Bra Problem #6: “Bras with a big enough band (42) have a cup size too big that puckers. The bottom of the cup fits, but the top has no cleavage. When I get fitted for a bra in plus size stores they say I need a huge cup and smaller band and the cup swallows me.”
When Grail first opened, the hands-down hardest body type to fit was anyone needing a relatively larger band size (over 40) coupled with cups sized C and under. It was a huge frustration for me because *tons* of people fall into this category, and so few bras are made for them. If you had the misfortune of requiring a bra in this size range, you had the sparsest selection and the least attractive options. There’s no good reason for it either, as far as I’m concerned; every other size combination has specialty brands designing for their particular body type: full-figure, small-band-big-cups, or petite all over.
The good news is that after an exhaustive search of brands the world over, we’re well-equipped with styles in this size range. We’ve found almost all of them outside the U.S. market. For example, the bra pictured on the left above is Tonya Flair from German brand Anita, which includes AA-cups to a 42 band. On the right is a high apex lined bra from another German brand, Ulla Popken, which produces B-cups up to a 56 band! Other stand-outs include fun and fashionable styles from Polish brand Ewa Michalak and Australian company Lady Emprezz.
On another point: fit is about more than just size. There are so many other factors, including cup shape and spacing on the band. It sounds like the styles you’ve tried are either not a good shape match for your personal body shape (which could cause both the puckering and the separation at the top of the cups,) poorly-sized, or both. The comment about shopping in plus-size stores is especially unfortunate. Some retailers will try to put you in a size that they have on-hand, knowing that it’s not appropriate for you, because they don’t sell what you actually need. Hopefully you’ll receive better service elsewhere in the future. My hope is that one day this body type will have as wide a variety of choices as any other.
Note: “Bra Problems” was originally a series of Facebooks posts written in response to follower queries during the Covid shutdown of spring 2020. Our inboxes are still open, though! If you have a Bra Problem you’d like us to troubleshoot here, email your issue to email@example.com.