The bra calculator and table are usually inaccurate at both ends of the size spectrum (because the more material a bra has, the more it stretches). This means that plus-sized ladies that need big bands can´t rely on these tools to find their perfect size. You need to try on many bras to find the perfect fit. But don´t go: "I have small breasts so I need an A, I´m plus sized so I need 48".
How to find your bra size:
You might want to go down a couple of band sizes, because big bands are stretchier than small bands. Also, fat on the ribcage is compressible. For example band 46(105) usually fits a woman with a tightly, measured 120 cm ribcage, though the calculator would say band 50(115). This is great news, since we all know that you get more bra choices in smaller bands.
When it comes to cups, you might need smaller than what the table/calculator says. This is because the torso, not the breasts, take up most of the bust measurement.
Another problem with such sizes is that the cups often poke into the armpit, so you may need to try on several models before you find something that is comfortable.
How to find that perfect bra
If you´re not lucky enough to have a store like Bravissimo around, go to whatever large place sells bras in your neighbourhood. Even if you don´t find your size, trying on whatever sizes they have might give you an idea what to order online. And you might be surprised that a 44(95) band fits fine, even though the calculator says 48. Even if the bands are too tight, you might get some idea what cup size you are going for. Lets say the 44C cup is fine but the band is too tight, then you can look online for 46B.
Online, the best strategy would be to find a store with a good return policy and order a bigger number of bras than you need. Say, a couple of models in a couple of different sizes. Send back the ones that don´t fit perfectly.
Do read: Does this bra fit ? How can I tell ? Print it out and bring it to the store.
Here is a list of great online retailers.
I hope this didn´t discourage you. Once you find your perfect size and model, the effort will be totally worth it, I promise !
I´d love it if any curvy readers cared to share their bra-fitting story.