• No Products in the Cart

3 Tips for Soft Bras + Larger Chests


I love bralettes. It’s an effortless, easy lingerie piece that lends itself to layering underneath scoop arm, oversized tanks and dresses. I am not the biggest fan of underwires, so I practically wear soft bras everyday – Noelle, Sierra, Mallori and other. I often receive the question, “Can larger-chested women wear soft bras?” While I can’t speak from personal experience, I have received tips from women on how they make soft bras work for them. Since wireless bras don’t have underwires, they NEED to get their support elsewhere.

Of course, if you’re a larger cup size and have additional tips, share in the comments below!


A longline bra has a frame and/or a band that extend further down that a normal bra (i.e. partial, full), and that additional fabric underneath the breasts adds not only coverage but support. Underwires anchor a bra to the chest wall, which gives support and lift to the breasts above it. Even though it doesn’t do as great of a job, the long band serves the same purpose. Compression and negative ease help too. The most common problem with wearing longline bras is the frame and band rolling up. An easy solution is to add channeling to the side seam. Even if you purchase a RTW bra, sew a strip of channeling to the ss. It works wonders.


A racerback bra has straps that cross or meet in the back to form an “X” or “Y”. Instead of pulling the weight straight up, which results in more bounce, the diagonal force of the straps eliminates this and thus makes the bra more comfortable. Some women have also said that it reduces chaffing.


There are soft bras with itty-bitty cups like this one and then there are soft bras with cups that have more coverage like this one. Ladies, if you’re one of the larger-chested size, don’t try to squeeze into teeny tiny things like Pamela Anderson. It wasn’t a good look in the 90s and it isn’t now.


I’ve received mixed reviews about thick straps. Some say that they’re sturdier and thus, hold their girls up better while other say that they result in the infamous back and/or shoulder indentations. So, I’ll leave this one up to your preference.

If you haven’t heard, I released a free pattern and will be hosting a sew along for one of my favorite bras. Where can you download it? How can you join the sew along? What is the hashtag? Click here to read all about it!


  1. Reply


    Hi Maddie, As I turn 67 today and am proud of that, I want you to know that I too HATE under wires and am a 40D. I’ve been exclusively wearing genie or Rhonda Shear bras for 15 years now. I want to make my own b/c l want prettier and different underwear. I also hate spending $$ on plain Jane bras. And I live on a fixed income and have a stash (all bought on sale)!

  2. Reply


    Thanks Linda! Do you have a link to the Rhonda Shear bra that has “held you up” for 15 yeas? Would love to see it.

  3. Reply

    Kayla Green

    I was looking around your blog after reading your amazing Dakota bra post and saw this! I never liked underwire but had to cave into it since I felt like it can support me better. I might go on a sewing experiment with bras and hopefully succeed making my own bralettes!

  4. Reply


    I started reading your blog a few months ago. I was inspired by the interesting designs you come up with. I have sewn my own clothes for several years now. I have a penchant for retro/vintage inspired dresses. I used to think making my own bras would be too hard and not worth the effort for something boring that goes under my pretty dresses, but recent bra sewing posts on other blogs peaked my interest and then when I found your blog with all your fun interesting strappy designs I couldn’t help wanting to make my own bra. I used to be a wired bra only gal. They never quite fit, although they were reasonably comfortable. I am very fond of 40’s styles and I stumbled on this post a few years ago on recreating the silhouette of a 1940’s bra (http://bygumbygolly.com/2011/10/adventures-in-recreating-1940s-bust/). One of the comments suggested this bra http://www.marksandspencer.com/total-support-embroidered-non-wired-gg-k-bra/p/p20139824. I needed to buy new bras and they had free shipping to the US if you spent 30 pounds so I bought two. These soft bras are the only bras I wear now. They super comfortable and amazingly supportive. They do create more of a vintage shape. They lift the boobs but don’t smash them together as much as modern wired bras so the boobs sit in a more natural position. They also don’t round them out in front like modern wired bras which creates a soft version of the cone shape that is so iconic for 50’s bras. The cup fabric has very little stretch and the bottom band fabric has none. The upper cup/side/back fabric has some stretch and really good recovery. The elastic also is wide and goes along the upper back which I think helps the support. Over a few years the back fabric has stretched out little but not enough for me to move down a set of hooks and eyes. I think the lack of stretch on the cup and band really helps support with bigger boobs (I wear a US 36DD/UK 36E).

    • Reply


      Another interesting thing I have noticed is the more vintage silhouetted bras minimize my cup size, but make my chest look bigger in proportion to my waist giving me that lovely hourglass shape even though I have a sizable stomach. When I wear my strapless wired modern bra it makes my cup size look a lot bigger, but my boobs are pushed together so much that my chest looks the same size as my waist and since I carry my stomach fat lower it adds to the always pregnant look I was constantly fighting in RTW clothes before I started sewing vintage styles with the waistlne at my true (higher) waist.

Leave a Reply