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Did you know that your bra has wings? Okay, not the ones you’re thinking of. Bra wings are the strips of fabric that go around the sides and back of your body, attaching to the cups at one end and the hook-and-eye fastening at the other.

Most people just refer to this part of the bra as the band, but there’s a slight difference between the two terms. In some bras, the wings are the band. In others, they’re just a part of it. If the fabric between the cups (called the ‘gore’ or ‘bridge’) continues below the cups and joins up to the bra’s sides, that’s all part of what we call the band. However, only the section from the outer side of the cup and around the back is the wing.

In some bras, the gore and wings aren’t linked, and these are called bandless bras. Though the name is quite misleading! They do have a band, just not at the front – here, the wings make up the entire thing. They’re not the same as backless bras, ones that actually come without a band at all because they’re just a pair of self-adhesive cups.

Why do bra wings and bra bands matter?

Probably the most important thing of all that you can learn about bra fit is that the majority of the support should be coming from the band. It’s important that it’s firm-fitting. If it’s loose, it won’t be providing that secure, stable base that the bra needs to lift your bust up. However, finding a supportive band is not all about how tightly it fits.

It’s entirely possible for a bra band to be so tight it’s uncomfortable and yet still providing little in the way of lift! If you want to find a bra that’s more supportive, it’s also important to pay attention to the construction of the wings.


Related: A Guide To The Different Parts Of A Bra And What They Do


what are side wings of a bra

Bra wing features that boost support

Wider wings

Bras work by distributing the weight of your bust around your body. The wider the wings of the bra are, the more surface area it has to spread that over, and so the more support it’s able to offer.

Just consider a flimsy bralette with nothing but a strip of elastic for a band. Even if you add underwires, it’s still not going to be built for heavy-lifting. So look for bras with a tall back and sides.

Power mesh

To get a great fit and that ‘firm hug’ feeling, modern bra wings are always elasticated. Sometimes, they’re made from a non-stretch fabric with an elastic trim along the edges. More likely, the fabric itself will have some stretch of its own too.

Not all stretch fabrics are equal however! Lower quality elastics break down and lose their stretch more quickly, and are more easy to deform (over stretch) in the first place. Bra wings made from a high-quality stretch fabric aren’t just more supportive from day one, but they’ll stay supportive for longer.

One of the best stretch fabrics and one that’s widely used in the lingerie industry is power mesh. It has a dense knit, 4-way stretch and excellent shape retention, meaning it snaps back to its original length when you take the bra off. Bra bands that are either made from or lined with power mesh will be extra-supportive.

Boning

Another way to bolster the support of the bra wings is to add some boning. Think of it as reinforcement. Typically found at the side of the bra near to the cup, it strengthens the band and also prevents it from rolling up.

Wider bands are more prone to folding over, hence why many longline bras designed for full busts are boned. So if you go the wider-wings route to find more support, you may want to look out for side-boning at the same time.


Did you know just how important bra wings are to the support? Are they something you pay much attention to when lingerie shopping? Let us know in the comments below.


Related: Bra Shopping Guide: Tips For Buying New Bras


what are wings on bra

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


Featured lingerie:
Charlotte Padded Bra | Charlotte Bikini in Bronze

As an expectant mother, you’ll find reams of advice on what to buy for the baby. But there’s less guidance out there on what to buy for yourself. It’s fun to get caught up in buying bottles and booties, but don’t forget to also consider your own post-birth needs.

Once the baby arrives, you probably won’t have the time, energy or desire to go out shopping straight away. And lingerie is one of those things you should think about now.

As the mother of a newborn, your body will be different and your typical day will look different. It makes sense that the lingerie you want to wear might change too.

Here are five lingerie or loungewear ideas to consider adding to your wardrobe in preparation:

Nursing bras

Let’s start with the obvious one. If you plan to breastfeed, you’re going to want some nursing bras! Note that maternity bras are not the same thing as nursing bras – these are simply comfy options to wear during pregnancy. Be sure the bras you’re buying come with a clasp or other mechanism that allows your baby easy access at feeding times.

You’ll want to get at least two nursing bras, so you’ve got one to wear while the other is in the wash. But as with all things that come into close proximity with a newborn baby, they’re prone to getting drooled on (or worse!) So I’d say three is a more sensible minimum figure, and that’s assuming you’re happy to be laundering bras every day or two.

Do wait until the end of your pregnancy to buy these though, as your cup size will probably increase the most during the third trimester – and could increase again when your milk comes in.

Sleep bras

One thing all new mothers have to deal with is milk leakage – even if you don’t intend to breastfeed, it will still happen until your milk dries up. Rather than risk wet bedsheets, a sleep bra allows you to keep absorbent nursing pads in place during the night.

Support likely isn’t a priority here. You just want something that’s ultra-comfy, so a soft, wireless bralette may do the trick. If you really don’t fancy sleeping with a bra on, a camisole with built-in bust support is another option.


Related: What’s The Difference Between Maternity Bras and Nursing Bras?


Comfortable loungewear

Whether you’re spending hours per day breastfeeding or rocking the little one to sleep, chances are that you’ll be doing a lot of lounging around during your baby’s first few months.

And when you’re trying to catch a little shut-eye yourself in the middle of the day, you’ll definitely thank yourself for having invested in some good loungewear. Things like soft robes and stylish pajama sets will make you feel comfy-yet-pulled-together when you wear them around the house, but you can also comfortably doze off in them too.

Absorbent underwear

It may not be fun to talk about, but it’s a fact of postpartum life that you’re likely going to experience heavy bleeding for a while – potentially as much as several weeks. Most people deal with this by wearing pads. However, anti-leakage underwear is also a thing, and it can be more stylish than it sounds!

Although absorbent underwear alone won’t be sufficient in the early days (when the bleeding is at its heaviest), it can work later on or as a backup to a pad. You shouldn’t have to let the worry of embarrassing leaks stop you from taking your baby out for a stroll, or visiting with friends and family.

Shapewear

Whether you want to wear shapewear after giving birth, or ever, is entirely down to personal preference of course. But for those of you who think it will boost your body confidence, you may be wondering when it’s safe to start wearing it.

The good news is that it’s often fine to wear shapewear as soon as you want to after the birth. In fact, postpartum abdominal ‘binding’ has been practised for centuries, not just for the flattening effect but because it can also help to improve posture and provide abdominal support while your muscles recover.

However, because all births and bodies are different, speak to your midwife or doctor for advice before investing in some new shapewear. And once they okay it, remember to look for a breathable fabric (especially important if you have C-section scars that are still healing).


If you’ve had a baby before, how did your lingerie preferences change afterward? Is there anything you regretted not buying in advance? Share your experience with us in the comments below.


Related: Where To Buy Maternity Bras


We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


Featured image lingerie:
Leila Nursing Bra in Bare

When it comes to common bra annoyances, strap problems have to up there near the top of the list. From complaints about discomfort to endlessly pulling them back up onto your shoulders, bra straps are a source of endless frustration for many people. But they needn’t be!

All of your bra strap problems are fixable, and I don’t just mean by opting for a strapless bra.

Here’s what could be causing your strap issues, and how to solve them:

Slipping Bra Straps

how to keep bra straps up

Possible cause: The straps are too loose.

Pretty much all bras come with adjustable straps, but how many of us actually use those sliders on a regular basis? It’s not simply a case of setting the straps to the right length once and then forgetting about them. They can stretch out over time, so you’ll need to tighten them up every now and then. Before you try anything else, simply adjust your bra straps shorter and see if that fixes the problem.

Possible cause: The straps have stretched out.

If your straps are adjusted as short as they will go and still seem loose, and if the bra is old (or has been tumble-dried, which degrades elastic), it could be that the strap elastic has become stretched out. If so, you’ll either need to get your sewing kit out and take some length off or replace the bra.

Possible cause: The bra band is too big.

When your bra band is too big, it will ride up at the back. That means the straps aren’t being pulled as far down your back, and therefore taut, as they should be. Take a look in the mirror and see if the band is higher at the back than at the front. If it is, try going down a band size to see if that helps. (Remember to go up a cup size at the same time too).

Possible cause: The straps are too wide-set.

Finally, the issue could simply be the bra design. Some straps are placed further towards the edge of the cup than others. Balconette bras, in particular, tend to have very wide-set straps. Combined with narrow shoulders or ones that slope downwards, that’s a recipe for having them constantly fall down onto your arms. You can either try a different bra style, alter the bra to move the straps permanently inwards, or use a racerback clip accessory to gather the straps securely together between your shoulder blades.


Related: 7 Sewing Adjustments That Can Improve The Fit Of A Bra


Bra Straps That Dig In

bra straps digging in

Possible cause: The straps are too tight.

This one’s obvious but your straps could just be too short. Many boutiques keep them shortened all the way because it looks neat on the hanger, but remember that you need to adjust them to the right length for you when you first put the bra on.

Possible cause: The bra band is too big.

As described above, a loose bra band can lead to slipping straps. But depending on the bra design and your bra size, it might alternatively make them dig in. That’s because the majority of the support should be coming from the band, but if that’s loose it won’t be working very effectively. Instead, the weight of your breasts essentially ends up hanging off your shoulders, which can be a significant strain if you are full-busted. Try a smaller band size – the fit should be comfortable but firm.

Possible cause: The straps are too narrow.

Although it’s mostly the bra band that should be supporting your bust, the straps do take on some of that weight. If you have particularly heavy breasts, the straps can end up cutting in even when your bra band fits fine. If that’s the case, look for a bra with wider straps – it distributes the weight over a larger surface area, for better comfort. Bra strap cushions are also an accessory that you can try. They simply attach to your straps to provide a layer of soft padding.


Related: Which Part Of The Bra Provides The Most Support


Visible Bra Straps

how to hide bra straps

Try this: Racerback bra clips

Don’t want your straps poking out from the shoulders of a sleeveless top or dress? A racerback clip, mentioned above, pulls them inwards at the back so that they’re less likely to be visible under clothing from the front. In a pinch, you can get the same result with a paperclip.

Try this: Replacement bra straps

If you have a multiway or convertible bra – that is, one where the straps are detachable – you can replace the straps with ones bought elsewhere that are more discreet. You could try narrower straps, clear plastic ones, or ones in the same colour as your outer clothing. Or, you could spring for decorative straps (with ruffles or beads for example) which are designed to look like an intentional part of your outfit.

Try this: A strapless bra

And finally, going strapless is, of course, one way to ensure you definitely won’t have any bra straps showing! It can be challenging to find a strapless bra that feels supportive and doesn’t slip down, but they do exist. Check out our guide here to find one that works for you!


What’s your biggest bra strap annoyance? Let us know if one of the tips here helps you solve it!


why does my bra strap fall off my shoulder


Related: 4 Common Bra Fit Issues and How To Solve Them


We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


Featured image lingerie:
Charlotte Padded Bra in Floral Shimmer

Full-busted customers have never had as much choice in bras as they do now. More and more brands that traditionally stuck to A-D are extending their size range, adding DD+ into the mix. But when a bra comes in both smaller and full-bust cup sizes, it’s not uncommon for there to be design differences between those two size groups.

Yes, it can be frustrating. But brands aren’t just doing this arbitrarily. There are very valid reasons why these design changes are necessary.

Here are five of the most common differences you’ll find between A-D and DD+ versions of the same bra: 

Different (or different-looking) lace

Laces come in two broad varieties – narrow ones, designed to be used as trims only, and wider ones intended for use as a main fabric. But even these wider ones will very often have a fancy scalloped or eyelash edging, and then be plainer towards the centre of the fabric.

If a brand is using one of these fancy-edged laces on its bras, it can look quite different on a smaller versus larger cup. On the small bra size, you’ll only see the densely-detailed, intricate edge part. But on a larger cup, some of that plainer ‘inner’ lace becomes visible too.

Occasionally, a brand will use a different lace entirely on the full-bust version. This happens when they initially design the bra to be core-sized only and pick a narrow lace for the upper cup panels, then later decide to create a DD+ version – but find that the original lace selection isn’t actually wide enough to cover these larger cup pieces.

Wider band

The band is the part of the bra that provides the majority of the support. And larger breasts need more of that! A wider band will bolster the support by distributing the weight of the breasts over a larger surface area.

Sometimes, this change can be quite subtle. The band might be a centimetre taller, and have a hook-and-eye fastening with an extra row added. Other times, it can be significant. An ‘open’ band made from elastic strapping may be replaced with solid fabric in the larger cup sizes, for example.

Wider straps

Although the band takes on most of the heavy lifting, the straps do a little support work too. And when they have the weight of a full bust pulling down on them, they can start to dig in more.

For this reason, it’s quite typical for full-bust versions of bras to have wider straps. Again, this distributes the weight over a larger surface area. It ensures that the bra is still comfortable to wear for those with heavier busts.


Related: How To Build A Lingerie Wardrobe You Love


bra brands for full bust

Extra seams

Bra seams are there for two reasons – to determine the shape of the cup (e.g. rounder, pointier…) and to strengthen it. Smaller cup sizes may have just one horizontal or vertical seam, or, in the case of a moulded cup, no seams at all.

In larger cup sizes however, these seams are absolutely critical. Without them, the cups simply can’t provide adequate lift and shaping. So when a bra comes in core-sized and full-bust versions, the full-bust one will typically have more seams.

Added lining

Discovered a sheer bra you love, except that it’s not so sheer in the size you need? This, again, comes down to support. Finer fabrics such as lace can be quite flimsy, which makes using them tricky on a bra that needs to be able to hoist up a heavy bust.

The solution is to add a second layer, doubling the fabric strength compared to using the outer material alone. But even though this lining is usually a sheer mesh, it can still make the cup noticeably more opaque.

Unfortunately, there’s not much brands can do to get around that if they’ve picked an outer fabric that’s easy to warp. But not all sheer fabrics are super-delicate, and sheer full-bust bras do exist. So don’t give up looking!

How to avoid unwanted surprises

In store, you’ll be able to see exactly what you’re buying before you get it. Online, that’s not always the case. Retailers don’t always choose to photograph both the small-cup and large-cup versions of the same bra, even when they’re visibly different. So always be sure to read the product description in full for notes on design changes, and check for reviews from fellow full-busted customers.

Have you ever spotted design variations between different cup sizes of the same bra?


Related: Are Full Bust Bras and Plus Size Bras The Same Thing?


best bra brands for full bust

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


Featured image lingerie:
Charlotte Padded Bra | Charlotte Bikini in Blossom Print

Do you struggle to find the perfect bra fit? A style you like that comes in your size? A particular design you’d love to buy but no one’s making? Then perhaps you’ve considered a bespoke lingerie set.

‘Bespoke’ is another way of saying custom-made. Although some lingerie brands offer a made-to-measure service which is technically a bespoke garment, generally, when we talk about bespoke lingerie we mean something that is made to your measurements and a unique design. A truly one-of-a-kind creation.

Certainly, it’s not for everyone. But to some it’s the perfect solution.

To help you make your mind up, here are some pros and cons of ordering bespoke lingerie: 

Pro: You get exactly what you want

Basically, this is the whole reason to buy bespoke. You can have the bra or lingerie set of your dreams! And in your size too! Whether you want a simple, lacy bra in a 32B or a sparkling rainbow one in a 40G, there’s a designer out there who can make it for you. You’re only limited by your imagination. Well, and your budget.

Con: The price tag

It goes without saying that bespoke lingerie is more expensive than buying something that’s pre-made. Materials pricing is a part of that, because things like elastics cost a lot more per metre when you’re only buying a tiny quantity to make one set.

Mostly though, it’s the time involved. First, the designer will work with you via email, phone or in person to plan the design. Then they’ll draft a new sewing pattern based on your exact measurements. Next, they may even make a toile, a quickly-sewn version of the garment in plain fabric to check the fit. Finally, they’ll sew the final thing – and clothing takes longer to make when you’re going garment by garment rather than whipping up ten identical items at the same time.


Related: Ask A Bra Fitter: Here’s How To Have The Best Bra Fitting


custom made bra

Pro: It’s something you’ll treasure

There’s something special about knowing that a garment you own is the only one of its kind in the whole world. Often beautifully crafted too, luxury bespoke lingerie can become a treasured heirloom to pass down one day. Or at least make you smile for years to come.

Some brides even turn to the bespoke process to repurpose their wedding gown after the big day. Maybe you won’t wear the dress ever again, but if it becomes a bra set, you can put it on whenever you want to!

Con: The wait time

As mentioned above, creating bespoke lingerie time is time-intensive. It’s a far cry from walking into a boutique and walking back out thirty minutes later with a bag of bras.

If you are ordering bespoke lingerie, be prepared for a lengthy wait. You need to be okay with being patient. And if it’s for a particular occasion, be sure to start contacting designers well in advance – I’m talking months, not weeks.

Should I buy bespoke lingerie?

If your issue is simply bra fit, this is a very expensive route to go down to find a better bra. It’s an option of course, but you may well find that a good bra fitter can help you find an off-the-rack design that solves whatever fit problems you’re having. And even if you don’t have much luck, a seamstress may still be able to modify an off-the-rack bra to fit you better. It will cost you a whole lot less than having a custom bra made from scratch.

But if you can afford it, buying a bespoke lingerie set can be a wonderful idea for a special occasion or boudoir photo shoot. If aesthetics are your top priority, it opens up a whole world of beautiful new possibilities!


Related: The True Cost Of Buying Cheap Lingerie


custom bras

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!

Have you ever walked into a lingerie store and fallen in love with a bra, only to take it into the fitting room and discover to your heartbreak that it doesn’t fit right? Sometimes, it’s not as simple as just trying another size. Bras come in all sorts of different styles, and some are simply better suited to certain breast or body shapes than others.

But if your dream bra doesn’t seem like it’s going to work for you, don’t lose hope! Perhaps it can be adjusted. Below are seven modifications that can often be made to bras, either by you or by a seamstress. (And hey, it’s worth enquiring with the boutique staff – some stores actually offer on-site adjustments, or can recommend a local tailor).

Shorten the band

This is usually a very easy adjustment to make. It essentially just involves unpicking the hook-and-eye fastening, cutting some of the band length away, and replacing the fastening.

This modification can be very helpful for those who wear sub-32 band sizes, which can be quite hard to find. But it can also work well when the cup sizing stops just short of the one you need. For example, if a brand doesn’t go above a D cup and you need a 34DD, you could buy your sister size of 36D and shorten the band.

Move straps inwards

Another simple adjustment, this one can be very helpful if the bra straps don’t stop falling down. Although that problem can sometimes be the result of a too-large band, other times it’s simply the bra design.

Balconette bras for example tend to have wide-set straps which are placed close to your shoulders, and if your shoulders are narrow or slope downwards the straps can easily slip off.

Often, you’ll only actually need to move the straps inwards at back.


Related: 6 Signs It’s Time To Buy New Bras


how to fix underwire bra

Create a racerback

Another solution for slipping straps, racer-backs are very secure and can even boost support. While clip-on accessories exist to do this, perhaps you want a more permanent or elegant-looking solution.

In this case, all that needs to be done is to cut each strap at the upper back and sew a J-hook into one, and a matching ring into the other. You can then clip the J-hook onto the ring, drawing the straps together.

Replace straps

One more strap modification idea is to replace them altogether. Maybe you simply want prettier straps, but this can also be a solution for ones that dig in, by replacing them with straps that are wider.

Do check however that you are wearing the correct bra size first. A loose band puts excessive weight onto your shoulders, which could be what’s causing them to dig in.

Narrow the gore

The gore is the bit between the cups, either part of the band or a separate panel of fabric. Gores come in a variety of widths, from where the underwire channels are practically touching to where they’re separated by over a centimetre of fabric.

Trying to fit naturally close-set breasts into a bra with a wide gore can lead to uncomfortable poking, as your breasts push against the wires that are trying to hold them further apart. Making the gore narrower, by removing some fabric, may improve the comfort.

how to fix a bra

Darting the cups

If the cups are gaping or wrinkly, and you don’t have the option of trying a smaller cup size, you can dart them (sew in a fold) to tighten them up.

This is one of the more difficult modifications to make, and I definitely recommend hiring an experienced seamstress if you’re not confident in your own skills. At the very least, put the bra on and experiment with pinching different sections of cup fabric to see how each seam placement will affect the shape and fit, and pin your darts in place with it still on.

I would only recommend trying this adjustment on unlined bras. For bulkier, moulded cups, try the next tip.

Adding padding

Another way to solve slightly too-large cups is to add some padding to fill the extra space. It’s just like wearing bra inserts, except that by fixing them place you’ll never have to worry about losing them or having them fall out when you take your bra off.

This adjustment can be especially helpful for uneven breasts. For a more even fit, sew padding into one cup only, on the side with the smaller breast.

Simply buy regular bra inserts (also called cookies or inserts), try them on with the bra to check how best to position them, sew into place. Be sure to line your stitches up with existing seams or stitch into the inner lining only, so you don’t ruin how your bra looks from the outside.

Have you ever carried out any of these adjustments on your bras, or do you have any other sewing suggestions to add to the list?


Related: Where To Donate Your Old Bras


how to fix padding in bra

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


Featured lingerie:
Matilda Contour Plunge Bra in Bisque | Jeanie Plunge Molded Bra in Java | Aline T-Shirt Bra in Nude | Sandrine Plunge Longline Bra in Cameo Rose

Whatever bra styles you like, from padded push-ups to wire-free bralettes, there is one thing that all bras should be and that’s comfortable. Don’t put up with the misery of a painful one! No matter your cup size, it is possible to find a comfy bra.

Finding the perfect bra for you may take some trial and error, but knowing what’s causing your current one to be painful is a big advantage. It could be an issue with the bra design, or it may simply be that you need a different size.

Below are some common types of bra-related pain, and what’s most likely to be causing them.

Band chafing

If your bra band leaves your skin looking red and raw, it could be a sign that it’s too tight. While a firm-fitting band is necessary for support, you need some space to flex and move about too. You should be able to bend from side to side, and take a big, deep breath in perfect comfort.

Alternatively, the band may be chafing because it’s too loose, meaning it moves around and rubs against your skin a lot more than it should. Check in a mirror that the band goes horizontally across your back – it shouldn’t be higher at the back than at the sides.

Aching back or shoulders

That’s right, your bra could be the culprit for your constant back pain! If you have aches and pains in your back or shoulders, you may need a tighter bra band.

It’s your bra’s band that should be doing the bulk of the support work, but it needs to fit firmly in order to do that. If it’s loose, the weight of your breasts (especially if you are full-busted) will drag it down at the front – which is what causes it to ride up at the back.

In a well-fitting bra the weight of your bust gets distributed all across your ribcage. However, when the band isn’t able to offer that support, the weight gets put squarely onto your shoulders instead via the straps. This can lead to straps that dig in painfully, and general shoulder ache. It can also cause slouching, with poor posture in turn resulting in back ache.


Related: Why Do My Bra Straps Dig Into My Shoulders?


Poking or rubbing wires

If your wires are digging in or otherwise feel uncomfortable, they’re either the wrong size or the wrong shape for you. Firstly, make sure that all of your breast tissue is inside the underwire. If the wire is sitting on top of your breast, rather than just below it, that can lead to rubbing.

Simply use your hand to scoop each breast upwards into the cup – do this every time you put a bra on. After, the cups should still fit correctly. If you suddenly find yourself spilling over the tops, you need a larger cup size.

Wire ends can also poke, most commonly at the gore (the centre-front) but also at the underarm. This could be due to a cup size that’s too large, but you’ll probably know if that’s the case because the cup will be gaping or wrinkling. More likely, the style of the underwire used is simply too long or too tall for your body.

Underwires come in different shapes, with standard ones ranging from a deep ‘U’ shape to something that’s more like a ‘J’. Try on bras with various gore heights (the gore on a plunge bra sits very low, for example) until you find one that’s comfortable.

Remember that different brands often use different wires – not just different lengths, but more/less rigid too. So grab a big selection and head to the changing room! And of course, you’ve also got the option of going wireless.

Skin irritation

Is your bra making you itch, sweat or break out in a rash? Because bras are worn right next to the skin, and for so many hours each day, it’s especially important to consider the fabrics that they are made from.

Cheap meshes or laces can feel scratchy, and certain fabrics just don’t let your skin breathe. Feel the bra in your hands, if you’re in-store shopping. Is it nice and soft, especially on the inside? Are there awkwardly-positioned seams that might become irritating?

Take a look at the fabric content too and make sure it’s something breathable. Silk is a great fiber if you can afford it, but cotton, bamboo, rayon and ‘spacer fabric’ are also good options.

 

Do you have another type of pain or irritation, and you’re not sure if your bra is causing it or how to fix it? Leave your question in the comments below.


Related: How To Build A Lingerie Wardrobe You Love


We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new sports bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!

In the lingerie industry, a lot of terminology gets thrown around that can make it seem intimidating for the newcomer. From working out the difference between a full-cup bra and a balconette, to discovering new words and phrases such as ‘gore‘ or ‘sister sizing‘, there’s a lot to learn about.

As someone who works in this industry however, I sometimes forget that even some of the most commonly-used terminology can be confusing too. And a great example of this is ‘full bust’ versus ‘plus size’.

I’ve seen lots of people muddle these up, and I can understand why. Full bust lingerie sometimes gets called DD plus lingerie, and plus size lingerie sometimes gets called full figure lingerie.

But to be clear, full bust and plus size do not mean the same thing. Here’s the difference…

What is full bust lingerie?

‘Full bust’ is a term that applies to a distinct range of cup sizes, specifically anything that’s a DD or above. Note that it’s separate from the term ‘full cup’, which is a style of bra cup and can be made in any size.

Some people associate anything above around a D cup with having a high body fat percentage, and therefore with being plus sized. But of course, that isn’t always true.

Others confuse the terms because they have a fundamental lack of understanding about how bra sizing works. To summarise, the number refers (generally speaking) to the size of the ribcage, and the letter refers to how much difference there is between that measurement and the one around the breasts. A person who wears a 30F and a person who wears a 38F will be quite differently-sized people, despite sharing the same cup letter.

In fact, it’s not just their overall body size that will differ – those two people will even have very differently-sized breasts. An ‘F’ is not a fixed size. As described above, the letter is only meaningful relative to an accompanying band size.

This means that you can absolutely be full-busted and have breasts that you don’t think of as being huge. 30DD breasts are full-busted, yes. But they fill the same volume as 32D, 34C, 36B and 38A breasts, none of which are full bust sizes. Getting confused? You can learn more about sister sizing here.

So all full bust really means is that you have at least 5″ difference between your ribcage and your bust measurement (because 1″ difference = 1 cup size).


Related: What’s The Difference Between Full-Busted and Full-Figured?


What is plus size lingerie?

For bras, ‘plus size’ relates to the band size, and means anything that’s a 38 and above, or a 40 and above. There are a couple of reasons that the industry can’t agree on precisely where plus size bra sizing starts.

One is that ‘core sizing’, which refers to the commonly-available size range of 32-38 bands and A-D cups, includes 38 band sizes. So some brands only consider extended sizing that goes beyond the norm, i.e. a 40+ band, to be plus sized.

Another reason is that people of different clothing sizes can wear the same band size. A muscular person may need a larger band size than someone else with the same ribcage measurement, for example. So there will be 38 band size wears who wear plus sized outerwear, and those who don’t. And conversely, many people who would be considered plus sized for clothing such as tops and dresses actually wear a 36 or even 34 band size on their bras.

For bottoms, loungewear and other lingerie sold by standard clothing sizes however, plus size begins at the same place as for outerwear – generally a US 12-14 or UK 16-18 and larger.

In conclusion, ‘full bust’ and ‘plus size’ terms are completely separate. You can be both, neither, or just one. You can need a plus sized bra and be an A cup, or you can be very slim and be full-busted. And knowing the difference between the two will help you to better search for retailers and products that cater to you.


Related: How To Build A Lingerie Wardrobe You Love


We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new sports bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


If you still have any questions, leave them in the comments section below!


Featured image lingerie:
Cora Unlined Longline Bra | Cora Bikini in Pale Blush

In the past decade, the lingerie options for the full-bust customer have expanded enormously. No longer stuck with boring bras, people today have more fashion-forward choices than ever before in the DD+ range.

However, it is still much easier to find a chic bra – or any bra at all, for that matter – in a DD to G cup than it is to find one in a GG or above.

Let’s talk about size breaks

The reason is down to something called ‘size breaks’, points at which significant changes need to be made to a garment to get it to work for larger sizes. There’s a size break at a DD cup, hence why ‘full bust’ begins here.

You can create a bra in an A cup and simply scale it up (i.e. make each piece of the sewing pattern a little larger) for the B-D cups. But when you hit a DD, you almost need to redesign the product again from scratch. If you don’t, it isn’t going to fit right and/or offer enough support.

A GG cup is another size break. Although it’s still a full-bust size, 34GG breasts weigh significantly more than 34DD breasts, and so need a different style of bra. For example, you may have noticed that 3-part cups (separated into one upper and two lower sections by a horizontal and vertical seam) are a particularly popular full-bust bra style, thanks to the support the seams add. However, at GG+ this may no longer be enough. You may need 4- or 5-part cups.

But just why are seemingly so few brands interested in making these larger sizes?

Problem 1: Finding a factory that specializes in G+ cup sizes can be challenging.

Lingerie factories often specialise in a particular size range. When an A-D brand wants to branch out into DD+, it may be that their current factory doesn’t have the expertise to do it. So they’ll need to find a separate manufacturer to produce those larger sizes.

Likewise, brands wanting to expand their size range beyond a G cup may find that their existing manufacturer won’t do that – and you have to look a lot harder to find a factory that can make a 40GG than one that’s happy to make a 32B.

Problem 2: Larger cup sizes can be more expensive to produce than smaller cup sizes.

It sounds obvious but a bigger bra requires more fabric – and if you’re using a luxury lace which can run into the hundreds per metre, the difference in cost can be significant. For enhanced support, you’ll probably also need sturdier wires, wider hook-and-eye fastenings, wider strap elastics, and the addition of a lining. Again, these all add to the price the brand pays.

Let’s say a brand is already making bras up to a G cup and now wants to expand, but the larger cup sizes will cost them more. They have three choices. They can charge more for GG+ or increase prices across their size range to absorb the cost, neither of which customers will be keen on. Or they can simply make less profit on the new sizes – which, financially speaking, does not make the size expansion a particularly attractive business option in the first place!


Related: 5 Things Lingerie Brands Want You To Know About Bras


where to buy g cup bras

Charlotte Padded Bra in Dusty Rose/Black

Problem 3: A lingerie brand may struggle with getting the fit right.

Although all bodies and breasts are different, it’s generally easier to predict the shape that smaller cup sizes will have. Two sets of 32Cs don’t tend to vary much, whereas two sets of 32Js can be very different. Creating a GG+ bra that fits well on most customers is challenging.

Coming back briefly to the cost issue, this may mean hiring more fit models than usual, to ensure the bra works for a range of women. If nothing else, there’ll be a need for more time spent on the design process.

Problem 4: There’s a lack of demand when compared to other bra sizes.

Although there are plenty of people who wear, or should be wearing, a GG+ cup size, they’re not the majority. If the brand produces fewer than their usual number of bras though, they may not qualify for bulk discounts on supplies (see again: the increased manufacturing cost).

Even if the brand is willing and able to produce GG+ bras, retailers may not be interested in ordering these larger sizes because they’re worried they may not sell. There needs to be enough demand to shift the product, and for many lingerie brands, their biggest customers are not individual people but the boutiques who order wholesale.

How to encourage more brands to make GG+

So what can you, the end customer, actually do if you wear a GG+ and would like to have more lingerie options? If your local full-bust lingerie boutique doesn’t carry bras above a G cup, make sure they know there is demand for them! At the very least, you may find that they can order your size as a special request, even if they don’t begin stocking it as standard.

And if you’re looking for a cute, GG+ bra right now? Check out the Parfait Charlotte Padded Bra, which goes up to a K cup!

If you wear a full-bust size that’s quite far into the alphabet, how easy or difficult do you find it to get hold of bras you like?


Related: How To Encourage Lingerie Brands To Make What You Want To Buy


g+ bras

Charlotte Padded Bra in Red/Black

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!

Just like the rest of the fashion world, the lingerie industry has its seasonal trends too. And with spring rapidly approaching, these up-to-date styles make for the perfect excuse to refresh your lingerie drawer with something new.

Ready for some chic temptation? Here are six of the biggest bra trends for Spring/Summer 2019:

Longline bras

Longline bras have long been popular (no pun intended) with retro-inspired lingerie brands. This season though, they’re simply everywhere. From longline bralettes to ones with padded, push-up cups, this new wave of longline bras are 100% modern. And there are plenty of reasons to love a longline bra – for one thing, the wider band leads to an extra-sturdy fit, which means enhanced support.

what is a longline bra

Sandrine Plunge Longline Bra | Sandrine Hipster in Ivory

Shop the look: Try the Sandrine Plunge Longline Bra for everyday wear and the glamorous Cora Unlined Longline Bra for special occasions.


how to wear longline bra

Sandrine Plunge Longline Bra | Sandrine Hipster in Ivory

Colourful embroidery

If you’re drawn to bras that are intricate and striking, you’ll love the current trend for bold, multi-coloured embroidery. It’s a look that’s similar to lace, but with added texture. And because of the way embroideries are made, it’s easier to weave lots of different colours into the mix for a truly eye-catching result.

embroidered bra

Briana Padded Bra | Briana Bikini in Black Floral

Shop the look: The black version of the Briana Unlined Wire Bra has two-tone floral embroidery that contrasts fabulously against the fabric.


floral embroidered bra

Briana Padded Bra | Briana Bikini in Petal Pink

Vibrant colours

pink bralette

Adriana Lace Bralette | Adriana Bikini in Raspberry

Whether it’s an embroidery or a smoother fabric, S/S 2019 is packed full of vibrant colours. Lighter, brighter shades have always been popular for spring, but this season they’re especially vivid. Think fuchsia pinks, apple greens, and almost-neons. The perfect way to add a splash of pick-me-up colour to your mornings!


Shop the look: The bold azure of the Romina Unlined Wire Bra in Mediterranean Blue is especially eye-catching, as is the Sandrine Plunge Longline Bra in Wild Pink.


lace bralette

Adriana Lace Bralette | Adriana Bikini in Raspberry

Related: How To Define Your Lingerie Style


Bralettes

Oh yes, bralettes are definitely here to stay. They’ve been a trend for a while now, but it’s one that shows no signs of slowing down. These soft, wireless bras are perfect for those more relaxed days when you want something cute but above all comfy. Yes, they can work for full busts, and some of them can even be styled as outerwear.

triangle bra

Ciara Bralette | Ciara Bikini in Surf

Shop the look: The Adriana Lace Bralette is a chic, full-bust friendly bralette, while the Dalis Bralette is a more casual alternative that doubles as a soft but supportive sleep bra.


lace triangle bra

Ciara Bralette | Ciara Bikini in Surf

Unlined bras

This new trend seems to have sprung off of the back of the bralette one, offering a similar ‘lightweight’ feel but for those who prefer to stick with the support of an underwire. It’s all about padding-free, molding-free, lining-free cups – the sheerer the better!

what is an unlined bra

Cora Unlined Longline Bra | Cora Bikini in Pale Blush

Shop the look: The Vanna Unlined Wire Bra has a particularly bralette-like vibe, while the 3-part seaming on the Enora Minimizer Bra and Carole Unlined Wire Bra makes these styles ideal if you’re after maximum lift and shaping.


unlined bra

Animal prints

If you’re a fan of the 90s, then good news – it’s officially back! Or at least, many of its fashion trends are. And one of the biggest of all is animal print – the eternally-popular leopard, yes, but also snake-print and zebra-print. It’s officially time to go wild with your lingerie.

animal print bra

While this particular trend hasn’t hit the Parfait shelves just yet, never say never. Leave a comment below if you’re a fan and would love to see it – or just let me know which of the other five Spring/Summer 2019 bra trends here is your favourite.

animal print bra set


Related: How To Build A Lingerie Wardrobe You Love


We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


Featured image lingerie:
Briana Unlined Wire Bra | Briana High Waisted Brief in Black Floral
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