Vanity + Wearables

My favorite bra.

My favorite bra - doorsixteen.com

I’m supposed to be writing a post about cabinetry, but you know what? I sort of just feel like writing about bras today. As I was getting dressed this morning, I took a moment to appreciate the fact that I really love my bra, and that I actually enjoy putting it—and its identical twin drawer mates—on every day. So why not write about it?

I wear a hard-to-find/hard-to-fit-properly size. 34G, to be exact, a size that falls outside of the range of bras that can be found at most department stores. The combination of a small band and large cup isn’t an unusual one in actual life with actual humans, but reality has never dictated the marketplace when it comes to garments geared toward women. Yes, places like Nordstrom and Macy’s carry a few lines that include my size, but they tend to be very expensive, and the lack of a broad selection means that even one with the right size printed on the tag doesn’t actually fit my body.

The other issue I encounter when looking for a bra with large cups is that there’s often too much structure/shaping, and worst of all…padding. I detest any kind of padding in bras, even that thin foam found in what’s known as a “t-shirt bra.” I can’t stand it. Apparently bra makers put it there because bra-wearing people supposedly don’t want the world to know that they have nipples? At least this is what I’m told.

I don’t want to shock anyone, but most people have nipples. I’m sorry, but it’s true. Even I have nipples! I apologize if this means you think about me differently now.

Gravel & Gold Boobs pillowcase
Gravel & Gold Boobs pillowcase / Textile design by Cassie McGettigan

Anyway, I’ve gone through most of my adult life hating every single bra I’ve owned. There’s been an occasional one or two that I’ve convinced myself I like, but in reality, they’ve fallen short. Either they ride up in the back, or the gore (that’s the little part where the cups meet in the center) doesn’t fit flat (or “tack”—here’s a good piece about what gore tacking means) against my body, or the straps are too narrow or too wide, or they make my breasts look flat or pointy or splayed or quadrupled.

WHO WANTS ANY OF THAT? Given the percentage of the population that wears bras, it really shouldn’t be so hard.

My bra-fury peaked sometime in early 2018 when I caved and bought bras from a company that advertises heavily on podcasts and in sponsored Instagram posts. I ordered a bunch of sizes, AND THEY ALL SUCKED. Either the band was too loose or the cups were cutting into the tops of my breasts and bagging out on the sides, or the straps were inexplicably wide despite the back only having two hooks, the fabric was cheap and scratchy, and everything was padded. Of course. Awful. I returned all but the one that was the least terrible.

Confetti Riot Boobiful keychain
Confetti Riot You Are Boobiful keychain

Feeling like I had nothing to lose, I started searching for bras on Amazon. I searched for “34G bra” and took it from there, narrowing the results down to underwire bras (I’ve tried wireless bras, hoping that would do the trick, but I have yet to find one that gives enough support without also flattening and/or creating a uniboob effect), that were under $50, had a review average over four stars, and that were unlined.

I arrived at the Glamorise Plus-Size Full Figure Sexy Stretch Lace Wonderwire Bra (#9850), nicely priced at $36 and with an impressive size range from 34C to 46G, with F and G cups for everyone! I checked their sizing chart (there’s a graphic in the Amazon listing—USE IT), remeasured myself accordingly, ordered a few sizes (34F, 34G, and 36G), and waited.

Let me tell you something: All three sizes fit better than any other bra I’ve worn before. No kidding. It actually took me some real consideration before deciding which one was more right than the others! I settled on the 34G and sent the others back.

I LOVE THIS BRA. It fits exactly how I’ve always imagined halter bras or bralettes would fit if they existed in my size. The cups are nearly full coverage, but not in a way that feels like a turtleneck. The support of the stretch lace extends all the way up to the collarbone, which is amazing. There’s ZERO padding or lining. The construction of the cups doesn’t create any kind of squishing or molding, it just holds everything in a natural, round shape. The underwire is enclosed in a channel that provides more “insulation” against chafing than in any other bra I’ve owned. The gore sits completely flat against my chest, ensuring separation and zero spillage. And best of all, it’s sooooooo comfortable. I don’t even think about it once I’ve started my day. Honestly? I feel a little sad when it’s time to take it off at night. Seriously.

I eventually ordered three of the magical Glamorise #9850s in black, and one in beige (sorry, I refuse to call it “nude”) for the rare occasion when I wear something white. I’ve had them all for two years now, and they haven’t lost ANY of their stretch or started to lose shape or get holes in the lace or anything. I don’t hand-wash them, either! I wash them in a mesh delicates bag with my other laundry in a cold water cycle, and hang them to dry. Please don’t put your bras in the dryer.

OK, that’s my post about my favorite bra! I feel better now, like I’ve officially put my appreciation for something I love every day out into the universe. If you have nipples, tell them I say hello!

p.s. Don’t use that ridiculous “add four inches” guideline when figuring out your bra size. This is why that myth exists, and how to do it properly. Also, always give yourself a few size options to work with when trying on bras, because the same size can fit very differently depending on the brand and style.

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67 Comments

  • Reply Geninne April 15, 2020 at 5:38 pm

    OMG you are too funny! I lol’d several times while reading this and Zorrito even turned around to look at me wondering what was happening!
    I stopped wearing bras two years ago, I gave up! I just wear a tank under everything and call it a day. But this bra you are describing is making me want to try again 🙂 So, thank you!

    • Reply Anna Dorfman April 15, 2020 at 7:02 pm

      Say hi to Zorrito’s nipples from me!! 😀

  • Reply Katie April 15, 2020 at 5:40 pm

    I can feel your intense passion for this bra through my screen!

    Long time reader and I’m so glad you’re blogging again.

    • Reply Anna Dorfman April 15, 2020 at 7:03 pm

      I feel very strongly about my bra, what can I say!!

  • Reply Claudia April 15, 2020 at 5:46 pm

    A bra that’s supportive and comfy and pretty?! That is the holy grail of bras! Thanks for the rec, will check it out Post-pandemic. (Many stores currently aren’t accepting clothing returns, which makes total sense.)

    • Reply Anna Dorfman April 15, 2020 at 7:03 pm

      Oh wow, that had not even occurred to me!

  • Reply Cassandra April 15, 2020 at 6:04 pm

    I had a bra fitter at a department store shame me for asking for a beige bra. I refuse to ask for “nude”. To me the colour has always been beige and they are super practical and can be worn under anything! I hope her underwire popped out during her working day and poked her in the eye…

  • Reply Julie April 15, 2020 at 6:07 pm

    I remember when you posted about this bra on Twitter and ended up buying it because finding a decent looking, well-fitting bra above a certain size is difficult. It’s a good bra! I’ve had it for over a year now and it’s still comfortable.

    • Reply Anna Dorfman April 15, 2020 at 7:10 pm

      Julie! I’m so glad it worked out for you! Thank you for being with me during the stressful Bad Bra Days.

  • Reply Martha April 15, 2020 at 6:09 pm

    A good bra makes all the difference—to life, to love, to general well-being. Heck, to wanting to get dressed that day! I wish more bra companies actually understood this. Thank you for this, Anna. I feel your past pain. I cheer your success! Oh, to the joy of an excellent bra. Yeah!!!!

    • Reply Anna Dorfman April 15, 2020 at 7:10 pm

      I didn’t fully realize what a massive difference it would make!

  • Reply Kari April 15, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    This post could not have come at a better time for this 34F wearing a very shitty (and kinda pokey) Target bra that was a desperate purchase after my previous bras underwire randomly snapped. Happy to support your blog (sorry/not sorry) with an affiliate purchase.

    • Reply Anna Dorfman April 15, 2020 at 7:12 pm

      I’m amazed you found a 34F bra at Target!!

  • Reply Paula April 15, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    34 G here…been following you for so many years and my first comment ever is to tell you I just bought that bra. I am so damn hopeful it will work for me as well as it works for you! Thank you

  • Reply Laura S April 15, 2020 at 6:41 pm

    AMEN. I have so so many of the same issues. Ordering now.

    • Reply Anna Dorfman April 15, 2020 at 7:12 pm

      Eep! Good luck!! 😀

      • Reply Laura April 22, 2020 at 4:02 pm

        Update: the bra came. Once I got it on I couldn’t stop saying OH SH*T. It’s fantastic! I think my favorite part is the cut/shape in front. The cups are slightly triangle, which is so flattering, and the underwire sits LOW on my body when it comes together in the middle. It’s so comfortable! Thank you for writing this post. I’m so glad you’re back to blogging.

    • Reply Megan April 15, 2020 at 7:37 pm

      I’m a 32 G I’m adding this to my list. A good bra is soo hard to find.

      • Reply Harriet April 16, 2020 at 2:25 pm

        Same size here! I’m willing to give anything a try, but have so far bad experiences from purchasing bras online.

  • Reply Susanna B. April 15, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    Fellow hater of padding here. All my bras are unlined and if they come with removable padding, the spongey saucers are given to the cat to play with. I never got the memo that the outline of my nipples were taboo.

  • Reply Michelle April 15, 2020 at 6:54 pm

    Hmmm…the bra in the link doesn’t look like the first bra in your post! It appears to be a different style but is the correct number.

    • Reply Anna Dorfman April 15, 2020 at 7:00 pm

      Hmmm, I just tested all of the links, and they’re correct! Maybe it’s the band showing through in my photo that’s making it look different?

      • Reply Michelle April 17, 2020 at 7:12 pm

        If you look at the video – it’s the bra where the lace comes up to the collar bones (like the pic at the top) but the pics look inconsistent and are of a lace cup type?

        • Reply Michelle April 17, 2020 at 7:15 pm

          ….maybe I’m imagining that. I have Swiss cheese brain lately!!

          • Anna Dorfman April 17, 2020 at 8:28 pm

            I think it might just be that it sits differently on different bodies!

  • Reply Pamela April 15, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    So cute! Heartbroken it’s only band size 34 and up, as a 32G 🙁

    • Reply Anna Dorfman April 15, 2020 at 7:25 pm

      Nooooo!! The same brand makes other bras in 32G, but I’m afraid I can’t vouch for them. Maybe worth a shot??

    • Reply Emily April 16, 2020 at 2:08 pm

      30/32G here. I almost cried when I got to the part that said the bands on this bra start at 34. I was so hopeful. But that’s the story of my small ribcage, large boob-having life — so many tears cried and body image issues formed over not being able to properly clothe myself. (Also, ThirdLove doesn’t work for my body type, in case anyone wonders. Straps are way too far apart, and they loosen throughout the day.)

    • Reply Harriet April 16, 2020 at 2:27 pm

      Oh no, that’s too bad! I was also going to check for it in 32 G.

  • Reply Julie April 15, 2020 at 8:04 pm

    Thanks for this important post. I didn’t know it was called a gore, but yes, I hate when there is a gap there. Underwires seem to be the only bra that hugs between boob, but finding comfortable is so hard. And every lace bra seems so scratchy to me. Always ‘perk up’ to recommendations by real women. I will definitely look into this. Thanks, Anna!

  • Reply Megan April 15, 2020 at 8:33 pm

    Love this post! But – I have the opposite issue, finding a good bra in an A cup. All suggestions welcomed!

  • Reply Aimee Graham April 15, 2020 at 8:41 pm

    Gah! You’re recent posts are speaking to me! I wear a 36G and have really been lamenting the lack of comfortable bras during this hometime. What I would give for a G cup bralette. I’ll have to check out this brand – I’ve been a pretty loyal customer of Elomi and Panache for years. Mostly on sale at Nordstron where you can find them for around 40$ if you’re lucky. Also, all of your booby accessories reminds me of a friends jewelry. 🙂 https://ohmeshop.com/collections/rings/products/tt-ring

  • Reply Kelly M April 15, 2020 at 10:29 pm

    So great! Pretty and actually good don’t often go together when it comes to bras. Thanks for this! By the way, I’m curious if you still wear a lot of black and the same style of clothes as you did back in nyc. I’d love a whole ‘my favourite clothes’ post!

    • Reply Anna Dorfman April 16, 2020 at 5:57 am

      I’ve been dressing mostly black and mostly the same style since I was a teenager, so…yes. I dislike every article of clothing I currently own, though, so that’s probably not good blog material. 😉

  • Reply Christina April 16, 2020 at 12:21 am

    Love this! Thanks Anna.

    I am also in the small back, large cup size club and it really is hard to find a good fit. I do recommend Lucky Sew & Sew on Etsy if you ever consider non-wired bras. Their designs are gorgeous and they fit really well based on your measurements, not a standard size.

    • Reply Anna Dorfman April 16, 2020 at 6:23 am

      Thanks, Christina! I just looked them up, and unfortunately, they’re not for me. If you look at how the bras fit in all of the customer photos (and even in their model photos), you’ll see that they’re designed to work not by slightly lifting each breast separately, but by pulling the breasts together. That’s why the gore (that’s the center of the cups) doesn’t sit flat against the any of their bodies—instead, it’s fully away from their ribcage and not touching their torsos at all. I definitely don’t want that. I know some people like the pushed together/cleavage thing, but not me. I find it really uncomfortable, and (on me) unattractive.

  • Reply Sara April 16, 2020 at 1:48 am

    I just wanted to say welcome back to blogging Anna! I am so happy you resumed your blog because it is one of my favorite reads of the day among all this depressing news.

    • Reply Anna Dorfman April 16, 2020 at 7:16 am

      That’s good to hear, Sara! Thank you.

  • Reply Hilde April 16, 2020 at 5:45 am

    Great post! Wonderful that you’ve found your bra/brand.
    I wear a EU 75F so can relate. Absolutely hate padded bras and have never owned one.
    I remember when I first found bras that actually fit and were beautiful too, by a Belgian brand called Prima Donna. They’re the only RTW bras I wear now. Very expensive, but worth it.
    But I also make my own bras. There are a few good patterns available and it is so much fun combining all the pretty laces and fabrics. And for me it’s cheaper than buying bras, while still having great quality and fit.
    (Especially when you make matching sets. Why are matching knickers so expensive??? With PD they often are half the price of a bra!)

    • Reply Anna Dorfman April 16, 2020 at 7:15 am

      I wish I had your skills and patience, Hilde!! I can barely get myself to make a simple face mask, so I’m thinking bra-making probably isn’t in my future. Hahah.

      • Reply Becky April 16, 2020 at 10:39 am

        I was going to leave almost exactly the same message . When you can’t make a face mask, bras are definitely out of reach!

        • Reply Anna Dorfman April 16, 2020 at 10:40 am

          Hahaha. I think I probably CAN make a face mask (I own a sewing machine and can follow a basic pattern), I just have zero desire to actually do it. There are certain things I’d much rather pay someone else to do for me, and that’s one of them!

          • Hilde April 16, 2020 at 4:06 pm

            Lol! It really isn’t hard for someone who knows how to sew, it just takes some practice and finding the right pattern for your shape. And materials, but you can buy kits with everything you need. It’s surprisingly quick too. And it’s way (waaaay) more exciting than sewing face masks!
            But I completely understand it’s not for everyone :-).

  • Reply Caitlin April 16, 2020 at 5:52 am

    My kingdom for an affordable 28/30 band! That is an equally annoying battle I have yet to find my winner for- since major retailers don’t believe we exist.

    • Reply Anna Dorfman April 16, 2020 at 7:14 am

      It’s maddening, isn’t it? Bra manufacturers decided on that “add four inches” garbage a long time ago, and that has really caused the entire non-specialty bra industry to be—for the most part—totally wrong for actual bodies.

    • Reply Becky April 16, 2020 at 12:30 pm

      I also own a sewing machine and attempted to make my mask and I did but it is so bad!
      Despite my lack of sewing skills, I’ve often thought that if I ever won the lottery I would start a bra and bathing suit company that had a huge range in sizes, that was affordable but high quality and didn’t look like something my grandma would wear because the market is lacking! Clearly other people would be doing the sewing though!

  • Reply Jane April 16, 2020 at 6:39 am

    If any of your readers are in the UK, or if the postage is manageable to the US, I highly recommend Bravissimo and Curvy Kate – both specialise in bras for big boobs and include many back and cup combinations, usually starting at a D cup. They make it easy to find a variety of styles and colours, which actually fit.

    • Reply Colleen April 16, 2020 at 1:13 pm

      I was coming here to express my love of Curvy Kate and other UK brands. Check out brastop.com (they ship to US). Marks and Spenser also often has lovely options. Once I discovered I was a 38FF not a 42D, my life was transformed! I even have comfortable strapless bras by Panache and I certainly though that was an impossibility at my size…

      • Reply Judith April 16, 2020 at 6:39 pm

        I’m grateful for the suggestions you both made, I’m in Germany and have such a hard time finding a bra that fits nicely and is affordable. Shipping from the UK shouldn’t break the bank.

        I don’t know why the bra thing is so difficult. Once your past certain very average measurements, it’s like you’re asking for a specialty item no one’s ever heard of.

  • Reply Heather April 16, 2020 at 8:41 am

    Unlined bras are so hard to find. I finally found one I liked at Victoria’s Secret, but they have discontinued it (of course)! I’m totally trying this one, thanks for the recommendation!

  • Reply Kelly April 16, 2020 at 11:41 am

    34F here! I’ve had this question on my mind for years, thank you for this post!
    I read this and immediately ordered one, fingers crossed.

  • Reply Lindsay April 16, 2020 at 6:23 pm

    Just dropped in an order. Appreciate the recco!

  • Reply Tails Around the Ranch April 16, 2020 at 7:22 pm

    People still get dressed?? Good for you! Whoa…I don’t think I’ve been out of PJ’s since the governor ordered my state shut down.

    • Reply Anna Dorfman April 16, 2020 at 7:32 pm

      I’ve been freelancing long enough to know that getting dressed/looking presentable every morning is an important part of maintaining my mental health.

  • Reply Meredith April 17, 2020 at 1:54 am

    It’s so nice when you find a bra that works for your body, your style, and your budget!

    I’d heard the USA was a bit behind on full bust options, but people may find more pointers towards full bust brands on The Lingerie Addict blog – and for those willing to buy outside of the USA there’s always UK brands like Bravissimo/Curvy Kate/Tutti Rouge/Playful Promises/Harlow & Fox or Polish brands like Ewa Michalak/Avocado.

    Cheap is hard to pull off due to the various difficulties of producing bras for full busts and the skill involved (and garment workers deserve a living wage, too) but there’s some very nice stuff out there, to suit almost any body and boob shape (and most budgets), so there’s hope out there for people who find this one doesn’t suit them or doesn’t come in their size!

  • Reply DazzLynn April 17, 2020 at 5:58 pm

    OMG! i’m so glad i took the time to read this post! i saw the notification on Instagram, with the cute little pic, and thought. “Nope, not for me and my 36G self!” I popped over to day looking for a kitchen update and was SHOCKED to see that you were writing about a larger cup size bra! woot! Off to order…

  • Reply Caitlin April 18, 2020 at 9:06 am

    Ohhhh! I’m SO glad you’ve found a great bra for you! As a 34KK, bras are absolutely the bane of my existence. While I suspect 5? 6? sister-sizes apart may be a bridge too far, I’ll give them a go once the lockdown is lifted – thank you!!! In the meantime, I’m forging ahead with my plan to make my own – I’ve got a well-reviewed pattern and am about to order materials. Bring on that chafe-free lifestyle!

    • Reply Anna Dorfman April 18, 2020 at 9:10 am

      Caitlin, just a warning: Because the sizing guide for this bra doe NOT rely on adding four inches to the band measurement, I’m not sure that the “sister sizing” method would work. I think what makes this such a great bra for me is that the band fits very snugly—I suspect that going up in the band in order to accommodate a larger cup size might give you a fit that’s not great.

  • Reply Pam April 18, 2020 at 11:34 pm

    Hi Anna! Thank you so much for the recommendation, I am in the same boat, my band size is 36 but the cups are always foam lined when I don’t want to look bigger, or the cups which seemed okay when I try them on in the store but then they feel and look too small with daily wear. I just can’t seem to get a large enough cup, so I have always settled for close enough.
    I do have one question about the sizing. Underbust is band size, right? Which seems straightforward but I don’t understand overbust…what is that? All of the overbust measurements on the chart are SMALLER than the underbust measurements. Where I’m measuring overbust, it’s literally over the bust, which means that I am getting a larger number than the underbust. It’s not making any sense for me and I have no idea which size I need to order. Could you help a girl out?

    • Reply lsaspacey April 29, 2020 at 6:57 am

      Pam, I’m a home sewist in the U.S. Here, “overbust” means the measurement made ABOVE the fullest part of the bust, with the measuring tape going under the arm, right up underneath the armpits and around the body. The measurement will be smaller than the underbust. The measurement that you described is what we call the “full bust”. I hope that helps.

      • Reply Anna Dorfman April 29, 2020 at 7:18 am

        Thank for this!! I completely missed Pam’s comment.

  • Reply Maggie L May 7, 2020 at 6:28 am

    Let’s all bow down to Anna! 34 E here and I thought “Alright, I’ll give this bra a shot”. When it came in and was completely unlined (why I didn’t realize that, idk, they looked like they had a beige lining in the cup) I was like “Nope, no way”. Well lo and behold, this bra is F’in awesome! By far the sexiest bra I have ever owned! It is very comfortable and keeps the girls in place! My only other bra that I have and love is from Third Love, but its a molded cup and I know you don’t care for those. Again though, so glad I took a chance!

    • Reply Anna Dorfman May 7, 2020 at 9:33 am

      YESSSSSSSS!!! Maggie, I’m so happy to hear that! Yeah, I definitely prefer unlined bras—not for the “sexy” factor, but because I feel like it looks and feels the most natural and…effortless? I’m not sure if that’s the right word. I’m really glad the bra is a hit for you!

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