The Curvily Bralette Guide for Full Busts
When I shared this Instagram post about finding comfort (both literal and emotional) in bralettes, I did not expect to receive such an outpouring of responses.
Real talk: It took me a long time to be comfortable not hoisting my boobs high in scaffolding-like bras at every moment. A few years ago I would have never worn just a soft bralette out in public. Being immersed in a community of amazing #bodypositive babes has helped me undo years of ingrained unrealistic expectations (we don’t need nipple-free, gravity-defying Barbie boobs after all), and it has changed my outlook on my own body. This newfound perspective let me rock this fun, non-restricting look for a 16+ hour day where comfort was absolutely key. It might seem like a little thing, but feeling at home with my own very human body has made all the difference.
Soon, my DMs were flooded with women commiserating about the societal pressure to have magically perky boobs. It seemed like I struck I nerve, and it was so good to get to blow off some steam chatting about these unrealistic expectations with my followers.
I initially planned the post as just an honest personal confession, and I love that it became a body positive conversation starter. What I did not anticipate was how many shopping questions would follow. I actually got more “but where do you BUY bralettes????” questions than anything else, so I decided then and there to put together a comprehensive bralette guide for my readers.
In deciding what to include, I personally tested a bunch of options for this guide, and not all of them made the cut. I’m only recommending bralettes that have both form and function, so while I liked the vintage look of a Forever 21 crochet number, for example, it was no more than a glorified nipple cover on me, so I am not recommending it for busty babes. This guide is all tried and true favorites that work on my 38L/40I bust, with styles for every occasion and demand:
Lacy Longline Bralette with Full Support from Trusst
If you are new to bralettes and looking to ease into the style while still feeling completely supported, start here. Trusst is a new bra line with a patent-pending design that eliminates underwire altogether.
The scalloped edge longline “Jessica” style has all the pretty layerability of a classic flimsy lace bralette, but provides serious lift and all-day support with their unique BAST design that includes a molded contour cup that cradles each boob with the support sewn right in. The design is based on the engineering of a bridge truss (hence the name), and is meant to redistribute the weight of your breasts and takes the brunt of it off your shoulders. Those are some heavy (pun intended) claims for larger busts, but the wear experience lives up to the hype.
I styled it as a crop top for this festival-ready summer look. Paired with a fringe kimono, high waisted cutoffs, and comfortable espadrille wedges, this outfit is perfect for a concert in the park or a night out at a beer garden. If you like this aesthetic but are looking for a bit more coverage, I recommend wearing a semi-sheer button down top over the bralette, and either leaving it open to show off the scalloped bottom or tying it up and just letting the lacy neckline peek through.
The comfort of this structured bralette is amazing, and the smooth lined lace looks great underneath clothes too. I wore it under a close fitting tank here and it was absolutely seamless. I can’t wait to try out more of their bras, and I hope they add more bralette styles soon!
The Padding-Free Crochet Bralette from Curvy Couture
I’ve liked Curvy Couture bras for years now, but I was first introduced to their bralettes earlier this year when I was at Coachella with my friends Madeline Jones of Plus Model Magazine and Liz Black of P.S. It’s Fashion. They both have full busts and are always super honest about what works too, so hearing them rave about their Curvy Couture bralettes definitely put them on my to-try list. As soon as I put this pink crochet number on, I fell in love.
In terms of support, Curvy Couture’s crochet bralettes are excellent. They have a floating underwire built in, which per CC means the wire “is hidden and does not extend to the edge of the bra. It’s less noticeable while still providing support and comfort to wear all day.” After testing this IRL on some long, busy days running around town, I have to agree.
With its scalloped edge and sweet crochet knit, this style can easily go festival and be worn as a crop top. It would also be great to layer under the Reformation-style plunging neckline dresses that are trending right now, or worn peeking out of an off the shoulder tee (the lacy racer back detail makes this bralette particularly well-suited for this). There are so many good options, but for this look, I wanted to show that you can style this precious pink bralette edgier too (I love playing against type!). Paired with a mesh crop top and overalls, it reads decidedly downtown.
I actually got the idea for the second version of this look while I was getting dressed: As I pulled the top over my head it landed like this, and I immediately got serious late 90’s shrug flashbacks (who else remembers the shrug trend?). With the overalls unbuckled and worn as low rise jeans, I got all the Aaliyah vibes. She was one of my biggest fashion inspirations growing up, so knew right then I had to shoot it both ways. It’s a testament to the quality of the bralette that I felt perfectly comfortable shooting this relatively bare look on Rivington Street at 9 am – I knew I was secure and supported. This style comes in black and white too, and Curvy Couture also offers a gorgeous glimmery sheer accented bralette, so my Curvy Couture bralette collection is definitely about to grow.
The Soft Seamless Stretch Bralette from Cacique
In the Insta post that kicked off all the bralette questions, I was wearing the first bralette that ever worked for me: The criss-cross stretch bralette from Cacique for Lane Bryant. Since discovering this style, I have been building my LB bralette collection, and snagged this high neck perforated bralette as soon as I saw it hit the site.
The seamless stretch material provides solid support to keep me feeling secure and comfortable, but this is is definitely a style that brings back the discussion about feeling at home in your own skin. While both the Trusst and Curvy Couture bralettes have comfortable lift and engineered support without the usual underwire scaffolding of full bust bras, these LB seamless bralettes are fabric-only.
Without that additional support, these Cacique bralettes are not giving any serious lift, but that’s okay. Sometimes you don’t need it (or want it), even if you have a breast size that you’ve always heard needs to be fully restrained. If you are used to only full wired bras (like I was), you will notice a difference in movement, i.e. I wouldn’t go for a run in these bralettes – the bouncing would be much too real. But for regular day-to-day use, these are amazing.
You will never be in danger of a wardrobe malfunction, because these super stretchy styles stay put. These are basically two solid steps up from free-boobing it, which makes them great for most situations. They also come in a variety of styles, usually with coordinating panties (like these fun perforated ones), making these bralettes great for wearing under a sheer dress like this Thames Fog classic from Universal Standard. This style is also double layered, so in a pinch I would feel a-ok about rocking this set as a swimsuit 🙂 If you are looking for an incredibly comfortable option that you can confidently wear on a full day, snap one of these up now – they’re on sale!
The Plunging Lace Bralette from Smart & Sexy
If Cacique bralettes are two good steps up from free-boobing, this soft lace bralette from Smart & Sexy is a half step at most. Smart & Sexy’s styles are not the best for fuller busted women (the largest cup size they offer now in this style is 42DD, which is what I’m wearing here), but I still like this style for times you want just a smidge more hold than nothing at all. The styles are pretty, but better suited for running out to get a cup of coffee before hopping right back in bed than for anything more demanding. They are super affordable though, so the price point is about right for what you get, and I do love supporting a woman-owned company.
Bonus Budget Option: Charlotte Russe
Most of the fast fashion options I tried on didn’t warrant inclusion (ahem, Forever 21 and their glorified nipple covers), and the t00-small sizing of Charlotte Russe’s plus bralettes almost precluded me from mentioning them at all (I’m wearing a 3x in this picture). But they are just SO CHEAP, so if you are looking for some wear-around-the-house cuteness with zero support, their usual under-$10 price point on sale can’t be beat.
I didn’t get to test out every plus bralette option for this post, so I might do a Part II if there are more bralette brands you want me to review. Let me know in the comments or send me a message on Instagram!
Trusst and Curvy Couture photos by Lydia Hudgens
Cacique photos by Austen Tosone
This post is sponsored and may contain affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions my own, as always!