Thursday 31 October 2013

Full Bust “Greatest Hits”: Bras I Hate & Love Gives Out Some Awards

A couple of clever readers have suggested that I do some sort of round-up of the best bras available and I thought it was a really great idea. I think it will be helpful for anyone who isn’t sure where to start with properly fitted bras or new knowledge of their shape, or for anyone struggling to build a basic collection. I’m trying to cover all the bases here. Let me know what I missed!

I’ve distinguished in some categories between bras that give a ‘purple shape’

and bras that give a ‘green shape’.

I’ve also tried to distinguish between bras for full-on-top boobs and full-on-bottom boobs wherever relevant. Bras I’ve honored for shapes other than my own are based on the experiences of bloggers, forum members, and friends with different shapes than mine. Bras lost points for things like crappy band construction and problems that plague almost everyone. (That’s why you don’t see the Cleo Lucy on here, even though it’s a personal favorite—the band is at a stupidly high angle and the gore is too wide for most people.) I also pretty much ignored bras with smaller cup size ranges because I just don’t have a personal experience of them. Please note that this list is based on fit and shape, NOT fashion. 

Best ‘purple shape’ balconette bra for full-on-top boobs: Cleo Marcie. 

This one wins over the Lucy, etc because the band is better constructed and more stable, and the gore is narrower. The Marcie is pretty much a miracle constructed with magic, and gives the roundest of round shapes without pushing your boobs into your armpits. It needs to come out in black and beige, like, yesterday.
Honorable mention: Panache Sienna. 

Despite the lovely shape, I couldn’t let this one win because it comes out in dismally few colors and even those colors are boring repeats of colors it’s already come out in. It also lost points for confusing sizing--you ned to go up a cup size in the Sienna! This one runs a full cup size small.

Best ‘purple shape’ balconette bra for full-on-bottom boobs: Cleo Meg (and, I’m hoping, the new Lily—a slightly altered but ostensibly similar design). 

This bra is different from the Marcie’s construction. The top edge curves in more steeply and there’s more space at the diagonal seam. It works well for full-on-bottom ladies who want a really round shape but experience gapping in the Marcie.

Best ‘green shape’ balconette bra for full-on-bottom boobs: Bravissimo Alana. 

This is one of those ‘old faithful’ bras that you can buy in a ton of cute or useful colors if it fits. It’s loved for its perky shape and firm support.
Sizing: Runs a little bit small. Go up if you’re between sizes. This one will not work for full-on-top boobs.

Best full-cup bra: Panache Jasmine. 

This bra exploded on the scene a couple seasons back and has been really popular. Its genius comes from the uplifting side panel, the supportive firm fabric on the bottom, and the stretch lace in the top. That stretch allows the Jasmine to work for loads of people who tend to be a tricky fit. It expands to deal with bountiful upper breast fullness that tends to overwhelm most full-cup bras. It stretches back in to deal with breast with less upper fullness who tend to experience gapping. It provides a good fit to those with asymmetrical boobs who may struggle to find ANYTHING that works for both sides.  See also: The new Envy and Clara bras are based on the Jasmine, though with little tweaks.


Honorable mention: Panache Andorra. 

This ancestor of Jasmine has the same stretchy lace in the top, but it’s not as crazy-well-loved as the Jasmine and is, I think, a little less supportive.

Best bra for a retro shape: Bravissimo Dotty Spot. 

This bra gives an extreme green shape, what I call “good pointy”. It’s a cult classic, beloved by a committed fan base. The shape is definitely not for everyone, but I couldn’t not mention it!
Sizing: Works better for those without too much upper fullness, but can work for various shapes.

Best bra for a round but minimized shape: Tutti Rouge Liliana. 

If you prefer to blend in rather than stand out, if you’re not at an emotionally stable place about having larger boobs, if you have to wear scrubs for work, if you have your eye on a drapy top, or if you just prefer a minimized look, try this one. 
Sizing: Go up a band size and a cup size. (E.g. If you normally wear a 30HH, try a 32HH.) Also, works better for shallower breasts.

Best plunge bra for firm breasts: Panache Andorra Plunge. 

This one benefits from the same stretchy material as the full-cup, which makes it really comfortable and helps it fit stubbornly shaped firm boobs. It provides the best subtle cleavage I’ve experienced.

Best plunge for soft breasts: Cleo Molly. 

I’ve heard this from a few people. Many women with softer breast tissue find they fall into the center in a plunge bra. Anecdotally, the Cleo Molly is genius for fixing this issue.

Best padded plunge overall: Bravissimo Satine. 

This one works for a lot of different shapes. It fits my full-on-top boobs perfectly and also perfectly fits my friend who is full-on-bottom. It gives a really nice balanced shape.

Best plunge for higher cup sizes: Ewa Michalak PL bras. 

Ewa’s PL bras go up to higher sizes than British plunge bras, and the expert construction provides the necessary stability even for heavy boobs.

Best strapless: HAHAHAHAHAHA funny joke. Errbody needs to go back to the drawing board on this one. Hint: Vertical seams. For instance, I have my eye on the Curvy Kate strapless that is slowly inching towards production.

Best unpadded half cup: Ewa Michalak’s HM styles. 

There are not a lot of options for unpadded half cups out there, but of those available, the HM is the most stable. Half cups can sometimes get a little jiggly and weak in the center, but the HM’s gore tends to sit flat. Some HM styles require going up in the band. Check Bratabase to verify for individual styles.

Best padded half cup: Masquerade Coco. 

I know this seems obscure. The Rhea and Delphi by rights belong here, but I took points off because the Rhea’s padding is a little too stiff and the Delphi’s straps are too thick to be practical. So although the Coco seems a strange choice, I believe it combines the best features of Rhea and Delphi.



Honorable mention: Tutti Rouge Betty. 

Though new on the scene, this half-cup is a blogger favorite. I think it's Tutti Rouge's most versatile fit, and as such, probably their best bra so far. Go up a band size and a cup size in this one (if you normally wear a 32F, try a 34F). 

Best Swimwear in General: FREYA!!!!!!! Hands down, no one else can even compete.

Best padded Swimwear: Freya’s padded sweetheart cut
Lindy Hop
Best unpadded swimwear: Freya’s plunge cut. 

In particular, the Fever bikini is their best. The construction changes slightly starting with H cups but it is still great.

Best molded (purple shape): Freya Deco. 

This bra also wins the category for “Best Bra to Feel Normal if You’re Used to Victoria’s Secret”. It wins this category by a sweep because it’s one of the few bras to come in TONS of colors, it has a low gore, and it has a comfy band. Some full-on-bottom ladies may struggle with gapping in this style.
Honorable Mention: Curvy Kate Smoothie. 

I can’t let this one win because preliminary reports indicate that these bras have already shrunk a full cup size in the new colors since my positive review.

Best molded (green shape): Fantasie 4510 Smoothing Molded T-Shirt Bra. 

This one gives a lovely perky, projected shape. I think it’s pretty underrated.

Best for deep cups with narrow wires: Ewa Michalak S and SM, and Comexim.

Ewa Michalak S Bambino

Ewa Michalak SM Trefl
Comexim Green Velvet
Ewa Michalak’s S and SM bras offer tons of projection and suit deep boobs that don’t get along with shallow British styles. The narrow wires make them especially good for small-framed women who can’t wear wide wires, or for anyone with narrow breast roots. 
Comexim bras also win in the deep cup/narrow wire category, and are even narrower in the wires than Ewa Michalak.

Most attractive sports bra: Panache Sports Bra. 

This one definitely gives the best shape of any sports bra out there. It also comes in cute colors, and I like the use of underwire as well as the racerback clip. I recommend sizing down in the band to increase stability.

Most effective sports bra: Bravissimo Inspire. 

It’s a LITTLE less ugly than the Freya Sports bra, and it immobilizes the boobs. It’s underwired, so it keeps everything separated and in place.
Honorable Mention: Shock Absorber Max Sports Top. 

I didn’t give the category to this one because I feel the lack of underwire can cause breasts to rub against each other unless you wear another bra underneath. However, this one will completely eliminate bounce.

That's all I've got for now... Did your favorite make the cut? If I missed something important, let me know in the comments!


  1. Cool idea! I especially loved the part about the strapless--LOL! Since most of the weight is supposed to be supported by the band anyway, you'd think it wouldn't be so hard, but it seems to be. I was super excited to see the Comexim on the list--since I've been dying to try (and buy!) nearly every single one of their styles.

    Speaking of Comexim, do you know which bloggers have the most experience/reviews of Comexim bras? I've been eyeing that brand for a while because they are designed for a woman with a narrow frame (of which I have and then some!) I'm not sure if I'm as deep projection wise as they are anticipating, but armed with some expertise from someone who's experienced them maybe I can sister-size until I find what works for me.

    1. Comexim is slightly less deep than EM and it's wires are a tad narrower. Their bands run larger than EM (but it seems to be really subjective because some find their bands to be overwhelmingly tight while others find them to be true to size). They're supposed to be good if you have "omega" shaped breasts.

    2. Here's a couple links to blogs that have done posts about Comexim:

      Some reviews:

      Good sizing help here:

      Reviews and comparison with a Panache bra:

      Some of the first Comexim reviews in English were guest posts on Braless in Brasil:

      Comparison with Ewa Michalak:

      Hope that helps!

    3. Wow! Thanks for the links! I've been wading through them and it sounds more and more like something to look into. If they are a bit too narrow, then maybe Ewa will be a great choice.

      Becoming a Sexy Beast, I had never heard of the "omega" shape, (which I actually found a reference to on this blog) and it sounds like what I have, just not the actual reason I have it. My boobs are like this because I'm a barrel-chested gal who also happened to inherit big boobs from her father's side...or I inherited them from having kids...or something.

  2. I would recomment Simone Perele 3D Revelation for any girl who's looking for basic spacer fabric bra which isn't matronly 'a lot of a bra' bra )

  3. What bras would you recommend for someone who needs wide wires and deep cups? I'm FOB, 28GG.

    1. 28H ) Seriously, wide wires = shallow cups and narrow wires usually deep cups (there is fairly small category of bras which have very tall and shallow cups and narrow wires), it's all about shape of the same volume after all, and wide wires and deep cups mean bigger volume all over. There is one case though when you need wide wires and still have problem with depth: when you need so called "immediate depth", it stands for depth near the wires. Some bras designed so they have very little depth there, but they are not shallow/have narrow wires (mostly plunges suffer from this), other bras could be in fact shallow/wide wires, but give you immediate depth. Is that the case?

    2. I have to agree with nothingeverfits. Wide wires AND deep cups just means a bigger size. Two bras of the same size will have approximately the same volume, one might have that volume spread out over wide wires and condensed by shallow cups, the other could have the volume condensed by narrow wires and spread out into deep cups. But now picture if you increase one of those factors--you're increasing the overall cup volume.
      For bras with wide wires that aren't too shallow, I'd definitely say try Cleo's balconettes.

    3. I experience gaping with 28H because it's a cup size too big. I just have a lot of side fullness.

      I think you're right about the immediate depth issue, nothingeverfits. I get that with almost every bra though, not just plunges. The Charlotte by Parfait Affinitas, hailed as a godsend for FOB breasts, was an absolute disaster for me, even in a cup size up and band size up, with wires sitting on my breast tissue, orange-in-a-glass, and ridiculous quadraboob.

      My favorite bra right now is a Cleo Lucy. I got in a 28 H since I heard that Cleo wires run narrow but get huge in larger cup sizes. It's too big in the cup but still the best option I have. I guess I'll try out some more Cleos since nothing else seems to work.

  4. I love this list, but I think it's amusing that none of these work for me. The only bras that have worked really really well on me are the ones that have weird fit on most. For example, I typically wear 32FF-ish, but a Freya Lauren Balconette in 28H with an extender is my boobs of steel bra. Freya in general seems to be failing in the popularity category these days, but they're so reliably good on me, and I feel like a lot of people who have similar shape to me are too afraid to try them because I'm one of the few who get a ridiculously uplifted and rounded shape with them.

    It's unfortunate that I haven't been able to try a lot of these styles lately because I've been out of a job for 8 months now.

    1. Freya balconettes definitely do work well for a certain shape. I feel it can be pretty tricky to predict that, though. Does Curvy Kate work for you, the unpadded styles? I've often seen successes with Curvy Kate unpadded balconettes go hand in hand with ability to easily wear Freya balconettes.

    2. And sorry about your job :( I just finished a few months of unemployment myself. IT SUCKS!!!! Keep your chin up.

    3. Curvy Kate's old balconette style is too short on the sides for me and distorts very easily on me. I haven't tried any of their new stuff. If I see a new style in a good size on bratabase I'll try them. I'm currently boycotting them for their stance on breast surgery.

    4. Yay for more boycotting! Seriously, their stance is really vile and, IMO dangerous. Every single person is one health scare away from being worthless and "fake". Got a cyst - go away. Have serious bone and joint deformation for serious medical case study dangerously overly large breasts - wear a good bra or go away. Because a bra that does not exist will make my oxygen saturation go from ICU panic level of 71 when laying on my back up to the normal 97% I had upright. Because, that'd be a great autopsy - positional asphyxiation from my natural breasts.

      But, cruellest of all - had breast cancer - go away, we don't want you wearing our bras, you deformed and mutilated your body, shame on you.

      Go ahead and mock my reduction, I can take it because I'm a big girl. I'll dish it right back. But, don't you dare dismiss or mock cancer. Because that's so far past rude, nasty, hurtful and mean, I don't have words. Because for all the problems looking acceptable to society with G+ breasts is nothing on having no breasts. Go look at clothing, the shirts are meant to fit breasts, without, I've seen friends breakdown because everything drapes badly and it emphasizes the lack of breasts.

    5. I think you are projecting an awful lot of insult and nastiness that Curvy Kate has NOT expressed.

    6. Erm, CK got nasty and encouraged nasty behavior now for two years running. Furthermore, I've been blatantly lied to by their customer service and was told that I'd come back to them without them changing the SIAB rules. My breasts are natural, and my doctors do not consider me enhanced - rather, I was warned that I would likely have some deformation. It can't be an unfair advantage, then have breasts that don't fit bras right. Their sticking points blatantly contradict each other. By Baby's Rules and I had near identical treatment in different years, despite having opposite surgeries. And per CK's unpublished rules - all surgery is excluded. No exceptions. They don't make a 30V bra now, no one does. I didn't have any options to avoid surgery. My case has been written up due to the amount I needed removed. 16 hours of surgery and 5 units of blood was needed.

      Had I not gone public with their treatment of me, they'd have never done anything. I still believe they won't change, but they've drawn their line. They just didn't think I'd go public because we're to be ashamed of medically needed reductions. But, I'm not ashamed of my breasts, and my Momma didn't raise me to sit quietly and let others trample me.

  5. For strapless - I have cheated. Used a vertically seamed longline in 32FF (aka almost painfully tight, I prefer 34 here in band, and I need a G or GG normally), and pinned the straps down and back. I had the straps extremely tight and got the cups to lay nicely. Worked perfectly for me. I wouldn't try a cartwheel, but it was the last day of national convention, so I was dancing, jumping up and down, waving signs and flags and having fun.

    But Panache does not fit, nor does Masquerade. Ever. And EM is way too narrow. Freya, Cleo, Fauve and Fantasie are easy once I know the right size. Tutti Rouge looks ok but I'm still in the size game as I'm in the last band that needs to go up (32) but 34 is too big.

    Best sports bra - Enell. Everything else is pointless. Sure, it doesn't give any good shape, but when I'm PMS sore, holding the ladies in and still is far more important. I did have to go custom or wear two, but so what. My custom ones are 1 band, 4 cup area. I can wear a 3, but that's a bit too snug at times, and the 4 works perfectly well even if a touch too big.

    1. You're not the only on who mentioned Enell and I think I should update to add it. My hesitation was that I felt the sizing was confusing, which would make it ill-suited to a 'starting points' type of list, but I'm beginning to think it's worth it.

  6. Great post! Super helpful. Especially the FOT vs FOB fit factor. I would add the Freya Jolie. The wires are a perfect medium width, the whole bra is lightweight yet very supportive; material is silky & light, the gore tacks perfectly, & the wide straps are the most comfy I've found: smooth on the edges & do not cut in (not the case with many other Freyas) & a problem with each Panache & CK I own. Above GG Jolie is very FOT friendly, but below that, it works on FOB too. The only thing that keeps it from perfection is the shape, which is green. My own preference is purple. If I could find a Cleo as comfy as this, with the Jolie's straps & lower wire I would reach bra nirvana.

    1. I had the Jolie for awhile and liked the shape, but I found it came so high up under clothing that I didn't own a single thing I could wear it with. I think I might have been wearing a size too big as it seems to run a bit large. You're right though, it is a good one and a firm favorite among many women.

    2. Yes, you're right. I forget about this, as I'm in Alaska & in sweaters & fleece 9 months of the year. So I don't run into that issue as much as I would in the lower 48. =o)

  7. I can confirm that Lily is indeed much improved fit from Meg, but I really wouldn't call either a FOB bra, more of a balanced to FOT that provides more coverage then say marcie or lucy.
    I also wouldn't call Jasmine or Envy a fullcup, they aren't marketed as such and also don't provide more coverage then Andorra, which - if i remember correctly, you concluded was a more of a balconette even though marketed as a fullcup.
    And I am pretty shocked there's no Enell on the sportsbra list :O for me nothing else would compete.

    My only favorite that didn't make the cut is Masquerade Persia, but I don't really think it fits in any of the listed categories. And it is sort of a required taste.

    Everything else you wrote I can vouch for too, especially Freya swimm and the strapless issue. Just got a strapless deco and.. Umm... No.

    Which leads me to another suggestion - worst bra list please ^^

    1. I'm glad the Lily is good--I feel maybe I should try it myself to get an idea of whether it would work for me better than the Meg.

      Full-cup versus balconette is more an issue of seam structure rather than actual coverage. So Jasmine and Envy are both constructed as full-cup bras with a side support panel.

      I had such a pang of guilt as I published this that I didn't include Enell! The reason I didn't was I worried that the sizing was confusing, which would make it not suited to a 'starting points' type of list. I keep going back and forth on it and probably will edit to include it. I also felt terrible that I didn't include any Elomi bras because I know there are a couple really successful ones, but I just don't know enough about them :(

      Worst bras list, haha! There's an idea...

    2. I agree that the Jasmine is a full cup. It covers the same amount of noon real estate as the Jolie, albeit with slightly higher wires.

      I do have several Elomi, but not my favorites as the wires are just unbelievably wide; much wider than Panache. And the wires have an almost tubular shape, which makes them strong, no doubt, but they also do not lie flat against the boys, which is not comfy. Good point: they run lower under the arms. Bad point: a very spread out, flattened look & an unfortunate horizontal seam that goes right across nipple level & gives a frumpy line under clothes. Exception: the now discontinued Lara 1/2 cup. More narrow wires. A nice, boosted, cakes on a plate shape similar to Freya's 1/2 cups.

  8. I tried on a Cleo Marcie instore and was surprised with how well it fit, compared to a lot of similar style in Freya. The appearance is definitely more rounded, but for me I still found it to be too pointy and tight across the top of the cup. That and I thought it ran a cup size smaller...but I kind of have that problem with Panache in general. Still...I was very happy with the fit. I didn't think seamed bras would ever work with my shape.

    My go-to is the Deco, but I find it can give you a slightly pointed look if you're top heavy. I know...sounds really strange since so many shallow-breasted women can't quite fit it right. The cups are not deep enough at the bottom so that's how they push you up, but if you're fuller around you end up pressing down on the apex and upper cup and it creates a fold at the bottom near the gore because it isn't supportive enough to hold the weight, the cup takes on a strange angle at the bottom and it's noticeable through fitted tops. Sizing up a cup fixes all this but you lose the cleavage. And I think they're slowly changing the shape of the foam too. Heard it somewhere online and I've experienced it myself. Lately the fold is getting worse with each new style they come out with that I'm able to try. Even lying flat you can tell a difference, so it may end up being a bra only shallow breasts can fit =(

  9. Terrific post! Of course I disagree with some of your choices (the Trefl was crappy on me and I prefer the Fantasie 4520 for smooth bra no. 1.) I also just received the Envy and I don't think it's like the Jasmine in many ways at all. I think it's more like the Andorra, which does not appeal to me. But I love all of the thought you've put into this and how you use shape as the barometer. I'm sure I'll read this post many times!

  10. The Cleo Molly is discontinued, do you know of another bra like it?

  11. The Molly is a plunge that works for soft breasts?!?! Thank you thank you thank you! I had just about given up on plunges but, you know, sometimes you need one.

  12. For Enell - in the G+ range, go with your band size as tight as you can work with. It helps a ton then to kill the jiggle. Then, if you are between two cup sizes, going up is easier to me. Gives me a bit of room if I'm extra fluffy, but it's not so big it doesn't work. I don't need two bras and I do not get any movement if I wear any of my Under Armor shirts. No movement. At all. While jumping my horse. Or while riding in various fast paces, worst to me was the rack.

    Yes, it's a custom made bra. But, it's not horribly unreasonable in cost (pardon me as I've been drooling over $200+ bras, I can't find a hard working and comfortable sports bra to ever be unreasonable), I found it pretty decent to get some slightly less hohum colors, and it's stupid easy to get off while dripping in sweat. It's not fun to put on (hello, 14 hooks - normal is 12 I think) but since it's front, I found it easier to put on than the silly Shock Absorber which requires to be tighter and I still wiggle and jiggle away.

    I don't like how the Freya one looks personally, and it doesn't do anything.

    I'm not sure there's a "worst" bra or line. Fantasie puts out some clunkers, but they also do the basics well. VS annoys me because dang it, I want foam encased wires and a laser cut back. Which means I'm then annoyed at every big bra line because they don't have at least foam encased wires. But a coworker mentioned VS will be adding cup sizes - F and G apparently, possibly H in their sizing so F will be FF, G matches and H would be GG - so if they actually do that, I might be fitting them again. Additional annoyance is the issue that bras are either over the shoulder boulder holders in yawn inducing dullness or Neon. Fuschia. With. Neon. Lime. Squiggled. And. Glittery. Neon. Blue. Flowers. I want the middle ground! I want the Deco Taylor in more colors than gray with trim.

    However, my biggest annoyance (aka why I really debate buying Cleos ever) is the stupid two hooks. I want three hooks at the minimum. I'd worship four as the standard. A one inch wide back is not fun with heavy boobs. Plus, I feel the narrow backs lead to the back inching up because there's not enough to support. I measure at 31.3". A brand new 30 band that's tight isn't creeping up from being too big, it's because hello, H cups are winning that tug of war round.

    However, in the running away lead of bras/lines/current market annoyance - Curvy Kate and the absolute bull about how customer friendly they are. The upside down seven issue isn't fixed. They tolerate hate comments on their various social networks. And, if my boobs aren't filling a bra right (which is 110% false), they can't be an unfair advantage as there wouldn't be an advantage. Five weeks later, still haven't been answered on that. Never mind the lies about contacting them, first it went to someone else, then to the spam, then she was out of office. Sure. My read response says it certainly didn't go to spam. Since I got no reply until I went public, and the answer was copied directly from Facebook and told I'll love their bras again - yeah right.

  13. I love this list and this blog in general! Since I discovered it, I have finally figured out my actual size. I had been struggling with just increasing the band size trying to get a bigger cup and wearing 38Fs for years. I now know I'm a 34HH in UK sizes, so 34L(!) in US. And thanks to your blog, I also know I have full on bottom breasts and prefer a mix between the green and purple shapes. And I've bought 3 bras on ebay based on your recommendations for $20-30 that fit amazingly! Thank you!

  14. I love this list and this blog in general! Since I discovered it, I have finally figured out my actual size. I had been struggling with just increasing the band size trying to get a bigger cup and wearing 38Fs for years. I now know I'm a 34HH in UK sizes, so 34L(!) in US. And thanks to your blog, I also know I have full on bottom breasts and prefer a mix between the green and purple shapes. And I've bought 3 bras on ebay based on your recommendations for $20-30 that fit amazingly! Thank you!

  15. Love the idea and the list.
    A couple others:
    Best basque: Bravissimo Lola
    Best unpadded plunge: Elomi Betty.

    I know the Jasmine has a full cup construction, but I tend to associate full cups with fuller coverage and don't use them for the same situations. Maybe you could add a Best full coverage?

  16. A few things: Clara is based on Andorra, not Jasmine. Panache says so, but also I have them all and can verify. Clara is nothing like Jasmine.

    EM is not making HM bras anymore :(

    I have to disagree that a full cup is a matter of seams, not coverage. Of course it's a matter of coverage. See the bra glossary:

    1. The Jasmine is based on the Andorra, so I feel it is fair to say they are all related. There are some people for whom Jasmine works in an extremely specific way, and the others will not work. However, I think the majority of wearers will find them all similar, though perhaps not identical. I fully admit I could be proved wrong in time.

      I think EM may produce more HMs in the future, though there aren't any out now. You may know more than me on that, though. Was there an announcement?

      For your last point, I apologize if I sound a little snarky, but I very much disagree. Words have meanings and "full cup" means a horizontal seam across the bra and two bottom sections that don't connect to the strap. That is what it is. A "full coverage" bra is a matter of coverage. That could have any construction. A "full cup" bra is a certain type of construction. A bra could go up to my face and still be a half cup. I guess the terms are a bit misleading in that sense, but if we divorce them from their definitions, it's not possible to talk about seam structures and how they affect fit.
      As a final point, online bra companies are often tragically uneducated about the very product they sell and this type of glossary usually is riddled with inaccuracy. The one you have linked is as bad as most, maybe a bit worse.

      For example
      "Minimizer Bras
      A minimizer bra reduces the appearance of the bust by up to one cup size. This can be especially helpful for women who have trouble with gaps between the buttons on shirts and blouses. " ARGH STOP

      Also known as a shelf bra, Balconettes are a more revealing version of a demi bra. Offering little to no coverage, balconettes create dramatic uplift and cleavage." A shelf bra? Little to no coverage? UM

      This glossary kills what I love

    2. "Words have meanings" - the problem is that apparently words have very different meanings n the world of bras than any other place. I agree that there should be words for different seam constructions to enable a discussion about how seam construction affects shape and support. But it would be a lot easier on everyone if the words used didn't already mean something totally different. This vocabulary DOESN'T aid in discussions about how seam structure, or anything else about bra construction, affects fit, shape, and support. In fact, it does the exact OPPOSITE, because you're using words that have "meanings" here that bear no relation whatsoever to what they mean in the rest of the world. Until this comment, I thought that a full cup was full coverage. Because the word "full" has a meaning in the English language that it apparently does not have in the world of bras.

      And if that isn't what a minimizer bra does, then what IS the darn thing? And what is a balconette? A half cup? A demi cup? Since apparently these words I've been hearing for the past 25 years don't actually mean the same thing here that they do anywhere else I've ever seen, and I'm sure I'm not alone in that, maybe you should help us noobies out and make your own glossary? I love this blog and have been finding it immensely helpful. However, this comment has shown me that it hasn't actually been quite as useful as I thought because I apparently have NO idea what the heck you're talking about. you've mentioned that if we divorce words from their definitions then it takes away our ability to have a proper discussion about it. But the words are ALREADY divorced from their definitions by having a different definition here than everywhere else, so we kind of have that problem, anyway. I mean if there are only a handful of people that know what the words mean, because in most other places they means something different, then how is that actually helping us?

      Not trying to be a snarky bitch, but I've just discovered that learning the language of bras is apparently much harder than the Italian I'm learning. Because apparently there are FAR more false cognates (words that look like you should know what they mean, but end up meaning something totally different) here than there is there and I'm now thoroughly confused.

  17. Oh my goodness, thank you for this post (and for this blog in general, which I have recently discovered and read all of).

    I just received in the mail a Cleo Marcie and this is far and away the best-fitting bra I've ever owned. I didn't know it was possible for my boobs to look like this. Thank you thank you thank you.

  18. Just discovered your fantastic blog. Do you know which bras are best for low cut sides? I have a beautiful new dress but as normal all my bras show out of the armholes. Is there a style that is lower cut on the sides?

    1. Yes! Try Bravissimo's balcony bras. They are very low cut on the sides. If you're full on the bottom, any of them will likely work (like Alana, etc). If you're full on top, best bet is the Boudoir Beau.

    2. I tried the Alana but it gave me a very weird shape. I'm full on bottom but the top band of lace squashed my boobs into a very weird shape. There was room at the top of the cups under the top band. Any other suggestions please?

  19. I have an Elomi Libby that is the most comfortable bra I own. As a bigger lady, the wide band is good, and the wires don't poke me like they do with just about every other bra I own.

  20. Thanks for the great article (well, I like them all, I've been a fan for over a year :)). Anyway, I wanted to ask whether you could recommend any more "minimized look" bras, like the Liliana. I have a good experience with the Rococo charm bras (though once again, you have to size up), but they're all either sold out or PINK (which is my problem with Liliana...)

    Tips and advice much appreciated :) I'm a 30H/HH.

  21. I'm a little disappointed with the Swimwear because Freya doesn't seem to have Swimwear for K cups, so drama aside, a lot of people have said Curvy Kate Swimwear is good for K cup. I havent tried it yet but I know Bravissimo is pointy and shark like and Panache has been unsupportive.

    1. The Fever, which is their best bikini, does go up to JJ starting with 30 bands. VERY strange spot to stop in my opinion, but it is still nearly to K. You can often go up a band size in swimwear because of all the Lycra, so it may be that you'll find success in that.

      Unfortunately, if you find Bravissimo pointy you most likely will find the same with Curvy Kate, though that depends on your shape. I believe Ewa Michalak's swimwear does go up to higher cup sizes than Freya and is meant to be quite good from what I have heard.

      It's sad that swimwear usually leaps ahead of bras in terms of innovative construction yet lags behind in terms of sizing improvements. I think the companies think we will just go with the closet thing we can find.

  22. I am bookmarking this post for future reference. I am also now coveting the Marcie and the Jasmine. So pretty. My only concern with the Marcie (I haven't looked at pics of the back of the Jasmine, so I don't know if it's an issue there, as well) is that it only has two hooks. I don't think I've been able to get away with only two hooks since 8th grade. Plus, I currently have a bit of back fat (granted, that will likely be gone by the time I can/will go bra shopping, but still) and that wire thin back scares me. I just picture it digging in and stuff. And not supporting my FF cup boobs.