Shopping for lingerie is one of those things that, at some point in time, has likely proven difficult for almost everyone. But finding the perfect plus-size lingerie often comes with unique challenges that are often as basic as finding where to begin looking, as not all brands offer an extended size range. Another common hurdle is ensuring that the bra is made to support larger busts rather than simply scaled up without any thought to how it may translate. This sometimes goes hand-in-hand with the comfort, which you have to weigh along with its aesthetic appeal. Essentially, you must find a bra that doesn’t sacrifice style for comfort or vice versa. And when you have a deadline, like, say, Valentine’s Day, the task can be as daunting as ever.
Luckily, options do exist. Some might say they are abounding—you just need to know where and how to find them. To help you along your search, we tapped three experts for their advice on how to find the perfect style and fit for you.
Third Love Lace Contour Plunge Bra
ThirdLove’s Lace Contour Plunge Bra has thousands of rave reviews. We love its abundant color options that can be worn under color-coordinated shirts or shown off on their own in privacy. It has removable memory foam cups to support your bust and create a firmer shape, and the lace fabric has a touch of spandex, which allows the band to mold to your body.
Price at time of publish: $72
Material: Nylon and spandex | Size Range: Cups AA–H; band 32–44
smart & sexy Plus Size Retro Lace Unlined Underwire Bra
Smart & Sexy
You’d be hard-pressed to find a cute and comfortable bra for under $30—that is, if we didn’t already find this one for you. It’s supportive but sexy (sheer lace can do a lot for a garment), and it includes an encased underwire, wide straps, and a ballet-style back for extra support.
Price at time of publish: $24
Material: Not listed | Size Range: Cups C–G; band 34–46
Torrid Full-Coverage Balconette Lightly Lined Bra
Scalloped lace and peek-a-boo mesh is the name of Torrid’s game. With its smoothing technology at the band and U-shape back, this highly supportive balconette bra perfects the art of delicate intimates for plus sizes.
Price at time of publish: $55
Material: Not listed | Size Range: Cups B–H; band 38–54
Best for Comfort
Cosabella Never Say Never Curvy Racie Racerback Bralette
For decades, Cosabella has been perfecting the art of thoughtfully made intimates with delicate fabrics. The label gets bonus points for its comfort-first Never Say Never Curvy Racie Racerback Bralette. It skips the underwire entirely and instead relies on a band for added support. Its raced-shaped back and wide straps make for a more comfortable fit than most, as well.
Price at time of publish: $75
Material: 91% polyamide, 9% elastane body; 85% polyamide, 15% elastane lace; and 85% polyamide, 15% elastane lining | Size Range: P–XL (28DD, 28F, 30DD, 30F–38G, 38H, 40G, 40H)
Bare Necessities Goddess Keira Satin Side Support Bra
According to bra fit expert Carol Nicholson (better known by her Twitter handle, Source du Mal), a bra with a strong gore, i.e., the panel that sits between your breasts, is key for plus-size figures. Meanwhile, Savage X Fenty’s Senior Design Director, Emily Whitehead, puts a lot of emphasis on a wide wing (the part of the band that wraps around the body) to fight side spillage. Goddess’ Keira Satin Side Support Bra features both of the aforementioned elements and more—like super stretchy cups with layers of lining for even more support.
Price at time of publish: $35–50 depending on the color
Material: 61% polyester, 30% nylon, and 9% spandex | Size Range: Cups DD–O; band 34–46
Pinsy Sculpting Lace Shapewear Bodysuit
No lingerie line-up is complete without a bodysuit. To streamline your search, however, Nicholson wants you to keep certain features in mind. “Fabric stretch is important for those who may need more room in the leg area for comfort,” she says. “Torso length also matters, as some styles may have an empire waist that may cut them off, so an adjustable shoulder strap may be needed as well.”
This seamless lace option from Pinsy fits that bill, as it not only offers flexibility but sculpts and smooths the body, too, reviewers say. “Be prepared to lose a size or two, this thing holds you great!” one wrote. Others agreed the style didn’t sacrifice sexiness for comfort and loved the way it could also function as a top for layering.
Price at time of publish: $98
Material: Not listed | Size Range: S–3X
Best Maxi Slip
Savage X Fenty A Peek Behind Lace Maxi Slip
Sartorial statements are for inside the bedroom, too—not to mention, swathing yourself in a soft fabric is just plain comfortable. Do both with a maxi slip dress, like this lacy cutout style from Savage X Fenty. With three ties at the front, you’re even free to adjust the slip around the bust and torso area as needed, for the most comfort. Per Nicholson’s recommendation, its straps are adjustable, too.
Price at time of publish: $75
Material: 95% viscose, 5% elastane body; 66% polyester, 34% nylon lace | Size Range: XS–3X
Best Mini Slip
Adore Me Jacqueline Plus
There’s indeed less room for fit manipulation with slips compared to bras and tanks; however, Adore Me’s Jacqueline slip is about as comfy and cleverly designed as they come. The racer back ensures a fuss-free fit, as the straps sit comfortably at the top of the shoulders. Material-wise, it’s made with a light and stretchy material. It also features a cowl neck at the front for the most universally flattering fit, along with a back cutout to create a loose and breathable feel.
Price at time of publish: $50
Material: Rayon, spandex | Size Range: XS–XL
Love, Vera Embroidered Heart Strappy Underwire Bra
Love, Vera is so good at creating fun and sexy lingerie for all types of figures. Case in point: The brand’s Embroidered Heart Strappy Underwire Bra. It goes all the way up to a cup size H and features the brightest and most festive color palette for Valentine’s Day. It also makes for a great set when you purchase a coordinated thong and garter to go along with it.
Price at time of publish: $65
Material: 84% polyamide, 16% elastane with 50% polyamide, 50% polyester contrast | Size Range: Cups A–H; band 32–44
Our top pick is ThirdLove’s Lace Contour Plunge Bra for its cute lace and thoughtful design. (What could be more comfortable than memory foam cups?) However, the best value hands-down is Smart & Sexy’s Plus Size Retro Lace & Mesh Unlined Underwire Bra. The under-$30 bra is made with encased underwire, wide straps, and a ballet-style back for extra support—and backed by hundreds of positive reviews on the brand’s website. If you’re looking to take things to the next level, Love, Vera’s Embroidered Heart Strappy Underwire Bra along with its matching thong and garter is the perfect trio.
What to Look for in Plus-Size Lingerie
As far as bras go, some of the most common complaints about discomfort come from digging, or when the bra cuts into the body. According to Whitehead, selecting a bra that comes with a substantial wing width is how you can avoid this issue. “If the wing panel is cut too narrow,” she explains, “it can dig into your curves and not provide enough cross-pull to keep the cups in place.” For virtually the same reason, wider shoulder straps help prevent digging because there’s more fabric to hold you up.
Fit varies from brand to brand, so it’s worth trying on multiple sizes to learn what looks and feels the best for you. For added guidance, you can take your measurements (these instructions provided by Bare Necessities explain how to do it) and match them to the size chart of a brand you’re shopping from.
How do you wash lingerie?
Lingerie can be pretty delicate, so washing it requires a bit of extra care. This means you can hand wash them or run them through a delicate cycle. If you decide to put them through a regular cycle, we’d recommend placing them in laundry bags for delicate items. And still, you can’t go wrong by simply following the care instructions on the tag of your piece.