Ask Allie: All About Bras

Dear Allie, I hope this doesn’t sound creepy but your bust looks great. What bra do you wear?

My absolute favorite everyday bra is the Fantasie Underwire Smoothing T-Shirt bra. There’s a molded cup version, and a stretchy seamless cup version. I prefer the molded cup; it gives more support and prevents ‘headlights’. I always have two nude and two black in my drawer; I replace them every 6-12 months when they stretch out. I get myself re-sized every year to be sure I have the right size; I’ve been wearing this bra style for about six years and I have changed size three times. Don’t assume that you know your size, you change with age, lifestyle and diet changes.

I’m looking for a bra that will lift my 38DD bust. I can’t stand molded cup bras and want something seamless that will disappear under my T-shirt. Any suggestions?

Soma Enticing Lift Bra Review - Wardrobe OxygenSoma recently sent me their Enticing Lift bra and I am a big fan. With my large bust, I find traditional lace bras to show too many lines and not give a flattering shape. All stretch cups don’t really flatter either. The Enticing Lift bra is structured, but soft if that makes sense. It has a cup that is molded like a classic molded cup bra, but no padding. While it looks like lace, the lace is printed/fused to the cup so there's no texture under fitted tops.  I really like the shape and lifting, and think it will be a welcome alternative this summer to my padded molded cup bras which can feel hot and heavy.

I see you wear clothes that need a strapless bra. I think strapless bras are so uncomfortable and they never stay up on me. How do you make it work?

Fantasie Strapless Underwire Bra Review - Wardrobe OxygenIt’s all about the fit. When shopping for a strapless bra, I recommend going to a professional bra fitter (and that doesn’t mean a college kid working at Victoria’s Secret). I’ve had success with strapless bras from Chantelle and Wacoal, but my current strapless bra is from Fantasie. I’ll admit it’s a bit less comfortable than my daily bra, but it’s wearable for many hours without discomfort, it lifts and separates, is invisible under knits, and never slips down.  It also comes with straps so you can turn it into an X/racerback bra, a halter bra, or wear just one straps for one-shouldered looks.

Bras for big breasts are always so ugly. Where can I find pretty and sexy bras (I’m a 40D).

Bare Necessities Bras - Wardrobe OxygenI think it’s worth it to spend for bras. The fit of your underpinnings can make or break your outfit. A quality bra that fits properly can make you look slimmer, will be more comfortable, and give you the best shape. I recommend getting yourself professionally fitted, and during it try on a couple different brands so you know how you fit in them and which styles of cups and bras work the best with your shape. Then head online! I love Bare Necessities, Amazon, and Nordstrom for finding bras for large busts in pretty colors and sexy silhouettes. With Nordstrom, search by your cup size, then go to the very last page of results to find all the styles on sale; they often have popular brands and styles in limited edition colors on drastic discount. At Nordstrom I’ve scored $78 bras for only $25 with this trick. Bare Necessities and Amazon will also have limited edition colors and prints for low prices, search your size so you don’t get your hopes up and find all that’s left is the 30H. The photo above shows four pretty bras available in 40D from Bare Necessities.  Also, check out Soma which I mentioned above; they have really beautiful bras and go up to a size 44H.  Often if you score a great color or print, it makes a larger more supportive style look more bombshell. You can also balance your bra with some lacy panties or a retro-inspired high-waist brief; a coordinated set can make you feel so beautiful and polished even if no one but you knows you’re wearing it! Unless it’s just for show, I don’t think it’s worth it to sacrifice fit and support for lace and frills.


  1. Priscilla Carter
    May 23, 2016 / 1:21 am

    Great post and great guide on bra shopping.

  2. May 13, 2016 / 2:54 pm

    What an important topic of conversation! As a 36HH my bra is the most important piece of my wardrobe. Once I found a store that had professional fitting and got my first bra, I looked 10 lbs lighter. Not to mention I could fold my arms under my bust (small pleasures I guess). As I look for tops, my bust is the number one consideration which is why my blog is called what it is! Thanks for this topic!


  3. Sophia
    May 12, 2016 / 12:55 pm

    I also recommend Cacique!!

  4. insertcleverbit
    May 11, 2016 / 1:51 pm

    I wanted to add here a recent discovery and game changer. The reddit /r/abrathatfits. This was where I discovered what kind of bra to buy in addition to what size. The site can be really overwhelming at first because there is just so much information there, but they explain breast shape in a way that was like a light bulb turned on for me. I have shallow breasts, which is why I always found bras to be both too big and too small simultaneously. I have had hit or miss experiences with people measuring my bust, but their calculator helped me to determine what was my correct size – this is especially helpful to those who are in rural areas and don’t have access to boutiques or a store with reliable sales people who know what they are talking about. They also have a list of starter bras dependent on your shape and you can ask for a measurement check and the readers there will help you figure out where to begin. I bought a lot of great bras to try them out on Amazon, from the comfort of my home, and found some wonderful bras in my size (34HH) at a reasonable price (many of them less than $35).

    I also love Soma, but they don’t have bras available in my size, so I have to stick to other brands. I’ve recently stopped nursing, so I’m going to measure again, and if I get back into Soma’s sizing I will definitely be patronizing their stores. I have always had wonderful customer service from them!

  5. May 11, 2016 / 12:08 pm

    OMG—you are so right. I went bra shopping with my mom, and she kept saying, but I’m a (insert size here)—the fact is each brand & style can be different, just like clothes shopping. Case in point, mom got two bras from the same brand, but 2 different sizes—it’s just a number!!

  6. Roberta Johnson
    May 11, 2016 / 11:50 am

    I must add that if you find a style that fits you, you can often get it on Ebay for half price (new with tags). I never buy bras at the store any more – just try them on. I buy lots of underpants to make up for it, though. I’m a 38DDD and am a big Wacoal fan, but Lilyette has upped their quality lately and I have been buying those too.

    • May 11, 2016 / 11:55 am

      Great point! When I was nursing I found Anita bras on eBay and after I stopped nursing I sold mine there. I have sold two NWT bras on Poshmark that I received as gifts from brands but they were in the wrong size and sold them for more than 50% off.

  7. NW
    May 11, 2016 / 11:40 am

    I am looking for recommendations for a minimizer bra in a larger size…SOMA does not go to the size I need…Lilyette and Bali both have the size but wondering if there is a “better” one out there…

    • May 11, 2016 / 11:42 am

      I don’t know, but I will crowsource on Wardrobe Oxygen’s FB page to see if there’s any suggestions!

    • Kathryn Braun Fenner
      May 11, 2016 / 1:20 pm

      I am a big fan of Wacoal and they go to quite large sizes…

  8. Shanna Mann
    May 11, 2016 / 10:16 am

    That’s my favorite bra too! Although I like the seamless version. Seems like it doesn’t get the love in the bust-friendly communities that Panache and others get.

    • May 11, 2016 / 11:59 am

      I think it’s weird how communities will latch onto specific brands. Whether its bras, shoes, jeans, or foundation it’s going to be a different experience from person to person. Panache doesn’t do it for me!

  9. Jennifer Williams Porter
    May 11, 2016 / 9:07 am

    And on the topic of Soma, I will add too that their Vanishing Edge panties are wonderful!! They are comfortable, stay in place and there is absolutely no panty line!!

    • May 11, 2016 / 9:30 am

      Some just rocks. And from a business standpoint, as a blogger they’re always super nice to work with. Blogging has really colored my views of many brands, positive and negative and it has only made me like Soma more!

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