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There was a moment, some time in middle school, when bras stopped being an embarrassing hindrance and became a status symbol. It was as if the tiniest sighting of strap transformed its wearer into a "Grown Woman" Bey would be proud of. So, at 13-years-old, I already blamed my larger cup size for limiting my bra-buying options. For years, I wore bras that didn't quite fit (in the name of fashion). I even ignored my first fitting, declaring the professional who measured me mistaken, because I refused to be larger than a D cup.
When I finally decided to see what options were out there for girls wearing north of a DD, the results were just what I expected —matronly, conservative, neutral, and minimizing. They were also supportive and finally the right fit, so I resigned myself to wearing bras that felt several decades my elder. Bummer.
Then, after this story was published last week, knowing there were so many women like me wanting pretty bras that fit, I decided not to fall in line any longer. I got an appointment at Chantelle Paris, a French lingerie house known for its exceptional assortment of DD+ bras. With the help of in-house fit expert Alicia Miller, I realized beautiful and supportive bras (in a cup-size past the first four letters of the alphabet) are out there — if you know where to look.
Let me tell you, wearing the right size bra makes all the difference. So, if you haven't had a proper fitting yet, make an in-person appointment, stat. Call it your Valentine's present to yourself. And, here's what I've learned along the way.
Most of us think that tightening our bra straps will provide all the support we need. But, the band is really where it's at. You don't have to go the widest band around, but it should be sturdier than lace. And, don't be afraid of a seam in the middle of the cup. If the piece fits correctly, and isn't made on the cheap, it'll provide the extra support that the weight of your breasts requires, without showing through your shirt. Finally, make sure that the underwire sits on a base. Even a little bit of fabric under the cup will help give you the perky look you both want and deserve.
Still not confident? Here are 17 reasons size shouldn't limit your sartorial decisions, even on days no one will see your bra but you.