For ladies blessed with a fuller bust, finding a properly fitted bra can seem downright impossible at times. Standard bra sizes simply don’t cut it when you require an H cup, HH cup, or larger. But having an ample breast size doesn’t mean you have to settle for poor fit, lack of support, straps that dig in, and constant adjusting throughout the day. This guide will walk you through finding your ideal bra when you need a larger cup size.
Understanding Bra Sizing for Larger Busts
Bra sizing can be confusing to begin with, and brands vary in their cup progression as the sizes increase. Here’s a quick primer on how H cup and larger bra sizes work:
- H cups indicate a 7 inch difference between the underbust and bust measurements. So a 34H has a 34 inch band size and a 41 inch bust measurement.
- After H cups come HH, indicating an 8 inch difference between band and bust.
- J, JJ, K, KK, and L cups progress in the same manner, each adding another incremental inch to the bust measurement.
- Cup sizes above a UK H are hard to find at average lingerie stores. Specialty retailers offer extended sizes.
- Women with small frames and large busts may find a better fit with a 30 or 28 band paired with larger cups above a G.
- Larger ladies may require cup sizes over H paired with larger 38, 40, 42, 44 or 46 bands.
Knowing what cup sizes correlate to your breast measurement differences helps immensely when seeking out bras. Never be afraid to try band and cup combinations that seem improbable at first glance. Fit trumps conventional sizing every time.
Measuring Properly for H Cups and Above
Taking accurate measurements is crucial when you have a larger bust. Use these steps for precision:
- Put on a non-padded, well-fitting bra (not sports bra) to take measurements over.
- Use a soft measuring tape to measure underbust just below breasts and bust across fullest part.
- Take measurements standing with arms down and also bent at 90 degrees to get fullest bust size.
- Exhale and relax shoulders during measuring. Redo if tape feels too tight.
- For underbust, measure closely under breasts without squashing tissue. Round to nearest whole inch.
- Calculate cup size by subtracting band size from bust measurement. Round up fractions.
- Try calculated size. Make adjustments up or down in cup size and band as needed for ideal fit.
Indicators of Proper and Improper Bra Fit
Assessing bra fit goes beyond simply strapping on a few options in your latest calculated size. Watch for these signs of proper and poor fit:
Good fit indicators:
- Band feels snug without pinching or bulging. Should allow 2 finger width.
- Cups fully encase breasts without overflow, gapping, or wrinkling.
- Underwires follow the curve of breast crease without sitting on tissue.
- Straps sit straight without digging in. Adjust to lift breasts into cups as needed.
- No bulging above, below or sides of cups.
Poor fit indicators:
- Bra constantly rides up back – needs tighter band.
- Breasts spill over cups or quad-boob at top. Go up cup sizes.
- Gaping above cups indicates too large of band size.
- Underwires poke breast tissue instead of encircling.
- Shoulder grooves from straps indicate too small of cups.
Really scrutinise fit and be honest with yourself about what needs adjusting for your perfect fit. Don’t just settle on the first H cup or larger bra you try.
Bra Styles to Suit Fuller Bust Shapes and Sizes
With an H cup or above, certain bra styles lift and support better than others. Focus your search on these options:
Full coverage bras
Look for full cups with sturdy fabric, underwire, wide straps and back band, and cushioned support. Full coverage evenly encases large busts.
Underwire lifts breasts up and in to prevent sagging and enhance cleavage. But ensure underwire follows breast crease smoothly.
Minimisers compress breasts against the chest to appear smaller in clothing. Great for button-up shirts.
Front close bras
Bras that close at the front with hooks rather than the back provide additional support and lift. Easy to fasten yourself.
Supportive sports bras
High impact sports bras compress breasts to prevent intense bounce during running and activity. Racerback and pullover compression styles work best for larger busts.
Bra Shopping Tips for H Cups and Above
Shopping for bras above an H cup requires perseverance and know-how. Use these tips:
- Seek out lingerie shops specialising in full busts and extended sizes. Rigby & Peller, Bravissimo, and Curvy Kate cater to ample busts.
- Try both smaller bands with larger cups (like 30HH) and larger bands with same cups (36H) to find the best proportions.
- When trying bras, hook on the loosest setting so the band doesn’t immediately overstretch.
- Look for seamed, moulded cups with sturdy fabric and support. Avoid flimsy bras.
- Purchase bra accessory products to enhance fit, such as tightening straps and back bands.
- Invest in bra fit specialists for private, in-depth fittings and access to hard-to-find sizes.
- Order multiple cup and band size combinations online when possible to find ideal fit.
- Read reviews from other full busted women to identify bras known to cater well to ample curves.
Getting Professionally Fitted for Larger Cup Sizes
Getting measured and fitted by a bra expert provides invaluable insight when needing extended sizes. Seek out these services:
Specialty lingerie shops
Shops devoted to fuller busts have associates highly experienced in large cup bra fitting. They carry inventory on site in expanded sizes for you to try.
Department store fitters
Even if the store doesn’t stock your H+ cup size, the fitters can measure you and order bras in the correct size. M&S offer certified bra fitting experts.
Independent bra fit specialists work with you one-on-one to determine size and source bras customised to your shape and needs. Some make house calls for personalised service.
Bra manufacturer’s fitting services
Some prominent bra brands like Panache, Freya, and Curvy Kate offer digital or in-person bra fitting appointments to help you get the perfect fit.
Online fitting questionnaires
Websites like Bare Necessities have bra fit quizzes covering size calculations, breast shape, fit issues, and lifestyle. The recommendations point you to appropriate bras.
Caring for Larger Cup Size Bras
Full busted women require bras with maximum support. Follow these care tips to extend their lifespan:
- Hand wash bras in cool water using gentle soap. Never machine wash or tumble dry.
- Reshape cups while the bra is damp and allow it to fully air dry before wearing again. Improper drying can distort cups.
- Do not fold cups inwards to store. Keep cups supported in original or close to original shape.
- Unhook straps during storage to prevent permanent stretching from the weight of heavy breasts.
- Avoid wearing the same bra multiple days in a row to prevent overstretching supportive bands.
- Check for fraying, broken stitches, kinks in underwire, and stretching as signs to replace the bra.
For UK women with H cups, HH, J, K and larger cup sizes, finding perfectly fitted, supportive, beautiful bras is challenging but very possible. Arm yourself with proper measurement techniques, knowledge of bra styles suited for fuller figures, and expert fit assistance. With some persistence and patience, you’ll unlock the secrets to enhancing your curves and feeling fabulous.