Once you find your correct bra size and get a feel for which bra styles fit you best, comes the time for the pretty and frivolous. After going through hundreds of lingerie photos during my bra-fitting research, I started taking notice at what looks good to my eye on bigger breasts. Of course a bra doesn't have to be flattering. It must be comfortable and it should be pretty (to you), but figure flattery doesn't have to sit high on everyone's list. However if you like analysing how different cuts, colours and details can change the perceived silhouette, read on:
* Spice it up:
I feel that bigger cups don't look their best when mono-coloured and plain. This can quickly look boring and like something my grandma might wear. The expanse of fabric needs to be broken up to add interest: with texture, pattern, colours, and so on.
* Bold statements
Colour blocking, strong details, and statement colours work beautifully on big size bras for women where they might overwhelm a smaller bust. So go for bold: try all-fuschia, broad lace in a contrasting colour, a big bow, vivid edging or animal print. Rawr! (um, not all of the above at once, please). Oh, and for those of you who prefer it subdued: bold statements can look subtle when the colours don't contrast.
* Bra straps
These can totally change the look of a bra! Since we already know that straps don't do the supporting, choose slimmer straps as they add lightness to the whole bra. My favourite are ones that split into a "Y" where attach to the cup: the small bit of empty space in between really makes the construction look airier. If the bra you love has thick orthopaedic straps, it's pretty easy to cut them off and replace them with nicer ones.
Net, lace and mesh add lightness to the bra. I don't understand why many bras, especially those in bigger sizes, are so thick and heavy-looking. Especially the top part of the cup: we all know that the support comes from below, so the top part of the cup can be lace and mesh even in a 34GG.
If you are crafty, you can even perform bra surgery to transform a breastplate bra into an alluring number by carefully cutting out one of the layers of the cup, with results like before and after, this, and this. I have never done this myself, so no tutorial, sorry. (If any of you would like to do one, let me know!)
* Vertical details:
These are optically uplifting. I especially like cups made up of several vertical pieces, along the lines of Curvy Kate Thrill Me. Plunges with contrasting edge-detailing works well too, to my eye. Patterns can also provide vertical details.
Bigger patterns really come into their own on bigger sizes. I'm talking florals, polka dots, geometrical prints and the like. Smaller cups use a scrap of the fabric and often the pattern cannot be displayed to it's full advantage; while a bigger cup provides an expansive canvas for the pattern to pop. In my opinion tiny prints can sometimes look lost on bigger cups and optically enlarge them, unless they are balanced out by a bolder detailing (like edging with a wide lace).
A problem that many bigger-busted girls have is that bras are often modelled by small to medium chested models. A design or pattern that looks good on a 28B bra may not looks so good on a 34G. And vice-versa, of course. Sometimes an internet search might throw up photos of said bra on a big-chested girl.
Note: "bigger breasts" is a relative term. Whether you feel small / medium / big-chested depends on your body proportions and your subjective view of yourself. I have a dear friend who is 70DD-E and was always convinced that she is huge-chested, while for me this size falls into the medium category.
Is figure flattery a priority for you in a bra or do you prefer to go whatever looks simply pretty? Do you have any tips to contribute to the above?
This post has been written in collaboration with Simply Yours.