4 Surprising Strapless Bra Alternatives for Bigger Busts

If you're not in the mood to wear a strapless bra for a fuller bust, shoulder-baring is still possible. Here are some discoveries we made while writing our last blog post.

1. You Never Have to Do Duct Tape.

We've all heard horror stories of the woman with large breasts who taped herself into a strapless, backless gown only to suffer when it came time to remove it. Now there's actually an adhesive bra that works for large cups--and it was created by a woman who duct-taped herself into her wedding gown.

Brassybra is 97% cotton and 3% medical grade adhesive; it's breathable, waterproof, moves with you and lasts 8-10 hours. Best of all, even though their website says it works up to a G cup, women who wear larger cups have been able to use it, too. This video is a great demonstration of how you can wear it.

2. Clear or Sparkling?

Strapless Bras for Big Busts: Sometimes Good Enough Is Best

When we began researching strapless bras for bigger busts, we were sure that today's blog post would be the definitive guide to the best DD+ strapless bras out there. But then we started trying them on. Some bras pushed everything (including armpit fat) up so high that we looked like an overflowing champagne glass. Others gaped on top. Still others left too much space at the base. It turns out there's a different standard for strapless bras than for everyday bras: Good Enough.

 

Judy Masucci from Levana Bratique in Pittsburgh told us, "Sometimes with strapless bras you have to settle for 'as good as it gets'. They often do not tack at the sternum, they often gape at the top of the cup." At The Rack Shack in Brooklyn, owner Laura Henny says that the strapless bra that her H cup customers take on tropical vacations "doesn't fit as perfect as a regular bra, but it does the job.” Kim Berger of Lion's Lair Boutique agrees: "When it comes to a strapless, it's really about just being 'good enough'. It's rarely a technical fit and often not comfortable . . . kind of like stiletto heels--they may make the outfit, but we suffer for the look!"

If you've fallen in love with a bare-shouldered look, here are the strapless bras that we recommend giving a try.

15 Best Big Bust Suits to Buy this Summer!

Some busty women hate swimsuit shopping, but that doesn't have to be you. This year, avoid shoving your chest into the shelf bra of a one-piece or spilling out the sides of a triangle bikini. Try bra-sized swimwear instead! Here are 15 brands that give stylish options beyond a DD.

Panache

This British brand specializes in large bust swimwear--their Portofino and Anya one-pieces go up to a K cup--and their styles are readily available in the United States. Our top pick for the season is the Ceylon High Neck Bikini.

Leah from Hourglassy says it is "easily the most sophisticated bikini I've ever owned! More importantly, the fit is amazing!" Because the bra portion provides all the support and the halter ties are merely decorative, there's no neck strain. Another perk? "The mesh halter tucks in any loose side-boob or armpit fat." If bikinis aren't for you, the one-piece version is equally elegant.

[Be sure to click the tiny "read more" link below for the rest of our fabulous finds!]

It's Real Simple--We're the Best No-Gape Shirt!

We're white shirt award winners in the June issue of Real Simple! You can read the online article here:

Better Bra Fit from Afar for Fuller Busts

A well-fitting bra makes our button front shirt fit busty women even better. We showed you why here and here, and we think our advice on how to find a good fitter is still spot on. But when it comes to finding someone to fit you remotely, both our suggestions have since closed their virtual doors.

After we recommended My Bra Concierge last September, the founders decided to shutter the business to focus on their day jobs. That's when we FINALLY remembered the fabulous fitter we should have endorsed in the first place: Lion's Lair Boutique. As founder Kim Berger told us, "What we do IS our day job and we've been hard at it for 22 years."

There are no surveys or algorithms involved, yet an industry insider once told us, "Bra fitters can’t get much more analytical than Kim." The store will put you in the right size on the first try 90% of the time simply by discussing three numbers with you:

Book Review: The Myth of the Nice Girl

The Myth of the Nice Girl is for anyone who has ever received the backhanded compliment, "You're too nice!" The book could just as easily have been titled "The Celebration of the Nice Girl" because author Fran Hauser believes that women who genuinely care about others have a super power, and she's here to help them own it--beginning with five great responses to somone whose idea of "nice" is either too vague to be helpful or contrary to your values:

  1. "I know, and it's really served me well."
  2. "Don't mistake my kindness for weakness."
  3. "You say that as if it's something negative."
  4. "I've come to realize that it is actually possible to be nice and strong. They are not mutually exclusive."
  5. "It's better than the alternative . . . who wants to deal with a jerk?"

Practical advice like this list is one of the best things about The Myth of the Nice Girl. Hauser even includes the exact wording of a networking email that caught her eye in her inbox! You'll also find:

If You Hate Ironing Shoulder Bumps, These Hangers Are for You

Fist bumps are great. Shoulder bumps from a wide hanger, not so much!

For years our company hung our classic white shirts for bigger busts on standard slimline hangers. However, as we prepared sample shirts for pop up shops, the only things that always needed ironing were the shoulder bumps and the weird vertical creases they caused below them. Our shirts come in 24 bust-friendly sizes, so we were ironing 48 sleeves before every event!

We searched high and low for an alternative and found four great options that we're sharing with you . . . because some mornings even one sleeve is too much to iron.

Our Favorite: Only Hangers Petite Wooden Suit Hanger

We dare you to find another suit hanger that is only 15 inches long--we searched everywhere for this one. With its petite length, this hanger falls perfectly at the shoulder seams of our size 8 shirt (which measures slightly more than 15 inches across the shoulders). In the photo above, it's the second from the left. See what we mean?

These Red Carpet Looks Will Make Any Busty Woman Want to Dress Up

Two things are sure to make a big-busted woman gasp, "I could never wear that!"

A dress with no back . . .

and a dress with almost no front.

 
 


After a buttondown shirt that won't gap, women with large chests tell us that finding an evening gown to fit is one of their biggest challenges. Fortunately, not all glittering gowns are off limits to D cups and higher, and we've culled looks from full-busted celebrities on this season's red carpets to inspire you. Some are custom-made wonders, but many work with a simple strapless or even a regular full-bust bra.

BRALESS OPTIONS

Reading Recs for the Year Ahead

We asked a few of the women who wear our bust-friendly shirts what books they would recommend to other women setting goals in 2018. Read their thoughtful replies, plus a review of our own book recommendation, below.

The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan. "A wonderfully inspiring book that helps us focus on the small details that we overlook when evaluating our lives." Candy Gould, Personal Color and Style Consultant, House of Colour Manhattan

The On-Purpose Business Person: Doing More of What You Do Best More Profitably by Kevin McCarthy.  "It shows you how to blend the professional and personal lives, especially since they overlap at times." Sandi Webster, Managing Director and Co-Founder, C2G Partners

Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath. "I've been using [this book] in my classes for years. How to speak so that people will remember what you’ve said. Very accessible, useful." Barbara Mink, Communications Professor and Artist

The Nightingale of Mosul by Susan Luz. "A memoir based on a life of dedication, sacrifice and adventure that really struck a chord for me." Barbara Graveline, Co-Founder and Designer, Nodding Bur Originals

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanthi. "It has the most profound meaning and helped me understand the point of life is not happiness, but striving." Danna R., medical professional

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If some of your goals are a little too familiar to the ones you've set before, then we highly recommend Tasha Eurich's book Insight: Why We're Not as Self-Aware as We Think, and How Seeing Ourselves Clearly Helps Us Succeed at Work and in Life.

 

 

In a book dense with suggestions, here are two tools that jumpstarted my (founder Darlene Campbell's) new year:

Fitted Fun for Fuller Busts with Creative Customizing

We were wrong when we thought life couldn't get any better than a classic white shirt. This spring we discovered that our mill makes stretch cotton shirting in stripes! It took a corporate chef to get things cooking. After we sized her into a 12M at our July pop up shop, she created this combination to wear when dignitaries visit her company.

An elementary school principal came up with this playful yet authoritative look.

 

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