Recommendations for strapless bras in larger sizes?
April 15, 2010 11:32 AM   Subscribe

Advice on good supportive strapless and halter bras in larger sizes?

Does anyone have any recommendations (personal experience appreciated!) for really supportive strapless bras for women in larger sizes? I'm a 38DD and I have some events coming up for which I need to wear a strapless dress and I would be much happier with a really good, supportive and comfortable strapless bra. I also have some cute halter tops I'd like to wear, but I don't have any bras to go with them (I'd be happy to get a halter bra as well as a strapless bra if such a thing would be possible). Ideally I'd like to buy things on-line though I'll go to a store if necessary. Thanks!
posted by anonymous to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (15 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Ditto on the size. I think perahps you (we) would be better served by a corset? I think what is needed is full body support along with the "girls'. Strapless bras never quite did that and it makes you look like they're down to the knees.
posted by stormpooper at 11:38 AM on April 15, 2010

I don't have a brand to recommend, but in my experience if you want something really supportive and strapless you are going to want something with a lot of boning that goes down to your waist. Anything less structured is going to be fiddly and distracting, and the last thing you want is to be always pulling it up every few minutes.

I didn't have any luck online; I had to go to a couple of different department stores with big bra sections (if you're in the US, Nordstrom and Macy's, for example) and pull out every strapless bra in my size and try them all on. Do check the return policy, because the real test is how the bra works with the dress, so either bring the dress with you, if you can, or be prepared to return stuff.
posted by ambrosia at 11:40 AM on April 15, 2010

I would suggest going to some kind of bridal retailer and seeing if they can help you--they sell strapless bras and are used to working with women of all sizes, so if they don't sell what you need, they might have a pretty good idea of where you should go to get it. Good luck!
posted by epj at 11:49 AM on April 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

I think you really must go somewhere in person, even if you don't buy it there. Believe me, I know how spendy it can get!

Seconding the bridal people, as well as Nordstroms. Nordstroms has a fantastic selection; the Macys in my area has nothing. Brands I'd recommend include Goddess and Fayreform (although I don't know if the latter does strapless).

The Goddess bustier thingy I bought for my wedding had a wire that went nearly 3/4 of the way around my boobs. Looked a little weird, didn't feel bad.
posted by Madamina at 12:06 PM on April 15, 2010

In terms of mail-order, I have ordered from Bravissimo and been incredibly impressed, especially since they are shipping overseas. (I'm in US, they're in UK.) Do your measurements from scratch based on their instructions - you may find you're a different size than you think - and order with confidence. I've never ordered a dud from them. They're expensive, but worth every penny.

The thing is, with bras, it really is better to try them on if you can. Everyone talks about Nordstrom for buying bras because the fitters are top-notch, and everyone is right. Take your girls to Nordstrom for a good fitting and an expert bra personal shopper who will pick out styles to suit your size but also your shape. I've since learned that certain brands fit me better than others because of the actual shape of my boobs - I have a lot of tissue that extends to the armpit area, and some brands accommodate better than others.

If you can reply via a mod with your location (in the world) I bet you'll get a lot more help!
posted by juniperesque at 12:07 PM on April 15, 2010

I was just about that size (38DD) when I got married close to four years ago, and had a difficult search for a strapless, supportive bra. You definitely want a corset style with boning, otherwise there's nothing to hold the girls up. I couldn't find anything at big department stores, but did end up finding three good options. The first I bought at the shop that did my dress alterations (in San Jose, CA), the second from Frederick's of Hollywood, and the third from online retailer Lauren Silva. Search those sites for bridal/strapless/corset and see if you find anything. If there's a Frederick's near you, it's definitely worth it to go try on.

Looking at what I bought, aside from the Frederick's brand, the other two (from the bridal alteration shop and Lauren Silva) are Goddess Lingerie and Felina Lingerie. Not sure which is from what store, but the brands each have their own site anyway. Also, to try in person I second the suggestion to go to bridal shops, although the one I bought my dress at only had those types of strapless with no boning, which did absolutely nothing for me.

Hope that helps, and best of luck!
posted by JenMarie at 12:18 PM on April 15, 2010

I don't normally like Lane Bryant, but I got a great convertible bra (40DD) from them a few years back that I'm still wearing. It can be worn strapless or halter. I have a long-line strapless but it also has a low-cut back and isn't actually very supportive.

I think the key is to check inside the bra for a clear "grippy" elastic band. That will help a lot.

Another option (if you're into dresses) would be a control slip in a strapless or halter style.
posted by JoanArkham at 12:23 PM on April 15, 2010

Longline bra, I would think, as others have said, and Wacoal (available at Macy's, if nowhere else) is my brand of choice. If there is an Intimacy near you, they are also awesome.
posted by Medieval Maven at 12:32 PM on April 15, 2010

I asked this question last summer and got some fantastic suggestions. I'm also a 38DD - I ended up wearing a strapless bra and the girls spent the day trying to escape.

So...nthing a longline bra or corset.
posted by futureisunwritten at 1:14 PM on April 15, 2010

I'm bigger (G) and tried to find something cheap - no go. I finally walked into Nordstrom, found a lady and said "what strapless bras do you have in my size?" There were only two options but that's more than any other physical stores aside from the fancy bra boutiques.

Bring your dress in with you to try on with the bras. One of the ones I tried was too high and showed over the top over my dress even though it fit well otherwise. I also got clear straps to go with it just in case. I wore it for 13 hours at a wedding and it stayed up but a corset would have been even more supportive. However, I can't imagine wearing a corset under everyday clothes or halters. Good luck!
posted by Bunglegirl at 1:15 PM on April 15, 2010

Get thee to Nordstrom's.
posted by bluedaisy at 1:18 PM on April 15, 2010

Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless.

I'm a 32FF and I'd basically given up on bras until I found this. I wear mine literally all the time, it's super comfy, gives me lift and never, ever, ever moves.

It does have quite a wide band under the arms, FWIW, which can peep through depending on low your top's armholes are - but I usually just whack on some toupee tape and hope for the best.

Seriously. If they don't sell these where you are, mail order.

I'm not affilated, just a massively (boobed) relieved girl :)
posted by citands at 1:21 PM on April 15, 2010

I just bought this bra from Victoria's Secret in a 38D (but they have your size as well). It's a decent strapless bra (or halter bra, as most strapless bras can also be) though it does slide down a little. Unlike most strapless bras, however, it is an excellent bra when worn with the straps.

Good luck!
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 1:29 PM on April 15, 2010

Brastop has gotten a lot of my money over the past two years. I swear the UK is the Holy Land of bras.
posted by emeiji at 1:39 PM on April 15, 2010

Seconding going to Nordstrom's or, better yet, a speciality lingerie store. For what it's worth I have had very good luck with this bra (Fantasie brand, if the link doesn't work).
posted by posadnitsa at 2:00 PM on April 15, 2010

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