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Plus Size and Smaller than a D Cup: A Frustration

Plus Size and Smaller than a D Cup: A Frustration

Flatter Me Bra

Today we invite blogger, Netta P in to talk about a common issue, plus size and small-chested. WIth her witty self, I invited Netta to chat about this… Please enjoy!

It used to be that if you were plus size, good luck finding a bra that fit and wasn’t as boring as a yawn on a rainy day. Now, there are loads of options out there – at least in comparison to before. Except … for those of us who wear a cup size smaller than a C. That’s right. I wear a cup size B. And I just fill that right on up. C is not gonna cut it for me. Never has. Never will. Sometimes the B cups on the market don’t work either. Leave me with that weird little gap between my bra and my breast. Annoying, to say the least.

Posture support wirefree bra by Comfort Choice

Anyway, I was talking to my good friend, you might know her, The Curvy Fashionista. Mmhmm. And I saw this new bra line that she posted about that’s just launched called Curvy Couture. And then I saw some tweets from my other good friend, Alissa from Stylish Curves. She was tweeting all these pictures from the Curvy Couture holiday preview:





Apparently the line was designed by someone who was a manufacturer for Victoria’s Secret and Lane Bryant. And I started to get excited.

I thought, “OH YES. This is for plus size women! They must mean me!” And I’ve felt that excitement before. I’ve felt it about lingerie. Only to arrive and find out that my bra size isn’t available. This is something that’s been happening to me my entire life. And I know, I know, I might not be as voluptuously endowed as my larger-breasted sisters, and there might be products out there like that one bra from the Itty Bitty Bra Company.

Flatter Me Bra

 (side note: eye roll at your name. I’m not feeling it. I know they’re itty bitty. I don’t need you to rub it in. Although I guess I DID know who your product was for … but it’s not like there’s a bra company out there called “Big Honkin Boobies” marketing to women with larger breasts. It just strikes me as a bit rude.) 

See Also
Lane Bryant Semi Annual Sale

And it might even be that Lane Bryant carries something they call a 40B, but I’m here to tell you I am solidly a 40B upon measuring myself, and the bras from Lane Bryant are gapping all OVER the place. The Flatter Me Bra, which totally fits me, is what the Itty Bitty Bra Company calls their bra for plus size women who wear a cup size smaller than a C.

You know what colors it’s made in?

Black and nude. (Yawn.) And I REALLY feel for my girls who wear a size A or AA because I really haven’t seen anything out there for y’all that isn’t black, nude or white. And if your band size is 42B … there’s not a whole lot out there for you either.

So, I’ve continued to buy my bras from Lane Bryant cause I get a little excited by a little lace and pattern that matches my sexy panties. Even though it’s not really making me feel all that sexy when I wear a t-shirt … at least it’s sometimes giving me a nicely proportioned shape by adding some extra padding.

Goddess Lace Longline Underwire Bra

And I know there are SOME things out there.  Like if you were to check out Bare Necessities or Lavinia there are maybe 5 or 6 options that aren’t black, nude or white. So, some progress has been made for those of us who are 40B.

I DO see some more exciting options from Full Beauty. I would be very interested in trying these bras on though to see if they work or not! A lot of options out there look like they weren’t made with small breasts in mind – which is why the Flatter Me Bra is actually pretty flattering. They understand how to gift a smaller bustline lift under a tshirt!

I guess what I’m really trying to say here is, I KNOW there are other women like me out there. I see them all the time. I mean, I ride the train in NYC, I see at least 2 or 3 women a day who also have smaller breasts and are plus size. I mean this is something I really actually think about when I see them, too. I kind of want to lean over and go – “Hey girl. I see you. I know, bras suck. They ain’t got nothin for us, do they?”

Can someone who is designing a bra specifically for smaller bustlines with a larger band think about this for me? Bra companies? Please?


It’s not just our curvy counterparts that want to feel like they are uplifted properly, supported succinctly, Va-va-voomed voluptuously. I mean, I’m appealing, attractive, delightful, sensuous, sexy, and a little bit sassy when you catch me on any day. I’d love to rock something that makes me feel that way with my clothes on, too, particularly in a corset. Holler at yer girl scout y’all.

Are you a member of the just enough of a handful crew? What is going on with your bustline? Are you waiting for a lingerie company to turn some attention your way specifically? I want to hear about it!

NettaP writes about plus size fashion and life on her own blog at, and she has a weekly plus size fashion show on YouTube called The Round Up. Netta lives in Brooklyn, loves a good sheath dress, and she adores connecting with friends old and new!

View Comments (52)
  • I switch between a 40B & 40C, depending on the bra. Sometimes when I try on a 40C, I don’t fill it enough & sometimes when I try on a 40B, my bust spills over. So frustrating. Having a good foundation is essential. If your undergarments are ill-fitting & don’t feel good, you won’t feel good either. 

    I really hope companies hear us out. Unfortunately, not all plus size women are busty.
    — Nicole

    • Totally true Saucy! (Love your name btw :)) I guess it’s really the same dilemma that everyone faces when finding their one true fit. I’d really love to see garments for smaller breasts be designed for those fits specifically. I liken it to when straight sizes are sized up by just adding extra fabric and not really thinking about the SHAPES that are crucial to make fit happen properly in plus size. Thank you for commenting! 😀 xoxo netta

      • I’ve had good luck with bras from Hips and Curves. The Essential Everyday T-Shirt Bra fits really well and looks good under everything. The embroidered lace underwire bra is my favorite, but it is super delicately made and the straps rip from the cups if you’re not careful.

        Linda the Bra Lady also has a good selection! The only drawback with shopping there is that if the bra isn’t in stock, you can wait weeks for the delivery.

  • UGH YES. I’m anywhere from a 38-40 B-C (with occasional dips into 36) depending on the bra, how much water I’m retaining, if my weight’s decided to redistribute weirdly. I can never find cute bras. Add to that the fact that one of my breasts is literally a cup size larger than the other and I’m doomed to gappy boring bra syndrome.

      • Well “designers” is a pretty strong word since I’m working part time retail right now, but Target gets most of my business, and for nude or white t-shirt bras they’re not terrible. Lane Bryant occasionally, as well, but I have the same trouble you do with their sizes being a little big. I usually feel like I have to go too big or too small, at least if I’m trying to order something I can actually try on and that’s not a hundred dollars.

  • I agree…the cushion i got isn’t in the chest! I make Lane Bryant’s 40-B work with inserts and cross backs but they sexy they are not…my girls would love some spice to match the rest of my wardrobe!

  • I’m with you on this issue I’m a 44B and have ended up doing the down a band up a cup  to get a fit.  I only wear Lane Bryant as there are no other stores near me so I am doing theese online.  Since most of the brars are 4 hook I can’t find 4 hook extenders to give me breathing room on those days when I need that extra room. 

    • Im the same size as you. I have just lost 20kgs or 44pounds. Had to recalc my boobs.
      Im super confused as to how my clothing size is smaller than my bra band size, but hey what eves as long as I’m comfy.

      How do you go down a band up a cup to get a good fit…I’m always in the mid range thats never on the charts. Should I go up or down in size???? arrrr so confuffled.

      Im 43″ over bust and 39.5″ under Im half a cm out of an actual size acording to Australian sizing charts.

      • you should also check out FullFigure FUller Bust as she is a breast and bra sizing god! I do not know the measurement in Aussie terms… @dannimezza is a great Aussie blogger to check out too!

        • thanx, i’m heading over to take a look, cause the 22B (44B) straps fall off, either too big or too small in the back and the cups it huge.

      • You are a god send…I have a beautiful bra, but it doesn’t quite make it around my back. I’m off to Joann’s!!!

  • I feel like you are an angel sent from heaven!!! I have Turner’s Syndrome ( which basically means on top of short stature (5’0 so I”m lucky), premature ovarian failure (my body basically never hit puberty…no babies, but I get to experience menopause (yay). Silver lining – I’ve never had to shave, buy tampons, or worry about Aunt Flo visiting my town…ever). So, my body is frozen at 11, no boobs, I’m 40, I weigh 168lbs, I’m 5’0 an I wear a 38-AA, argh! I have had the worst time dressing myself, and knowing that other women out there have this same complaint makes me feel so much less alone in my fashion-tastrophe. Forget trying on bathing suits, but that’s for another day.

      • trying to find shapely, comfortable bras in my size is like hunting for the last Dodo bird. They are elusive. When I was younger (pre-hanging boobs), I didn’t even wear one. What I am really on the hunt for is a bathing suit that is flattering. I do have positive attributes that I want to show off (I like my legs). But, my booty, my belly and my boobies don’t want to work together.

    • OH MY Gawd! I thought I was the only one going through premature menopause. And in India, most gynacs couldn’t figure out wtf the problem was coz I didn’t hit puberty and was gaining weight so rapidly it would’ve made Bolt’s head spin. And all of this in my most impressionable teen years…yay! However I’ve got the courage to lift myself up and go shopping with 38B size so that my figure passes as proportional. But it is SO HARD! The closest I’ve come to a good bra is Jockey’s crossfit. Please help oh bosom Gods!

  • I literally have one bra (I removed the water inserts, chihuahuas and water bras don’t mix). It’s old, black lace, I hate it…but damn it’s comfy and my boobs don’t look bad in it.

  • Ugh I totally know where your coming from >.< I usually have to settle for a bra that is much too tight and leave's marks. I'm thinking of buying some bra extenders and maybe that will help.

  • thank yooouuu for writing this! I know I’m not alone in this. If someone were to raid my bra drawer, they would be extremely dissappointed at the lack of color nor design! Heck, I’d be happy to get even a cream colored bra with some decent lace or bow, rather than the boring old plain black or white. U__U I’m a 38A and there’s not much of those here with pretty designs.

  • Oh my gosh, all of my other plus sized friends have huge boobs, I’m the only one that has my small (not even full) B’s. It’s just not fair, there are very few, if any bra options. And it’s not just bras. I’m getting married and would like one of those strapless bustiers for wearing under my dress. But guess what?? If you try it on in your bra size, it will definitely not fit around your waist at all…this is so frustrating, glad to know I’m not alone. I just wish more designers would consider every body shape. NOT EVERY plus sized girl has giant boobs!!

  • OMGosh, thanks for posting this!! I wear a band size 40 but I am a C cup, I have the hardest time finding bras my size! Sometimes I have to buy a size 40 D or sometimes I go 38C and use an extender, but that is such a pain. I do like structured bras with wide bands, so I always feel like I have to choose from no good options. Thanks so much for being a voice for all of us plus size women out there!

  • Totally agree! I lost 65 lbs this year and my 44C has shrunk to a 40-42
    B/C. I find now that I have large gabs in my C cups, but like you it is
    difficult to find a B-40, and usually those don’t have enough room. I
    know my body is changing with my lifestyle change, but can a girl get a
    decent affordable bra? The B’s are too small and the C’s too big. I
    desire to get a boob job and forget the bra struggle all together, life
    would be easier. lol

  • YES!!!! I would love to find some bras that rock!!! I am 36 and just this pass year went to Victoria Secret to buy a bra…when I asked for her to measure me she told me the size (40-42b) and asked what I was looking for. She came back with a 38c and an bra extender. I was semi happy with a push up and paid the $50. But, I’m not real happy with the whole extender thingy. I would love love love to find some sexy bras in my/ our size!!!! I am sooo happy I am not alone in this venture =)…lol

  • 40 B here. I am very tall, broad-shouldered, with a solid build, and small breasts. And I am PICKY about bras. I want them to be comfy. No scratchy lace. Wide straps. Perhaps some light-medium padding that would balance me out a bit. I’d LOVE a padded sports bra in my size, minus the uni-boob. I have been searching for the dream bra for my entire life. I don’t care if it’s purple with orange stripes and yellow polka dots.

  • It’s truly hard to find a good lingerie brand that has sizes for different kinds of women, having a big band and lesser cup size in proportion would really be a bad problem. I’ve been helping my friend with her bra search (Good thing I don’t have the problem she has) and we found this website, She found lingerie that’s for her size and enjoys them but she still wants to something about the band size. She’s on a diet know and it’s really helped her find new bras easier than before.

  • I quit my search for bras when I was around 15. I’ll be 25 in a couple months and to this day I only wear sports bras. It’s all I can find that does a decent job of making them noticeable and presentable. It sucks.

  • I’m sitting here reading this in my beautiful (expensive) Peplum bathing suit from Torrid on the verge of tears. I order it online and picked it up in-store. My bra size is 42b, and I shared my fear of the cups being too big with the associate, she smiled and said “no need to worry the cups on this bathing suit run small.” I practically skipped out of the store in excitement only to get home, put it on, and never want to swim in public. I look like a 10 year old trying on her mothers bra.
    I think the hardest part for me about being plus sized with a smaller bust, is that I get so excited cause these trendy plus size stores are popping up only to find the clothes are still not made for me. I struggle enough with the fact that I have a plus sized body, I wish I didn’t have to deal with the small boob problem as well.

  • OMG, best post EVER! I’m going to parrot many of those who have commented and rejoice that I’m not alone!! I’ve never felt like my bust was proportionate and wondered who genes I got in my large-chested family. When I shop for clothes, like at Lane Bryant, I end up with tops a size smaller than bottoms other wise the darting in the chest is halfway down my torso, lol. I did try their bras, but the padding and such still left gaps and all that nonsense wasn’t comfortable.

    I’m currently wearing the strapless bras from Torrid in 40B or 42B, depending on weight fluctuation. (I’m about a size 16/18.) I like the strapless bra from Torrid because:
    1- Straps serve no purpose. We’re not holding anything up in my case and straps just fall off my shoulders. So annoying….
    2- These have a nice, wide, band which is pretty comfy.
    3- There is a little bit of padding so I look a more in proportion in my clothing. I would say it makes me a good, solid B when I’m probably nearer to an A. (The LB bras we trying to look like a D cup. I’m not that fake! Lol)
    4- These bras seem to hold up pretty well with normal wear and tear.

    That’s the best I’ve found so far. Ya know, until I commit to being full on hipster and going bra-less. #nipplerings #portland #jk ; )

  • Ugh! You are singing my song!
    44? 46? A/B… yes, the Layne Bryant B cups are NOT B cups. I could totally pack my wallet, keys, lunch for work & a book in the gaps in their “B” cups.
    I’m so glad you posted Itty Bitty… I gave up hope that a bra could ever fit me, so I just MacGyver together “close enough”.
    Now if I could just afford one….
    I hate paying double for $0.70 worth of fabric.

  • I have had the same problem finding smaller cup bras that fit. I was a 42B for a little while and found it extremely difficult to find anything in my size. Whenever I would ask retail clerks if the carried anything above 38B they would look at me weird. I have since grown to a 42C now and still have problems. I have noticed that Kohls occasionally carries that size (sometimes Maidenform carries that size, and sometimes Olga), but still finding cute designs for a bra is rather difficult. A friend of mine took me into a Victoria’s Secret thinking that there would be bras in my size. The sales associate told me there is no such thing as a 42C and that I was really a 38D. Looking at her funny, I humored her and my friend and tried on a bra the suggested for me. At first I couldn’t get the band hooked behind my back so they gave me a bra extender. My breasts couldn’t even fill the D cup.

  • I know what all you ladies are going through. I was told for so many years that I would eventually get full breasts, but I never did. I’m in a 46 a/b right now. I hate Lane Bryant. Nothing there ever fits. When I started nursing, finding a nursing bra was even worse than finding a regular bra. Brands that work for me included-
    1. Breezies (the B cups were still B cups even in large band sizes)
    2. Bravado silk seamless nursing bras. Seriously, these things are fricking awesome. I’m no longer nursing, but I still wear those bras. Heck I have 12 of them and they even come in pretty colors! They fit a 42-46 A-C in size XL.

    As for bathingsuits, I hear your frustration there too. My best advice is to find an old Lands End line of swimsuits that had different cup sizes in different sizes. You could even get a 20 with an A cup, or a 18 with a B cup etc. They didn’t sell well in the small cup size/large body size configurations, so they were really cheap towards the end. I think I paid $6.50 for an 18A.

  • YES! I’m a 42A and I am mostly stuck with sports bras, which are so not sexy. I would love to find a cute underwire bra that actually fits me. I don’t know why bra manufacturers seem to think all plus size women have big boobs. There are a lot of us A and B cups out there. I mean, when my best friend and I go shopping together, she finds all of these cute bras in the “big honkin boobies” (I lol’ed at that) section, but there’s nothing at all for me unless I need a new sports bra. I tried on some Lane Bryant bras once, and think I could have fit both of my boobs plus an apple or two in each one of their 42B bra’s cups. It’s ridiculous how little there is out there for us.

  • Yes! I have a similar problem. I am about a 42B or 42C, sometimes a 44B or 44C. It’s next to impossible to find a bra that fits me. Also the wires dig in so bad even when the band isn’t tight…I feel like maybe I have a wider rib cage or something and maybe my boobs are farther apart. I don’t know WHAT the problem is, but structurally wire bras aren’t made to fit my body comfortably. It makes me sad that I can never find one that feels at all comfortable. I fantasize about somehow designing a completely custom bra made just for me. I’d take that over a flying car, future scientists. lol Right now I settle for wearing bras that kind of fit and have no wires, but they aren’t flattering. My boobs just look smooshed and/or floppy. Also, sometimes a bra will say no underwire! but then have stupid wires on the sides that bend that are just as uncomfortable. *sigh*

  • I’m something like a 44A/B. I don’t have any bras that fit me right so thats a guess based on how Lane Bryant bras fit me. Too small for the plus-size bras, too big to go without bras (oh how I wish I could). I often think I’m just wearing the wrong bra size, then I get fitted at LB and they tell me I’m a 44DD and I’m like nooo freaking way is that my size. I put on the bra they give me and surely enough I’m swimming in it. So I just deal with ill-fitting bras that are either too big in the cup or too small in the band. Sometimes both! Most of my Lane Bryant bras can’t be worn with certain shirts. I usually get 42B/C there. You can sorta get away with it by wearing a cami a size or two too small underneath your shirt though to flatten it out. I have a 40D from there that is the most perfect fit for my breasts but the band is killer. I really need to get some extenders. The best fit bra I’ve ever found was a clearance cupless bra from Torrid that I think is 42B. I can never find anything under D cup at Torrid nowadays though.

  • I’m a 48a because I’m transgender and it is such a pain to find ANYTHING in my size period. I finally found Oragsmi Customs which is trans friendly and can custom make what you want for a very reasonable price! Yay!

  • Try being a 50-C.
    It’s bad enough being ridiculed and an outcast as a super plus sized woman. But having smaller boobs on top of it? (*hangs head in shame*) And there is nothing out there for the super plus with small boobs. (50 + band size and under a D cup) Where can we find pretty, sexy bras (preferably padded for the extra help) that is like a 50-C.?

  • I know this pain. I’m 40-42 C. My whole body is oddly proportioned due to thyroid disease and fibromyalgia. I went from skinny to bigger, and now I am plus size and my boobs are too small for plus size clothing, and too big for normal clothing. Finding bras that fit is next to impossible.

  • Omg! I’ve stumbled upon this post after a day long search in stores and online for new bras. I used to believe I was a 38c until I actually measured. (I put on a bit of weight and my bras were digging ) I’m a 42b and I am yet to find anything that works. I refuse to pay 50+ bucks for a single basic colored bra. I want to feel sexy in lace and other colors.
    The search continues. Gd luck ladies!!! #Ifeelyourpain

  • I am plus size with just a handful of boob myself. Size 14 and a 40B and trying to find a bra is a nightmare!!!! Even bathing suits are a nightmare with that horrible gap on top just to fit my bottom!! GEEZ , we need a lingerie / swim suit line for our body type PLEASE

  • I am so glad im not the only one who struggles with this and feels the same. Its so hard. And also when i do find one it sure as hell is not accessible!! Bras that are like 40, 50,60!! Like whydo i have to pay triple what thin people pay for a plane bra? I have ti*s too! I also dont want to be showing my nipples and get some support. The world just works so hard at making fat women feel like they dont belong, from clothes, to the entire culture.

  • I had to reply to the person who recommended getting fitted at Nordstrom’s. I did that a few months ago and came out a 42a. The lady said “it’s going to be hard to find anything since you don’t have any boobies.” Um. I did end up finding two I liked, but I can’t say that was a super fun experience.

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