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This post has been updated January, 27, 2020.

Note, I purchased all these bras myself, but this post does contain Amazon affiliate links, and as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

All women know the look. 

One second, everything is fine. 

Then maybe it’s a boisterous laugh, bending over to grab something, or you know, literally any movement at all. 


Time stops. 

You know those medical miracle news stories where they show x-rays of dudes with nails in their heads that somehow missed every vital area, one day, that will be me. 

Except instead of a nail to the face, you’ll see an x-ray of my chest cavity on the screen with half a u-shaped bra wire narrowly missing my beating human heart. 

Wire snaps happen to the best of us, even more so when our bras are cheap, old, or ill fitting. 

From 1989 to 2014, I was in an abusive relationship with my breasts.

At 8 bound them down with bandages, at 17 they hung below the table during strip poker, and at 28 they began to rest adorably in my arm pits when I lay down. I’ve spent over two decades hating them, cursing them, and stuffing them into ill-fitting pretty things.

I have really big, heavy, and saggy boobs. 

Halter tops and tube tops were never an option. Thin strapped tank tops weren’t really doable. Heck, walking into a store and leaving with a bra that actually fit me just wasn’t a thing that ever happened. 

My life has been full of a lot of fashion scenarios that just didn’t work out.

I’ve been measured in brick and mortar stores numerous times, always getting a different number but the same result: me stuffing my boobs into bras that didn’t fit. 

Spilling over, oozing out the side, snapping wires; I was a mess. 

All of this changed when I learned how to properly measure my breasts and invest in properly sized bras, and the perks of this include that I end up spending less money on pricier, well constructed bras that actually fit and last, and I could DIY this whole entire thing myself, in my own house.

That’s right, not in a small, poorly lit dressing room over the stupid bra I walked in wearing while the instrumental version of Good As Hell serenaded the frustrated girl with a measuring tape trying to pressure me into an infinity D sized bra. 

I measured myself in 5 minutes while eating pie and watching Riverdale, and then ordered my bras from the internet, the way God intended. 


A few years ago, I shared a really great how-to video disputing everything you thought you knew about bra sizing, and I’m standing here years later confidently saying, it was totally right.

You can watch the video in length for great discussion about how to properly fit yourself for a bra, but I’m going to break it down real quick below in three easy steps.

Okay, take your bra off and throw it in the fire.

(Just kidding, wait until your new bras come, then burn them in a fire surrounded by your best friends while you curse all men and howl at the moon.)

  1. Take a fabric measuring tape, put it around your rib cage where your bra band would sit, and exhale. Write down that number, it’s your band size. Mine is 38.
  2. Bend over at a 90 degree angle. Yup, your boobs should be dangling and you suddenly remember why you always wear a bra during doggy style. Wrap the measuring tape loosely around your back and dangling bust, and write that number down. Mine is 49.
  3. Now it’s time for some math. Take those two numbers and subtract them. (i.e. 49-38 = 11) Now take that number and check out the chart to determine your cup size. 

Tip: Most online ordering is done using UK Sizing, which is way more consistent than US Sizing, if you can believe it.

*stares at you in womens jean*

All reputable bra sellers should stipulate whether they use US or UK sizing on their websites, so you may need to look around for it to be sure. 

Bra Conversion Chart


Your first time ordering your correct bra size is terrifying. I mean, the size sounds cartoonishly huge, and goes against everything we have all been told about normal boob sizes. 

I’m a 38 year old mom in Ohio, not a fetish porn category, amirite?

Narrator: She was not right.

Finding bras and figuring out my size and breast type has been a journey, and it’s easy to get discouraged when the first one you order doesn’t fit. Return it and keep trying. 

This is something you wear everyday. It should be comfortable and supportive, and this is me giving you the permission you need to prioritize this care and purchase. 

Now I’m going to show you some of my absolutely favorite bras, one that’s a big hot mess, and leave you with some must-have tips to start you on this journey. I may not have the perfect answers for you, but this is a great place to start. 

Everyday Bras 

Freya Women’s Starlight Side Support 

This is my current fave. I wear it with almost everything right now, because it provides enough coverage that I’m never spilling out of it, and you don’t see the outline of it in any of my shirts.

Also, If you find yourself spilling out of the sides of a bra, lean forward and scoop all of that “armpit fat” forward into the cup, because chances are, it’s not just fat, it’s breast tissue. 

This is a UK sized bra, I am wearing a 38H.

Curvy Kate Victory Balcony Bra 

Curvy Kate was the first big-girl bra brand that I fell in love with, because it just got me. The cups fit great, the wire didn’t come up so high it dug into my armpits, and it was cute as hell.

I get a lot of lift from this bra, and absolutely no spillage. Sexy full-coverage bra say what?

I also highly recommend their swimwear. The bikini tops are sized like bras, this the the smartest brand ever created, everyone else can just go home. 

This is a UK sized bra, I am wearing a 38H.

Glamorise Women’s Plus Size Front Close T-Back 

Alright, two amazing things are happening here. First, front clasp bras are the tits. I love them, they are so easy to put on, and actually really hot to undo during sex, so there’s that.

But this bra also has a t-back which makes it perfect for racerback shirts, sure. But it’s also a wide enough t-back that it actually smooths out all my back lumps and it so incredibly comfortable. 

Guys, I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but sometimes wearing racerback bras turns me into the Hulk. It’s like the pressure between my shoulders hits some nerve that makes me want to crawl out of my skin and murder people. This bra does none of that, so you are welcome, all of humanity, you’re safe for now. 

I find the bands of this brand to fit small on me, so with some trial and error, I’ve landed on 40G being my perfect fit. 

Curvy Kate Dreamcatcher Balcony Bra 

The Dreamcatcher is one of the very first bras I purchased, and it remains a staple in my wardrobe. it’s very light, nude, and you don’t see the lace through my shirt fabric. 

This balcony bra is what I wear with all my low-cut shirts because it gives me the best separation and cleavage. These big girls can uniboob like no other and need to be tamed on the regular. 

This is a UK sized bra, I am wearing a 38H.

Curvy Kate Lifestyle Plunge

Oh girl, you know what this bra is, don’t you?

It’s my Lizzo “baby, I’m the whole damn meal” bra. 

This bra is sheer but stretchy. It’s low cut and perfect for my v-neck obsession, but also really, really comfy. And it gives me absolutely zero side boob attitude. 

This is a UK sized bra, I am wearing a 38H.

Sports Bras

Glamorise Double Layer Custom Control Sports Bra 

I am going to feature these sports bras from highest to lowest impact. This Glamorise Double layer bra is hands-down the most supportive sports bra I’ve ever owned. This bra is wireless, and you can actually adjust how high you want the top cover to fit and lift you.

The pros of the bra are that I get almost no bounce from it, and it’s really easy to adjust. I primarily mountain bike, so I lean forward a lot. I hate spilling out the top of the bra, and that is never an issue here. 

The cons are that because it’s wireless, I don’t have much separation, and the pressure of the support cover binds my boobs down kinda low and flat. But again, I gladly accept all of that for the support this thing gives me. 

Again, These bands are small on me, I am wearing a 42G. 

Livi Active High-Impact Sports Bra 

The best part of this bra is that the straps are entirely adjustable, giving me lots of lift, and while I might not be looking for that while biking, I do like it while running on the field while coaching my soccer team. Also, the underwires provide separation, which means no swamp boobs, and that’s a perk for the people who hang out with me after the game. 

I found this bra in-store at Lane Bryant, and it’s always an exciting adventure when us big-boobied ladies get to shop in person! 

The is a US sized bra, and with some fitting room work, I determined a 42G fits best.

Torrid Lightly Lined Sports Bra 

Alright listen, I love Torrid. I find loads of really cute clothes there, and their leggings are life. But lord do I struggle with their bras. I want to include them here because I know lots of people love Torrid bras, and they always recommend them to me, and trust me when I say, I’ve tried tons of them. This sports bra is the only one I haven’t returned. 

First, this is a comfortable bra in that it’s light, soft, and doesn’t poke me anywhere or anything. However, I can do zero sports in this bra, because the anti-bounce support just isn’t there for me. 

I have very long, heavy boobs, and the majority of the fat sits at the bottom of them. Torrid bras and bathing suits have very shallow cups, so they don’t work as well for me, at all. Things get really jiggling really fast in their bras, and that’s great for sex, but bad for yoga. 

However, I do enjoy this bra, and wear it when I need something a little more sturdy than an everyday bra, but not anything that’s going to help me climb a mountain. I love this bra for theme parks, in fact, I call it my Disney bra because it whisks away moisture and keeps me supported hiking around a park, but also gives me great lift and a cute look under my tank top. 

This is a US sized bra, but Torrid only fits up to an H cup, so 40H seems to be the best fit I can get there. 

Sleep Bras

Genie Bra Seamless Bra 

I know there are millions of women in this world that come home, take their bras off, and exhale. I am not one of them. 

As much as I sometimes loath bras, I hate the sweaty, skin on skin stickiness I get from going braless, especially when I sleep. 

So, while I don’t ditch my bras the second I get home, I do often change into a way more comfortable version. 

The Genie bra is my absolutely favorite sleep bra. Yeah, there is zero shame in my Made-For-TV game, y’all. I grabbed one of these from the shelf while checking out at Walmart, and I’ve kept a drawer full of them ever since. 

As far as wireless bras go, I actually get a bit of separation from them, and they are really soft and breathable. 

Bonus: These make the perfect starter bras for tweens and teens who don’t need cups or underwires yet, my daughter loves hers! 

I am wearing a size XL. 

Cotton Unlined No Wire Bra 

I was completely unaware how fun and soft these Cacique wireless bras were until I came across one on the clearance rack in Lane Bryant. Since then, I always look for them on sale, because they are so nice to slip into when I’m just not having it anymore with my underwires. 

Which is, admittedly, often. 

Cacique uses US sizing, I am wearing a 40G. 

Third Love Contour Plunge 

Third Love is so confusing to my soul. Hands down, they make the most comfortable bras I’ve ever, ever worn. 

Seriously, it’s like being motor-boated by an angel. 

The fabric is soft, the straps are heavenly, even the band feels amazing. 

But, I just cannot get the lift I need from them, no matter that I do. I think the problem lies in the fact that I can’t get the straps adjusted as much as I need to, because the strap just doesn’t allow for you to have full access to the whole thing. 

So, while I wouldn’t wear this out of the house, it is one of my most favorite bras to be a homebody in. 

I am wearing a 36H. 

Strapless Bras

Wacoal Plus Size Red Carpet Strapless 

Best strapless bra I’ve ever owned, period, end of story. 

It stays up, like, for real. 

It’s smooth and you can’t see it under your clothes. 

It doesn’t make your boobs a weird shape. 

I love it like no other. 

I am wearing a size 38G. 

Curvy Kate Women’s Luxe Strapless 

This strapless bra gives me lots of lift, and when I am wearing something with a tight bodice and thin straps, this Luxe strapless works great. It also has a bit of padding, a nice round shape that comes up higher on my boob than the Wacoal, and does stay up relatively well.

It does, however, show in looser shirts, and sometimes makes my boobs look a little weird. 

This is a UK sized bra, I am wearing a 38H.

Brassy Bra Size DD-DDDD/ European G 


That Facebook ad is a liar. 

I ordered the largest size available in this “bra” and it held these jugs up for exactly 5 minutes, and I wasn’t sweaty, no lotion, nothing. It was comical. 

I wish these things worked guys, and I will say, they are very soft, stretchy and comfortable to put on and remove, but nah. They don’t work for me. 

Perhaps if I used two on each side? But honestly, you get one use out of these stick-ons, and they’re expensive, so I wasn’t about to waste them. I figure I’ll pass them on to someone with lighter boobs than my own. 


Check your band. When trying on a bra, if you are hooking the clasp on the innermost (tightest) hook size right off the bat, get a smaller bra. Bras stretch, not shrink, so it will only get looser as time goes on, and you’ll have no way to make that band fit snugger.

When in doubt, size down. Again, bras stretch, so if you find yourself between band sizes, I prefer to go with the smaller band size, knowing eventually, it will stretch to what I need it to do. 

Keep the proportion. Bands and cups are typically sized proportionately. So if you need to buy a bigger band but the cup fit fine, try going up a band size, but down one cup size.

For example, if the 38H I ordered is too tight around the band, I’ll try a 40G, instead. If the 38H is too loose, I’d try a 36HH. 

Check the goring. If your bra gaps, and doesn’t lay flat against your sternum in the front, it’s not the right size. The goring should be against your skin, keeping those boobs in their cups and supported. 

You got this! Don’t get discouraged. Just because one brand doesn’t work for you, doesn’t mean you’re doomed to never having a great bra. Keep trying until you find the brand that fits your body.

Final Thoughts: 

As women, we experience virtually zero standard of sizing across any other form of fashion, why on Earth do we assume bras would be any different?

This is why it’s so hard to accept our correct (and often larger) bra measurements, because the systems we are used to are not accurate, but rather, available.

We are being fit into what is available to us in stores based on what society thinks is an appropriate size to offer, and we’ve accepted it because we’re afraid of being abnormal or large or different… when the fact is, I am not any of those things, and neither are you.

Not wanting to be a certain bra size is not the same as not being that size. Give it a try. I promise you, people are not going to guess what your bra size is in a well fitting bra, but they can absolutely tell what size you aren’t in a bra that doesn’t fit. 

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