My Quest for a DD Bra

by Clutch

Having an ample bosom isn’t all rainbows and glitter, especially when it’s time to find a bra. I had big breasts since my early teenage years but only recently, found bras that catered to my size. The quest started once I grew weary of the mediocrity of grandma-styled bras that the sales associates at Macy’s kept pushing on me. I initially thought a trip to Victoria’s Secret would cure my woes. The commercials boasted of bras with a magical lift-and-separate ability as well as larger size availability. So like many women, I put my trust in clever advertising. I ventured out to the mall only to find a half interested “specialist” who barely looked at the tape she was measuring me with. I wanted her to stop my back from aching and explain why I always felt like I was carrying encyclopedias on my chest. What I received in return for my hard-earned paycheck and time was an ill-fitted albeit sexy bra that offered absolutely no support.

Ever-determined, I took to the internet, googling my way to a decent bra for bigger breasts. Eventually, I was pointed into the direction of a few online sites and specialty lingerie stores that were nowhere near my metro-accessibility radius. My heart sank so I took a Facebook break. I fell upon the profile picture of a former classmate of mine with large breasts sitting proud and high. I sent her an awkward message: “Hey. So, don’t take this the wrong way, but where did you get your bra? I need my breasts to do that.” After much e-laughter and promises that I’m not a creep, she sent me to Nordstrom. The intimates department there offered a larger selection and professional fittings.

I told the associate while she was fitting me that my goal was for the girls to “sit pretty.” Heavier busts weigh more, and I was trying to avoid the ‘breast-feeding champion’ visage. I wanted to be perky just like the A, B and C cups.

I tried on what seemed like 100 bras and was able to find three I really liked. I’m not going to lie to you, they were pretty pricey but I felt and saw the difference immediately. What I like about Nordstrom is that they have extensive size options. If your size isn’t in the store, they’ll order it and send it to your house, free of shipping. I realized sometimes you have to splurge to get taken care of the right way.

The average lingerie designer does not offer many sizing options, especially for women who fall in the outlier category (i.e. larger bands and smaller cups or larger cups and smaller bands). And with the national average bra size being a 36C, companies are going to cater to the sizes they perceive are most common. I don’t expect things to get easier overnight but now atleast I know I have options.

Clutchettes, have you experienced difficulty shopping for larger or smaller breasts? What are your go-to stores to shop and be fitted for bras?

-Nadiah Rodriguez

  • TurtleDub

    As a fellow DD wearer, I *swear* by the women at Nordstrom! The fittings are fabulous and the selection is terrific. Yes, the bras are pricey, but you look (and feel) so much better.

  • http://www.facebook.com/singdammit Tamara Williams Van Horn

    Before I had surgery, I accepted the fact that a bra had to cost $100 to fit me. It sucked, but I learned about how important a well-fitting bra was. Four years later, I’ve tried V.S. that “fit,” but I’ll pay for my girls to sit lifted on strong lace. But it’s annoying to spend so much on something so small!

  • Jamila

    Thanks for the info, i hate bra shopping and for some strange reason my wonderful husband thinks i can buy bra’s that support 38DD from wal-mart (bless his lil heart) Recently i purchase a few from Dillards but i will make a stop at Nordstrom for next round of bra’s.

  • TaJye

    Great article! Nordstrom and Bra Intimacy are the best places to find irregular sizes that fit and look good but don’t expect to spend under $70 per bra (before you get the matching panties). The customer service is great and they can answer most questions/concerns. I never received that kind of service and VS but I could never fit their bras either. Technically I’m a 34F but they would shove me in a 38DD or 40D only to watch me fall out the sides.

  • Ms. Irene

    I have that problem! I have a few good ones and it’s time to get remeasured because they seem to have lost their holding power. I found a few in Macy’s that I liked. My mom and aunt like the bras they got from Ardyss life, I have one and aside from the initial awkwardness of getting it on (I had adjustment issues) its great. Helps with posture too, you can’t slouch in this thing. My supervisor swears by Soma Intimates so I’m thinking of trying that next. Thanks for the info, Nordstroms is on my list to check out.

  • http://twitter.com/celestemc R.C. McClary (@celestemc)

    Unfortunately Nordstrom’s is the best bet in most parts of the country. Otherwise look at online stores like Linda the Bra Lady, Bare necessities or Fig Leaves. In NYC there is Town Shop, Intimacy, and Linda the Bra Lady among the best.

  • Ms. Irene

    I got measured in Victoria Secret before I knew any better and the associate quietly wrote down my measurements and told me they don’t go that high in store or online. Then she gave me the sad eyes.

  • http://www.overflowradio.tv Soulfullyreal

    Yes, stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom have a decent selection for women w/ larger busts, but they still tend to fall into the black, white or beige category, which is sooooo annoying! I tried one of those cheap “Delta Burke” bras b/c it was so cute and was my size (40DD) but it wasn’t supportive in the least and those cheap a** straps didn’t help at all.

    Usually I’ll find something at Fredericks, they’re decent w/ larger sizes, and usually have a sale to boot.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=816110 Maya DeRoché

    In NYC, I have found several lingerie stores with a large variety for my 34FF bosom. You’re not going to get the range of bras like you would for a smaller bust, but there are many sexy and strapless/convertible options. My favorite place in New York is Linda’s Bras (but my friends also love Orchard Corset Center, figleaves.com, and occasionally Bloomingdale’s). Once you get someone to size you properly, you can order online. My favorite brands are Freya, Maidenform, Elomi, Panache, and Fantasie.

  • http://about.me/tvnewslady Sia Nyorkor

    this is so true! Nordstrom has an EXCELLENT lingerie section & the ladies working there will fit you to a “t.” the bras are more expensive but they last longer and you look better. it’s totally worth it.

  • Ange B

    I too fall in the buster category..beyond a DD cup. And I have noticed that over the last 5 years at least in Toronto (Canada) there has been a great improvement in the quality and selection of available larger cup bras. In my experience the more I have to pay the longer lasting and quality of the bra. “Secrets from your sister’s closet” is a wonderful boutique with a couple of locations and these women do not give up. They will measure properly, explain what they feel would be a better fit, and explain why one fits you better than the other based on your needs. As well as based on what they notice directly. It is good to know that a major brand store like Nordstorm also offers up larger sizes. Thanks for the article post!

  • Yb

    I’m on a quest to get one of those inexperienced non-tailoring skilled women at Vicky Secrets to give me my right best size. 40C 34D 36DD 32E Will someone please refer to a bra company that knows what they are doing?

  • Tash

    Soma is a good choice, make sure that they measure you and tell them exactly what type of bra you are in search for. They are long lasting good quality bras.

  • dee

    I absolutely hate shopping for bras. I am a size 34G and also got the “sad eyes” when going into victoria’s secret and asking the sales person if they had my size range. The flip side is that I love my breasts and the size, people pay good money to get what I have naturally, I just have to find the right support for them. The only place i can go is to Intimacy in NYC. Sure it takes putting aside a couple of hours to get the right one but I am willing to do that to get a quality bra. I often hate that there aren’t many options in color, lace, wireless etc that are not over $50. I also would love to be able to wear strapless dresses and tops but cant because I simply cannot go without a bra. I guess my 34G’s are both a blessing and a curse.

  • Dionne

    I’m a 36DD and I live by Soma. My mom is a 42DD and she’s the one that got me hooked. Like you said, they are long lasting and good quality. And another plus is that there are always sales and the brand has great variety in colors and prints.

  • Penelope

    I used to got to filenes basement to get good quality durable bras but it has gone out of business. I initially shopped in the discount isle of the Macy’s bra section (hoping to find a durable bra would be on sale) but it was still too much for My student budget. My strategy now is to go to Macy’s and try on as many bras as possible and write down the brand,size,and style number that fit me. Then I go online and check to see if I can find any deals for it at a discount store or on the brands website. I can’t deal with the disorganization of Ross or Marshall’s but if you are in NYC I would suggest daffys and loehmans. I find 90 percent of my bras there and never spend more than $30 a pair. Just to be clear these are often the exact same brand, style number, and size as I see in Macy’s.

  • http://jameane.wordpress.com Jame

    I am one of the outlier sizes. 34H-HH. It is a bit annoying, there is much less selection for the H cups. I have Fantasie, Freya and Panache. All easy to find in Nordstoms. Also Cleo by Panache, which is another trendier option. Also look for Curvy Kate online: they have 28-44, D-K cups approximately.

  • d_nicegirl

    Go Wacoal or go home.

  • CurlySue

    I, too, struggle to find a bra that fits well. I’ve worn VS for years but that’s mostly because they seem to have the prettier styles. I’m a 36D/34DD and it’s bloody difficult to find cute bras in anything over a C cup! Like, what makes these bra manufacturers think that because I have big jahoobies that beige, black, and white are gonna cut it? And just because I have a bigger cup size doesn’t mean I want the cup covering me up to my collar bone. I mean, DAMN!

  • http://www.overflowradio.tv Soulfullyreal

    Love Curvy Kate

  • http://gravatar.com/herroncoward herroncoward

    Story of my big tittied life.
    I thought I was a 36D for most of high school until someone kindly pointed me in the direction of Nordstrom’s. HOLY GUACAMOLE BATMAN! New life. only to find that I was a 32G. Now I’m an 30H/30FF (which is basically a 32G but tighter) and I love Nordstrom’s. However, due to price I try to size at Nordstrom’s and buy online. Figleaves.com is one of my favorites! Bravissimo.com is fly as well!

    Oh and don’t trust them Victoria’s Secret bitches. They know the shit don’t fit. However, they do not care because they work on commission.

  • Patrice

    I am a Wacoal fan for life !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • PeppyChick

    For years, I have been buying quality,supportive and economically priced bras from Lane Bryant’s lingerie line Cacique. Never have I had to buy a $60+ bra. The sales assoiciate are trained as well in bra-sizing and if they can’t fit your size in the store they can find it online and have it shipped to your house.
    So even if you aren’t a plus-sized lady, I HIGHLY reccommend you check out Cacique bras.

  • C

    I am so glad my breasts got smaller (back to a C cup). Reading some of these comments made me remember how hard it was shopping for bras. I used to go to Soma quite often.

  • Melanie

    I totally agree. As a personal shopper and stylist, I can’t stress any further that what we wear under our clothes, truly defines the shape of the outfit. I’ve taken two clients to Linda the Bra Lady, in NYC, and they both had a wonderful experience, in service and with product.

    LBL’s bra specialist will fit you – so you will know your correct bra size – and then they will provide you with a vast amount of options to choose from. Their bras are exquisite! And also pricey ($60+, even for A cup women). However they hold up well over time. HANRO is my favorite brand. I’m not the frilly type, so I have two basic bras and that I alternate between – it’s been 4 months, and they are still in excellent condition. :)

  • Amber

    I totally understand!! I have been a member of the large chest club all of my life. The best bra that I have found is by Bali.I have to have back support, wide straps, and lift…this bra offers it all! It is the underwire minimizer, but it also comes without underwire. Nothing about this bra is glamous or even close to what we see at VS but it works! It lifts, seperates, and minimizes! It is the only bra I have ever worn. :-) Check it out.

    http://www.onehanesplace.com/outlet/bras/bali-bra/bali-satin-tracings-underwire-minimizer-bra?cm_vc=SPZ1

  • NewLook

    One store – Cacique (Lane Bryant). I am a 34-DD and they were able to get me some great bras (and they have semi annual sales I got 4 bras for $44.00). I am telling you it will change your life. cacique.com

  • TrevLove

    I will definitely check out Nordstrom’s when I have some extra cheddar. I’ve ordered from Brasmyth and Just My Size. For the naughty bras and accessories, I order from Hips and Curves.com.

  • amarie

    I’m a 38DD and I try to get a few during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale and again during the Half Yearly sale. If I need one in between that time the Victoria’s Secret Body By Victoria (multi-way) fits me perfectly. The Incredible by VS isn’t too bad either.

  • Ang

    Fredericks of Hollywood? They have decent support bras? I will have to check out the site.

  • Ang

    Cacicqu are the only bras I buy and the customer service is great. I recently order from the site and found some bras on clearance for $12

  • isis

    i concur with the ladies!!! (i’m a 34F)… hit up Nordstrom and Bloomingdales… also be sure to stalk Nordstrom Rack’s lingerie section…

    in addition to Panache, try Fayreform… they have some gorgeous ones with substantial shoulder strap support that work great as minimizers (the worst is to find a bra that “fits” only to not be able to fit your shirts!)

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    +10 I stand by Cacique and even fredrick’s of Hollywood selections

  • http://gravatar.com/kenyabryant Kenya

    Believe it or not Target is my go-to for DD bras on my recent grad budget. I even have my mother hooked! I was a huge supporter of VS bras, but as my breast grew, the VS color selection became a bore AND I always had issues with the bra fit after a few washes. Target has been working so far! I’m sold!

  • LeonieUK

    They do have a decent selection, it’s due to all the silicone beauties thank you ladies. I’ve had some racy and pretty bras from them (38 F).

  • Nancy

    I’m a 34F and getting my bras at Intimacy changed my life. Yes, they are expensive but worth it. For some reason Europeans seem to make beautiful bras for bigger sizes. Once you are sized properly you can go online or to Nordstrom at sales time and find deals. Lines like Fantasie, Freya, Panache and Prima Donna are great. Check Barenecessities.com

  • Ms. Terious

    Soma Intimates has been my life saver (DDD, here!) But I must admit, it is a little pricey. But they have a great variety, as well as, summer dresses (with built-in bras) and swim wear.

    Does anyone know of a good sports bra though? I always have to double up to make sure I don’t have “spillage” while working out.

  • Reality&Truth

    Gap Body hasn’t been mentioned and they are great for cute, 36 DD and above, and UNDERWIRE FREE bras. Around $30/bra. I used to try to be cheap and go to target until my underwire stabbed me one day.

  • Marlo

    I am a DD wearer too. I can no longer go to TJ MAXX for the cute sets. Yes, Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack – and sometimes Kohls. Buying cute bras is like buying cute shoes now.

  • Jennifer

    I have also had good experiences with Fredericks. The shoulder straps are sewn together instead of held with a plastic ring and they even have unusual sizes like 32D.

  • http://jameane.wordpress.com Jame

    Only if your band is over 36. Personally, they haven’t ever fit me, since they stop at F or G cups in the bands 36 or lower.

  • mary mary

    barenecessities.com also has bras of many sizes and often offers discount codes

  • Nic

    Le Mystere is a great one…F, G, and H cups (and ditto on Bare Necessities b/c some lines do a better job of having large cups for small band sizes, which a lot of large busted black women actually have)…

  • b

    36DD and pleased with Cacique!

  • http://gravatar.com/sblazer227 sblazer227

    as a 40h i have to say that nordstrom has been a god send. my first foray into real bra fittings was saks and i paid out the ass. nordstrom is a lil cheaper ( like $60 to $90 versus $80 to $120) and the ladies are knowledgeable and oh so nice. i really only go to nordstrom about three times a year to stock up on three bras at a time. another thing to remember is that bras, no matter how expensive have a life span. a perfect fitting bra in january isnt going to work the same in august.
    also lane bryant has some large sizes.

  • http://fourpageletter.wordpress.com fourpageletter

    a fellow canuck! secrets is great (but also can be costly), does Nordstrom’s ship to Canada? *runs to website*

  • http://fourpageletter.wordpress.com fourpageletter

    i just went bra shopping last night and almost throw the bra and a tantrum!
    and even worse, was ‘measured’ before i went into the fitting room and couldn’t even do it up – what numbers was she looking at??? i left very frustrated.

  • http://crystalmeth-odology.blogspot.com/ Crystal

    Well, I’m a 38G so I feel your pain. Lane Bryant has great affordable bras & if you catch a sale, you’re good money. And Nordstrom is good as well. Also, some good brands are Le Mystique and Wacoal.

  • Nawdeeuh

    LMAO!

  • Nawdeeuh

    Just because a brand carries larger sizes, does not mean they are supportive. Keep this in mind ladies! Back problems are real!

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