Push my boobs in and up.
November 3, 2007 11:47 AM   Subscribe

Help a girl get cleavage!

I am a large woman: 5'4, around 200#. I have large breasts. 38DD/E. I have very comfortable work bras. They sort of separate my breasts, though - the underwire goes all the way around - and my boyfriend recently commented that he'd like to see them "more together". I'd like a bra that will push my breasts up and together, to create the "cleavage" look. I've tried a couple different kinds of bras for this effect, and while they push my breasts together, they also deform them - the material of the bra seems to cut across the middle of the breast and create a funny shape. What kind of bra do I need? I'm willing to spend up to $100. Going to a fancy shop is not possible where I live, so something online would be helpful. Thanks in advance!
posted by anonymous to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (24 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Hrm. If the breast is overflowing the cups (i.e. double boob syndrome), you might try the same style that's pushing them together like you want, only in a larger cup?

Sucks you can't try them on before buying though. Aw hell, who am I trying to kid? Bra-shopping sucks, period.
posted by Stewriffic at 11:54 AM on November 3, 2007

Check out Lane Bryant. They do bra fittings in the store.
posted by WaterSprite at 12:02 PM on November 3, 2007

I wish I could suggest a particular bra, but alas, I don't have the rack for legitimate experience with this.

However, Bravissimo has great bras in Ds and up. The site is great because they use the same group of models, so you can compare the way one woman's breasts look in different bras. Compare and contrast those two, for example; I think the 2nd option may be along the lines of what you're looking for.

I think you can also find the manufacturer in the URL, also, for local shopping or online bargain hunting; contestant #2 seems to be by Gossard.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:02 PM on November 3, 2007

You'll be wanting this balconette bra from Lane Bryant. It does great cleavage.
posted by Addlepated at 12:04 PM on November 3, 2007

Have you tried getting fitted? A remarkable number of women wear bras that don't fit correctly. This can cause back problems and general discomfort, and won't be as flattering. My girlfriend was incredulous about getting fitted for a bra (after all they're her breasts, right?) but she was amazed at the difference it made, comfort-wise, and the fitted bras she got were much more flattering. The woman who fits you will likely have suggestions for "work" bras versus "date" bras.
posted by lekvar at 12:13 PM on November 3, 2007

Go get a good bra fitting. You don't say where you live, so I can't recommend any stores, but I've known a number of women that thought they knew exactly what size they were, then they had the occasion to get a bra fitted professionally (for a wedding usually) and lo and behold, everything was different.

And especially for someone that has a larger chest and breasts, I'd also look into bustiers and corsets. Probably not for everyday wear, but if your boyfriend likes the beer wench look, it can be a great investment in comfort and style.
posted by afflatus at 12:15 PM on November 3, 2007

I'm a big fan of this bra: http://lanebryant.charmingshoppes.com/pagebuilder/lane_bryant_product_page?item=7575574&pagesize=3

It gives great cleavage and it comes with little removable air pouches if you require extra lift.
posted by wuzandfuzz at 12:19 PM on November 3, 2007

the material of the bra seems to cut across the middle of the breast

If this is the top edge of the bra pushing into your breast, the bra is too small. Try a bigger band size and/or cup size. You might not wear the same size in different types of bras.
posted by yohko at 12:45 PM on November 3, 2007

Even JC Penney does fittings. Also if there is an outlet mall anywhere nearby, the Bali outlet will happily fit you (My limited experience is that Bali does some very feminine bras for larger sizes). Seriously. The ladies who are trained as fitters know how to measure, what to look for, and how to select bras that will fit both you and your desired look.

Seriously though? I consider "comfortable" the number one feature needed in a bra that will be worn for more than about an hour. Please avoid the temptation to order something without being able to try it on unless you have the right to a money-back refund with free shipping.
posted by ilsa at 12:46 PM on November 3, 2007

If you live in or near Chicago, the best place to get fitted for a bra is Isabella Lingerie. The owner, Lauren Amerine, is known as the "boobologist". Lauren is down to earth, very friendly, and does not come at you with both hands.
posted by jeanmari at 12:54 PM on November 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

Okay, cool! Lauren does online bra fittings. Here is the information and where to send your photo, etc.

Word to the wise, her blog is NSFW.
posted by jeanmari at 12:56 PM on November 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

I'm a bit taller than you - 5'8" and 250 pounds - and range from a large C to small D cup.

In my experience, the best way to get "up and together" cleavage is to go with either a bustier or corset instead of a standard bra. Check out http://HipsAndCurves.com and be sure to read their fitting info. As a DD/DDD you'll want to measure a size up in corset/bustier wear (so instead of a 38, a 40). Try to get something with adjustable lace-up backing so you can pull in the waist but still fit into the cup area, or something designed specifically for the DD/DDD cup range. Plenty lovely outfits to choose from! Keep in mind, of course, that a bustier is much easier to wear on a regular basis than a corset with boning....
posted by DecemberRaine at 12:58 PM on November 3, 2007

I'm a bit bigger than you and usually spend around $150 on a bra. I recently went into WalMart and bought a couple of cheap $20 balconnet bras at 36 DD and they fit great and give me great cleavage (but they definately aren't for wearing all the time and I don't expect them to last). Normally I wouldn't recomend WalMart but ...
posted by saucysault at 1:46 PM on November 3, 2007

Something else to look for are bras that are cut fairly high on the outside, so that the fabric does push the breasts in toward the middle of your body (as the linked Lane Bryant balconnette bra does; I have, however, seen other bras labeled "balconnette" that don't have that same shape).
posted by occhiblu at 1:52 PM on November 3, 2007

Dude, I know it's been mentioned, but Lane Bryant. Although, I'm more a fan of the plunge bras (I'm wearing one now!) than the balconette. They come with little air-filled pads, but you can leave them out if you'd like. I put them in when I want a little more "togetherness" but they're fine without.

Also, get a fitting from a pro to find out your real size. It might seem awkward, but it's their job, no big deal.
posted by AlisonM at 2:14 PM on November 3, 2007

I was on the same page -- taller than you and heavier, so probably proportionately about the same. I preferred the separated, more natural shape, but after I bought my first low-cut shirt, I discovered that with my usual bra, it had a certain "but where do the tits begin?" look. Cacique's (Lane Bryant's) plunge bra did the trick. You can wear it with the little cutlets for even more push-up, or without them for still quite a fair amount.

If you're getting quadra-boob (in any bra), the size is very wrong for you; probably the cup is too small. Cacique's sizing seems a smidge small to me to start with, because the band isn't very elastic; I know I'm usually a 36DD, but my Cacique plunges had to be 38s.
posted by booksandlibretti at 2:35 PM on November 3, 2007

Seconding wuzandfuzz and AlisonM. I bought about four of those bras when I realized what kind of great boobage I gained from them. That bra and only that bra has been able to give me the kind of cleavage everyone wishes they had. (I'm your size.)
posted by sian at 3:12 PM on November 3, 2007

Take a look at the style called "plunge bra". Full-coverage bras contain everything. Most bras with firm support are high in the center, so you have to stay pretty buttoned up. A plunge bra offers only moderate support because it's very low in the center, allowing you to wear lower-cut tops. If the V in your sweater is lower, you won't have to push your breasts up to achieve cleavage.

A lot of balcony/balconette and push-up bras are structured to give support from below, and that's why they give you an unnatural shape. That support has to come from sturdy seams, or from cookies. Cookies are thick pads built or added into the lower part of the cups -- they just push your breasts up and toward the center, and also make them look bigger. I sounds like the illusion of more size isn't really needed!

A site/store that hasn't been mentioned yet is Lady Grace. They have many, many styles and your size is in the middle of their range, not at the top.
posted by wryly at 3:29 PM on November 3, 2007

As others have said, if your bra is cutting through the middle of your boob it's probably because your cup is too small -- try going to a 36F or a 36E to see how that looks. The band should be quite snug to help give that lifting look you're going for (you know it's snug enough if it's not riding up in the back). If it's cutting into you, go back to the 38 but try keeping the larger cup size.

I really like Miss Mandalay, a larger-cup designer who just came out with a satin push-up bra last season. It's on sale for $50 right now at Figleaves.

I also love the Gossard Superboost, which is a great price ($24) but gives some wicked cleavage.
posted by ukdanae at 3:41 PM on November 3, 2007

I have two words for you... Panache's Inferno (PNA1).

It's the greatest bra style I've ever owned. Not only is it supremely comfortable (for me, I tend to have problems with underwire digging in, but not with the Inferno), but it gives excellent boobage. I have no doubt that you could put someone's eye out whilst wearing one of them ;)

It's also a multi-way bra, comes in four different colours (including nude!), doesn't cost an arm and a leg, and features removable straps so you can replace the straps with transparent ones if wanted/needed.
posted by esilenna at 5:07 PM on November 3, 2007

Go to Nordstrom's at get fitted with "Le Mystere". It's pricey, but good support is worth it! FWIW, once you know your size go to Nordstrom Rack (if you are lucky enough to have one near you) and find them there.

They feel great, and after a few wears customize even more to your shape.
posted by 6:1 at 12:36 AM on November 4, 2007

Sorry I'm a little late on this, but I have your answer. You can ignore all the rest. The miracle cleavage bra is from Victoria's Secret, and it's called the Secret Embrace. You want to plunge version, not the demi cup. I freaking hate Victoria's Secret in general and so would never recommend this thing if it weren't an absolute goddamn miracle. You will not recognize yourself.
I didn't believe it myself, but a pal insisted I try one. Seriously, give it a shot. (Also, FYI, the bra looks awful on the hanger, all rubbery and flappy and nasty instead of lacy and sexy and so on, but would you rather the bra look sexy or you?)
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:44 PM on November 4, 2007

Unfortunately, Vicki's Secret ends at 38D.
posted by Addlepated at 4:14 PM on November 4, 2007

crud, sorry.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:23 PM on November 4, 2007

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