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5 Bras That I Love for My Big Bust, and Hopefully You Will Too

Hello! As you may or may not know, I am the owner of a substantial pair of boobs.

Having lived much of my life with 38DDs, I know it can be tough to find a bra that’s comfortable, affordable, and maybe even a little sexy. On the other hand, I’ve also been blessed through my work with *ample* opportunity to try different brands for free, which has been hugely helpful in narrowing down what I like. Below, five of my favorites (bought or received for review) — I hope your chest will think they’re the best, too.

The Everyday Hero

Since my life has become largely an affair of sitting on my couch without pants, I find it harder to justify underwire on a daily basis — but I also don’t love my silhouette when I’m in “sleep bras” all the time. For trips to the grocery store and other casual but public occasions, the Bali Comfort Revolution Wirefree Bra ($36, XS-3XL, 16 color options) — with its wide band, lightly shaped cups, and rear clasps — is a revelation. Ahhh.

The Strapless Superstar

I had nearly given up on ever wearing strapless things until one day late last year, when a fateful Macy’s sale and coupon code combo changed my life. The Wacoal Red Carpet Full Figure Strapless Bra’s ($65, 30D-42DDD, three color options) four rows of closures keep me secure without the need to constantly readjust, and convertible straps make it extra versatile, too. Also, for me at least, it’s comfortable enough to sleep in.

A Push-Up Without the Smush

As an offputting femme, I always kind of thought I’d leave push-up bras to the kind of girls who are happiest in six-inch stilettos. But then came the B.splendid Wire-Free Push Up Bra ($44, 30A-38DD, six color options), whose molded foam band lifts and squeezes me without the discomfort of underwires. I feel like Peggy Bundy, but also not like I’m being suffocated by an old-timey whalebone contraption, which I never realized was scientifically possible before.

A Brassiere for the Boudoir

Sometimes, though, all that padding feels unnecessary. The just barely lined Paramour Captivate Bra ($38, 32C-40G, five color options) is my answer to when I want a little exposure (peeking out of a silky blouse on a date, for instance) or a lot of exposure (looking cute when said silky blouse gets unbuttoned, for instance). Its straps are supportive without being obtrusively wide for most necklines, and its three rows of clasps keep everything firmly in place until the occasion calls for a little more jiggle.

Support-y Spice

The Bali Active Foam Underwire Sports Bra ($42, 34B-42DDD, four color options) has gotten a slightly different look since I bought mine, but its unlined underwire cups and hook and eye closure system are the same. From the elliptical to higher impact activities like horseback riding, this bra locks me perfectly in place.

These are my favorite bras for now, but I’m always interested to learn about others! If you have any recommendations (for large busts or otherwise), leave them in the comments.

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Nora is a writer and shoot producer living in Brooklyn. Send her links to weird clothing and dog videos to nora [at] autostraddle [dot] com.

Nora has written 52 articles for us.


  1. omg the brassiere for the boudoir is so pretty
    help I have big boobs and a narrow waist (34F) and finding a sports bra that fits seems to be impossible… sizes large enough to fit my boobs are always too big on my waist, and the style with clasps at the back chafes me when I am working out/active. Does anyone know any brands that might work for me? same with bralettes, I just want a cute bralette that fits…

    • I have almost the same measurements (34F to G) and I really like the Panache Wireless Sports Bra 7341. It’s very high support, which I find more comfortable. It does clasp at the back, but there is a section of soft fabric that covers the clasp area so I haven’t noticed any chafing problems.

      As for cuter bras, I’d check out Fantasie and Freya. The can be quite expensive, but last season’s styles pop up on Amazon and Her Room for pretty cheap. They fit like a dream for me, are super cute, and last a long time.

    • The panache sports bra is the only bra that has allowed me to live my life without constant discomfort (I wear a 32G). I tried the wireless one, but personally its not supportive enough and gives me chest pain after a few hours, but you may love it! The underwire one is very comfortable though. You can usually find them on ebay in last seasons colors for less than full retail! Good luck!

    • I live for Torrid bralettes, I wear them like everyday cause underwire sucks. I’m between a 36F and a 38DD and they work for me.

  2. i tried the hanes version of the “everyday hero” and it didn’t fit me well! :( the material was so soft and comfortable but the straps cut into my armpit area and hurt after a couple of hours

    so i’m super glad there’s another option that i can try because yeah fuck underwire while working from home

    • I highly recommend just straight up removing the underwires from any otherwise perfect bras. Great for “house bras” that aren’t nice enough to wear out any more but are too good to throw away.

      • Yeah, those certainly look more comfortable ;) It was just a “wait, what??” reaction as I couldn’t understand how wearing a bra to sleep could possibly be comfortable ;)
        Aaaand I guess it rang the “why dressing up to get *sleep*???”-bell, because I associated it with ads for straight women who are supposed to dress up and wear a bra and whatnot for as a *sleeping*-outfit, because being as they are is obviously not a reasonable burden for their guy. (re: are straight women okay)

  3. I’m a huge fan of the ‘everyday hero’ one! So, so comfortable. I also find that it makes my boobs seem a little smaller, because it doesn’t lift them up and push em out like they’re on a tit-tray. This means my shirts fit a lot more like I want them to, for a more masculine of centre vibe.

    • I wiiiish. I’m a saggy-ass 38J, I think I’d put someone’s eye out.

      I let them free range at home but even then I’m worried I’m gunna catch one in the fridge door or something.

    • I did, for quite a while (38/40D), or I wore camis with shelf bras. But I eventually decided I just felt like a slob.:-\ That’s just me, though. I’m also in my 40s, so gravity, pregnancies, and breastfeeding have taken a toll.

      I do tend to not wear one at home, and will sometimes do grocery shopping or run to the bank without, as long as I have a baggy shirt on.

    • I’m 34DD and get painfully uncomfortable in any restrictive clothing for the two delightful weeks after ovulating, so if I can get away with it, I definitely do. They aren’t perky or anything, but I’ve developed a no-bra clothes section in my closet to help them out.

      • Been dabbling w/ this a lot this past year and I am always on the hunt for ways to minimize/eliminate the need for wearing a bra!

  4. Hey so I am non-binary and while I do bind a lot I sometimes wear spots bras because of chest pain but I don’t exactly have a small chest (and sometimes I like to wear cute bras ya know – my presentation changes from time to time). How do you find the bras you suggested for everyday hero and support-y spice – are they more like sports bras or do they have actual cups? Like I need bras but prefer ones that don’t have like cups in them? Also for the first one I can only find it in pink :/ Thanks! Also your tattoos are like #goals (from a baby gay with only one tattoo atm)

    • How much “not cup” are you talking?
      Cause there’s stuff without the foam but still forms a cup shape.

      I’m IBTC with large ribs so I might be able to only help you with terminology sorta and some visual examples but that can really help with searching for stuff. Just knowing what phrases to use or avoid.
      I’m NB too and had my own trial/journey with bras so I feel like I gotta try to help.

      The padded boob shape, anywhere from the foam armor that’s practically second set of breasts to the wee thin foam that makes a cup shape.

      Okay so we have our molded cups right?

      wireless very much still a round BOOBS shape, this category gives me gender dysphoric feelings on a good day.

      Then there’s got the wirefree basics

      the t-shirt bra, these I find on me have like tight pinchy chest band which might be supportive for someone with with a bigger chest that I but dunno. Varies in how “molded” or thick the cups will be

      Then there’s the leisure bra or sleep bra and that would be Nora’s Every Day Hero up there
      I can’t speak to how the cups or anything run with those, they’re just not build for a 36A-AA range but they look soft and not molded to be look high and tight. Some look not to have padding for cups but just shape and stitching.

      The thin foam cup range you have some bralettes which oh dear there’s such a diversity with those but uh the ones with cups in them tend to be molded in like a rounded triangle shape, some of them are really thin and most can be removed. People with larger busts find ones that are long line, a chest band that goes past or near to past the ribcage, to be more comfortable.

      like this

      And then there’s high impact sports bras

      where there’s like a combination of padding and stitching that creates cups.
      Never worn these just fascinated by the engineering that goes into these

      On the side of no padding, but the stitching and fabric creating cups
      there’s low impact sports bras, sometimes called yoga bras

      and some bralettes

      This here is my zone of comfort beyond this is roulette dysphoria.

  5. thank youuuuu for this article, and for including a lovely range here! i’ve been struggling so hard to find a sports bra that’s supportive enough

  6. This is great, and I will be checking out most of the bras on this list. I work from home and could DEFINITELY use a not bra bra, so…yeah, relevant to my interests. <3

  7. Let me just add a third vote for Panache sports bras. I grew up playing all kinds of sports, and always defaulted to compression-style bras because I didn’t know any better. The moment I tried on a Panache bra I felt f*cking indestructible. 10/10 would recommend. For a really thorough review of the wide world of sports bras, see this breakdown by The Wirecutter, which is a fantastic review site for all kinds products.

    • *defaulted to compression-style sports bras that were woefully inadequate for the support I needed, just to clarify. I had no idea there was more out there than the basic t-back compression bras my smaller-chested friends were wearing and that were about the only style sold in most sporting goods stores.

  8. I’m another 34G person. And I’ve just recently given up underwires completely. They’re awful and I won’t wear them. (You do you!! You look great!! I just can NOT anymore!)

    I really like the bras by True & Co and Knixwear – though the Knixwear ones are still a tad small and give me a little bit of the double boob thing, but I just wear fluffy sweaters over it and deal. The True & Co ones are insanely comfortable and feel like a second skin – but they won’t give you a lot of lift. It’s like wearing the shelf part of a shelf cami but better. And while they don’t make my boobs super perky I JUST DO NOT CARE. So if you’re looking for something in between no bra whatsoever and an underwire I highly recommend them.

  9. Oooo bras! This is kind of my jam. 34F here. My heart hurts when I see boobs in bras that don’t fit. I recommend using the U.K. sizing system, especially for bountiful busts.

    In fact, the best thing to do is take your own measurements and use a calculator to find out your exact fit. My favorite is this one: http://www.abrathatfits.org/brasizecalculator.php

    • I sadly don’t have personal experience with Curvy Kate bras, but I’ve heard their strapless options (through J cup) are amazing!

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