on to do a lot of work. This is why it’s hard for big-breasted women to buy cheap bras. They simply can’t do the job properly. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to spend a whole paycheck on one bra, you just have to know that you get what you pay for so invest in good-quality bras that are made well.

Similarly, there are certain features in bras made for bigger sized breasts that are better for you than the average bra. For example, look for a bra with wider straps. This will give you better support and take pressure off your back. You should also look for thicker bands that will give you additional support as well as lift. This band can also smooth out unsightly bulges around your bust line and back.

You may also think that you have to steer clear of certain styles, but if you buy quality bras, you can wear what you like. For example, the StickieBra might be something that you think you can’t wear because of your size. This isn’t the case, though. If you buy the right size from a reputable retailer (stay away from knock-off brands!) you can safely wear the StickieBra for coverage, support, and eye-popping cleavage.


Try on Every Bra Properly

Even if you’ve been wearing a bra for decades, you might not be trying on your bras properly. Yes, there are certain things you can do when you put your bra on to make it fit better.

Start by putting your arms through the straps but don’t clasp the bra. Instead, lean forward slightly and allow your breasts to sit in the cups of your bra making sure to scoop all breast tissue into the cups. Once your breasts are comfortably in the cups, hook your bra and stand up straight. Now, scoop and lift your breasts so your nipples are in the middle of the cup. This will give you a proper, comfortable fit. Keep in mind that a new bra should always be snug when worn on the loosest hook. You shouldn’t have to move to the tighter hooks until the bra begins to stretch out.


Learn How to Fix Busted Bras

When your bra is as hardworking as yours is it can’t expect to stay in the best shape as long as other bras do. Usually, this means spending more money to replace busted bras, but it doesn’t have to. You can save some money by learning how to mend a broken bra and give it a little more life. These are also tricks you can use if your bra breaks while you’re out and about.

To fix a popped underwire, cut a panty liner and use a piece of it to cover the hole and prevent the wire from stabbing you. Moleskin padding can also tape down an underwire in a pinch.

Since your bra straps are supporting your chest, it shouldn’t be a surprise when they tear or begin to separate from the cup or band. Learning to stitch the straps back in place can help extend the life of your bra. Similarly, if the seams keeping the cups closed opens, you can sew them up to ensuring that the padding stays in the cup.

By learning how to stitch up holes and busted seams and learning how to keep yourself safe from popped underwires while on the go, you can keep the bras you love for longer and save yourself from spending more money on replacements.  

woman with large bra

Wash and Dry Your Bras Properly

Since your bras lose strength a lot quicker than average-size bras thanks to their workload, maintaining them for as long as possible is critical. Washing, drying, and storing them properly can help extend the life of your bra and keep it fitting properly so your breasts always look and feel great.

Here are some laundry tips for your bras:

  • Skip the washing machine unless absolutely necessary
  • If using a washer, put your clasped bras in a pillowcase or garment bag and use the delicate cycle
  • Always opts to hand wash your bras
  • Never put your bras in a dryer—it ruins the elastic quickly
  • Let them air dry on a hanger or use a salad spinner to get the water out of them then let them air dry (keep the bra clasped if doing this)
  • Store your bras properly by stacking them cup-to-cup against each other (think about how they’re stored in store displays)

Invest in Bra Accessories

Your breasts are a pretty big (pun intended) part of your life. While a bra is great, there are some accessories that you should consider picking up to help you in your daily big-breast struggles.

  • Silicone bra strap covers: these covers attach to your bra straps to give you some comfort during your day so your bra straps stop digging into your shoulders
  • Travel cases: these are plastic balls that can hold your bras so the cups won’t get smashed in your suitcase
  • Plastic laundry balls: similar to travel cases, these are plastic balls that you can put your bras in when washing them in your washing machine
  • Invisible bra straps: while you can go strapless despite having a large chest, there are some times when it’s simply not working out. Invisible straps can attach to a convertible bra allowing you to go strapless without sacrificing support.

Be Comfortable When You Can

Wearing an uncomfortable bra for the majority of your day is annoying, but necessary. For some women with larger breasts, it hurts to go braless or to wear something without an underwire. The reliable support during your day is also important for you. However, when you’re lounging at home on a Sunday morning or when you crawl into bed at night, you can ease up on the binding support of your go-to bras and opt for more comfortable options.

For example, bralettes are usually pretty useless for bigger breasted women. They offer little to no support and have no padding to shape your breast tissue. However, they’re quite comfortable compared to the wired, lined bras you’re used to wearing. Even if you have a big chest, you can find comfortable bralettes in your size to wear to bed or around your home. They’ll offer you some support to keep pain at bay but won’t feel constricting like your normal bra might feel.

If you don’t like bralettes or can’t find one in your size, wear a sports bra whenever you can. These bras are very supportive and actually pretty comfortable thanks to new, innovative designs. They’re perfect for throwing under an oversized sweatshirt or hoodie while you’re lying on your couch binge-watching your favorite show.


Random Tips and Tricks

Here are a few more tips and tricks that you can use when you need them:

  • Sew loose straps to help them stay in place better
  • Cut the straps off a bra and sew it into your favorite strapless dress for more support
  • Use a strong paperclip to clip your straps together to make a normal bra into a racerback bra
  • Get a bra extender to make a small bra fit you better

Having larger-than-average breasts can be a literal and figurative pain, but these great hacks, tips, and tricks can help you deal with them a lot easier. Try one out the next time you find yourself struggling with a wardrobe malfunction or when you’re shopping for a new bra.