How Plus-Size Women Can Choose the Best Bras and Underwear
Whether it’s just for you or to be shared with a special someone, choosing the best bras and underwear that flatter your shape will boost your confidence and comfort.
Plus-size women don't need to shy away from style with this go-to guide for finding the right cut for maximum flattery.
You may have heard the statistic: 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size - mostly with a band that is too big and a cup size that is too small. This study was several years ago now and things have improved, but remember, your body shape changes quite regularly, so frequent fitting even if you don’t buy every time is a very good discipline to follow. Also, we've all seen or experienced visible panty lines which both feel uncomfortable and can really spoil an outfit.
When it comes to bras, underwear and lingerie in general, the most important thing is fit. There are no rules to your taste. Pattern, style and colour are all totally up to what makes you feel confident and sexy. But no one will feel their best in an ill-fitting garment that bunches, pokes or pulls in all the wrong places.
Thankfully, there are many options to ensure you get the effect you want, and you are definitely not limited to restrictive and un-sexy shapewear.
No matter your size, every woman has a different shape. We'll refer to a few categories in our best bras and underwear style guide below, so let's be sure we’re all clear on what they mean.
Here are some commonly used shape categories:
A guide to choosing the best bras and underwear by shape for women
Best Underwear For Pear Shaped
Most Popular Underwear For Apple Shaped
Top Rated Underwear For Boxy Shaped
Award Winning Underwear For Hourglass Shaped
Pear shaped ladies tend to be smaller on the top and fuller on the bottom with curvaceous hips and thighs.
Apple shaped bodies are those with a wider waist than hips and shoulders.
This refers to bodies with similarly sized shoulders, waist and hips.
Hourglass bodies are usually ample in the bust, hips and bottom with a defined waist.
Now that we have some reference points, let's talk about...
The Best Bras and Underwear for Your Shape
Not every woman falls into one of these categories perfectly, but understanding your proportions - even if you're a combination of these basic shapes, will help you to navigate this guide and choose the best bras and underwear for your body and style.
Bra fitting can be intimidating, so check out our bra fitting guide for maximum confidence in picking your size. The right bra will have your curves looking smooth under clothes, and you feeling confident all day long.
For plus-size ladies, in particular, a bra with good structure and support will serve you better than a bra with a lot of lace but not a lot of lift. Lace or sheer accents are a great way to add some sexy without losing that support.
There are many, many options for bras. Here are 4 great choices for plus-size women:
Discover Balcony Bras
1. Balcony: A sexy style that lifts the breasts with medium coverage and support.
• Great for: breasts that are fuller at the bottom and shallower at the top because they lift and separate, creating that full, rounded look. Pear shaped bodies look great in balcony bras because the wide band can visually create a more hourglass-like shape.
• This probably won't be your go-to tee shirt bra, but it's a great bra to have in your wardrobe for special occasions. The balcony style achieves that pin-up look, and the wide set straps stay hidden under a revealing neckline.
Explore Plunge Bras
2. Plunge: V-shaped neckline built to amplify and emphasise cleavage.
• Great for: larger breasts, hourglass and apple-shaped figures. The plunging V-shape creates maximum, natural looking cleavage.
See More Push-up Bras
3. Push-up: Padding in the lower, outer portion of the cups creates a full cleavage effect by pushing the breasts up and together.
• Great for: creating maximum va-va-voom cleavage. Push-ups can be found in several bra shapes, and are excellent to pair with a low-cut top or dress that shows off your curves.
• Plus-size doesn't mean your breasts are your largest feature. If you are looking to create a balance between the curviness of your bottom half and top half, and make your waist look smaller, a push-up bra is the way to go.
Discover The Beauty of Full Cup Bras
4. Full cup: higher cup style with deeper underwire, providing maximum coverage and support.
• Great for: larger breasts in need of comfortable support. This style is an excellent everyday bra for under most clothes, and can still be a sexy choice in your favourite colour or material.
• If comfort is your number one when bra shopping, there is nothing better than a great fitting full cup.
There is nothing worse than ill-fitting underwear that bunches and bulges through your clothes; or worse, creates unflattering lumps in your curves.
Choosing well-fitted briefs that express your style while meeting your needs, is an excellent way to maximize your confidence, whether your clothes are on or off.
Here are our top 5 styles:
View More Boy Short Styles
1. Boy short: modest style providing full coverage that can still get super sexy with creative designs like lace side panels.
• Great for: all shapes, especially pear bods because they smooth the hips. Pair with a bandeau or balcony bra for a cute and flirty retro style.
Try High-rise Briefs
2. High-rise brief: A full coverage brief with a wide style range from comfy and simple to a sexy retro pin-up look. High-rise briefs are perfect to wear under waist-cinching dresses. While more comfortable and much sexier than a shaper, this style provides excellent support.
• Great for: apple shaped ladies because they provide tummy support and create a visually more defined waistline. They are also great for hourglass shapes. Briefs that feature a higher cut on the legs make the legs appear longer.
3. Hipster briefs: a lower cut style that provides full front and back coverage. This panty is still comfy while better suited for low-rise trousers.
• Great for: boxy shapes, especially when paired with a long banded bralette or corset. Try a hipster brief style with ruffles to make the hips appear wider than the waist.
4. Wide waistband thong: an ultra-comfy low-rise thong that features a thick and stretchy waistband. This style won’t bunch up on the sides or cut into your hips creating unflattering lumps.
• Great for: all body types when avoiding panty lines is key. Several styles in this cut feature a V-shape, which creates the illusion of a longer torso, great for apple shape or short torso ladies.
Explore Wide Waistband Thongs
5. Low-rise boy short thong: offering the best of both worlds, this style allows you to still be cheeky without sacrificing comfort if you're not a huge fan of thongs. Not quite as skimpy as other thongs, this style can smooth the hips and tummy just enough to make you feel most confident.
• Great for: all shapes when you want comfortable support but also require hidden panty lines. This style is particularly flattering on hourglass and pear shaped figures.
This style guide hopefully has given you some great advice on lingerie styles to suit you, but remember that they are guidelines, not hard and fast rules.
Most importantly, choose the bras, briefs and accessories that fit; are comfortable, and make you feel as luxurious, confident or sexy as you want to feel.