Tiny back, big rack: How to find wedding undergarments when you’re small with huge boobs

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finding wedding undergarments when youre small with huge boobs

Let's talk about boobs! I'm a 32DD, which means I am a petite chick with a mighty big rack. For me, wedding dress shopping was all about the boobs. I had to find a dress that either supported the big gals comfortably and flatteringly on its own, OR I had to find a dress that could work with some major undergarment action.

Yup, I've learned a lot of tricks shopping for the rare and elusive “big rack, small back” support systems. Let's talk about our options…

First of all, the thing I've learned time and time again about bra shopping for uncommon sizes is that you're going to have to pay some big bucks. It's next to impossible to find bras with large cup sizes that don't look like grandma bras (in that they cover the ENTIRE boob in a way that makes wearing V-necks really awkward). So don't trip out over the prices on some of these bad boys (girls?), it's literally the price you pay for supporting your tatas.

I get really great fitting cute bras from companies like Panache, Cleo, Freya and Parfait through retailers such as Her RoomBra StopBravissimoBreakout Bras/Butterfly Collection., andFigleaves. There’s a whole world of cute, sexy bras in the DD+ range and 28-32 bands that are cute, sexy and comfortable, but they’re just not often available in North American malls.

Dominique Contour Bra is one of my favorite bras ever, and com in DDs in all sizes.
Dominique Contour Bra is one of my favorite bras ever, and comes in DDs in all sizes.
Panache's Evie Bridal Strapless Basque Bustier is made for smaller backs and bigger boobs.
Panache's Evie Bridal Strapless Basque Bustier is made for smaller backs and bigger boobs.
Fredericks of Hollywood sells wonderful bras from 32DD-42F, and they are almost always having a sale.
Fredericks of Hollywood sells full figure bras from 32DD-42F, and they are almost always having a sale.
bravissimo full figure bras alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
I love the Bravissimo Sierra bra — available in sizes like 32J!
Freya Deco Underwire Plunge T Shirt Bra AA4234 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
For everyday wear, I adore the Deco by Freya — available up to 32F!
Or find a wedding gown with a built-in corset. This one I tried on had that. I felt secure, but I worried about pulling up the dress the whole night, even so.
Find a wedding gown with a built-in bra. This one I tried on had a bit of a corset action going on. I felt secure, but I worried about pulling up the dress the whole night, even so.
Corsets revolutionized my world! They support your tits and take all the weight off of your back and shoulders. Check out our sponsor Starkers for some custom corset wedding dress combos.
Oh but corsets revolutionized my world! They support your tits and take all the weight off of your back and shoulders. Check out our sponsor Starkers for some custom corset wedding dress combos.
Me in mah wedding dress.
With my shape, I found that a halter-style dress was the best bet. It basically held up my boobs on its own, and I wore a bikini top underneath to curb any nipple showings.

Bathing suit tops, halters, custom corsets, built-in bras… what are YOUR favorite undergarments for your glorious DD-pluses?

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Comments on Tiny back, big rack: How to find wedding undergarments when you’re small with huge boobs

  1. Amen! I’m a US 34M (UK 34J), and this was the biggest obstacle to wedding dress shopping. I ended up having a dress custom-made, which I would highly recommend if you can squeeze it into your budget: mine had a sweetheart neckline and straps just wide enough to cover bra straps. Even a year later, it’s still the splurge I’m happiest about making.

    I buy lots of my bras – and the bustier I wore for the wedding – from a British site, Bravissimo (http://www.bravissimo.com), which sells even the pretty colours and non-granny styles up to a UK L-cup, and has reasonable worldwide shipping to boot! (Plus, they have a sister site that sells clothes cut for petite girls with big boobs.)

  2. It’s both the size of mine and their position that causes me problems; I have high breasts as well as average-sized ones.

    They’re only 32E-ish (in-bra examples at the Bra Band Project: http://tinyurl.com/lcx8r24), which I refuse to call large because comparatively speaking they just don’t look it to me. Clothes designers may act like breasts that size are unusually massive, but they really aren’t, and I refuse to pander to that misconception*. Uh… anyway… high breasts. That means that a top that is the right length overall doesn’t cover my bra at the top, and if I take up the straps it becomes too short.

    This problem is replicated with corsets, whose waist becomes too high, and with lots of built-in supports because it’s assumed that the armpits will be higher relative to the breasts than they actually are (the peak of my breasts when supported is about level with the top of my armpits). So I’ve given up. It’s bras worn tilted up at the front and tailoring my own tops from now on :(. At least that means I’ve got experience ready for making special-occasion outfits, I guess!

    *I believe that like fatness and thinness, breast size is contextual; someone can have the problems associated with small breasts in one situation and those associated with large breasts in another. So I’m not really trying to talk absolutes here.

    • Mine are unusually high too (and 32DD). My straps are always soooooo long (and forget spaghetti strap dresses)! After my first daughter, they actually dropped a bit… I was so thankful for that… everyone thought I was nuts.

    • …I have never heard this described as “high breasts” before. That’s what I have and I didn’t realize there was a name for it. Thank you!!

      • I have known a friend or 2 that naturally had what I call the opposite: Low riders, in other words if you cross your arms with hand to elbow your breasts sit right there. I know that support is so important in bras. The woman in the top photo in my opinion is blessed, assuming they are natural. I wish I had symettrical larger ones like that. Thanks for the article and comments.

      • I have known a friend or 2 that naturally had what I call the opposite: Low riders, in other words if you cross your arms with hand to elbow your breasts sit right there. I know that support is so important in bras. The woman in the top photo in my opinion is blessed. I wish I had symmetrical larger ones like that. I feel for those women with anything larger than an E, the back pain at times must not be comfortable. But so happy that lingerie and “underpinnings” as Dita Von Teese calls them have come a long way. Embrace your natural Ta-Tas, as it part of what makes a woman’s body so beautiful. Thanks for the article and comments.

    • This may be obvious, but a friend of mine does this all the time and it was a game changer for me. If you get a strappy tea-length gown, take up the straps (and possibly replace the straps with something wider), you end up with a perfect knee-length down.

      Something I’ve done to eliminate the too-short skirt on a dress after adjusting the straps is to sew a strip of lace or coordinating fabric in under the original skirt hem to make it look like a double skirt, or layered skirt, and give it back the inch or two of length that was taken out of the straps. This is a bit more effort, but not too bad if you can sew along the original hemline of the dress.

      • I don’t wear dresses very often, but I do use a similar technique to make tops out of dresses, I just take the hem up too. The double-skirt/underskirt thing is excellent impetus to get creative with your clothes, which is fun if you’re into that. It’s a bit tough if you’re not though. I really like sewing and I still wish I didn’t have to do so much of it!

  3. Oh my goodness, yes! I’m a 28g; I feel this. A corset that really fits is a magical, extraordinary thing – I love my custom corset from Exquisite Restraint in Los Angeles. For everyday wear, I adore the Deco bra by Freya. Once you know what size and bra style works for you, you can actually find some steeply discounted bras on eBay in large cup / small band sizes. I found one of my Decos for about $12 on eBay after getting fitted and buying one for about $70 at Jeanette Bras in Los Angeles (which was totally worth it – I would have been lost and confused without the expert advice of the ladies at Jeanette Bras).

    • eBay is your friend!! I purchased an expensive bra I loved with a fitter and then I scoured ebay and ordered the same brand for looooaaaddddsss cheaper. It doesn’t ALWAYS work out, but you can throw the bra back on ebay or donate to Goodwill and help some other poor big boobed lady.

    • I saw Trisha Paytas shopping there on her YouTube channel. They are beautiful brassieres, but run about 150-180 U.S. dollars. Ouch!! This is of course why hand washing and hanging up special and delicate undergarments to prolong their life is so important!!

  4. Ha! I am also a 32DD (5’2″ and a size 4/6)…. I ended up with a halter style wedding dress as well. It had this awesome little modesty panel in the front that you could put in 2 positions or just take out all together. LOVED my dress. And yes… once you learn you’re going to pay a minimum of $60 for a good bra, you cry. It’s hard to swallow, but I spent $300 the first shopping trip to Nordstroms (which I have learned is a God-send for full-figured gals…. and BONUS… the customer service is amazeballs).

  5. As a 32G, my strategy for my wedding was to choose a dress that allowed me to wear a bra with normal straps. Finding such a dress wasn’t easy, but after watching my hottest, most non-mega-boobed friend pull her strapless dress up all night, I knew a strapless dress would be nothing but a skirt on me. Underneath my v-neck, wide-strapped dress, I wore the Deco Underwire Plunge Bra by Freya, which is super low cut but also very supportive. Afterward, I changed into the Panache bustier that is shown here. It’s really pretty, if somewhat out of my low maintenance comfort zone.

  6. I have the same size – 32DD. I swore I would never buy a strapless dress (for fear of constant tugging), but ended up with exactly that! I ordered a Matthew Christopher Sophia (which came with a built-in bra), and special ordered a larger bra. Although it came in with the wrong size bra the first time, I sent it back and it was perfect the second time. I never tugged at it all day. I just got my wedding video back and I completely loved my dress!

  7. Megan,
    Thanks for posting this! It took me about three or four years to figure out that I was *not* a 34B, as I’d thought in college, or a 32C as I’d thought in grad school, but a 30D. And after finding a couple bras that actually fit and are supportive, I can’t believe I spent that many years trying to make off-the-rack sizes work.

    • Aaaaaand now your boobs are comfortable, but your wallet ain’t happy. 😉

  8. Thanks for mentioning the Panache bustier! They go band 30-38 and cup D-H, in any combo you choose! (They are UK sizes, though, so be mindful if you order it without trying it on somewhere.)

    • It didn’t get great reviews on Bare Necessities (the biggest complaint is that the boning buckles at the waist), and while you can send it back within 60 days if it doesn’t fit, you’ll then find yourself at square one. So if I had to add to your advice, I’d say to give yourself plenty of time and plenty of options to try, expecting that several just won’t work out well!

    • This is the bra I’m using. It was one of three options that fit and one of two that didn’t peek out of the dress. My seamstress is sewing it into the dress. Yes, I did notice that the boning buckles (the other option I tried was much better, but didn’t work), but when you have few options, anything that will hold you up is a win! Besides, it’s actually pretty!

  9. It does give us some mother-daughter Big Rack…Small Back bonding time while shopping for bras:)

  10. I am also a 32DD. I ended up not getting one dress I thought about because it was cut very low in the front and back, and a built in bra just would not have been able to give me the support. I ended up going with a massive ballgown with a built in boned corset- no bra needed. I have an extreme hourglass figure, and the corset ended at my natural waist- despite being like 30 pounds, that dress wasn’t going anywhere, and neither were my boobs. Of course I had one heck of a mark on my stomach at the end of the night, but beauty is pain, right? 😉

  11. Yep, I consider the expense of a bra to be a medical, not fashion, expense. If I skimped on the bra, I’d be seeing a chiropractor. I was a petite 32F when I got married and am now a petite breast-feeding mama at 34H! On the matter of corsets or long bras, I found out at my wedding that I had not considered my height enough. My corset style long bra (the one that finally came in my size) cut into my legs when I sat down, because it assumed a longer torso then I have. My advice, try sitting down for several minutes in what you buy. For regular bras, Freya and Prima Donna are my go to brands for terrific small-back-big-rack support.

  12. Okay, I have a question for my more experienced big rack lady Internet friends

    I went to a fitting a couple months ago and discovered I’m a 34DDD (34F?). (I had been wearing 34Cs!) I bought the cheapest bra that day, because I felt obligated to give commission to the sales lady who measured my boobs. I don’t really like that bra; I feel like my rack is too low and they’re too separate. I feel like my boobs are under my arm pits. I bought a 34DD bra that was on sale one day. And while I know it’s too small (they’re squished) I like the way the cleavage looks.
    So, my question is, what’s wrong? Is the first bra just not my style? What should I look for? Demi, plunge?

    (Also, I’m only talking about everyday bras, not wedding bras; I just wandered over from offbeathome)

    • So, I don’t know if it’s appropriate to plug or not, but I discovered a subreddit called A Bra That Fits (http://www.reddit.com/r/ABraThatFits/)… explore a little bit over there. I discovered quite a bit about myself and the way that boobs are built. If you have a Nordstrom’s near you, go there to get fitted. For the most part, they’re wonderful to size you up. Obviously there are a couple ladies who didn’t have the best experience (can’t always be perfect), but I left with $300 worth of bras (bought 4) and did not regret the cost one bit.

    • Hopefully someone will be along to give more advice, but if you feel like your breasts are being unnaturally pushed apart by that bra, say if they don’t have much of a space between them, then I would suggest a plunge bra, yes. They can cut across the top of your breast, causing a bulge, especially if your breasts are a shallow/wide shape rather than narrow/projected; to what extent that happens varies according to brand (as if more complication were needed!)

      If you haven’t visited http://www.reddit.com/r/abrathatfits yet, do drop in, they’re very friendly and can give far more detailed help.

      Edit: hah, crosspost! So double the recommendations. I must have had this tab open a long time without doing anything to it. That is the problem with reddit, it’s very distracting.

      • Hah, yeah I’ve seen that recommended elsewhere, and I guess I’ll finally pluck up the guts to join reddit.

        The bra definitely fits size-wise, (I actually did go to nordtroms) but I guess it’s the fit of the bra I dislike, like where the cups sit. It’s like size 10 mom jeans vs size 10 skinny jeans. I kind of don’t remember if I liked the other ones I tried on at norstroms. I think I was overwhelmed by sticker shock haha. I’ll probably just have to try on some more bras (groan)

        • I think I know what you mean. My issues with getting the right size have been minimal, it’s getting the right shape that always proves a problem.

        • Nordstrom is good for sticker shock, but if you have one, try Nordstrom Rack!

          I’m a 32FF (I think), and really love the Cleo line by Panache (and what of their other lines I’ve tried, too). At Nordstrom Rack, I just check their clearance, and I’ve never paid more than $35 for what really are the best bras I’ve ever worn.

        • This is absolutely a solvable problem. Please don’t buy too small bras! I find plunge bras to squish my 32E breasts too close together, but I love balconette style. Go to figleaves.com or another similar website and order a wide assortment of bras you like the look of _in your size_. Fig leaves in particular has free returns; you only pay shipping, which has always been cheap for me. You should expect to return most of the pieces you order for fit and style and comfort reasons. Only keep bras you actually love. One or two comfortable bras that look great are worth spending the money on! And then you’ll have more information on the kinds of styles you like, the brands that fit you best, etc., and you can wait for the sales.

          You can also do this in a store, but the selection will probably be smaller and I always feel a little guilty about keeping the salespeople waiting. Online shopping lets you try things on at home, with multiple tops from your closet if you want, for long enough to tell if the bra will be comfortable over a whole day, and you can take breaks if you get bored.

  13. I’m pretty sure I comment on every post about boobs on every offbeat site.

    I don’t think anyone would call me petite (I’m 5’9″ and over 200 pounds), but I do have a smaller band size than people expect. At the time I got married I was a 34J (I’m a 36K now), and I had a custom corset made by Dianna at Starkers. She is amazing and I can’t recommend her enough. I was supported all day and didn’t have to find a bra to go under my dress (yay!).

    Most of the bras I’ve seen suggested here wouldn’t fit me (now or when I got married), so I’m going to once again plug http://www.ewa-michalak.pl. I haven’t had much luck with their strapless bras (then again, I’ve never had a strapless bra that actually worked), but I love love love their padded bras. They give so much support and a really nice shape. Keep in mind if you’re ordering that their bands do tend to fit pretty tight.

    But yeah. Starkers. For serious. So good.

    I was lucky enough to be able to go to Toronto to be fitted in person and Dianna is so great to work with, and she loves offbeat brides! If you’re considering buying a dress at a bridal salon, getting a dress from Dianna might actually be cheaper. My custom made corset and skirt were under $900 total, which is way less than most (not custom) bridal salon dresses. And because it’s custom made, you won’t end up with alterations charges, which most people will big boobs will have to have alterations done to make a bridal salon dress fit right, and that can be hundreds of dollars on top of the dress price.

    What I’m trying to say is don’t let perceptions of custom dress prices (I think Randy Fenoli says you’ll have to pay at least $10 000 to have a custom dress, lol) prevent you from looking into it. It might end up being way cheaper.

  14. I’m a 34DD. I chose a dress that has straps, although it’s low cut enough in the back to prevent an around the back sort of support. I settled on an adhesive bra to create a little cleavage and am relying on good tailoring to hold the rest in place.

  15. Thank You! ( from a 32 DDD) amazing how many others of us are out there. Might end up getting a corset or corset laced dress for my big day…. but I have yet to try on dresses so we shall see!

  16. The story of my life! I found Linda’s Online, and I buy bras nowhere else. They have plenty of long-line styles for those of us blessed with overabundance in the boobular area. Here, let me give you that URL: http://www.lindasonline.com/

  17. I was so obsessed with having a vintage 1930s satin dress that I didn’t even consider what the hell I would do about the 30E situation when I bought my backless and completely unstructured gown. Because I am kind of small overall, I guess no one realizes how large my rack is – when I walked into Jeanette in LA, they didn’t really believe I belonged there until they measured me. So friends recommended things like NuBra (which did not work at. all.) or this wacky backless bodysuit thing that also did not work. Eventually someone suggested flexible athletic tape and holy shit, she was right. I’ve been practicing binding myself up and I think it’s actually going to work.

    For the reception, I grew some brains and bought a normal dress that I can wear a normal bra with.

  18. Cannot stop laughing at the first line in this post – 32DD equals a “mighty big rack”. Hahahahahahahahahhahahaha.
    This literally means her bust is only 5 inches bigger than her back size. I am a 28GG. This means that my bust is 10-11 inches bigger than my back size. My back is an Australian size 6. this woman is a size 10.. which is an extremely common size. You can buy 32DD’s in Target for goodness sake. I have to get mine specially made… I’m sorry but people are so hung up on letters when it’s the combination of both that determines whether it’s a large bust or not.

    • 32DD is a mighty big rack when it comes to shopping for certain clothes, like bras, bathing suits, or certain style tops or dresses. When I was younger I was a 32DD. A year ago I was a 30H. After a breast reduction, I’m down to a D-cup again. So I’ve been all over the map. Being able to buy a D-cup, let alone a DD-cup, at a store like Target is a fairly new development (at least here in Canada), and the choices are still pretty limited. I remember being 17 years old and a 32DD, and having to shop at the specialty stores, buying $120 bras, only ever having two or three at a time because they were so expensive. Being close to that size again, I’m finding it’s a lot easier nowadays to find bras that fit me, but it’s still a more involved process for me than for my A- and B-cup friends.

      In my experience, most clothes (underwear included) are made for a really narrow set of bodies, and even if you’re only a bit outside of that norm, you’re going to have a hard time finding the clothes you want/need. A 32DD may not be “might big” compared to a 28GG, but it’s big enough that finding the right bra can be difficult, especially if you want something low-cut or strapless or backless or whatever to fit your wedding dress. I’m trying to find a bra to wear with my strapless, low-back bridesmaid dress right now, and I’m glad of this article.

    • Just because someone’s breasts are not as big as yours does not mean that they’re not big or that they don’t have problems finding bras. Just because you “can buy” a 32DD at Target … in one of three grandma styles … does not mean they don’t have to get custom orders or struggle to find clothes that fit, just like you do. Not to mention that many women who think they wear “normal sizes” like 34D and 32DD may (like me) actually need a 30F but don’t yet know they have options.

      I appreciate that you’re frustrated, but please try not to make light of other ladies’ problems! We are all in the same boat.

    • Hey, just saw your comment Sarah. A few readers here already pretty much summed up my initial response. Well actually… my initial response was “Ouch. Why ya gotta laugh at mah booby woes?” 🙁 But after that, it’s basically what Lisa said: “Just because someone’s breasts are not as big as yours does not mean that they’re not big or that they don’t have problems finding bras.”

      I’ve spent my whole fully-developed life having to work my wardrobe around my — in my life experience — not-too-commonly-sized top half. And sure, every now and then I can find a 32DD bra in Target that I’d never be able to wear with my actual clothes (see: grandma bra caveat), but that doesn’t really help me… at all… ever.

      I’m sorry that, as the writer of this post, my bra sizing is not as extreme as yours, but I was pegged as the staffer who would have the most experience with this wedding fashion issue. If you have more to say on the topic I’d invite you to submit a guest post, or include some more helpful tips in the comment section here! We’d all love to learn and help each other based on our common life experiences, even if they aren’t exactly the same as each others.

    • I’m with you, Sarah.

      One of the most popular lingerie chains around here (La Senza) has really cute bras and not infrequent 3 for $30 sales often carries size 32DD. I can’t even try on bras in my size (36K) at specialty stores without special-ordering them in, and I almost always have to buy tops and dresses online if I want them to not look like tents on me (I usually order clothes from BiuBiu, if anyone’s interested).

      Most of the suggestions in the comments here don’t go up to my size either.

      I think the perception that DD is a large cup size comes from the fact that most women haven’t been sized properly. In high school I was skinnier than I am now, but I was wearing 36DD until I got sized properly as a 32F, and it still took me a long time to actually buy bras that were the right size.

      If more women actually got measured for their true bra size, I think people would find that a DD cup (regardless of back size, because it’s relative) would be about average. Most people are just wearing the wrong size. Even my mom, who thought she was a 36A for most of her life I think is actually a 32 or 34C, and her boobs are pretty small.

      Megan, I’m not trying to belittle your experiences, but I just don’t think that someone who is a 32DD really understands the struggles of having an unusually large bra size, and it makes me feel a bit patronized for someone who is a 32DD to pretend that she has the same problems as someone with a huge cup size. It’s just not that easy for some of us.

      • Again, if you have more to say on the topic that I didn’t cover, I invite you to submit a guest post, or include some more helpful tips in the comment section if I missed any.

      • I really don’t understand the need here to put down Megan’s article. She isn’t claiming that she holds a world record for large boobs or that hers are grotesquely big. Just that she has had problems with a small band size and large cup size. Clearly many of you do too. I don’t think there would be this mocking outcry if she had talked about a medical condition. (“Megan, I’m sorry, I have trouble taking you seriously because you’re able to manage your [fibromyalgia/diabetes/ …] with medical devices that you can sometimes find in stores. Us REAL sufferers … “)

        Megan has much smaller boobs than me. And I found her suggestions of buying a dress with a built-in bra totally unhelpful and the idea of wearing a halter dress with just a bikini top underneath (ha … when is the last time I was able to wear a bikini top, period?!) ludicrous. For me.

        However, I appreciate her effort to highlight this problem. Many posts on here (like shoes for wide feet) only touch the surface of the problem with five or so examples and are just a starting point for discussion of solutions. Personally I was happy to see this article (even though it itself didn’t help) because I was excited to read the comments and see what advice others had to offer.

        Usually people on here are very welcoming and inclusive. I don’t know what it is about bras that set everyone off here. I don’t think attacking Megan for “pretending she has the same problems as someone with a huge cup size” is the solution. If her article didn’t strike a chord with you, why aren’t you talking about what helps you so others can learn?

    • Just because a 32DD isn’t as extreme a difference as either your or my sizes (I’m a 30DDDD/G) hardly means that it isn’t a large-cup size, nor that it isn’t difficult to find. 32DDs recently have made more of an appearance at regular retail stores for lower prices, but you have to hunt for them and still try every single one on to make sure they work. I have been lucky enough to find a few non-granny bras for a friend of mine who’s recently in that size, but when I was wearing it (incorrectly, I’ll add), it was an absolute nightmare to go bra shopping. I could spend 3-4 hours digging through racks at Kohl’s (the only store at the time that carried my size in my area) and trying them on, and despite occasionally having good luck finding the size, I could still leave empty-handed because they didn’t work. My biggest issue was a need for fully-adjustable straps because I’m fairly high-set myself and tiny and petite. My shoulders simply aren’t that much higher than my breasts or band and anything less than fully-adjustable straps never worked. (One of my Panache bras is the only exception to this!)

      32DD is massive in the fashion world. Designers of any stripe simply don’t seem to believe that they exist, and neither do stores, as they don’t stick anywhere near as many. Keep in mind that, as a massive-cup size with a small back, your perspective is warped as to what’s big or small.

      • I get that, I do.

        And I did contribute with my suggestions earlier in the comments section, FYI. I’m not just here to complain, though I don’t have any suggestions for Sarah as a 28GG, I’m sure she knows much better what works for her than I would. I also comment on every post about bras because I know there are people like me who won’t find any help from these posts, and I can’t exactly write a whole post of my own because I’ve found literally one store I’m willing to order bras from that has my size and bras I like and can afford, and one suggestion does not a post make.

        What I’m trying to communicate here is that looking through the racks at a chain store for a while instead of finding your size right away is not the same as having to pay a 50% deposit on a $160+ bra just to order it to try on when it may or may not fit, or having to pay through the nose to get something custom made.

        This list isn’t super helpful for people who have really unusual bra sizes, which wouldn’t bother me at all if it weren’t trying to be. A lot of people have to look around for a specialty bra to go under a wedding dress, and I’m sure this post is great for them, but for those of us who do have really big cup sizes without the band size to match, it’s not suggesting much that’s relevant. Basically, the title of the post doesn’t match the content.

        I see it like this: I wouldn’t write an article about shoes for people with big feet when I’m only a women’s size 10, and I wouldn’t suggest stores that only carry up to a size 10 or 11 and say I was catering to people with big feet. It might be hard to find a size 10 sometimes because stores run out of those sizes first, but I’m still able to find shoes in regular shoe stores without special ordering, just like I’ve frequently seen 32DDs in lots of cute styles in inexpensive stores. I could write an article about cute shoes for people with slightly larger than average feet, but that would be a weird topic to write about, because it’s not really different from a regular shoe post. And if I labelled the post as helpful for women with big feet, I would expect some people to be upset, because they would have been expecting something different from what I wrote.

        Obviously lots of people disagree with me and that’s fine. I’m not trying to attack anyone, just trying to express my opinion. I apologize if I’ve hurt anyone, and thank you to everyone for the discussion. It’s too bad it ended up being so unproductive. I can see that my point of view on this topic is not welcome here.

    • I’m sorry you’ve got such a tough time finding bras, but I don’t see why you’ve decided to laugh at another person’s measurements and then completely discount that they might have any difficulties or body issues as a result, simply because “you’ve got it worse.”

      No matter what I don’t think it’s ok at all to literally laugh at someone else’s body and then tell them “go shop at Target.”

      With that out of the way, I suggest checking out http://www.weirdlyshaped.com/ , a blog about bras which caters specifically to the sub-30-band over-J-cup crowd.

    • The fact that you’re not in the US matters here. Notice that most of the brands recommended in this post and the comments aren’t American? There’s a reason for that.

      When I was a 34D in the US, I couldn’t find my size easily in department stores. When I did, they didn’t flatter. When I was a 34DD, same story. When I didn’t know what size I was? One bra fitter’s recommendation was simply “try a 34D, a 34DD, a 36D, and a 36DD.” Yes, thank you — that’s what I was doing *before* I asked to be fitted, because none of those worked. Finally, I discovered I was a 32G (32F in UK sizes), and there is one store within an hour of me that carries that size — and not even in all of its styles. American department stores, even stores that *only* sell bras, rarely carry anything smaller than a 34, and if they do, it’s sized 32AA-32C.

      While a 32DD may not, comparatively speaking, be that large, it is large enough to present serious problems for women in the US, where bra manufacturers, and even most women, have no clue what bra sizes actually look like.

  19. For any UK-based people, I heartily recommend Bravissimo (the online shop and the brick and mortar one, which does the best fittings I’ve had). They also have a clothing line with three boob sizes for each one. http://www.bravissimo.com

    • You can also purchase online, which I do even though I’m in the US. I love their styles so much more than any other shop I’ve found and shipping isn’t ridiculous.

  20. One of my clients this year raved about Her Room to help her find her unusual size. They have a comparison for different brands vs your measurements to tell you which one to order for each. Otherwise it’s a headache.
    No hassle returns too, we tried on a bunch in her fittings and she kept the perfect one!

  21. If you live anywhere near New York, I can’t recommend Bra Tenders enough! (http://bratenders.com/) They measured me at a 30FF. (I usually make do with 32DDDs from Victoria’s Secret). AND they found me a strapless bustier that fits, pushes together, and lifts!! They specialize in theatrical wardrobes so they have to work with all kinds of body types and all kinds of crazy costumes.

  22. I have the opposite problem. I am a big girl with tiny boobs that sit low and are really far apart. They don’t make bras for big girls with tiny boobs. I guess the assumption is fat chicks are supposed to have giant knockers. I wear a 42b (and yes I have gotten measured right) but really could do with a 42a. I have found about 3 42a’s ever. 42b’s aren’t all that common. Right now I wait for Lane Bryant sales on their bras and stock up on the tshirt ones is 42b and cut all the underwire out (cause ouch, that shit hurts). It’s not perfect, but it’s the best I’ve found so far. I keep saying I am going to look into some custom ones, but am terrified of the pricing. If my boobs weren’t so weirdly shaped I’d just go bra-less.

    • I think I just found my boobie twin! You just described me to a T. I have rarely found my siza in regular stores and spent years wearing uncomfortable bras. I will gladly hand over $80-$100 for a well-fitted bra that isn’t digging into me or one that I have to add padding to in order to fill out the cup!

      In the past if I found a bra that fit reasonably well in the cup but was a bit tight in the band I would buy a back extender to make it a bit more comfortable. Most lingerie stores carry them or you can find them where sewing supplies are sold.

    • Me too! I’m supposed to wear a 44A, but I’ve never found one. I also have low, widely-separated boobs! I currently just wear strappy sports bras from walmart (which are kinda too small around) or none at all. 🙁

    • Boobie Twins, love it 🙂 I’ve tried the bra extenders, but always end up taking 20 minutes to get everything all hooked up. One side of it gets all situated but then the other hooks start coming undone. My husband just sits there laughing at me swearing violently at my bras.

      • I’ve actually used pliers to pinch the back extender hooks closed on one side of the bra closure. This helps keep it place while I get locked and loaded.

        My husband couldn’t figure out why I was rummaging through his toolbox muttering “damn stupid bras” to myself.

        • Same deal here- big band size, tiny, wide set boobs (42 a/b) . Lane Bryant cups tend to be too big for me. Where else have you ladies been buying? I use extenders, but it’s often a poor solution , since I need the extra width in between my boobs, not in the back!

  23. I’ve run the gamete from a 34E to a 32C (during baby, post baby), and my biggest tip is always to find a proper lingerie store that specializes in sizing bras (Victoria’s Secret and La Senza don’t count). I live in a small city and we still have two bra shops that carry bra sizes for every size. Every bra brand fits differently and so as I’ve changed size and shape I’ve also changed which bras I like best because of fit. Right now I enjoy Marie Jo L’aventure http://www.mariejo.com/en, and Jezebel http://www.felinausa.com/jezebelusa/index.html. But the sad thing is that you have to be prepared to spend good money… I drop anywhere from 80-180$ per bra. The initial money sucks, but the comfort is undeniable.

  24. My boobs aren’t that big but my back is definitely small… I’m somewhere around a 30/28 C/D (28’s are technically right but they feel too tight so I usually go with 30…also depends on the time of the month what cup fits best, bleh.) Someone recommended the Nordstrom Rack to me for cheap, weird-sized bras, and I have had a little bit of luck there though it’s definitely a crapshoot (tie-dyed blue and purple bra? It fit, so now I own it. Woot.) So… passing that half-tip to my fellow weird-sizers. Your mileage may vary. I make do with a lot of 32B’s too since those are slightly easier to find. Luckily I work at home so I just have to own enough bras for my occasional public appearances.

  25. This could not have come at a better time for me. I have always been relatively small on top, and I was always able to walk into any store and find a bra on the rack that worked. Now I’m pregnant though, and suddenly my rib cage is the same size, but my breasts are definitely not. I really don’t want to spend a lot of money on bras until my breasts decide what size they are going to be though. I might just be stuck with grandma bras for now.

  26. I’m not quite in this boat (32D), but I find most bras really uncomfortable. I started wearing the Coobie comfort bra (I have 3) this year and don’t ever want to go back. They’re like sports bras but a little less smoosh-y and more contoured. You can often find them on sale, too. I’m guessing they wouldn’t work for people with really large cup-to-band-size ratios, but worth a try if you’re in the middle.

  27. I recommend checking out A Sophisticated Pair . They only sell D+ bras, but bands in all sizes. They also have fit advice, care advice, and creating a bra wardrobe advice. If you live in or are traveling to central NC, then you can visit the store in person. Otherwise, they also have their online store.

  28. I’m a 38HH(UK)/38K(US), and I know these woes very, very well. The wonderful people over at Reddit.com/r/abrathatfits will walk anyone through measurements, sizing, and bra suggestions and boob terminology. For a huge selection of bras, try brastop.com. And make sure you wind up knowing your bra size in US and UK sizes, and use bratabase to help!

  29. I am a 32 K…finding any bra let alone a “fancy” bra that I could wear under a wedding dress was close to impossible. I had to find a bra and THEN find a dress to go with it. I tried on some dresses in advance and the ladies at the stores told me “not to worry” a dress in my size would support me just fine. I’m sorry, nothing supports me “just fine” let alone was I going to take their word for it. So…I found a bra, then went looking for dresses that could help keep them up. I ended up with the dress I wanted any way (which was hard since there were so few tea length/short dresses). Being huge-boobed there was no way I was buying something that I hadn’t tried on first…so the really cute short dresses online were not an option.
    So, bought the bra first, got the wedding dress lady to help me in to the bra, then tried on dresses that fit the bra, made sure the dress supported me as well…now for the wedding at some point in the future (now after a baby…so my boobs are even bigger!)

  30. I have the opposite problem, I’m a 42B and they’re nearly impossible to find.

  31. I plan on getting professional fitted soon. I think I’m a 40B. Most stores think if you’re 40 you must be a C. I also have a bit of dramatic size difference between them which before more obvious after breastfeeding. I also have never had straps that don’t slide down my shoulders unless it’s a sports bra or my nursing bras.

  32. Best place to get sized for a bra? I’m happy with what I’m wearing, but isn’t the rumor that most women are wearing the wrong size? I’m probably due for an update.

  33. I have the exact opposite problem – big back, small rack. I’ve always felt that it was unfair that with all of the extra weight on my body, none of it has settled into my chest. I do not understand bra sizing. Oh, I get the measure the chest under your boobs, then measure across the fullest part of your chest aspect, what I don’t get is that what the formula says I should wear, and the reality of it on my body are two different things. I have had myself professionally measured a few times, and every time the calculation says I should be wearing a DD cup. In reality, I can barely fill a B.

    Finding a small cup size, large band size is nearly impossible. I have only ever seen a B as the lowest cup of a 42 band, and even then, they’re hard to come by. I cannot wear molded cups, because I will have gaps in the cups and it just looks silly.

    My method around this has been to either buy bras with the cups not molded, or to buy the largest band sized non-full-figured bra I can find in a B cup, and use a bra extender.

  34. Unfortunately, with the exception of the Panache Evie, these suggestions would not work for the majority of people who identify as having “huge boobs”, let alone a “tiny back”. 32DD is the edge of the size range available at most mall stores, but most mall stores do carry some 32DD bras, so it would be much more interesting/informative to include suggestions *beyond* what is available in a mall.

    30 and 28 bands aren’t particularly uncommon bra band sizes when correctly measured (see the Bra Band Project – http://www.brabandproject.com/). Some very tiny women need 26 or even 24 bands. Similarly, correctly measured, DD is pretty average. F, FF, even G cups are very common, and bra sizes go much larger. I wear a 28H, others in this thread have chimed in with sizes such as 28GG,32K, 34J, 36K, 38HH that wouldn’t fit into ANY of the bras suggested.

    It’s also worth noting that many people who wear a 32DD or similar sizes would likely benefit from a larger range. Being right at the end of the size range at most stores, 32DD becomes a catch-all for all sizes that don’t quite fit in the regular range. Find that a strapless bra in 32DD doesn’t stay up and mashes your boobs? It’s likely you actually need a smaller band size and larger cup size. Gore doesn’t stick in the middle? Smaller band size, larger cup size. http://www.reddit.com/r/ABraThatFits/ is a great resource for learning how to measure yourself and all sorts of other bra information.

    Fortunately, there are a number of bras available in a much larger size range – it’s fairly easy to find bras in sizes 28D- 38J and beyond from UK and Polish manufacturers. Some US/Canadian shops, such as Nordstrom, Change and a number of boutiques, carry an extended size range right here in North America, but it’s also fairly easy to order online from sites such as http://www.largecuplingerie.com/, http://www.figleaves.com/, http://www.butterflycollection.ca/, http://www.bravissimo.com/, http://www.ewa-michalak.pl/, and http://wellfitting.com/

    Once you’ve found a bra that fits, finding a dress to wear over it becomes fairly easy 🙂

    • Okay that just made me laugh so hard I woke that guy I married up from his nap. 😉

  35. I was looking at your home blog and saw this post and I have the same sort of problem. About 5 years ago I thought a 32C was hard to find but it seems as if now stores have a wider range of cup sizes in 32s. I went through the freshman 15 and then packed on another few pounds and now I am up to a 32DD. I stay away from anything with padding and look for fully adjustable straps with full coverage. I can’t wear Victoria’s Secret Pink, their DD cups are not big enough, but VS regular lines fit most of the time (during the semi annual sale they go as low as $15.99 but not on sale can run between $30 and $60ish…but they do send out $10 off coupons frequently!) Back when I was a 32C I found bras at Gilly Hicks (which is like Hollister). Kohls and Dillards also have a decent selection of 32s with the DD cup.

  36. I’m a 30 FF/G and have had a really hard time finding bras for yoga. I always wear underwire, since that’s what’s available in my size, and any sports bra for larger breasts seems only concerned with controlling those puppies while running, and thus are super restrictive. Anyone have suggestions for light active/ yoga bras for big boobs/small back?

    • Ooh I’m all over this! I’m a 32DDD (30FF?) I do yoga too and I hate how every sports bra for big boobs is designed for running. I need to be able to stretch! I haven’t found tons of options. My all time favorite is this Aerie bra in medium. ( http://m.ae.com/aerie/browse/product.jsp?productId=9791_3186_543) It gives full boob coverage even on the sides, has a small enough band, but is very stretchy yet supportive. Only problem is it’s not padded so I only wear the dark colors. I also have some camisole-style bras from Nike (can’t find the exact model). Finally I have a collection of tops from Mika Yoga (I wear XL in their 50s style bralette and a M in the top designed for large boobs) and Shakti (I wear a M). I do hot yoga so people are used to these minimal coverage tops, your mileage in normal yoga may vary. :). I would love to hear about other options!!

  37. Finding it a total nightmare to find amazing bridal lingerie in my size (UK 30GG-28H). I am having straps added to my dress so I can wear a bra… But there is no bra to wear…

    My favourite plus size bra of all time is the Freya Deco; which comes in many a pretty colour but not white or ivory. This is the kind of style I would need to wear under the dress.

    Does anyone have any experience of wearing a particular bra for dress purposes – then slipping into something with a bit more ‘wow factor’ for afterwards? Nice underwear is a big part of my life and I don’t want to be wearing a nude t shirt bra for … Consummation.

    Or some nice bra alternatives in the small back big bust department?

    It’s seriously harder than finding the dress itself!

  38. 36 H… love Goddess brand as my size actually exists and it holds things up well. Also loved the 2 piece blouse and skirt outfit I made to avoid the worry and constant tugging. French heirloom lace was just perfect, and feminine, AND I had no issues with my bra!

  39. I wear a 34H in Elomi, which I only found with help from a local boutique (Shout-Out to Allure for anyone in WI / MN). Elomi happens to be my go-to brand because my cups are full and I am more comfortable with full coverage. The good news is they come in pretty lace designs, swim separates, and the long-line bra I will wear under my gown. <3

  40. Thank you for this post! This could have been one of the more stressful elements of my wedding, but it wasn’t because I’m fortunate enough to live in a city with a fantastic “foundation” boutique. I was going crazy trying to find something online in my size (30FF). Add to that the fact that I was wearing a vintage 50s dress (and I don’t have the vintage waistline to match). The bra fitter put me in a longline bra that was a 32D and it FRIGGIN WORKED!!! (And my dress fit better too!) It was amazing!! Go see a professional, it’s so worth it!!!!

  41. My friend is making me a custom corset. For everyday wear, I love wearing the Panache under wire sports bra. It’s like a push-up bra for those with bigger breasts. Other bras just don’t support well enough for me. :\

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