Monday, 23 January 2012

Lingerie For Girls With A Bigger Bust

Ladies, am I the only one shocked to find that that largest cup size in Agent Provocateur available to girls of all back sizes is a DD? Sure, if you're 'average', between a 32 or a 36 you can go up to an F, but naturally skinnier girls who need a 30? Or bigger boned girls who need a 38? Not a chance. Fine there is an argument that certain styles do not give enough support to certain sizes, but there are plenty of brands (many of whom I've listed below) who make slight alterations to their styles, for example giving them slightly wider straps, so that girls with every back and cup size can enjoy their beautiful designs.
Photo by Ellen von Unwerth

It is not just Agent Provocateur. Calvin Klein only go from a 32, and up to a DD. I believe Topshop are similar. I really don't think it is fair that slightly skinnier or slightly bigger boned, or those girls with a more generous cup size are not allowed to buy the same beautiful pieces as some of their more 'regular' sized peers. The problem is, while this seems to be a minority problem, I can't see mainstream brands sitting up and taking notice any time soon. However, I have found some pretty great brands out there whole make beautiful lingerie for those of us who don't fit the sizes both the high street and high end brands are trying to force us into.
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Freya is my favourite out of all the sites and brands I'm listing in this post. They stock both basic and beautiful bras and lingerie sets (as well as swimwear) from a 28 to a 40, from a B cup to a K cup. Their lingerie is also of excellent quality and their styles, some of which change every season and some of which are part of a core collection are all beautiful and well made with lovely little design details. The most prevalent place on the high street you can buy Freya is in Debenhams, but you can also shop in Fenwicks, Selfridges and Bravissimo, and this is just places where I shop and I have seen Freya stocked. 
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Panache make lovely lingerie, but what I really love about them is their swimwear. Another problem those of us who don't fit the norm have is shopping for the perfect swimsuit or bikini that you can actually swim in, fits properly but looks absolutely gorgeous on you too. I have road tested their styles by swimming intensive lengths, and I would not even consider buying my bikinis anywhere else now - shopping for swimwear where you can shop by bra size is the way to go! You can get Panache from Bravissimo (see below), on and in some department stores, including Fenwick. 
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While there are actually a couple of Bravissimo stores, I love Bravissimo for mail order as they offer free returns if you're not happy with what you've ordered, and you can try things on in the comfort of your own home without the horrible glaring lights of sweaty changing rooms while you are out shopping. They stock a great range of brands such as Freya and Panache, as well as their own beautiful range. I also love the models they use in their catalogues, none of them are stick thin but they still have beautiful figures. They make you feel good about shopping for lingerie rather than inadequate or uncomfortable that you can't shop in Topshop for your bras like everyone else you know.  
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Like Bravissimo, Figleaves is also a fantastic place to shop online. They stock lingerie, hosiery, loungewear and swimwear from many fantastic brands, have fantastic customer service and have a lot more choice than Bravissimo. The only qualms I have with it is shopping on the website is not as nice as you would experience at Bravissimo. Their sale is truly excellent, I have got so many great bargains there!
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After reading this post, Leia was recommended to me by my best friend Kathryn (who is soon going to be writing a few posts for this blog, so keep an eye out!). Leia is just like Figleaves and Bravissimo that they stock lots of different brands and cater for girls of almost every size. She also informs me that your order comes in very beautiful packaging!
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Rigby & Peller, the famed lingerie company by appointment to Her Majesty The Queen comes in at the priciest end of the places I've listed here, and if I ever start earning enough money I'm pretty sure this is where I will start to shop. They have almost every size you could possibly think exists from an off the rack lingerie company, but they also do bespoke orders so in reality you could actually have any size you wanted. You can shop online, or they have stores in Westfield White City, Chelsea, Knightsbridge,  or Mayfair if you are based in London, and in Bluewater (an absolutely gorgeous store, the only one I have been in) and in Cambridge. Recently Sherin was invited along to go behind the scenes on the photo shoot for their new campaign the other week, and I love the way they used women who work in Rigby & Peller in the shoot - I can't wait until the campaign goes live! 

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I've decided to include Boux Avenue in this post because, though I don't really know much about them or their quality but I have heard some really good things on various blogs, and I recognise that all of the options I have listed above are on the varying side of pricy - Boux Avenue is a bit cheaper! They stock usual lingerie sizes, but have a great DD+ section. They also go from a 30 back to a 40 back, so they recognise that there are girls of all sizes out there, and rightly so! They have several stores around the UK, but not one in London yet, but I'll be sure to pop in their store the next time I'm in Bluewater and report back! 

A two questions for those of you who do not fit the conventional 32-38, A-DD: do you feel put out or upset that there are so many places on the high street and top designers such as Agent Provocateur, Calvin Klein and Dolce & Gabanna that don't cater for you, and where do you like to buy your lingerie? 


  1. This is such a good post. I hate lingerie shopping, I only usually go to bravissimo as that is the only place I have found my size but you have given me some more places to check out. Thank you. x

  2. Alicia Heavisides23 January 2012 at 11:44

    Calvin Klein do (or at least did) 30 back bras just in very limited styles, but they did fit me perfectly! I am a 30D and really struggle as I have such a narrow back, Boux avenue has been my saviour recently but I am so glad you have done this post to highlight the issue for girls like us!

  3. gabrielle_rosanne23 January 2012 at 11:56

    Lingerie shopping is very tedious when you're 30FF, I find Debenhams do cater slightly but if you're after a more fashionable peice Bravissimo is usually my favourite! Discovered it last year and I'm never going back - such a perfect fit! x

  4. I myself am a 32 F and have gone in to AP for lingerie. I think it covers quite a wide range of sizes for a high end store, and has a relatively wide range. Certainly much more than places like Calvin Klein, I havn't fitted their bras since I was 14!I do think that smaller back sizes are much less covered though. I've used all of the above brands and think they are great, but at around 30 quid a bra, expensive. So I find it more annoying that places like New Look don't do any own brand bras in the sizes above! Or that M&S dont do long line bras beyond a DD.. Or that primark only got a 32 back in bigger cup size bras pretty recently. I can find tons of expensive underwear for odd sizes, but there just isn't cheap underwear available. So instead, I look for the sales bargains. My current favourites are Elle Mcpherson Intimates (and certain colour combos always go on sale).

  5. Love the post! Gave me some great tips that I hadn't considered before. My last bra, a 32E, was actually bought at M&S, it's pretty and fits perfectly. They do have some choice for my size, although it could improve when it comes to the range of different styles that they have to offer.

  6. lovely blog!

  7. Rach I absolutely love that you have done this! Its seriously helpful and I had no idea about half of these places! Thank youuuu. All my love Burden xxxx

  8. No problem Katie, think about us in Harvey and what everyone else got to buy - it was just rather unfair! And now you need to go and point Parn in the direction of the Rigby & Peller website..!

  9. What a brilliant well informed post!

    p.s now following sweetie x

  10. This is not me. I am not big up top but on the bottom.

  11. You're truly the best. Thanks for this post.

  12. Luckily I am able to buy lingerie on the high street but I have to say Boux Avenue are really fantastic, gorgeous pieces and very reasonably priced too!

    Maria xxx

  13. How amazing is the top image! Sadly I am a little lacking in this department, so lingerie is never too high up on my agenda. Sorry for my delay in replying - the spot cream seems to be ok, although I rarely get spots, so it seems to do the trick on the odd one. I did however have acne when I was younger, so this most definitely would not have done the trick then!

  14. I love Boux Avenue - the only bad thing is that they don't have a shop in central London!

    Their customer service is fantastic and the lingerie is so pretty and reasonably priced.

    [ life/style/flash. blog]

  15. I absolutely hate the range available for bigger boobs, it's literally so annoying! I go in topshop and see all the gorgeous underwear, but can't buy any of it. I think it's completely unfair. I understand that they can't do every style in every size, but I do think everywhere should have a small range available. Annoys me everytime I think about it!

  16. This is why you're one of my favorite blogs. You post not only pictures of food or your new purchases, but also interesting things, things that are happening, your smartly-composed opinions. Thank you so much for this!

    Jessica | Vixenelle

  17. I like your blog, so I feel I should point out that in your comments on other people's blogs, it should say 'penchant' not 'perchance'

  18. Oh, and this is totally true. I need a smaller size, but struggle to find nice lingerie ANYWHERE.

  19. Thanks Amalia, I do know the difference, but that is one word I have noticed my spell check does not like, so when I'm typing quickly it sometimes slips through the net! Thanks for pointing that out, I'll try to be more careful with it in future!

  20. Aww, thanks Jessica! The pictures on your blog, and your nice clean and simple layout are pretty awesome too!

  21. Oh wow I didn't know Agent Provocateur went up to a DD! This is the best news ever. But these brands are that bad if they carry up to that size in stores in comparison to Victoria's Secret. That brand only carries up to C for the PINK line and unless you order it online, you can't get any size bigger. Imagine how embarrassing it was in high school to go shopping with your frds (only the PINK section of course it's cuter) to find that nothing will fit you... I can only imagine how hard it is to find cute and also comfortable supportive bras at bigger sizes. Great summary of brands I have to check out, thanks!

  22. Brianna Headley25 March 2012 at 19:43

    Being from the US, I do feel put out. We are so STUCK on the plus-four system that I've taken to educating women and guys who have girlfriends at practically any social gathering I attend, even at work (I'm a swim instructor). We'll never get a supply if we have no demand. I have to buy my lingerie from UK sites, and ebay. The shipping is sometimes near the price of the bra!

  23. Totally agree with this article, its so frustrating and annoying that women with larger cup sizes are unable to purchase gorgeous fashionable bras at a decent price! I love fashion and most high street shops and online websites only stock bra's upto a D cup! I understand that women with larger breasts need more support in their bra's but it just seems that the bra's that are on offer are practical, boring and ugly. Nothing screams fun! I find it a nightmare shopping for underwear and bikinis down the highstreet and online, its an expensive ordeal!