Bra shopping can be one of the most frustrating activities on the face of this earth if you don’t know what you’re looking for. People are all shaped differently, and especially if you’re trying to find a bra for one specific issue — the best bra styles for supporting wide-set breasts, for example — you need to head into the store knowing exactly what features are going to support wide-set breasts. If you don’t, you’re likely to leave with nothing at all. Or, worse, you might just settle for the wrong fit or style for breast separation.
For some expert help on the subject, I reached out to Candice Smith, chief lingerie stylist at Rigby and Peller. Smith had tons of great insights as to which bra styles help center breasts, and which features women should be looking for when their breasts are set further apart on their chest and tend to fall outwards toward the sides. “All of the parts of a bra work together to give you the best support and shape,” Smith says. “It is all about finding the right style to flatter your unique shape. Bras with side support are going to be the best at centering your breasts.”
If you’re having a really hard time finding something that works, Smith recommends “an appointment with a lingerie stylist who can make the process a lot more pleasant.” However, if you’re just looking to narrow down your options, so you have a better idea of which bras give you tons of side support, check out Smith’s top tips here.
1. A Supportive Bra With A Side Panel
“Women with full breasts want to look for seamed bras with a side panel that will direct the breast tissue forward,” says Smith. The ribbing and stitching on this Fantasie Lois underwire side-support bra directs the breasts forward rather than sideways, giving you a natural shape without all of the bulk. It’s also got supportive underwire and a wide band that hugs the contours of your body. It comes in six different colors, and as one reviewer wrote: "The bra itself is beautiful, but the wires are so wide. If you have breast tissue that extends past your armpits and towards your back, you may really like this bra."
- Available sizes: 30D - 42FF
2. An Underwire Pick With Vertical Flat Seams For Extra Support
The Freya Marvel underwire side-panel bra is another one that works well for wide-set breasts because it’s got a side panel and a vertical flat seam that gives you loads of support under the arms. The low plunge center helps direct all the support under the breasts, rather than pushing them inwards and to the sides, and reviewers love that it’s ridiculously comfortable while still helping to achieve a rounded natural shape. "It's easily one of the best fits I've had, literally no bras fit me right, and the gore doesn't gap!" one customer wrote, later adding: "I have wide set, shallow breasts, and my sternum is sunken in too. I like that it's not padded in any way without being too sheer, and the design is super cute!"
- Available sizes: 28D - 38G
3. A Budget-Friendly Full-Coverage Bra With Side Support
“Generally, women with wide-set breasts want to have a more centered look,” says Smith, “so we would recommend bras with more support on the sides.” The Bali One U underwire bra is a full-coverage contour bra with a design that pushes your breasts inward toward the center using a thick band and side wire. The thin cups give you just the right amount of support, and reviewers love that it’s extra comfortable with no binding or pinching. "If you are built so that you are spaced wide apart [...] [this makes] sure each of the girls is adjusted to be fully INSIDE the cup," one fan wrote.
- Available sizes: 34B - 42DD
4. A Wire-Free, Front-Closure Bra With Full Coverage & Lots Of Support
When it comes to the most supportive parts of a bra, Smith says, “The most important element is the band, as this is where the majority of your support comes from. Your band should be snug (you should be able to fit two fingers under the band) and should sit low on your back (parallel or below the front of your bra).” For a thick band that’s great at lifting up and forward, this front-closure full coverage bra is a wonderful option that provides tons of support without an underwire. It’s got a cushioned under-bust sling for added support, and the front-hook closure is a great feature that helps you to position your breasts forward while putting on your bra and makes it easy to put on. Choose from four classic colors.
- Available sizes: 34B - 48B
5. A Front-Closing Underwire Bra
The Bali Comfort Revolution front-close bra offers just about every feature that Smith talks about: a thick supportive band, a plunging neck, structured sides, and cups that push inwards. It’s also got a front closure feature, which helps women to position their breasts inward, and it still manages to be supportive without all the padding and extra bulk thanks to the well-wrapped wire. "The front closure is good and does not dig into my skin. The band is wide and supportive. The cups mold well around the breast. There is no oozing out the sides of the breast :) Straps were easy to adjust," one customer wrote.
- Available sizes: 34B - 42DD
6. A Back-Closure Underwire Bra With Hundreds Of 5-Star Ratings
“We always recommend an underwire for the best support,” says Smith. “The larger your breasts, the more important the wire becomes.” The Olga signature support satin bra has a really innovative design, because it lines the underwire with silky satin and padding to ensure the most comfortable fit. It’s also got a padded foam sling that gives you added forward support, and the bands are thick, comfortable, and lifting. And it's earned a 4.5-star rating after more than 1,000 reviews, so it's a clear favorite with customers. "This is by far the most comfortable bra I've ever worn [...] The fabric is wonderful, the padding on the underwire really makes a difference and the straps stay put and do not dig in. The price was also AWESOME! I'm ordering more," one fan raved.
- Available sizes: 34D - 44DD
7. This Push-Up Bra Option
“For the more average bust woman, a push-up bra or plunge style will also help center the bust,” says Smith. This extreme-support push-up bra has tons of memory-fit padding on the sides, as well as a thick contoured side band, that helps push your breasts up and together. It’s also got a gorgeous lace design, a plunging style, and a comfortable racerback for added support. It comes in more than a dozen colors. However, note that each size is meant for only C or D cups.
- Available sizes: 36C/D - 48 C/D
8. A Padded Bra Available In Sizes Up To 44H
Because of its side boning and side padding, the Parfait padded underwire bra also helps you to achieve a centered look. The satin neckline gives you coverage without pushing your breasts down, and the specially designed back allows for support and lift without riding up. It’s a really good option for larger breasts, and is available in a wide range of sizes. Choose from 17 colors from classic black to vibrant red. One customer wrote: "This bra is amazing. It lifts as well as pushes in. Totally recommend for wide set breasts. It also lifts without adding volume, so your breasts dont look larger."
- Available sizes: 28D - 44H
Images: Amazon (8); Design: Brit Phillips
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.
This article was originally published on