Let’s chat undies! After all, I think we know each other pretty well these days and I’ve told you about most things in my life (the career crisis, eternal singledom etc). I’ve developed a bit of a bra obsession over the years and it’s probably a reaction to many unsuccessful trying-on sessions in the Topshop changing room. I’ve definitely had to embrace my boobs over the years and the perception by society hasn’t really helped. Sophie muses about ‘boob-shaming’ and Vogue even deemed cleavage out of fashion for AW16. Wouldn’t it be amazing if people would stop passing judgement on a body part that’s usually a result of genetics?
Back to the undergarms. Even though it can be tricky to get some of the styles our smaller-boobed sisters can wear (cough *Love Stories*), there are some brands that cater to larger sizes and are adding the same level of ingenious detail. I thought I’d share some of my solutions whether you need something for a backless dress or burpees in the gym.
I’m usually a 32F and I’ll let you know whether I had to size up or down (though it’s best to try on in person if you’re not familiar with a brand). You can probably guess that I tend to go for vivid patterns and bright colours but hopefully this is a handy starting point if you’re a bit stuck on basics. Happy shopping!
The Everyday Bae
OK so even though I have a lot of jazzy stuff, 90% of the time I’m in my faithful t-shirt bra. They’re the kind you’ll probably have to replace a lot more often, since they start to lose their supportive powers after 6-12 months of extensive wear. One great style I’ve discovered is the Chantelle Mademoiselle Memory Foam T-Shirt Bra (sounds like a mattress, definitely not a mattress). It’s a little bit more special with a triple strap and criss-cross detail at the centre plus the cups gently mould to your shape. I had a fitting with them last year and they reassured me that having one boob slightly larger than the other is usually down to carrying your bag on a certain side and not just your body playing tricks on you. I also like the Freya Fancies longline bra and I have plenty of the Porcelain moulded styles by Panache.
Let’s Get Functional
Minimiser bras probably aren’t the most exciting out there but they are handy if you want to disguise things a little for certain styles of clothing. I tend to stick to my Triumph True Sensation if I’m wearing anything with a high neck, though the fabric is a little thinner and not ideal for the ‘nippy nips’ situation. I also have a Panache Porcelain Elan Strapless Bra for tricky dresses such as this one plus Ultimo have a decent option if you want to wear something with a lower back. Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to try it yet, I’m always seeing dresses I like from the front but the back veers into builder’s bum territory…
I find that there’s a couple of brands I get on really well with and Freya is definitely one of them. I’m always the same size, I know how they fit and they make me feel like I have a bit of a party going on underneath my clothes. They’re also not afraid to offer styles that other brands shy away from (hello bralette) and I’d own all of their longline ranges if my drawer wasn’t already overflowing. I was also pleased to discover that Figleaves have re-jigged their own brand offering with a lot of styles between £20-£30 plus Cleo is also a firm favourite.
If The Gym Is Your Thing
Has anyone accidentally gone to the gym in their normal bra? I will never make that mistake in Zumba again. Typically I prefer Eiffel Tower-style support, however I’ve found that the Shock Absorber bras can be pretty effective even without the wire (I usually size up in the back). Chantelle also have a study sporty number that you can convert into a racerback style, which is great if you like those confusing tanks.
Curvy Kate – A body-positive brand that goes up to a 44 back and has featured bloggers like Grace and Callie. I’ve tried a few styles and had to size up in the cup.
Beija Flor – Definitely on the pricier side, but the branding is pretty slick and they adapt each design for three different size groups up to a G. I’ve got my eye on the Waves.
Being U – One of the few underwear brands offering nude options for women of colour up to an H cup. Handy if you can’t find your undertone anywhere else.
Thanks to Chantelle, Freya and Figleaves for letting me try your products!