The Best Bras For Busty Women

    the strapless smackdown

    by nylon · July 13, 2015

    Photographed by Lauren Perlstein

    We all know what makes up summer fashion: Low-slung shirts and tubetops, strapless wedding-attendee dresses, halter tops, and other skimpy bits of cloth without proper shoulders to hide bra straps. It's perfect for a warm day—unless you are a woman who has anything above a size B, that is. Every busty gal has had her share of stress, from having a dress fit your waist but stop short right at the ribs, or the limited selection of special-occasion looks. (Hey, that backless, floorlength number might be dramatic, but it just won't work if you need your support.) So we took four women, all of whom have had their own struggles with finding strapless bras that don't feel flimsy, and gave them some cutting-edge boob technology. Or, in other words, bras that promised something different. Here's how it went down: 

    Photo by Lauren Perlstein

    Georgia, 34D.

    Heidi Klum Intimates, Nude strapless full cup bra, $44, available at Heidi Klum Intimates.

    Photos by Lauren Perlstein

    I felt very: Supported. Personally, I'm not into beige lingerie because I think lingerie shouldn't be hidden or made to "blend in." But I certainly didn't feel like this bra was slipping, or that my boobs were just hanging willie-nillie! The cup was also big enough for my whole boob and didn't give me that weird double-boob crease or shelf situation. You know what I'm talking about...
     
    The best and worst part: The best part is that it felt supportive and comfortable! The worst was that it looked too functional. I like my bras with a little more pizazz. Just because I need coverage doesn't mean I want something boring.
     
    Bottom line: Based on the way it looks, I don't think I would have bought it on my own. But I'm happy to have it now, and will most likely wear it. I'll probably just add some rhinstones!

    ASOS, Crop Top with Wrap Front, $22, available at ASOS.

    Photo by Lauren Perlstein

    Maricia, 36DD

    Maidenform, Pure Genius Sexy Plunge Bra, $41.99, available at Maidenform.

    Photos by Lauren Perlstein

    I felt very: Comfortable—which is rare. Ever since I can remember, I've hated bra shopping. While everyone pranced around with their small chests and pretty training bras, I was stuck with the womanly bras and the bigger chest. Undoubtedly, a preteen's worst nightmare. Years later, I could never quite find a good fit, especially when it came to wearing clothing with deep necklines. From V-neck tees to dresses with daring, low-cut sillhouettes, all hope was lost. There aren't many bras that plunge but also properly support 36Ds like mine. However, this one finally did the trick, and I've never felt better in a bra. It was a pleasant surprise that reassured me I can find a great bra.
     
    The best and worst part: The best part about the bra was the snug fit on and around my back and shoulders. The material was soft and not too stiff. I also loved the way it really supported my chest as advertised. Worst part? I would've liked the plunge to have less open space. It was a tad bit too wide, which can result in an unwanted wardrobe malfunction. 
     
    Bottom line: I'm a new and dedicated fan of this bra. This was the first time I didn't want to completely cover my chest up to my collarbone in years. I'm born again, to say the very least. Bring on the Pure Genius Sexy Plunge Bras—in abundance, please.

     

    CF. Goldman, v-neck shirt, price upon request, available at CF. Goldman.

    Photo by Lauren Perlstein

    Leila, 32C

    Whisper, Braza whisper bra, $13, available at Ricky's NYC.

    Photos by Lauren Perlstein

    I felt very: Weird. Look, I know there are girls out there with bigger breasts than me (and this photo doesn't do my situation justice), but given my size, my boobs have always prohibited what I've worn and also how I've lived my life. (The idea of going braless is a terrifying one to me—I simply cannot. It would be totally ungainly.) So, wearing these Band-Aid-type things was pretty darn strange. I didn't feel like I was totally nips out and I didn't feel like I wasn't wearing a bra, but I felt like I was going free with stickers on my boobs.
     
    The best and worst part: The best part was the fact that, without a bra on, I suddenly started dreaming about all of the things I could think about wearing. A tube top? A backless dress? A Rihanna-style tuxedo jacket with nothing underneath? The possibilities, generally limited to me, were endless. The worst part was the fact that these didn't provide very much support. I bet for a girl with less of a chest it might provide slight support, but for me it felt like, um, a sticky hat. (Ew. I just grossed myself out.) 
     
    Bottom line: I wanted to like this. I really did. And I might wear it with a dress with a built-in bra for extra support, but solo was a no-go for me.

     

    TOP: Topshop, Ruffled Tie-back Cropped Cami, $40, available at Topshop, SHORTS: ASOS, Denim high waisted Wide Leg Shorts, $37.50, available at ASOS.

    Photo by Lauren Perlstein

    Marissa, 34D.

    Maidenform, Combo Wing Push-up Bra, $34, available at Maidenform.

    Photos by Lauren Perlstein

     I felt very: I felt pretty unsecure in the bra. Although it stuck, I felt that the cups didn’t fit properly, and for that, I felt that the whole bra didn’t fit right in general.

    The best and worst part: It’s strapless and nude, and instead of having a back, it has two sides that stick to your skin to hold the bra up. The idea of my bra is great—ideal even. The best part is that it does work, you do have a free back to wear more-revealing tops. The worst part is the sticky sides—they hurt when you take them off. Unfortunately, it left my skin red and irritated, which is a bit of a bummer because like I said, this is a really ideal bra shape and type. If it had been a bit more gentle, I probably would have liked it more.

    Bottom line: If I was desperate to wear a backless shirt and really needed a bra, I would probably wear it again and suffer through the pain. But that’s like if I was in extreme circumstances. If you’re looking for a one-time-only bra for a certain event or occasion, I think you could make this work, but to wear all the time, probably not.

    SHIRT: ASOS, Open Back White Shirt, $57, available at ASOS; SHORTS: ASOS, Shorts in Spot, $37.50, available at ASOS.

    Tags: fashion
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