I Think These are the Best Bras for Large Busts

This article may contain affiliate links; if you click on a shopping link and make a purchase I may receive a commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
the best bras for large busts

I previously shared a list of the best wireless bras, and at the end of it, I mentioned that while I own wireless bras, I still feel most comfortable in an underwire bra. As someone who has had a large bust since college, I have done my research and have tried a lot of bras for my size. Below I will share what I have learned through my bra search and what I believe to be the best bras for large busts and my favorite bras I purchase again and again.

I originally wrote this review of my favorite bras for large busts back in 2020. We all know the world and we as people have changed a lot since then. I have since tried new bra brands, been professionally fitted, and have modified my activity and fitness routine. All of this has affected what bras are best for my large bust and I wanted to share the most up-to-date info on what I love best in my intimates drawer.

A Little About Me and What I Look for in a Bra for Large Busts

Hi, I'm Alison, a 49-year-old 5'3″ woman with soft curves. 99% of the time, I wear a size 36 F/G bra. The letter depends on whether the company is UK or US, and the general shape. Sometimes, I am better in a 38; sometimes, I even do a DDD cup; it all depends on the brand and bra design. This is normal, you too may find depending on different factors you may fit into different sizes of bras.

Over 40 woman wearing the Bravissimo Niya Bra in beige with a pair of jeans
Wearing the Bravissimo Niya Bra

I've had a fluctuating body for most of my adult life. Changes in my lifestyle, my fitness, and what I consume have affected it. I also had a baby 15 years ago and breastfed that baby for over two years. All of that plus five decades of gravity and living life, my bustline isn't as firm and perky as it was back in college. Therefore, I look for bras that will do the heavy lifting and give me a great shape without causing pain, discomfort, or looking weird under my clothes.

As a shorter woman (I am 5'3″) I desire good lift to separate my bust from my waist.  Whether it's a social event, the gym, or even hanging out at home, I like the look of my bust lifted, separated, and shaped.  It makes me happy.  I think all of that is important to share before I share my favorite bras for my full bust, as what I love may not be right for you.

What I Find to be the Best Bras for Large Busts

For me, I like having a drawer of situational intimates.  I like to open it and find the right kind of bra for that halter-neck jumpsuit, the right underwear to disappear under high-waisted white linen trousers, the right product to prevent chub rub without causing static cling.  As a woman with a large bust, my bra collection is quite varied, ensuring I have the right tool for any outfit. And these are the bras I find to be the best for my large bust as a woman over 40.

My Favorite Underwire Bras for Large Busts

I seem to be in the minority, but I am far more comfortable in an underwire bra than a wireless one.  I like a molded cup bra offering more support, reducing the strain on the straps and my shoulders.  I also like a slim strap so I can wear tanks and sundresses and not have them show and a cup that is low enough that it doesn't peek out of necklines.  I want my bra to be smooth so I can wear the same bra with a fitted tee that I do with a bulky sweater. 

I find that bras achieve all of this while being so comfortable I don't race to yank them off at the end of the day. So comfortable, I have purchased them over and over again. The first one is my absolute favorite bra; the others are also excellent and may be better choices for your unique needs.

  1. Fantasie Underwire Smoothing T-Shirt Bra: This has been my favorite bra for over a decade.  The size may change, but the style does not.  I like how simple it is, I like how the cups are molded but don't add a lot to my size, I like how the straps are not too thick and not decorative, and how it plunges enough in front that I can unbutton another button on my shirt and show the cleavage off without showing the bra off.  They're not cheap bras, but they're so good I have had women ask me on the Metro, in restaurant bathrooms, and at social events what bra I wear. 
  2. Bravissimo Niya Bra: Especially in the warmer months, I like a lighter-weight bra, but I don't want to lose any of the support and shape. The Bravissimo Niya Bra is a great choice. I had a virtual bra fitting with Bravissimo and was recommended this bra and I continue to wear and love it (and even bought another one!).
  3. Soma Unbelievable Lift Balconette: This is not a molded cup bra, but it gives amazing shape and support while being lightweight and, in my opinion, quite pretty. This is a fantastic bra to wear under thicker clothing and is a favorite in the summer for how lightweight and breathable I find it to be. Even better, this bra comes in neutrals but also different pretty colors each season and Soma always has a variety of undies in the same fabric and color for a pretty matched set!

My Favorite Strapless Bras for Large Busts

One of the most valuable items in my intimates drawer is a strapless bra.  I love the look of off the shoulder and strapless outfits, but the bra situation is tough at my size and age.  If you get a good one, you buy more than one and treat it with care. These are my favorite strapless bras for large busts:

  1. Cacique Multiway Boost Strapless Bra: Don't sleep on Lane Bryant's intimates brand Cacique. Great size range, great style range, and great support. This strapless bra is surprisingly comfortable for how well it lifts and separates. I have never used the straps, but find this stays in place even if I spend the night on the dancefloor.
  2. Soma Stunning Starlet Multi-Way Strapless Bra: This is a heavy-duty bra with a lot of hooks and padding and silicone to keep it in place but it WORKS. I can wear this and have just as lifted and separated of breasts as with a traditional bra, and it doesn't slide down. Know the first wear may be uncomfortable but it adjusts to your body and becomes more comfortable with time.
  3. Wacoal Red Carpet Strapless Bra: When you have a large bust you're used to major hardware for strapless bras. This one isn't like that, yet it still stays in place and gives enough lift to look great under strapless, halter, and delicately strapped sundresses. This is my summer go-to strapless bra because it's not so heavy and I feel I can breathe while still having good support.

My Favorite Wireless Bras for Large Busts

Being a style blogger and influencer, I have the opportunity to try several different brands and styles of wireless bras made especially for large busts.  And most of them have been a bust. If they can lift my bust more than a centimeter, they lump my breasts into one weird mound, and sometimes also offer the perk of having one breast slip out the neckline if I choose to lie down on the couch or bend down to pick something up off the floor. But I have found some real winning wireless bras for large busts:

  1. Soma Embraceable Full Coverage Wireless Unlined Bra: I know, Soma again, but the brand really fits my bust shape well and I think they're well made, pretty, and at a reasonable price, especially for the quality.  I did a full review in this post where I rated it the best wireless bra for large busts.  I have this bra in Black and Adobe Rose, which is a beigey-mauve color that is close enough to my skin tone to not stand out under white tees.
  2. Evelyn & Bobbie Defy Bra: I did a detailed Evelyn & Bobbie review and spoiler alert, the only product from the brand I found truly great for my over-40 large bust was the Defy Bra. I now own three of these bras and love them for lounging, working from home, and even slipping under a tank for weekend errands.

My Favorite Sports Bras for Large Busts

If there isn't a lot of variety in my everyday bras, there is with my sports bras!  I always had one sports bra in my drawer but once I started going to a gym regularly in 2018, I had to up my sports bra game. And this is the category of bras that has changed the most since my original 2020 article.

I primarily used sports bras in 2020 for weight training and riding the Peloton bike. Since then, I have tried sculling and contemporary dance, taken up more hiking and kayaking, still enjoying my Peloton bike and Peloton workouts, and a lot of power walking outdoors and on my walking pad. These are my favorite sports bras for my large bust:

  1. Panache Full-Busted Underwire Sports Bra: When I originally wrote this list of bras, I didn't include this bra because I felt it was too heavy-duty for comfort and result. And now four years later, this is my absolute favorite sports bra for large busts. I can run in this bra, do dance and jumping in this bra, and it looks like a traditional sports bra so I can wear it solo with leggings and not look like I forgot to get dressed. They hold up great and they can easily be changed from standard to racerback. For those who wish for a broader size range, this link has plus sizes of the bra.
  2. Freya Sonic High Impact Underwire Sports Bra: This bra is so comfy and gives such great shape, I often wear it as an everyday bra when at home.  Unlike many sports bras, this one is underwire and has cups and design like a standard bra. For those who get chafing and irritation from standard bras in the summer, a sports bra like this is a good alternative, as it's made from moisture-wicking fabric.
a plus size model with long dark hair wearing a mauve colored bra designed for large busts

My Favorite Places to Shop Bras for Large Busts

As someone with large breasts, I find color and style selection limited at most department stores. While I will go in person for a professional bra fitting, I find I often do my bra shopping online where I find much more selection in my size. The places where I find the most success in regard to range of styles, sizes and colors:

  • Bare Necessities: For decades, Bare Necessities has been my go-to for an extensive range of beautiful and functional bras and swimwear for large busts. Extensive reviews, great selection, easy shipping and returns, and also a wonderful selection of shapewear, sleepwear, and undies.
  • Bravissimo: A UK company now available in the United States, Bravissimo focuses on bras and swimwear for large busts. Offering well-rated brands as well as their in-house label, I appreciate their virtual fittings, extensive customer reviews, and focus on style as well as functionality.
  • HerRoom: Like Bare Necessities, HerRoom has an amazingly extensive collection of bras and swimwear for large busts. Range of sizes, styles, and also prices, HerRoom offers extensive information about bras from their staff of bra fitters. I find this immensely helpful when trying to determine which bra to try. Orders over $75 ship free and HerRoom offers a prepaid return label for $7.50 and a 30-day return window.
  • Soma: As you can tell by my Soma archives, I am a fan of this intimates brand. I think they have some smart engineering for their bras and this is where I can often find more delicate and pretty bras that still give the lift and support I desire. Unlike many in-person stores, Soma has almost as extensive a size range in their stores as they do online.
  • Amazon: Love a certain bra? Search it on Amazon, and you can often find past season colors on clearance. I have found bras from Wacoal, Panache, Elomi, and Freya on Amazon for up to 80% off just because it is a now-discontinued color.
A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

Did you like what you just read?

Consider tapping here to buy me a coffee in thanks. The best gift you can give a content creator is the gift of sharing. Consider sharing this article on Facebook or Pinterest. Thank you so much for your support!

Similar Posts


  1. Allie,

    I have the unfortunate combination of wide shoulders, wide rib cage, not very large boobs, and am overweight. Finding a bra that has a large enough band size with a small enough cup size, B or C, is quite difficult. My Mom used to say that I am barrel chested like my grandfather. I think my Mom meant it as a compliment, that I look strong, which I am. But I didn’t take it as a compliment. I took it to mean that I was shaped like an old wooden wine barrel, which is not too far off. Anyway, it is a hell of a task to find a well fitting bra for this wine barrel! Picture it in your mind and you will understand what I mean. And if you get a laugh in the process, all the better.

    1. They weren’t my jam, but I know I am in the minority. I found the side support to hit in the wrong place and be incredibly uncomfortable and I didn’t think they offered enough separation for the shape I desire. It may be because I have a short torso?

  2. I love to see all those sexy bras in all the ads , but alas, they are not for me. I’m a 36DD and I have tried numerous bras but have found sports bras are the best for me. They hold me up and there is no jiggle going on.. Currently, I like Wacoal sports bra. They have a wide band a which helps prevent the bits under the arms from jiggling.

  3. I don’t know if PrimaDonna is a brand available in USA, but they make the most amazing and comfortable bras for large busts. I’m a 40I/J and they give great support and lift, amazing shape and they are beautiful and comes in so many colors and styles. They don’t dig into the sides, the straps stay put… it’s like my breasts are almost weightless! I love their soft full cup bras, they give me the best fit and shape. They are pricey, but SO worth it.

    I’ve had a few Freya and Fantasie bras when I was a smaller size, and honestly, they are great bras, but they don’t even come close to the quality and comfort of PrimaDonna. I can’t recommend them enough!

  4. Thank you Alison for your comprehensive list of underwire bras for fuller figures. I am 69, 5′ 3and 3/4″ tall and weigh135 pounds. I usually wear a size 6now since recent weight gain has pushed me out of the size 4s in my wardrobe. Though I mostly have a rectangle figure, I have a big bust. I wear a size 34 DDD bra. I asked for a gift certificate for new bras for Christmas. My darling husband complied. I had my first bra fitting in just about forever. It did confirm that I had been choosing the correct size, but finding the right fit was exhausting. I know I tried on at least two dozen different bras. Not all 34 DDDs are created equal! I was falling out the top in some, gapping at the top in others. I tried ordering some 34 DDDs online a year and a half ago and found that all of the bands were painfully tight. They left deep red marks. That’s the main reason I wanted a bra fitting. I thought perhaps that my at home measurements were just wrong. Turns out they were correct, it’s just the bras that I ordered (imho) were not really 34s.

    I am convinced that women who say they find underwire bras to be uncomfortable are just wearing a poor fit. If the band digs in, it does not fit you!! Maybe I am wrong – I do not carry much weight around my upper torso (it’s my stomach that always gets any extra weight that I gain – and women who are heavier in that area find that their extra curves cause underwires to dig in. But, I don’t really think that is the case. My 43 year old daughter is much larger than I. She’s 5′ 8″, 260 pounds, and a size 3X. She finds her underwire bras to be very comfortable. She likes the lift she gets from them and finds they really enhance her figure in a way that soft band bras do not.

    The next time I go bra shopping, I plan to try some of your suggestions. I do wish that there were some lower cost alternatives for those of us with bigger busts. I have gone shopping for bras at Kohls recently and did not find a single thing in my size. I talked to an associate who confirmed that the store never carries size 34DDD. I cannot understand why, since the size is supposedly the most common bra size in the U.S. Do you have any insights Alison into why some stores do not carry what is a very common size?

    1. I think it’s the same reason why the average woman in the US is a size 16 yet maybe 5% of stores in an American mall carry that size. Larger sizes take more skill to create because you can’t just grade them larger and smaller (hence you experiencing such issues with bras not fitting the way they should). The larger the part of the body, the more it needs a customized fit. Also add in a dash of fatphobia. Yes, bodies of all clothing sizes and weights have large busts, but bigger anything usually is equal to weight and folks don’t think larger bodies are willing to spend for a quality fit. For that reason, I think it’s a bit of chicken or egg… is it that bigger bodies won’t spend because they can’t afford or don’t feel they deserve it or think their body will change and it won’t be worth the price? Or is it because bigger bodies are so accustomed to poor fit and poor quality that they see no value in spending more for what will fit and wear just the same as a cheaper alternative? tl;dr I feel you and it’s frustrating!

  5. Hi Alison,

    Thank you for this useful post.

    Yes! To the comfort of underwire, & the need to replace every 6 months-ish.
    Like other commenters, bras are my single greatest annual wardrobe expense.

    In part this is because I have a small-ish rib cage relative to my cup and a deep breast. (32-34 F or G) Other readers of similar proportions might want to try Empreinte. If it fits you, it is hard to wear anything else. The quality is outstanding and you feel it in every detail. It is also very expensive,


    1. I appreciate your recommendation, Elizabeth. Thank you so much! I believe a quality bra can improve our entire wardrobe along with the relationship we have with our body. It is a sound investment!

  6. Just wanted you to know this post is still very relevant even though it’s one year later from original publish date. I am kind of a similar build as you, Alison, so I read your reviews with more validity than from others that have more narrow bodies. I’m 5′ 3.5″ tall, and have an apple shape with a flat behind. My 36DDD breasts are round in shape. Lately, I’m more interested in the wireless bras after years and years of wearing underwire bras. I guess I’m into wanting more comfort. I just purchased 2 of the Soma wireless bras after you did such a fabulous in-depth report on them! Thank you for that. My verdict is the same as yours … I’m liking them very much. The size I purchased was 36DDD and it’s a good fit. I need the cups to extend around to the sides under the arms and this bra style does that! Thanks again for ALL of your in-depth reviews. You’re so appreciated.

  7. For those asking about sleep bras and PJs, Bravissimo offers several styles. I haven’t tried them, but they look tempting! I purchased a bra and panties from them several months ago and even though the shipping was quite slow from the UK during quarantine, Bravissimo’s customer service and free returns were awesome. I got the Panache Clara bra (40F) and panties(L) in lilac and while the underwire isn’t the perfect shape for my breasts (Hello, teardrop that another commenter mentioned!), the overall shape, comfort and incredible beauty of the set make it my current favorite. I tend to get the best fit from Freya, Elomi, and Natori non-molded bras, with my most common size being 38 F (a G in US sizing). For reference, I’m 5’2 and wear 14/16 in bottoms and 16/18 in tops. I also read a LOT of lingerie blogs, especially those focused on full busts!

  8. In the interest of science and my need for new bras, I ordered a few different bras from Nordstrom, including the Fantasie bra Alison recommended and a Wacoal bra that looked promising (I’ve had good luck with Wacoal in the past). I ordered everything from a 38DDD to a 36 G – 6 different sizes of two different bras. What I discovered is this: breasts are definitely shaped differently and fit into particular bras in different ways. The same complaint I have with Soma bras is what I found with the Fantastie bra – it’s exactly what I’m looking for, except my breasts don’t quite fit correctly into the shape of the cup. I do much better with a cup that is more rounded than teardrop (that’s the best way I can describe it). This experiment has shown me that’s why I like Wacoal bras – the cup shape suits my breasts well. All of this to say – if you haven’t had as much luck with Soma bras or something like the Fantastie bra, try Wacoal! The bra I am buying is called the Wacoal Inside Edit Underwire Contour bra. 5 bras are headed back to Nordstrom, 3 more are on their way here as I want to be sure that the cup size is exactly right. Side note: this is a bit of an expensive endeavor on the ol’ Nordstrom card, haha!

  9. I, too, prefer a molded cup underwire bra. I am somewhere in the neighborhood of a 36-38 F-G depending on the bra, and I’m not someone that rips off my bra as soon as I am home each day. It’s far more comfortable for me to be in a well fitting underwire! Thanks for these recommendations, I’m going to give the Fantasie bra you have listed first a go. Soma bras don’t fit me well, no matter how many I try – my breasts seem to be the wrong shape for the cups – so I may run into a problem with the Fantasie one as well, who knows.

  10. Fantasie is definitely my favorite. I prefer the smoothing seamless balcony, which is basically the same as the one you prefer, but without the molded cups, which are shaped wrong for me. Super comfortable, I like the shape it gives, and it’s basically invisible under clothing.

  11. Hi Alison, thanks for your post. I love the Wacoal sports bra and underwear I got from Soma, fit like glove and so comfortable, but their house brand bras do not fit me at all (34 ddd) for some reason. I have tried 5-6 including the full coverage wireless, your fave, disaster on me. I find their sizing odd. Thankful for their good customer service policy, especially during Covid.

    1. I don’t think Soma is for everyone, a few commenters below feel the same. I’m glad to hear you too have had good customer service with them during this time!

  12. I’m with you that wireless bras are a not my thing — but I do enjoy the Evelyn & Bobbie Beyond Bra. Great at home or on long flights (when one used to do that sort of thing), though I wouldn’t count on it under something fitted or in a professional setting. The bottom band is wide and very comfortable. My current favorite is the Panache Envy that I astoundingly found on sale in my size (36H)

  13. Thanks to you I have found my new favorite bra via Soma, the 34DD unlined lace trim bra in light nude. I don’t like molded cups personally so this has been a great discovery. For sports bras, I saw an interview with one of my heroes, Serena Williams, where she stated that she discovered Berlei sports bras in Australia and would buy them in bulk. I found them on an Australian website (https://www.curvy.com.au/pages/search-results?q=berlei+sports+bra) that does free shipping over $99 and they often offer sales. Not cheap but might be another spot for your readers to check out. Have a great weekend!

  14. I took my daughter to Torrid to get her very first bra fitting – pre-COVID-19 (we had been in the store before, and she really likes the clothes there), and I decided to also get a bra fitting. To my complete surprise, I am a 44D. All of my bras at home were DDD or F with a 46 band size. I have found the 360 degrees lightly lined t-shirt bras to be the most comfortable bras I’ve ever worn, and I now have about 8 of them in different colors. At first I was skeptical, because the straps are stretchy, but because the bras fits so well, the straps are not really needed for support. Anyway, just wanted to mention Torrid as an option. As soon as the brick and mortar store nearest us re-opens and it is safe to do so, I want to have my other daughter fitted there.

      1. ahaha, of course! Story of my life, lol. I’m also the girl who always seems to fall in love with a lipstick color or shadow that gets discontinued the very next week.

        1. LOL this happens with every stock photo I use, you’re not the only one! I even tried to find the simplest bra that wasn’t on a tiny person and didn’t look like she was trying to seduce me. Harder to find than you would think! The color does remind me of Adobe Rose at Soma but they don’t have that pretty strap detail.

          1. Hahaha, right?! I wonder how much market research they do on bra photos. Like, is there some study that says, “Okay, bras sell best to other women with that come-hither look.”

            I love that Adobe Rose color at Soma, too. Just bought a couple bras from them in that color a couple weeks ago in fact!

  15. So helpful! Thanks for addressing this area more completely. I too would love to find sleepwear with bust support (I’m a 38G). I enjoying changing into my jammies for the evening, but don’t feel comfortable without support.

    1. I hear you, I often, especially in the summer, just wear a wireless bra with pajama pants. Every top I’ve tried with bust support has been a joke for my chest size. I’ll keep searching!

      1. Just seconding (or thirding) this request for a bra to wear at night. I have some tanks with built in support which minimize the boob slippage and movement, but I would pay good money for something that worked for us larger busted gals. None of the Soma Enbliss ones worked at all. Like you said, boobs popping out all over the place. Yikes!

        Thanks for your usual well researched and engagingly presented post. I appreciate the work that goes into it. And I’m about your size and share your preferences. I’m kind of stuck on a Wacoal minimizer that I wear. Because my breasts are two cup sizes different, I find it evens that out the best. Have you ever tried/reviewed minimizer styles?

        Enjoy the weekend!

  16. Thank you so much for indicating that you replace your bras every six to eight months! My single largest clothing line item is bras, and that’s with annual replacement, but I start hating my bras about 7 months in. This makes me feel like maybe there’s a reason and it’s okay to want a new one because they just get worn out.

    1. They really do. When you think how they are against hot skin, they rub against skin and fabric, they’re made of delicate fabrics, are laundered so often and put on in a way that they are stretching even when you’re not… there’s no way they can hold up longer than that. It’s an investment but gosh it feels so much more comfortable!

  17. First time commenter, long time reader here. I really like the natori bliss perfection underwire bra. I’m 5’3”, 140 lbs. and have a small rib cage but larger waist and breasts (32ddd). This bra offers support, coverage, lift and comfort. Plus it comes in a dark brown shade (nude for me)!

    1. Thank you so much Liz for sharing this! I haven’t tried Natori in a while, but have always liked the brand. And three cheers for brands that offer non-beige skintones in intimates!

  18. I’m a 36G and I wish that Soma’s bras fit me. I spill out of the underwire cups. But that wire free bra is my jam. I agree that I’m more comfy in an underwire. And a bra with good support makes all the difference in how I feel. I’ve had fantastic luck with Wacoal Basic Beauty Contour T-shirt bra. Alas, I’ve given up on strapless bras.

    1. I’m glad you mentioned that Soma doesn’t fit you because me too! I have narrow shoulders but big boobs, and Soma bra straps always slip. Unfortunate because their bras are so pretty! The whole balconette trend had been bad for those of us with no shoulders because even full coverage bras seem to be built wider than in the past. Since I’m work from home now, (thanks COVID) I’ve been trying out some Glamorise no wire Bras. Not perfect, but they’re comfortable, affordable and perfect for my current uber casual life

    2. And I keep trying Wacoal over and over and the only bras of theirs that work for me are their sports bras! I think this is such an important discussion because while we may wear a similar clothing size or style, we all have different body shapes and it shows the most in our bust! Thank you for sharing your favorite!

  19. I prefer a bra and brief to match, and have had most success with the Elomi Amelia brief and bra. With. Size 38FF bust and a size 3x brief, matching sets that will disappear under a tee or a sweater, yet still offer support, are difficult to find. The briefs work best under mid to high rise pants, but since I always wear a tank under a lighter layer it’s not really an issue. Now trying to find sleepwear with bust support. Any tips? Checking out Soma soon. Thank you for the great recommendations!

    1. That’s my favorite bra too! I’m a 40ff and short waisted and it’s the only one where the band doesn’t drive me crazy. I also recently tried the Elomi Charley which is a very similar shape and cup as the Amelia, but available in more colors.

      Thanks Alison for this post, very helpful!

    2. All the sleepwear with support I’ve found don’t do squat for my bust because the straps are too stretchy and soft. I’ve tried a few brands of tanks for large busts and they too have been a bust. I often sleep in my wireless bra with a pair of pajama pants.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *