Monday, October 19, 2015

Bras Missing from the Full Bust Market


Almost every week I have to tell someone that the bra they need simply doesn't exist. It's awful to have to tell someone that but the reality is that the full bust market does not yet have a full compliment of styles compared to the A-D mainstream sizes. Here are some of the bras that are missing from the full bust market.

Plunge Bras Over an H Cup
The versatility of a plunge bra is something a lot of H+ cup women would like but that's not the key reason I'd love to see an H+ cup plunge bra. Lots of my clients have a protruding or concave breastbone that makes medium to tall gores difficult to wear. H+ cup bras tend to have quite tall gores and this makes sense because you're trying to support a 10 inch circumference difference between the ribcage and the fullest part of the bust so you want good scaffolding! However, if that gore creates too much pressure on a protruding sternum or can't take to a concave one then the fit is lost.

There is the germination of H+ plunge bras appearing in Freya's Deco Vibe GG cups and Panache's new fashion style Fontaine. However, there is enormous scope for more styles that offer support with strong seaming and fabrics while offering the flexibility of a lower gore.

A Variety of Wire Lengths
Full bust manufacturers tend to get stuck in a wire length rut. It makes sense from a manufacturing point of view because it's expensive to change production settings for the wire length, however, brands are missing out on a ready and willing audience. Panache is a prime example of a brand that could quickly rack up more clients if it offered a variety of wire lengths. So many of our clients love the designs, Cleo in particular, but the wires are just too long for their breast height or torso length. They're ready and willing to part with their dollars but can't because Panache doesn't offer enough wire lengths.

One of the most overlooked sectors of our clientele is the short busty woman. She's generally under 5ft 3" with a 32H+ bust and most of the bras available in her size come with incredibly long wires. Just knocking off an inch or so from those wire lengths or offering a short wires version would result in a swathe of new customers.

Strapless Bras Over an H Cup
Again it would be nice to have more strapless options over an H cup but currently there is only Curvy Kate's Luxe bra widely available and if Curvy Kate's wire width doesn't work for you then you don't really have anywhere else to look.

More Gore Width Options
Large breasts come in many shapes and sizes and sit in a variety of different positions on the body. If your breasts sit far apart then you need a bra with a wide gore. If they sit close together then you need a narrow gore. Currently the narrowest gore options also live on bras with long wires so if you have a narrow bust and high breast root it's tricky to find a fit. More gore width options within a brand would cast their customer net that little bit wider.

If you have a full bust bra that you simply cannot find or a fit feature that seems to be completely missing then please share it in the comments. xx

28 comments:

  1. What I find incomprehensible is the utter lack of cushioning around the underwire itself. This feature can be found in quite a few A-D brands, even cheaper brands, but is completely absent from larger cup brands. This makes no sense whatsoever. Panache & Cleo in particular have no problem with using the harshest, thinnest fabric casing around their wires. I actually left work early to rip the Lucy from my body the one & only time I wore it.

    Also, I agree that I would dearly love the choice of lower wires. Even at 5'9", Panache wires are armpit-stabbers for me. Mainly a problem I encounter with UK brands, but even Ewa Michalak non-padded styles are higher than I'd prefer. Still, that brand has many different styles, so I am not completely shut out of them. But more & more, I find I am choosing comfort far above fit. And would love not to be forced to do so.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have you tried Freya because their wires are much shorter than Panache and if you're in the 34+ band range then Elomi wires are comfy heaven! The Panache sports bra wires are triple bound and are so comfortable so if only they could bring that kind of wicking cushioning to some everyday styles it would bring a lot of relief. Many of my customers with osteoporosis say that wires are too hard. Many of them use bra liners to increase their choices without compromising on comfort xx http://www.butterflycollection.ca/wickem-sensitive-bra-liners-5549/

      Delete
  2. Sexy bras with larger band sizes. I'm a 48DDD, and if I want to get my go-to bra to fit (push-up style from Lane Bryant Cacique line in the states), I have to wear the bra extender, which is fine, but... GAH. It's just part of assuming that plus-size ladies aren't going to want the sexy styles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen to that Cameryn! There seems to be a size cap on sexy which is totally unnecessary. Your 48DDD bras have the same cup volume as a 46FF and a 44G so it might be worth looking out some more choices in those sizes then using a band extender to give you the length you want. It might broaden your choices but ultimately there needs to be more plus size options xx

      Delete
  3. I'm still looking for 26 inch bands! At the moment the best size for me seems to be 28FF (uk sizing), but they tend to get too loose too quickly. I can't afford a new bra as often as I'd like to. I can't even loose weight in order to balance my bust/band -size.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really feel for you and don't see enough brands adopting 28 let alone 26 bands. Have you tried the Rixie clip? I haven't tried it but there is a lot of info out there about how well it shortens bands. Sadly some big retailers are dropping 28 bands and it's a sign that not enough people are shopping their real size. So many women need smaller bands but don't know it yet, that's why we have to keep promoting better bra fit so that more dollars are spent on small bands and ultimately 26 and maybe even 24 bands will become available xx

      Delete
    2. Are you in the UK? I do garment alterations. One of my customers can only get a bra to fit by having some taken out of the back band. I re did one that the shop did for her. There was a small pleat to make the band fit back into the hook and loop section, as that bit was wider once some had been taken off. Perhaps if this looks like an option you could find a seamstress to do this for you.

      Delete
    3. That's great advice from purpleivy :) xx

      Delete
  4. Can I please pipe in with the Polish bra offerings? Especially Comexim and Anna Pardal make fantastic plunges for practically anyone I have ever met. The wires are narrow and not poking in the armpit, the gore is also narrow for those of us whose breasts sit more "forward" and the cup depth straight from the wire accommodates those of us who are full on bottom and top. Another excellent bra maker is Ewa Michalak - it may not fit everyone, but if it does fit your breast shape, it does something utterly fantastic - it has unprecedented lift and it is comfortable to boot. Comexim and Anna Pardal make several cup shapes in all of their designs, including half cups, balconettes, plunges and - lo and behold - longlines. For a small fee, they will even customize their fit with lowering the cup height, increasing the gore height, increasing the wing height, moving straps in. I believe they start at 60 cm and go up to 95 cm bands, but for a small additional fee, they will make you a bra if you don't fit into what they normally offer. They also make cup sized swim wear. I used to be an Empreinte girl, but when I literally "busted out" of their F cup, I could not get Empreinte to fit me properly. Finding out about the extensive and exciting market of Polish lingerie literally saved me. If only it was easier to find - aside from a handful lingerie enthusiasts who stock these brands in Canada and US, the only other option is ordering directly from Poland.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can DEFINITELY pipe up with the Polish brands. They have some styles that are missing from the UK and US brands. No one brand works for everyone but they are certainly well worth knowing. If Ewa Michalak had an establish international distribution system we would snap them up in our store but as it stands it would cost a fortune to bring them in wholesale to Canada. This should change in time xx

      Delete
  5. Oh you are so right! I would gladly spend so much money if I could find bras I love! Smaller ribcage and larger bust, short wires, with a wide gore and narrow shoulders, and pretty if possible - a unicorn bra if ever there was one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahah! True there are some unicorn bras but what you're asking for there is no ridiculous. I think Claudette is a brand worth looking at for you if you haven't already. They tick a lot of your unicorn boxes ;) xx

      Delete
    2. Thank you! I'll definitely check them out!

      Delete
  6. Bras for K+ cup sizes with narrow, short wires. And wired and wireless nursing bras with those specifications as well! For that matter, a nursing tank that provides support as well would be nice. I'm hoping to sew up some nursing shirts before my baby arrives in 3 weeks or less since decent nursing shirts for larger breasts are also hard to find.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree 100% with every suggestion here! xx

      Delete
  7. My problem is I am short waisted so not only do I get stabbed by that stupid side wire, I also find most bras are too high up (I need the plunge for comfort) In addition, I am plus size so I can never seem to contain my bottom heavy, sagging breasts fully. I've always got side boob/fat?? hanging out. The best one I've found is the Elomi Betty (40E) but it doesn't contain that side bit well. Any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Side support comes from a long side panel and good vertical seams. So you want to look for a side panel that comes down from the strap and swoops towards to center of the breast (look at the pattern on Lucy by Cleo or Gem by Freya to see what I mean). You then want a vertical seam that starts at the bottom middle of the cup and comes up to at least nipple height or higher. These two features should narrow your bust and give enough support to the heavy tissue. You might want to consider that the side boob fat is a result of wearing a cup that's too small or a band that's a little too big. If you want any help double checking your best sizes then email our team at support@butterflycollection.ca xx

      Delete
  8. The Bra that I'm loving right now is the Elomi Carmen in the JJ 34. The fact that Elomi is slowly expanding their band sizes and embracing the stretch lace plunge bras in larger sizes has really helped me. Elomi was my least favorite line for a log time but they have definitely stepped up there game lately.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't agree more, Carmen is a wonderful addition to Elomi. xx

      Delete
  9. Fuller and rounder. I need fullness both at the centre and the outside and end up in cups that are too wide, tall and deep and not very supportive. I probably have a bit of an omega shape, but I wear cup sizes (28-30) GG-HH. Isn't that common in those sizes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry for the slow reply, You're right that more narrow, full cups are needed. Cleo's great for some women but the wires can be too long for others. Ewa Michalak is currently the leader in this cup shape but of course you have to order from Poland.

      Delete
  10. You should look at Bratabase http://www.bratabase.com , they allow you to search by size and then to do by wire measurements so you can buy H cups with the wire length and width you need!

    They also keep track of center gore height (for plunges) and cup separation for close together and separate boobs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love Bratabase. It's such a useful resource and has only got stronger and more useful in the last couple of years xx

      Delete
  11. What I'm most sad about is that the strapless bras made for women around the G+ cups (which I am at), simply look awful and are extremely expensive. Not only have I found that they make me look horrendously wide-busted (my breasts are round and full but definitely pretty forward facing), but they don't seem like they'd hold up at all when I tried them on. I recently had a staff party to go to and almost cried as I couldn't find a good bra to wear with my halter dress that wouldn't break the bank. After about 15 bras at a local boutique with a large selection, I gave up.

    Similarly, I'd LOVE to see someone come up with actual bandless bras for large breasts as well. I understand there are probably some issues with material and what weight it can support, but I figure if we can put man on the moon, we can solve this issue! (There does appear to be a brand of floating bras for big busts but they look more like torture instruments than anything - D Up Cups by TaBare Couture)


    PS: I love the blog :) I'm absolutely devouring it as I agree with everything you've got to say about loving having a big bust!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing your experience Danka. G+ strapless bras are definitely wide, if you can find them! It's very expensive but a tailored corset is a great longterm investment because the lift and support are huge.

      I'm glad you're enjoying the blog! xx

      Delete
    2. Firstly - corset. That should sort the strapless issue.
      Second - utilising the knowledge of how corsets are made and shaped to help create bras which are strapless for larger busts. I imagine if one were to use coutil (a specialist corsetry fabric) to make a bra, it would be a lot more sturdy and capable of supporting the weight of the bust than just some satin and a thin lining fabric or some foam. You'd want to line it nicely to get a softer feel against the bust, but it might work. Vintage styles of bras used to be far less reliant on stretch fabrics so it should be possible to use something studier if patterned right.

      I'd love a strapless bra which is also a plunge as I can't have wires in between my very close set breasts.
      I have enough corsets, but none of them overbusts yet as they tend to need a lot more fittings and they are pricier than underbusts. I know who I'd go to though - Alison of Crikey Aphrodite. She's the queen of bust fit. Helped me work out my correct bra size when I'd changed sizes and was struggling to figure it out and advised the perfect style too. She works as a bra fitter as her day job and has used that knowledge to apply it to her corsets so she can make corsets with proper bra cups to give a much more modern shape.

      Delete
  12. Wow, great one. I agree with you. My favorite bra is Pink Flamingo Low Back Bra. I love to wear it because its very comfortable and used blended material.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I recently learned that Fantasie has discontinued the bra I've worn for years and absolutely love. And, they have not put forward a replacement.
    I need a full-coverage bra with a smooth cup since I almost exclusively wear t-shirts and I'm of the generation that does not want a seam to show through by bust.
    I have tried the "new style" balcony bras since they burst unto the scene (okay years ago now) but they do not work for my older breasts. I don't get that sexy plumb look that much younger women achieve and gave up on them (the bras not my breasts).
    It seems that bra manufacturers only cater to the young adult/teen crowd and have decided to ignore the middle-aged and older generation who - incidentally - still have breasts and don't want to look frumpy!!!

    ReplyDelete