Bra fitting for non-slender women

It’s about time for me to get new bras, and I have some questions. I’ve seen a few women on Youtube doing bra fit demos and they explain it well, but they’re all slender. I’m not, and unlike every other fat chick in the world, I don’t have compensatory large breasts, so I’m a weird size.
One video I saw recently showed the women giving an example of band size too big by pulling the back of the band out a few inches. Mine does that. If I wear it tighter, it dents my body in over my ribs. Is it supposed to be tight enough to create a crease, if one is non-slender? I can’t help but think that’s unattractive when I see it under clothing.
Also, they say that wearing the wrong size bra can create armpit “fat” that’s actually displaced breast tissue, but if you scoop that tissue into the right bra, eventually the underarm stuff migrates on its own and your cup size gets bigger as the tissue stays where it ought to be- in the breast itself. I’ve been doing just that for a few months now, and if anything, that armpit fat or tissue or whatever is getting larger. Maybe I just notice it more now, but I’m being gentle when I scoop, and I feel like the skin is stretching rather than the tissue relocating. Does this claim have any validity?

I would love an answer. I haven’t had a good bra fit in years. I,have what I call side boobs. They could use a cup of their own. I know of no good way to punch them into a cup,because they are under my arms and almost meet my little back roll. I always thought I could be one of those woman that even a professional would not be able to help

Are you guys looking at/buying bras made specifically for larger women? There’s a difference the way a Playtex 42DD fits and a Just My Size 42DD. Playtex would just be a bigger version of a bra for skinny girls while JMS would take into consideration stuff like under-arm fat. Lane Bryant’s bras are expensive but very accommodating.

Apparently the side boob and back boob are actually real boob bits that have migrated due to bad bra fit? And a good bra will fix this?
I have noticed that my breasts have gotten less firm and there’s more underarm boob since I started wearing plunge bras, so there mey be something to this after all.
Yes, I usually buy from Cacique, which is a plus size brand.

I hear good things about Nordstrom’s. I had a bra fitting at Lane Bryant/Cacique and do not recommend it. Their bras were fine, but the fitting was way way off. Get measured at Nordstrom’s, buy a bra there if you feel too guilty not to, and then buy your bras somewhere cheaper (now that you know your size).

My last fitting at Cacique was dead on, so I think it’s the person rather than the store.

Go to Nordstroms and let the bra specialists fit you and show you which bras will work for you. Then buy those bras. A tape measure and a chart does not a bra fitter make.

Knowing “your size” doesn’t mean much because bras aren’t all cut the same. And it can be the “right size” but not fit properly because of the shape of your breasts or because the band isn’t right for your body or whatever. The Nordstrom’s bra lady will tell you your general size and if you need a different size in a particular style. I have two styles from Nordstroms, and the fit is balls-on accurate in both. The Wacoal is a 42DDD (aka F) and the Elomi is a 42FF (aka G). And you might think a bra fits, and she will show you why it doesn’t and find you something that does, and you will learn a thing or two about how to fit a bra to yourself.

First of all, Cacique bras are crap. I have quite a few, but they’re for wear when they’re going to be seen. While they are cheap, pretty, comfortable, available with matching underpants, and do impressive things to my cleavage, the quality is substandard. They’re almost all molded cup too.

If you’re fat enough that you’re dealing with underarm rolls, you need a better bra than Cacique for everyday wear. Do yourself a favor and buy a real bra from a REAL trained bra fitter. It will cost twice as much, last 4x as long, and give you much better service.

Second…the part about the side boob and back boob being “real boob bits?” I hate to break it to you, but that stuff is just fat. Most of your breasts are just fat too, so I guess you could say it’s breast tissue and try to stuff your sides into your bra.

Good to know about the Nordstroms fitters. I’ll mention that to the wife. She needs new bras.

I wear ONLY Cacique strapless bras, and I love them. Never tried any of their other styles. However, I will definitely make a trip to Nordstrom, as Cacique stopped making the style I like. I bought the last four that one store had. Story of my freakin’ life. (To illustrate, my last three cars have been two Saturns and an AMC Pacer. Companies should PAY me NOT to buy their products. But I digress…)

Cacique aren’t terrible bras, but they’re essentially knock offs of Le Mystere made with slightly lower grade materials. They blow anything from Target right out of the water, however.

I get about a good month out of every $10 I spend. A bra over $50 will get me a good month and an okay month and a “I really need to go bra shopping” month for each $10 I spend (I have 3 “decent” bras that I rotate through each week). So while it’s a painful budget bite, it really does behoove me to pay more less frequently.

I agree with the above advice about Nordstrom’s. Yes, of course your fitting is going to depend on the person doing it. Nordstrom’s, however, hires better people on average than Lane Bryant, because they’re known for their bra fitters, whereas Lane Bryant is known as the store your grandmother shops at when she’s feeling nostalgic for Delta Burke.

But back to the question in the OP: no, you should not be able to pull the back of your bra several inches away from your back. Neither should you have deep grooves from your bra. There is a middle ground, Goldilocks, I promise. But you won’t find this promised land at Target or WalMart. You may find it at Lane Bryant, if you’re lucky and don’t look at the cheapest bras. You will probably find it at Nordstrom’s. Being able to pull it out means you’re in a bra that’s too old (lost it’s elasticity), too big (simply too many inches in band size) too cheap (the materials are too thin, there’s not enough reinforcement stitching) or too skanky (the materials are made for looking at, not heavy lifting.)

Can I just rant here for a moment about “back-fat”? This is the first time I can recall being alive through the invention of a new body part to hate. First they started making t-shirts tighter, then they started making them out of tissue paper, and then they started telling us it was our fault that their too tight, too thin t-shirts looked like crap because our backs are plagued with “back-fat”. And we fell for it so we could buy their Spanx and extra tall banded bras to fix our “flaw”.

Anyhow, if back-fat is a problem for you, they’d be happy to sell you a bra designed specifically to smoosh your back-fat under the band and smooth it all out. But it is going to be a much tighter feeling bra than you’re used to, and the band is going to feel weirdly tall at first.

I personally love the tighter cantilever constructed bras like Le Mystere’s Tisha (made famous nearly 10 years ago as “Oprah’s Favorite Bra”), but then I’m the kind of person who would gladly wear a corset most days. For most people, adjusting to a properly fitted bra (back-fat or no) takes a few days, as it’s going to feel too tight at first. This is because the support for your boobs is actually coming from the band; the cups are there to divide and conquer (and cover nipples, which is another rant for another day), and the shoulder straps are only there to hold the top of the cup flush to your chest wall - no strain at all should be on the shoulder straps.

Really, find yourself a good professional, whether that’s at Nordstrom’s or a corsettier (difficult for most of us to find). There is so much on the subject that can’t be adequately expressed in writing, and what you need is unique answers that apply to you and your body.

As usual, WhyNot, you have elegantly combined actual information with entertainment. Your line about Lane Bryant (“the store your grandmother shops at when she’s feeling nostalgic for Delta Burke”) made my morning!

So true. I just got a new Wacoal of my usual style and size, and when I first put it on, it felt like I was being squeezed to death. Within an hour it was merely too snug. By the end of the day, it felt okay. But the end of the third day, it was perfect. (That’s not to say you should buy a bra that feels too tight. But a properly fitting bra CAN feel too tight at first.)

I don’t know if anyone here is a Redditor (frequent timewaster at, but they have a very popular subreddit all about correct bra fit info. You don’t need to register or anything to read it all. Start with the FAQ and the info links on the right sidebar.

Good luck!

I need to suck it up and go to Nordstrom’s one of these days. I have been wearing Vicky’s Secret for a long time, and they last for a while, but there’s no trained help there at all. They cater to tiny, or tiny with gigantic add-ons. (I am neither, closer to the OP, but manage to find my size usually.)

I haven’t clicked the Reddit link, which probably mentions this, but don’t forget: bra sizes aren’t forever. It’s a good idea to get fitted every few years, and definitely after any major body changes (pregnancy, weight gain/loss.) Seems obvious, but after five babies, I always reverted to my usual hard-to-find size. Since the sixth, though, my band size went up, with a corresponding loss of a cup size. (Finally, one good thing about middle age, since it’s way easier to find a 36D than a 34DD!)

It does mention that, yes. Lots of good info and recommendations.

Moved to IMHO from General Questions.

Much good advice above. One thing to tell you: cinch the straps up so that the back band rides quite high. Apparently they’re supposed to fit this way, and while it doesn’t erase back fat, it does minimize the spillage.

Yeah, I’m gonna need some pics.

For science and stuff.

Show me your tits

This is a warning for you, do not post like this again.

A friend swears by an outfit called Pennyrich Bras. Apparently they custom fit and make bras to size. Never have done that, but perhaps something to look into?