For plus size women, one of the most important parts of your wardrobe is the bra! One of the most searched terms is “bra cups too big”. Yes, that annoying issue of having gaps in the cup. Bras shape the silhouette of everything from rugged tank tops to sleek evening gowns. It defines fabrics from rayon to silk to cashmere. A properly fitted bra underneath the right top can make the difference between a lasting first impression and a last encounter. It makes a woman look extremely put together, or like a fumbled mess. How so, you ask? The details are all in the fitting and yes, cup size matters.
The way to solve the gaps in your bra cups is to make use of the basic functionality of the bra, including adjusting straps, getting professionally fitted, and possibly investing in a few bra pads.
Table of Contents
1. Breast Shape
If you’re like most women, you probably never gave a second thought to the technicality behind your breast shape. All you know is, they’re fabulous and you need a bra. However, just like body shapes, there are so many lovely breast shapes to discover. Knowing your unique breast shape can have a huge impact on your bra size and how your clothes fit overall. Ready to take a stab at a pretty cool boob test? Check out this Breast Shape Dictionary by ThirdLove to help figure out what shape is yours.
2. Take it Down a Notch
Ambition is a great thing…but not when it comes to that cup size. Oftentimes we see that cute bra that we think will look amazing, and once we get the breasts all settled in, there’s a bit too much real estate and not enough occupancy. Not to worry. Simply go down one cup size, or perhaps a half of cup size and your favorite piece should fit like a charm.
3. Loosen Up
When you try on a bra to get the right fit, be sure to adjust the back strap hook to the last setting. I know, it sounds counterintuitive. But the fact is, most bra straps will loosen over time with normal wear, tear, and washing which will lead to poor fitting and gaps in the cup. Go for the most comfortable fit on the last setting, so in the case of the strap loosening over time, you can always hook it up for a tighter fit.
4. Get Padded
Sometimes you can have a loose cup on an otherwise fabulous bra. No need in trashing that amazing lace piece that flatters your skin tone. Bra pads are easy to find and come in a wide range of colors and styles to match. Placing the pads on the sides of each cup will gently push the breasts together and slightly upwards, eliminating any unsightly gaps.
5. Change Up Your Style
Are cup gaps preventing you from living your best life? Now might be a great time to experiment with some different styles that accentuate your natural breast shape and look great under your clothes. A few to try are the uplift plunge, balconette, or pushup bra, all of which can be found at Savage x Fenty by Rihanna. These bras also transition well from a workday, into a date night.
6. Work the Straps
It’s super important to make sure your bra has a nice, snug fit and that includes making sure the straps are in a good place, not slipping off your shoulders when you bend over. To help eliminate the cup gap, make sure your straps are properly secured and in place. In addition, you may also benefit from bras that allow for interchangeable straps so you can criss-cross them across the back, which will eliminate any unnecessary gaps in the cup.
7. Be Gentle
I know it may be really easy to throw those bras in the wash with the rest of your undergarments, but remember that bra material is so much more delicate and must be treated with care. Washing bras on a delicate cycle with a detergent like Woolite will help retain the color of the material and the shape of the elastic. When possible, be sure to hang them to dry so that the cup doesn’t lose its natural shape.
8. Get Stitched
Okay, this solution to cup gaps will require a bit of patience and a tiny bit of skill, but it can be done! Simply put on your bra so that it fits as comfortably as possible, then pinch the areas where the cup is loose, starting on the outer edges. Secure the pinched cup with a sewing pin and remove the bra. Next, simply sew up the gaps with a sewing machine or needle and thread. You will not need much thread for this quick fix and it is guaranteed to end the air space between breast and cup.
9. Get Professionally Fitted
When it’s time to go bra shopping, most women head to their favorite intimates or lingerie supplier and pick out what looks best, according to the size they’ve always worn. You don’t normally think about getting a different bra size unless you realize your usual no longer fits, in which case, you simply get the next size up. But when is the last time you actually got fitted? Places like Cacique at Lane Bryant offer free breast measurements and fittings, to ensure you purchase the bra that is the perfect fit. Whether it’s a difference in back width or cup size, getting professionally fitted for a bra is something you should do every so often, or when you realize your favorite go-to no longer fits well.
10. Practice Good Posture
When you were younger, your mother probably constantly told you to sit up straight or stand up straight. It wasn’t just a motherly nag. Poor posture can lead to a world of neck and back problems, including sciatica. Things like sitting for too long, driving while slouched back, or just tilting your neck down for long periods of time while you scroll through social media are all very damaging over time. Add a couple of healthy breasts to that equation and you are looking at a recipe for disaster. Slouching also creates gaps in the fitting of your bra that can be easily eliminated. The Cleveland Clinic has some great practical ways to help get that neck and back in alignment, and also help prevent neck injury.
Bra Cups Too Big: More Tips for Comfort
If you have sensitive skin, you may want to consider skipping bras with underwire. Oftentimes, as the underwire adjusts to your body heat, it can cause irritation underneath the breasts, resulting in chaffing and red skin. Opt for bras without the underwire but that also offer good support in cup size. Also, check out our article on how to avoid scars from your bra.
If you ever notice slight abrasion on your shoulders from bra straps, the first thing you should do is go for a bra with a padded strap. Usually these bras offer a wider, more cushioned strap that will not dig into your shoulders. The other benefit to a wider cushioned strap is that your cup size will tend to fit more snug, providing extra much needed support.
If you are holding a heavy cup, you probably experience excessive sweat underneath the breasts after a long day. Look for bras that have a soft breathable cotton lining to avoid the sweaty aftermath. Also, these bras are usually excellent for all day wear and in warmer temperatures.
If you’re a fan of the halter bra, then you are in luck. Back in the day, halters used to be so bland and made of a material that was overall uncomfortable. But today, there are so many options with super sexy, breathable, seamless material that you will barely know it’s there. Halter bras are a great way to take a break from the straps and will help keep the breasts secured all day. Don’t forget to check out our top bra picks.