When it comes to finding your new favorite undergarment, you don't have to get stuck scouring the racks at your local department store, trying to find something in your size while avoiding an awkward fitting with a pushy salesperson. In many cases, the best bra brands really are only a click away.
Of all of the things I buy online, I never thought a bra would end up being one of them. Bras were always something that I had to try on in person. The fit always seemed too unpredictable, after all, no matter how many times I was measured and found to be the same size.
But my fear of bra shopping online has starting to dissipate thanks in part to a number of bloggers and YouTubers, such as The Lingerie Addict and Fuller Figure Fuller Bust, who review and write about bras. Not only does it help to get blogger feedback on the fit and construction of these items, but bloggers also play a big role in introducing us to new brands in the first place.
Although there may be one or two known bra giants in this world, I believe that one brand cannot be all things to all people. I wanted to highlight some of the other bra brands that have earned their own customer loyalties for taking a unique approach to the world of brassieres. Here are some of my favorites.
1. Curvy Kate
Curvy Kate is a UK-based lingerie company that launched in 2009. It is known for its extensive size range, which goes from a D to a K cup. These bras come in a range of styles, such as the Balcony Princess Bra and the Luxe Multiway/Strapless Bra.
Curvy Kate stands out because of its customer focus, though. When I went on the website, I wasn't surprised to see that its most recent blog post highlighted nine customers who killed it in 2015 (customers of all sizes and abilities). Curvy Kate is also known for its Star In A Bra Competition and model search, which is open to all sizes, heights, and frames and allows customers to see how their products will fit on a range of bodies.
As the name suggests, Curvy Couture Intimates is a plus size lingerie brand. It makes bras in C to H cups and in a range of comfy and sexy styles. I'm still obsessing over the Love Affair Bra, but I think what I love most about Curvy Couture is its social media engagement within the plus size fashion community.
I first found Curvy Couture through Instagram, where the brand gives a great behind-the-scenes look of its fashion shows and pop-up shops. I've even seen it post open model calls through social media platforms. A brand that is engaged with its customers — especially in the plus size community — is definitely something to take note of.
3. Nubian Skin
Nubian Skin is a must-know bra brand because it offers nude and skin tone bras for women of color. It is such a genius idea that it earned the brand's creator, Ade Hassan, the title of Fashion Entrepreneur Of The Year at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards in 2015. The brand offers a handy skin tone guide based on a number of known foundation shades, which is also incredibly genius. Nubian Skin's bras are available up to a size 40DD.
If you recognize the cage structure of the bra above, it's likely that you've seen one of the many knock-offs that this underwire bralette from Chromat arguably inspired. With a background in architecture and urban design, Chromat's designer Becca McCharen makes these structural masterpieces by hand. Seen on the likes of Nicki Minaj, Madonna, and famously featured in Beyoncé's 2014 VMA performance, Chromat is an absolute force. The brand is also beloved for its New York Fashion Week shows, at which models of a range of ethnicities, sizes, and gender identities all have a place.
As someone who can't actually fit into the products of almost every plus size bra company, I was sure glad to discover The Little Bra Company. The struggle to find cute bras really affects both ends of the size spectrum, from petite to plus. The Little Bra Company caters specifically to petite-busted babes and specializes in band and cup sizes that are often difficult to find, including 28 to 38A, 28 to 36B, and 28 to 34C. The brand's styles feature sexy lace and embellishments that are a far cry from the usual petite options out there that look like training bras.
6. Neon Moon
Neon Moon is a British brand that got its start in 2015 thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign. This bra brand stands out for its feminist mission, which is against sweatshops, objectification, Photoshop, and sexualization, according to its website. The concept is both bold and brilliant.
Whether it's combating online fat shamers or creating the #IAmNeonMoon campaign, this is one brand making a big impact in spreading body positivity and acceptance. And, of course, its soft cup bras are incredibly cute.
Dottie's Delights is definitely a go-to for vintage-inspired, high-end bras. Founded in 2010, designer Stephanie Kuhr was one of six residents in the Chicago Fashion Incubator sponsored by Macy's and the City Of Chicago, according to the brand's website. Dottie's Delights has completed two collections every year since.
With an aesthetic range that encompasses turn of the century styles to those of the 1960s, Dottie's Delights have been seen on Violet Chachki, Sabina Kelley, and Holly Madison, and are favorites for lovers of burlesque. The brand's current size range for bras goes up to an F cup; and even through its growth, it continues to offer custom sizing and design alterations.
Founded in 1994, Agent Provocateur is a massive lingerie brand boosting more than 100 stores all over the world. As the name suggests, the retailer is known for its provocative videos. But it's also known for expert construction and lush fabrics. According to its size chart, these bras go up to a band size 38 and a cup size F. From delicate chains to beaded tassels, a peak through the bra section will hit you right in the high fashion feels.
Addition Elle is giant brand in its own right, with more than 130 stores across Canada. Although it also sells clothing and accessories, it has become known for its bras and lingerie — much thanks to the brand's partnership with plus size model Ashley Graham. Its bra fit guide makes it easy to shop the brand's wide range of bras online. From the über sexy Flirt Bra to a wire-free cotton comfort one, there's something for a whole range of plus size babes, including G and H cup ones.
These brands are true innovators, artists, and activists in the world of bras, each working to change and revolutionize fashion and lingerie. One cup at a time.
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Images: Courtesy Brands