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plus size padded bras

Shopping for unlined wire bras, padded bras, and bralettes can be challenging. In this guide, we’re sharing everything you need to know to find the perfect fit.

How to find the perfect unlined wire bra

unlined demi bra

Romina Unlined Wire Bra P5522 | Romina Hipster P5525 in Black

Some of the most beautiful bras are unlined wire bras. This stunning style can be worn year-round and shows off your natural shape. When shopping for the perfect unlined wire bra, focus on finding a bra with a snug band, cups that completely contain your breast tissue, multiple hooks so you can adjust the bra band as it stretches, and adjustable straps.

Most unlined wire bras are banded and designed with little to no stretch in the cups. The rigid design helps to keep breast tissue lifted and in place. The Enora Minimizer Bra is a great example of an unlined wire bra with rigid cups as minimizer bras rely on their construction to readjust breast tissue and visually decrease the bustline by an inch or more.

Related: Unlined vs Lined: What’s The Difference Between Unlined and Lined Bras?

How to find the perfect padded bra

best padded bra

Charlotte Padded Bra 6901 | Charlotte Bikini 6905 in True Nude

When shopping for the perfect padded bra, it really depends on the look you’re trying to achieve. If you want to get the most lift and enhance your cleavage, a demi bra, push-up bra, or plunge bra is just what you need. The low cut fit of a demi bra creates somewhat of a shelf-like appearance for your bust – lifting your breast tissue from the bottom up to provide an enhanced shape. Push-up bras have either attached or removable padding carefully sewn or molded into their bra cups to lift and center cleavage for a full look. Plunge bras work for a multitude of breast shapes and feature a low plunging neckline for a sexy look. Plunge bras may or may not have push-up padding in the cups (most don’t need because of the way they’re cut).

Contrary to popular belief, the right padded bra won’t add bulk to your bust. To avoid adding an extra inch or two, look for a lightly moulded bra with thin cups, like the Matilda Contour Plunge Bra. This style will smooth and lift your shape without increasing your bustline, like a push-up bra or heavily padded bra would. Also, consider a bandless padded bra if you notice discomfort along the band, cups, or center front of your current bra. A bandless style, like the Tess T-Shirt Bra, is designed to support your bust without digging into your chest or rib cage. It will also stay in place when you’re moving around or sitting down.

Related: How To Define Your Lingerie Style

How find the perfect bralette

where to buy bralettes

Adriana Lace Bralette P5482 | Adriana Bikini P5483 in Black

Without a doubt, bralettes are here to stay. We love the wireless fit and comfort that a bralette provides. They’re an easy breezy alternative to unlined wire bras and padded bras and they can be styled with sheer shirts, comfy tanks, and open back tops – making it easier for women with D, DD, and DDD+ cup sizes to get light weight support under their open back and low back tops and dresses. When shopping for bralettes, pay close attention to the overall design. Full busts will benefit from a bra-cup sized bralette, like the Adriana Lace Bralette, for maximum support.

With any bralette style, a wide bra band in a minimal stretch fabric will help to keep the bralette in place and provide a little lift. Seamed cups are ideal for bralettes as they are designed to shape the bust for a flattering look, since their wire-free cups lack underwire for shaping. Of course, you could always choose a beautiful bralette in a less than supportive fabric and wear a bra underneath, but that kind of defeats the purpose. Instead, seek out sturdy bands, structured seamed cups, and high-quality fabrics and you’ll have a bralette that you’ll wear and love for years to come.

Related: How To Wear Bralettes and Unlined Bras

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!

Featured image lingerie:
Charlotte Padded Bra 6901 | Charlotte Bikini 6905 in Bronze
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Published by

Katie Donnelly

Katie Donnelly is a full-time freelance writer, content manager, and founder of Katie Rose Creative. An experienced bra fitter, Katie has helped hundreds of people shop for lingerie. Her favorite bra is the Sandrine Plunge Longline Bra.

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