Lots of women will say they know their bra size but can never find a bra that fits. Two things are usually going on here; either they really don’t know their size (most commonly their band is too big and causing the bra to move around) or they keep trying on the same style of bra.
The shape of your bust and the density of your breast tissue means that some bra styles simply will never fit you. Don’t despair though, knowing which styles work for your breasts and give you the look you’re after the easier it will be to find the right bras.
Related Article: How age affects your bra fit.
Lots of women have only ever tried on bras at big lingerie retailers like La Senza and Victoria’s Secret. They try their correct size (rare for the full bust women in these places but not impossible) and find that the bras don’t fit them.
The problem here is that the majority of bras in these stores are molded styles and despite all the colours and trims, they are all based on just a few design patterns.
If this pattern of molded cup doesn’t fit your shape then it doesn’t matter which size you try on, it will never feel quite right.
Molded Bras Aren’t Your Only Option
It’s important to break out of a one style trap and try several different styles of bra in your size so you can figure out which ones feels the best and gives you the shape you’re after.
I know that molded cups are so popular because they offer a smooth look under t-shirts and disguise your nipples, but you can get these benefits from other styles too.
Most seamed bras have flat, discreet seams that aren’t noticeable under clothing. Some seamed bras are made of light foam material that disguises your nipples like a molded cup but aren’t as rigid so fit to your shape better (Delphi and Medina are great examples of this style).
Related Video: How Seams Affect Your Bra Shape
Which Bra Styles are Available for Full Busts?
It’s a good idea to try out bras in lots of different styles (make sure you know your size range first). Here are the most common full bust styles:
Full Cup Bras have full coverage, so they come up higher on your breasts and tend not to emphasize your cleavage.
This style gives a lot of stability, and many women choose to wear this style during the day when they are busiest as the support is comfortable and reliable.
Molded Bras have either a rigid or soft cup (they both seamless, the rigid cups are usually a little thicker). Molded bras can be very supportive and give a lovely shape. Just be aware that rigid cups can’t bend to your shape, your breasts have to form to the shape of the cups rather than vice versa.
Vertical Seamed Bras combine the best of both worlds, the flexibility of the softer cups with the support and shape of seams. Vertical seamed bras can give lots of lift and accentuate cleavage.
Balconette bras have a wider neckline and are lower at the front than a full cup bra. They are often seamed with three or four sections to give your breasts shape and support. An ideal solution for lots of women who want support without too much material or bulk.
Before you decide that bras simply don’t fit you make sure you have explored all the options that are out there for you. Besides the ones listed above there are plunge, strapless, multi-way, wire free, sports bras, nursing, mastectomy and vintage styles like cone bras.
The style of bra can make a huge difference to your comfort, for example, if you’re short, look for bras with straps that are fully adjustable (like Lucy from Cleo) or if you have sloping shoulders look for styles with the straps closer together (like Dessous Neon from Claudette). Your bra should be working with you, not against you.