Plus Size Bra Size Chart VS Fitting Guide

It is said that up to 80% of women wear the wrong size bra. That is a lot of women who are wearing bras that don’t give the right support, perhaps because the bra is old and stretched or worn out, or because the woman has lost or gained weight, which might cause the bra to ride up or cut into the flesh creating pain and/or permanent marks. Whatever the reason, around 80% of us know the discomfort of a badly fitting bra that we want to rip off the second we get home!

But wearing the right size bra is so important! It makes a huge difference to how a dress looks by defining your waistline, to how our clothes fit, and to how we see ourselves on a daily basis. The right undergarments are very important, but you shouldn’t have to suffer for your appearance!

So how do you choose the right plus size bra when shopping for a bra online? In many cases, a bra size chart will be inaccurate, and will leave you with the wrong bra size anyway. We have tried and tested bra size charts that come up with a less than desirable result many times, so have chosen to offer a bra fitting guide instead of a size chart.

The bras that we have been selling in store are fantastic, and are in most cases, a perfect fit the first time. You can’t say that about many brands of plus size bras, but these ones consistently are the right size the first time and are raved about by our customers who often buy multiple bras at the same time. In store, we offer a personalised bra fitting service, but we don’t use a size chart, and will almost always start with the size bra you would normally wear, and go from there, using our fitting techniques. If you’re able to come down to our store in Mentone, Melbourne, we’ll be happy to assist you with finding the perfect plus size bra!

Our fitting guide can also provide you with a good starting point when buying plus size bras online. If you're not sure what size you wear, or fall between two sizes, trying several sizes and styles can help to define the best fit for your shape.  As the best method for finding the right bra is to try it on, if you order a bra that is not perfect for you, you are welcome to send it back and we can exchange it for another style, or for a store credit as per our standard returns policy

We currently stock bras in many different styles and colours, and try to supply options that are nicer than just your standard daggy bra. Our styles are handpicked, many come with matching panty options so that you can wear a matching set, and we stock sizes ranging from size 14C up to 24F. We also have a great maternity bra in stock for the plus size mummies out there. Though we will be increasing the size range in the future, if you’re bigger than a size 24 back, you can simply add a bra extender, which can be purchased from most supermarkets for a few dollars, and will increase the back size by up to 2 sizes.  

Choosing The Right Plus Size Bra online:

Step 1.

Order the size bra you would normally wear. If you don’t know what size you normally wear, or if you have changed sizes recently, buying the right bra may take a few goes, so keep some time up your sleeve if it’s for a particular event.

Hint: If you don’t know what back size to try, order a size smaller than you wear in clothing. Ie: if you normally wear a size 24, or 22-24 Aus, then order a size 22   (However this is not 100% accurate as sometimes customers don’t know what clothing size to wear). If you need any further assistance with finding out what clothing size you wear, feel free to give us a call with your measurements.

Step 2.

 Try on the bra. Make sure that:

  • The back strap is fastened on the loosest hooks. This is because all bras stretch over time, and as they stretch, you want to be able to tighten the hooks. You should only have about an inch (or 1-2 fingers width) of space at the back of the bra when checking the stretch for the right fit.
  • Adjust the shoulder straps to suit for comfort. The shoulder straps should not dig in to the shoulders, but should just sit comfortably.
  • Try the ‘swoop n scoop’ to make sure all of the breast tissue from the front and sides (AKA the ‘girls’) is nicely in the cups and there is no excess ‘spillage’ over the top or bottom of the bra.
  • The underwire should be pressed against the skin on the breastbone, and should not be gaping at all, or digging into the arm pits. 
  • Turn side on and look in the mirror. Your girls should be properly supported and pointing out at about a 90 degree right angle, not sagging down towards the floor.
  • Identify any further fitting issues.

The perfect plus size bra will have the following features:

  1. The bra will be comfortable to wear and will give you good lift and support.
  2. There will be no breast bulging out, or sagging fabric in the cup. 
  3. The lift will come from the back strap, not the shoulder straps. The back strap should be worn low on the back, not riding up high.
  4. The sides of the bra will fully encase any ‘side fat’ so there is no bulging over the top or at the bottom of the straps, and it will not feel too tight or cut off circulation.
  5. The underwire will be pressed up against the breastbone. If it doesn’t, you won’t be getting the right support. The only exclusion to this rule is if a bra doesn’t have an underwire, in which case, there should be some room between ‘the girls’ in order to avoid a heat rash.

Use the FAQ guide below if you are having fitting issues

Bra Fitting Issues & FAQ’s

Question: How do I know if I'm wearing the right bra size?

Answer: The right bra size is so important for comfort and support! Unfortunately, 80% of women wear the wrong size. Trial and error using a fitting guide is generally the best way to find the right cup size, as size charts are not always 100% accurate.

Problem: My bra rides up in the back.

Fitting Advice: The bra back size is too big. Try a smaller band size, a 14 instead of a 16, for example. Also, check your straps - have you adjusted them too tightly? The support should come mainly from the back strap to avoid sore shoulders. If the bra is an older one, it may have stretched out, so try fastening your hooks on a tighter position.

Problem: My breasts are spilling out over/under the cup.

Fitting Advice: Your cup size is too small. If the back size fits perfectly, but you have spillage (AKA ‘quad boob’), then go up a cup size. If the breast tissue spills out at either the top, or the bottom of the bra, you may need to go up a cup size (or more, depending on the extent of spillage).

Problem: The wires are pushing out at the front.

Fitting Advice: The cup size is too small. The breast is pushing the cup forward so the underwire is protruding out. Go up at least one cup size (depending on the extent of protruding) until the underwire fits flat against your breastbone. You may or may not also need to go down a back size, ie 18C to 16D.

Problem: My straps are falling down.

Fitting Advice: Try adjusting the straps. Also, make sure your cup size isn't too large.

Problem: My skin at the back/sides looks red and feels irritated.

Fitting Advice: Your bra is probably too small. Try a larger band size. If your skin is irritated at the sides or back, it is a sign that the back size may be too small which can cut blood circulation, causing pain, skin indentations, skin rubbing, and rashes etc. It’s really important to get the back band size right. If your skin is irritated at the sides, you may also want to try a bra with a wider side band. A thinner side band can cause indentations if it doesn’t fully encompass all the ‘side fat’.   

Problem: My bra doesn’t give me enough lift.

Fitting Advice: A good bra should lift your ‘girls’ so that the nipple is pointing at a right angle (approx 90 degrees, or straight ahead). If you are experiencing sagging in an old bra, the bra is no longer supporting you and you will need to purchase a new bra. If a new bra doesn’t give you the right lift, check to see if your back size is too loose, as it may be riding up, which could be causing the sagging. Make sure your back strap is worn lower on the back, the adjustable straps are tightened comfortably, and you have the right cup size.

Problem: The bra cup is wrinkled / I see wrinkles underneath my shirt.

Fitting Advice: Your cup size is too large. Try a smaller one. The cup should be filled out properly, and there should be no spaces, so if you have this happening, just try a smaller cup size.

Problem: My breasts are slightly different sizes and my silhouette looks uneven.

Fitting Advice: Many women have one breast that is bigger or smaller than the other one. A good way to disguise this difference is to try a lightly lined bra style, which can even out differences between smaller and larger breasts. Many of our bras offer lining or slight padding which would be suitable for this scenario.

Problem: My nipples are showing through my clothing.

Fitting Advice: Try a lightly lined or padded bra style, which reduces nipple show-through.

Question: Why do bras that are the same size sometimes fit differently?

Answer: As with clothing, there is no one perfect universal sizing system. Different manufacturers produce different styles and sizes of bras according to their own systems. There is no one easy system for choosing the right size bra, and size charts are not perfect either. Different fabrics may stretch differently too, ie: a band measurement is dependent on the physical properties of the material used. A garment containing materials with more stretch may fit differently than a garment with more rigid materials. However, the bras that we stock are generally very good and have been tried and tested, but if for some reason it doesn’t fit you perfectly, you can send it back for an exchange or store credit as per our returns policy.