The idea of going braless with big boobs used to seem absolutely terrifying to me, even as someone with boobs on the average to smaller side for a plus size frame. But individuals with varying personal styles continue to prove that everything in fashion can be worn by people of all sizes, including halter tops with big boobs.
In the past, my own fears told me that if I couldn't wear my trusted push-up bra underneath a top, it wasn't for me. This made most halters and high-cut shirts feel out of my reach. But over the past year, I have finally learned to embrace an underwire-free life and have even found a strapless bra that I don't hate.
From gingham sweetheart halters inspired by the '50s to daisy-printed tight tie tops from the '90s, high and halter necklines continue to re-surface in fashion. And there's absolutely no reason why big-breasted babes should need to continue to feel as though the look is not for them.
Women with breasts of all sizes can and should wear whatever they want. When I reached out to folks on social media regarding how they go about sporting these styles, I was surprised at how vastly different everyone's tips were. Some went braless while others chose corsets to substitute for a strapless bra. These tips show that wearing a halter or any high-cut top is not only possible when you have big boobs, but it can be darn fierce, too.
1. Try A Multi-Way Bra
Plus model April Raquel tells me that she recommends people buy a bra that has the capability of attaching the strap around your neck (often called a multi-way or convertible). She adds that this should allow you to still wear a bra if the idea of not wearing one makes you feel uncomfortable.
2. Invest In A Good Foundation
"As a woman with 46DDD/F bra size, I actually love wearing high-cut tops," shares Tiffany of the blog Beautiffullyme. "My number one tip would be a good bra. That good foundation will help make those higher cuts look amazing! Don't be afraid to wear those cute fashions because of your chest size. We can be on trend, too."
3. Get A Smaller-Sized Top
Britteny, the owner of Lovesick Vintage, has modeled a number of halters for her shop. She tells me, "I always try to size down so the tops fit tighter and I won't have to wear a bra with them."
4. Strapless Bras Are Your Friend
Fashion blogger and creative consultant Nicolette Mason wowed the plus size fashion community when she wore this custom high-cut Christian Siriano gown for her wedding. She was a wealth of knowledge and offered a number of solutions for wearing high-cut tops when I spoke to her.
"Invest in a really good strapless bra," she shares. "My favorite is from Panache which specializes in D+ cup sizes. Their sister brand Sculptresse also carries up to a 46-inch band size." She tells me that when she can't find her strapless bra, she sometimes ties the straps of a regular bra together in the back. But she adds, "It's really important to feel comfortable. If you're physically uncomfortable in a boob-hoisting-contraption, it will show, and ruin the look completely. I definitely felt uncomfortable in my makeshift bra situation and wished I had my Panache strapless with me."
One other thing that Mason advises is to be mindful of changes in weight. "I'm kind of a bra evangelist but a lot of people don't realize how much weight fluctuation can impact bra size," she says. "Sometimes as little as 5 pounds up or down can mean a different cup size. My weight fluctuates a lot so I try to keep a couple sizes on hand!"
5. Consider A Corset
Tanya of the blog Secret Blog Size Goddess shares, "I can't get a strapless bra to fit me as I am a UK 40N. So I wear a metal boned corset. It shapes and supports me, and allows me to wear halter neck, strapless, and dresses that would otherwise show my bra straps. It's a perfect solution for me!"
6. Find A Bra With A Wide Band
Nicole Simone of the blog Curves On A Budget advises one to "wear a convertible bra with a wide band so the back of the top doesn't slip down and to reduce bulges."
7. Utilize Invisible Straps
"I always need extra support, so I wear a bra that can use invisible straps to help provide disguise and ample support," says Amanda.
8. Try Layering
Burlesque performer Noella Deville shares, "With high-cut tops, I tend to layer if I know they have stretch because too often I thought I was fine, but as soon as I was in brighter lighting, I noticed that the top was stretched out to become see-through. I either wear a tank or bralette (over my bra) underneath, or I make sure to have a cardi on hand."
9. Strapless Bras Are Really Your Friend
Aggie Panda says, "My best advice is to invest in a great strapless bra and not be afraid to bare arms."
10. Wear A Tank Top Underneath
"I wanted to get a top that would be versatile for wear," shares Zelmia. "But also if I ever didn't feel comfortable, it would still feel OK if I paired it with a tank top underneath. This one has a lot of support so I can wear it without a bra if I like, even with a huge chest."
11. Add A Statement Detail To Draw Attention Elsewhere
Jolene of the blog Boardroom Blonde tells me, "I tend to prefer high neck tops because I think they can be really classy and cute — especially with a statement necklace."
12. Get An Extender
Plus size pinup model Miss Mozzy Dee recently wore a vintage-inspired halter suit. She says, "I had to use a bra underneath because it fit me too big, so I used a Victoria's Secret convertible strapped bra with a bra extender to make the 38 D bra useful for my chest size."
13. Stick To Brands You Trust
Photographer Nonnie Ouch has a larger chest and wears plus size masculine clothing — a combination that can make shopping a pretty frustrating experience. "I shop at certain places that I know will have things that won't be too tight around my tits," says Nonnie. "That's not an area I want to accentuate, ever. When I was in high school and weighed probably 165 to 180 [pounds] my senior year, I could shop XL at Gap (depending on the garment). So I stick with specific brands that I find at retail giants for dress shirts (for example) at JCPenney. That's where I found my last batch of dress shirts and dress pants. The line was 'designed by' a former famous football player, so obviously the shirts will be generous in the chest area. If I'm looking for casual dress shirts, my go-to place (and only place for that matter) is Old Navy. If I'm looking for T-shirts, it's always 2XL. And I still have yet to find sports bras that accommodate my boulders."
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14. Harness Bras Will Offer Support
Stefanie is the owner of the boutique Sexy Plus Clothing, which is where she got this off-the-shoulder dress. She says, "It's not a halter, but it's an off shoulder sweetheart neckline. The cool part is that this harness bra surprisingly does provide support despite the fact that it's basically just an outline. At 44D I was able to pull off this look."
15. Go Strapless & Extended
Kat Henry, Ms. British Beauty Curve 2015, says, "Invest in a decent strapless bra. There are tons out there. My fave is the Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless bra. The uplift is fantastic and you could always buy a back extender or two if they don't stock your back size. Don't shy away from halters ladies...try good undies first!"
16. Try Halter Bikinis First
Italian blogger Angie of Curvy World Angie tells me that she typically shies away from halter style shirts unless they're bikini tops, which often offer more support naturally.
17. Just Go For It
"I would say if you've never worn a halter top, or if something is holding you back from any certain clothing style, go for it," says model Alexa Danger. "Be adventurous, take a risk! Don't let others police your body or your style, wear what makes you happy. Societal standards can suck it! Secondly, I have yet to find a halter or strapless bra that works for me. Even ones sized well or made for larger sizes seem to slide down on me. So I just wear a regular bra and tuck the straps in! DIY strapless!"
18. Opt For A Seamless Strapless
Lisa of the blog Mustangsallytwo says, "It sounds cliche, but the right bra makes all the difference. I used to shy away from halters because a halter bra hurts my neck and I could never find strapless [bras] that gave good support. I like the girls to be where they are supposed to! But I recently tried the Ashley Stewart Butterfly strapless bra and it is by far the most supportive strapless I have ever worn. For higher necks or button-ups, I recommend a plain smooth bra that looks seamless under your clothes so it doesn't draw attention. And I recommend one that is not push-up or gives super cleavage. You don't want the uniboob look when you are wearing something with a high neck, it distracts from the look."
19. Prioritize Comfort
This tip from Remy is pure body posi magic: "When wearing a halter top or high-cut top, be comfortable; be kind to your body and yourself. If your bra straps show and you’re OK with that, rock it! If you’re showing ample cleavage and that feels good, go with it! Different things feel good for different bodies, so find out what works for you. And finally, don’t let what anybody else says affect what you choose to wear. This is your body to adorn, decorate, and be home in; yours alone."
Remy's advice sheds light on how plus size or big-chested babes can be kinder to themselves during the shopping process. Ultimately, all of the tips shared here help prove that so-called fashion rules for individuals with big boobs should be a thing of the past.