Plus Size Bras and Lingerie


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What is a Plus Size Bra?

When someone refers to "Plus size" bras or lingerie have you ever wondered exactly what they mean?

The term Plus Size Bra is regularly used by the media, for example, when recommending a particular bra or lingerie retailer to women.

But what are they actually recommending and who are they recommending it to?

On the one hand they could be talking about lingerie for women who consider themselves to be generally "plus size" - they wear plus size clothes, so doesn't it follow that they will wear plus size bras?

Well, if a plus size bra is one with a big back size (e.g. 42 and above), regardless of cup size, then their assumption is accurate.

But, on the other hand, they could be using plus size bras to mean bras in bigger cup sizes - which as thousands of you will know are worn by women of all dress sizes. big boobs are certainly not the exclusive domain of plus size women.

In this case, the term plus size bra just doesn't seem to fit the bill!

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Most lingerie stores provide a service for big boobed women with average sized bodies (generally in UK sizes 8-18).

This is why you will never find us referring to the bras we stock as plus size bras, because having big boobs doesn't make you plus size.

In fact, it makes you totally normal - we estimate that around 50% of women should be wearing a D cup or above and, with around 80% of women wearing the wrong size bra (the most common mistakes being to wear a back size that's too big and a cup size that's too small) we believe the actual average bra size is more likely to be around 34E than the often quoted 36C. (same average bra size in the UK)

When shopping online you are able to shop in a very similar fashion to how you would in a regular store, lingerie is arranged in categories which means if you know what you want you can go straight there with just a click of your mouse.

Designing bras in big cup sizes is a huge technical challenge - and the challenges of making or selling big cup size bras for average size women (wearing 28-40 back sizes) and plus size women are different.

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Throw Away Your Tape Measures!

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If you are unsure of your bra size and would like some fitting advice, personnel at the lingerie stores are usually fully trained bra fitters and can give you advice over the phone about fitting and the bras they stock.

They are also able to provide you with details of stockists of bras in 42 back sizes and above - whatever your cup size.

For many women, past experiences in trying to find the right bra size have meant hunting down a tape measure and measuring themselves - taking over and under bust measurements, adding or subtracting another number, working out the difference between two other numbers and then, hey presto, ending up with a bra size.

Lingerie stores' years of experience of working with you to find your perfectly fitting bra means they believe that tape measures don't help when it comes to finding a bra that fits properly.

Every woman's boobs vary in volume, shape, size and spacing and these are all factors in getting the right size.

The volume of your boobs may be more at the bottom, sides or top, and this will affect the size you need to ensure you look great and feel comfortable.

If you take a number of women with identical over and under bust measurements, our experience shows the bras that actually fit them may all be different sizes.

This is why we suggest you forget about measuring yourself and concentrate instead on how your bra looks and feels.

You may find trying a bra on in front of a mirror helps you to really see which areas are right and which may need some adjusting.

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Getting the perfect fit

The strap should be firm around your body

The strap around your body should be firm but comfortable. Most of the support actually comes from around the back so if this is too big the bra will not support you.

The strap should be horizontal at the back

When you stand side on at a mirror, the strap that runs around your body should be horizontal and should not ride up at the back at all.

You can run two fingers under the band

You should be able to comfortably get two fingers underneath the band of the bra all around and also at the sides of the bra underneath the arms.

Flat wires at the front

The wires at the front should lie flat against your rib cage and should not dig in, rub or poke out at the front.

About "Wires" you should remember that it's always better to avoid the bras that have wires as supporting. These wires apparently are causing or conducting to some illness such as cancer. Not confirmed yet, but, if you can avoid them, just do it.

Your boobs should be enclosed in the cup with no wrinkling of fabric
Your boobs should be enclosed in the cup and you should have a smooth line where the fabric at the top of the cup ends and meets your bust. When you lift your arms, your boobs should remain enclosed in the cup.

Your boobs don't bulge over top or side of the cups (even in a balconette or plunge bra)
You shouldn't have any ridge or bulging over the top or sides of the cups, even if you are wearing a lower cut style bra.

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