The best bras for heavy breasts aren't always those designed for full or plus size cups.
Breast weight isn't just a matter of size. Boobs are made up of glandular and fatty tissue, and that ratio is unique. It changes throughout your life, especially with pregnancy and menopause. Weight loss can also leave you with smaller, but heavier and more pendulous breasts, thanks to the extra skin left behind.
I’ve been through all the above boob changes; going from DD’s to less full post-pregnancy C’s. Later, a cosmetic breast lift left me lighter and perkier, but menopause added girth and weight and returned them to their original size. (My boobs have come full circle, so to speak.) Each time I've been challenged to find bras that fit and flatter my changing size, shape, and weight.
So how to know if your breasts are heavy? It’s not like you can toss them onto the bathroom scale. Torso shape and body height change the equation. I'm 5'5" and knew it when certain bras no longer lifted and supported anymore. Some brands engineer their bras to hold up bigger D+ breasts, but even C cups can weigh a body down.
I sat down with Jenette Goldstein of Jenette Bras to talk about the best bras for heavy breasts. Although her expertise is in fitting the full bust crowd, she's seen all sizes and body shapes come through her store.
For smaller cup sizes, Jenette suggests trying demi cup or balconette bras. Both expose more of the upper breast and have wider set straps. (Note that strap placement may not be suitable for narrow or sloping shoulders.)
What’s the difference between the two styles? Some bra fitters argue there is none. A balconette has a 1/8 inch shorter center than a full cup bra and shows more skin. A demi cup covers less than a full-cup but more than a balconette, and is sometimes called a “half-cup." Both create a super sexy look, but it can be hard to tell which is more revealing given the way some brands choose to label their bras.Balconette Bra Band sizes 28-38, cup sizes D-G Center front 2-1/2" tall Image Credit: HerRoom HerRoom b.tempt'd by Wacoal Ciao Bella Balconette Bra Band sizes 32-38, cup sizes B-DDD Center front 2-3/4" tall Image credit: HerRoom Chantelle Merci Demi Bra Band sizes 32-38, cup sizes B-G Center front 3-1/2" tall Image credit: HerRoom
One danger with the demi cup bra is that it can create a double-boob or jiggling “tits-on-a-platter" look. You may want to avoid extra padding or risk boob overflow. (Unless, of course, you prefer that look.) The demi bra and balconette fit me well, especially after multiple pregnancies left my breasts with less volume or "muffin-top." It allowed me to reclaim a more rounded, youthful boob profile.
For all busts (and deep cup and plus sizes), Jenette recommends a 3-part cut-and-sewn bra. If you don’t like the fuller coverage of this style, pick those that feature a panel of sheer lace or tulle at the top of the cup. This will give the illusion of less coverage.
If you prefer contour bras, go for a deeper plunge style bra. (The Mary Jo Avero, below, is one of my favorites.) Do consider the design of the back, not just the front of the bra. A “U” shape construction will give you more support.Empreinte Daisy Plunge Bra Band sizes 30-36, cup sizes D-G Image credit: Bare Necessities Chantelle C Chic Sexy Plunge 3-Part Plunge Bra Band sizes 30-40, cup sizes C-H Image Credit: HerRoom Mary Jo Avero Convertible Bra Band sizes 30-40, cup sizes B-E Image credit: Bare Necessities
Do you have heavier small or larger breasts? Which styles or brands flatter and fit best? Would you try any of these bras?
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