Fun with long line bras: A plus size round-up

Guest post by Andrea D

Duh alert: This post is full of bra & panty pics, so it’s probably NSFW.

LONGLINE LACE UNDERWIRE BRAOk, so I already own one strapless bra… which I tolerate, but its not ideal.

It’s this strapless Va Bien bra.

It fits fine in the band, but the cups are a touch too big. I ordered my size — 44D. I think I got this bra from BareNecessities.com.

I usually just pull my side fat into the cups and call it a day when wearing halter dresses or casual strapless styles.

But I want a bra that fits better for my wedding.

I don’t want to have to worry about tugging it up or worrying about a nip slip.

I would also like a little more support and smoothing across the torso, and obviously a regular strapless bra isn’t going to cut it.

Initially I decided to get this bra:



But I sent it back because of my short torso and big tummy combo. It almost fit around, but was just too snug down in the tummy region. The cups were perfect. It’s a Valmont bra. I think I just got it in my regular bra size — 44D. The lesson I learned from this is to size up in the band size when ordering a full length longline bra. I got it from BraExperience.com. They were a little slow to ship but they have a lot of different strapless bras and longlines in plus sizes and petite sizes for you smaller chested gals. It’s not the prettiest page, but they are a good place to go to find more obscure sizes.

So I ordered this Elila longline from HerRoom.com thinking that because it didn’t go down to my hips and cover the entire tummy that it would work:
No Dice. I could barely get it latched closed and the cups are HUGE — like, you’d need to triple the size of my boobs to fill it out. I ordered it one band size up and one cup size down, having learned from my previous experience with the Valmont bra. Also there is wire wire everywhere. So I sent that one back to Her Room. But I think for a girl with a serious rack, this bra will keep everything locked and loaded.

So, I’ve decided to go back to a molded cup, because they usually fit me better, and run a little smaller (in the cup). I found this one, thinking since it’s even shorter than the Elila I posted above (but longer than regular strapless), it might do the trick:
This is a Valmont bra. To be safe, I ordered it two sizes bigger in the band and two sizes smaller in the cup, and it fits perfectly! I wore a tube top with it just to see how it would work with normal every day moving about and its all good — no ride up or slip down. Also, it looks like it will cover to around the bellybutton (which is where the Spanx will take over).

Also, not a lot of places carry this style, or longlines than go up to 46, 48 or 50. I had to really scour the internet looking for “plus size strapless longlines.” I am not going braless for my wedding, I don’t care how well constructed my dress is! I ordered this from LaurenSilva.com.

One thing I have learned from this experience is that you need to be flexible with your size. Your bra size is only your bra size for normal bras. We all go to the store and pick out our favorite brand or style and don’t even question our sizes. In specialty bras, your bra size is just a starting point. I do recommend having a professional fitting if you haven’t had one done recently — you might be surprised (I know I was when I had it done). Don’t be afraid to size up and size down in both the cups and the bands. Every brand sizes differently! And if you are buying online make sure to double check the return policy!

Comments on Fun with long line bras: A plus size round-up

  1. Awesome job Andrea! I bought a long-line bra on ebay and my streastress said it did nothing for me- so I am going braless myself- I’m a 34D so I was afraid of the idea-but with my dress it seems to work.

    Great info and tips:)

  2. I’m not planning a wedding anytime soon, but as an odd bra size (32dd) I jumped right on this write up. I love the Her Room site the author mentions for their great pictures of all angles of the bra’s and showing with different style of shirts over them.
    I also love Orchard Corset, a mom and pop run by an older Jewish couple, that I orig. heard about through Bust magazine. I’ve been to their store in nyc and they have a website, though neither is super pretty. Go in if you are in the nyc area, the wife takes you in the big communal back room/dressing room, sizes you up and starts handing you bras that are the best for you. The prices are great and my bra’s have really held up, despite machine washing. They aren’t open on Saturday. 🙂

        • Woot! They put me in a Dominique 3500 in 32d and it is one of my fav bra’s ever. (yup 32d in that one, 32dd/e in everything else I own)

        • To be clear, while that Ariel may be a 32DD, I’m not. I’m normally a 34C, but am up to a D thanks to nursing. Not that anyone asked, but just getting into the spirit of things. 🙂

      • Fifth! I think there are more and more lately as bra size calculators get adjusted to not tell you to buy some giant band size.

        • 6th! This post helps a ton as I’ve been terrified of strapless dresses for this very reason. No strapless bra has ever done well for me or been supportive enough, and I’m a naturally fidgety person who doesn’t want to fidget on my wedding day.

        • I had enough trouble shopping for bras when I thought I was a 32C, then I got a fitting and found out I’m a 32F! I’m so glad I can shop online now. I got my wedding “torsolette” from http://www.barenecessities.com and had to get the smallest band size with the largest cup size they offer. Thank goodness it fits.

      • Just knowing that there are other people in the world who share my physique is a huge comfort. SO often when I go shopping I feel like some kind of freak because it’s so hard to find bras (and shirts and dresses) to fit a 32DD. I’m so glad I’m not alone!!

        Can’t wait to check out Orchard Corset- I’m local to NYC and I am sooooo going!! Thanks ladies!!

        PS- To my busty friends, how sick are you of this empire waist fashion trend? It’s been hanging on for way too long and I’m tired of looking like I’m nursing in every freaking dress I try on. /rant

    • Just wanted to pop into this thread with a shout out for Bra Tenders. (www.bratenders.com) I bought a longline bustier from Orchard Corset (and their ability to just look at you and know your size is uncanny) but it didn’t give me the support I wanted, just coverage. They even gave me pads to add to the cups for pushup, but I still didn’t think it was enough. The gals at BraTenders really understood what I meant when I said I wanted CLEAVAGE and pushup — and they made it happen even in a strapless bustier which I was beginning to doubt was possible. They also have a much larger shop with a good selection of lingerie, shapewear, and stockings.

      And I wear a 32DDD or 30F.

  3. I have an update, I got the final bra (the Valmont 3/4 length molded cup) the other day – and it fits perfectly. I wore a tube top on Sunday just to see how it would work with normal every day moving about and its all good – no ride up or slip down. 🙂

  4. Oh Andrea, how I loved this post. I’m glad to hear you finally found one! I’ve bookmarked the Valmont bra for when I’m ready to go undergarment shopping. That + Spanx should do the trick!

  5. This subject has been the bane of my wedding planning for a month. I was starting to think I was the only woman sized woman with this issue.

    THANK YOU.

    • I think a lot of people still adhere to thinking that brides are some “perfect” size. And those of us who are bigger or smaller or petite have just been left out on the fringes. And within in that, petite girls obviously have smaller breasts and plus size girls must have big breasts. We all know that’s not true because so many girls here don’t fit the traditional mold.

      • Can I just say “hell yeah!”? I’m a petite plus-size (yes, it’s possible to be both) with a 34HH rack. Bras=bane of my existence. Wedding bras = mental breakdown.

        • I’m super petite (5′ tall) and curvy too (34DD), I found the most expensive bra possible (IMHO) but it keeps everything locked and loaded: Marie Jo strappless with the stick on lifts by Bring It Up, to keep from feeling like you have to yoink everything up all night. Spanx that go all the way up to the bra line smooth out the rest of the look.

        • To further confuse the issue, petite-sized clothes are designed for women with proportionally short torsos and arms, and any short woman with average or long torsos are left out in the cold. Personally, I’m in the frustrating position of being a plus-sized lady with an hourglass figure. Clothes that fit my shoulders, bust and hips are way too big around my waist. It’s pretty tempting to just say, “screw it, I’m wearing corsets over everything from now on!” XD

  6. Yeah, when I buckled down and got properly sized I clocked in a 34H. Totally wanted to cry because no only had I never heard of that size, I had no idea where to find it that wouldn’t look like armor or cost $200 each. I found a great site with super affordable lingerie (and bra-sized bathing suits-a revelation!!) and I’ll never go back! Try bravissimo.com. Shipping isn’t cheap to the US but it evens out in savings, I swear. (34H, WTF??)

    • I’m right there with ya sister… 30HH. Seriously I blame that sh!t on all the chicken I ate as a child….

    • my sis has similar problems- 17 year olds are not fans of what she calls “old lady bras”. Harumph. Check out figleaves.com and http://www.panache-lingerie.com -almost all “odd” sizes (they don’t carry 36C, so I can’t shop there at all) and really supportive.

        • I am a 12G (I think it is around a 34?) and I buy my swimmers at panache. They are awesome pretty and I have quite a few bras for after the wedding. They are seriously pretty and you can uy matching sets (this was a first for me).
          My sister is a 14H and loves panache.

    • YES! I am a 34H too, and I echo your WTF. I did end up getting my wedding lingerie from Bravissimo, but I never did find a longline that fit despite ordering several. I ended up doing a weird spanx/girdle/bra-sewn-into-dress combo. Not the sexiest option, but, eh, it held everything in…

      (oh and p.s. it totally had straps. If someone finds/invents an honest-to-goodness strapless bra that holds up a set of H cups, you will be my personal hero in life. Though I highly doubt it will ever happen…)

      • I am a G and had a strapless buy I got seriously torpedo boob. I seriously rivaled madonna in the 80’s.
        It held them up tight but were a little too high.
        Also the longer fitting ones gave me the hugest muffin top. If you are a little hippy or flabby (like me) something tight and slimming that ends on your hips is not the best option. I had to wear those suck tuck and hide bloomer shorts (down to the knees and everything).

  7. I’m a 42DD struggling to find a steel-boned contraption to wear UNDER my retro dress! Who wants to do a write-up on that conundrum?! 🙂

    • Word UP, Kasandra! I can barely find a bra for every day use with my 42DD’s – how the heck can I expect to find something flattering and comfortable for the wedding? Most of the damn strapless bras fit well between the belly and the bottom of the boob, then the support just stops and your boobs are just sitting out there, like they’re on a shelf, with absolutely no support. Altho, I’m impressed you were able to find a retro dress that would encompass your rack. I haven’t been that lucky yet.

      • Jen, actually, I’m having a retro-styled dress made for me. I had so much trouble finding something that fit my chest, I gave in and hired a seamstress!

    • I’m not sure what your dress is like, but a longline strapless, Goddess 689, can works wonders for women who need a lot of lift from a strapless. As someone who used to fit bras, this bra was often the only strapless that worked for women with larger breasts and/or a larger bandsize.

      Pros: It gives you tons of lift, it flattens your torso, and it’s very retro looking, if you’re into that thing. You’re IN that bra and you’re not going anywhere!

      Cons – it’s not smooth, they don’t make it in very small bandsizes, the cups make some women look pointy.

      I highly recommend to anyone to try on bras in a store, if there is such a store in your area. Ordering bras online is a nightmare, especially if you’re an “odd” size. With longline strapless, it seems like most women have to go down in the band and up in the cup. Few women wore the same size as their regular bra(you’re taking into account your torso size, too)

      Good luck!

  8. I plan on hitting up the underthing store ‘Change’ for a decent strapless bra. I don’t know if it’s in the States yet, but it’s in Toronto and Vancouver (and strangely, my little suburb Oakville) here in Canada. Super-reasonable prices and they’re very committed to good service and great fit.

  9. For aussie brides, the other great place to get bras and especially corsetry, long lines etc) for all shapes and sizes (i’m a 46HH and a good friend is a 32A – and we both shop there)is http://www.brastogo.com.au

    Got myself a lovely fully boned torsolette to go under my retro, polkadot dress – as my dress is boned…but not with enough staying power to hold the girls up!!

    • Oh thanks for this!! I’ve been ordering from figleaves, but the post from the UK gets expensive and I’ve not had great success with sizing. I’m a 10F – I think that’s equivilent to 32F…

  10. I’ve spoken to the woman that runs Bra Experience (though she may have more staff now), and she’s a sweetheart. Very happy to solve any customer service issue.

    I’ve become a huge fan of Figleaves.com, which has a lot of unusually sized bras both large AND SMALL. Ideally, I’d be a 33DD but that doesn’t exist so I don’t really have any bras that fit quite right, but Figleaves has helped me find the 34DD that run small and the 32DD that run big.

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