fashion

'I have 34E boobs. Here are my top 5 tips for shopping for bras.'

If you're any bit well-endowed or voluptuous (like me) you'll know that shopping online is often less easy for us than it is for our smaller counterparts. Generally speaking, mainstream and mass-produced fashion still doesn't do much to contain curves, making it trickier to navigate when purchasing via comfort of your computer.

Even though I'm an old-fashioned, vintage-loving kind of gal, my busy lifestyle means I shop online a lot. I've recently needed to do a big lingerie overhaul, and have been searching the virtual shelves for a few new bras. Which got me thinking, how does one effectively shop for lingerie online when they have big boobs?

But first, how often do you wash your bra? Really. Post continues after video.


Video via Mamamia.

1. Know what style suits you most.

Like with shopping for clothes, shopping for lingerie is often a matter of repeating past successes. Bosoms come in all kinds of wonderful shapes and sizes, and often so much variety means different designs suit different boobs better.

Personally, I love an underwired balconette style, even if it's not always the look du jour. My rounder kind of shape appreciates the circular support, as well as the opportunity for loads of lace (I don't mind a few lacey bumps beneath my blouse) and a more classic overall look.

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I say this knowing that (size aside) some people can't stand underwire, or lace which is why I'll remind you this is entirely up to you, what you feel comfortable in and what suits you best. If you're struggling to pinpoint your favourite style, take a moment to peruse your lingerie drawer and remind yourself of your favourites.

2. Look at the size chart.

Even though bra sizing is supposedly universal, so many brands (Australian brands especially) have fallen victim to vanity sizing, meaning your size could well differ from brand to brand.

Some lingerie labels have their own size charts online, showing precise measurements for each bust size. This can be really helpful when you're shopping virtually, more so with a new brand. Which takes us to the next point.

3. Know your measurements!

Something I cannot stress enough.

I recently wrote a secondhand style guide called How to Be Fabulous (which hits bookshelves in late November) and one thing I really emphasised in its pages was knowing your vital statistics - this is especially important when shopping for vintage or lingerie.

In today's age knowing your measurements might seem antiquated - who cares, right? But when you forget the number on your clothing label and look to adhering to your measurements instead, your clothes and lingerie are bound to fit better.

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You can also get your bust measured professionally at a department store or specialist boutique. Just be sure to write down what they say as I can assure you you'll otherwise forget. If you notice your bust grows bigger or becomes smaller, then measure again and keep those numbers current.

4. Head to specialist brands and websites.

I currently possess a 34E sized bust. In the past I've been both bigger and smaller than this, but at this size my boobs are borderline "normal", in that some most regular bra brands cater up to an E cup. However, I often find the largest size from a mainstream brand doesn't offer the support my full bust needs.

Instead, I try to opt for brands that specialise in big boobs as I know their designs will offer the infrastructure I require. Brands like Marvell Lane, Sans Complexe and Brava and all brilliant for a range of beautiful, wearable big bras (and lovely matching knickers). I've even had a custom set made just for my bigger bust by Sydney's Elegantly scant.

Another thing is to head to websites dedicated to a variety of larger bust brands such as curvy.com.au, or to the online outlet of independent boutiques whose owners often have specialist knowledge (you can usually email them for guidance). For this I love French Bikini in Melbourne, and now that I live in Sydney I can still shop with them via their website.

Listen to the latest episode of What Are You Wearing?, Mamamia's podcast for your wardrobe. Post continues below.

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5. Opt for shops with a return policy.

Sometimes, when you're tossing up between sizes, the best option is buying two of the same style, trying them on at home, and then returning the one that doesn't fit. 

I know not all online stores offer this (and I can relate as I used to have an online vintage boutique and found the returns process frightful). However, as long as you're really mindful as you try on, and only return things in perfect condition, this is a good option to ensure a perfect fit. 

My last bit of advice is that when your new bras arrive, just be sure to adjust the straps properly. I actually used to work in a lingerie store and noticed that so many customers were getting around with too-long bra straps, which subsequently made bra cups sag and shoulders hurt! Do yourself a favour and tighten your straps regularly. Your tits will thank you for it.

When you wear well-fitting undergarments, you'll notice your clothes sit better, your back hurts less (the main peril of having big boobs is back pain) and that you look and feel more supported. Shopping online is a modern necessity, but once you've learnt the tricks of the trade, you'll soon be having a boutique shopping experience without even leaving your living room!

Feature Image: Supplied.

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