Big Boobs: Tips and Tricks

How to style the girls and feel like a woman


Nothing brings me closer to a shot at jail time than my reaction to unsolicited advice regarding how to “play up” or “tone down” my hefty bust. (Who went and made you the boob police, drugstore magazine?) That said, after a decade of personal trial and error, I’ve almost mastered the art of dressing my 30E — yes, E — chest.

While I work on removing the “almost,” I feel it’s my duty to help those still struggling (who would like to avoid jail time, too). So without further ado, I present my tips and tricks to styling big boobs.

Tip 1

Go vintage shopping. Vintage finds are great for us bustier lads because earlier eras emphasized a full chest. No stores around you? Try eBay, Love Miss Daisy, 1stdibs and Etsy.

Tip 2

Chances are your back is sore by the end of the day due to the monumental weight of your pecs. Though counterintuitive, ditching your bra once a week helps. To dress commando boobs, opt for loose, off the shoulder garments.

Warning: going braless increases the likelihood of displaying breast sweat and nipilitis. Consider this a prime opportunity to remind all nipple-fearing humans that laser-sharp areolas are good, not evil. As for the sweat, dust your skin with a preemptive cloud of baby powder.

Tip 3

Sports bras produce a flattening affect perfect for squeezing into the kind of garment that fits everywhere save for the the prominent region between your chin and Kyle XY’s belly button. Keep in mind that if it’s too small, your boobs might crawl up to your neck and choke you.

Tip 3 ½

Being big-breasted and prone to laziness is a paradox I have yet to transcend. The thought of trekking it to the tailor gives me goose bumps, but the quick fix of a button or zipper is worth it. Befriend a seamstress now.

Tip 4

Aside from the occasional mishap at airport security, an underwire lace bra will end up being a wiser investment than a padded one. Lace is more flexible and wire will hold you in without birthing what I like to call The Rosemary’s Baby of Undergarments: the four-boob.

PSA: the feeling of being sentenced to mild death by a corset is indicative of good fit. That’s code for the tighter, the longer lasting.

Tip 5

Break the rule that tells our kind to exclusively wear form-fitting clothing. It’s shortsighted; there are plenty of other options that will flatter our shape. And not to over-estimate my influence on earth, but the world would be a far scarier place if I only wore tight-ass dresses. Playing with proportions is fair game for everyone, not just linear folk.

Bra in feature image by Fortnight
Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis


  • YESSS! Finally someone who gets it!
    Why shame them, when we can frame them.
    Thanks for the recommendations Hadley!

    • “Why shame them, when you can frame them.” That is pure gold haha

  • YES!
    This is the only article about chestiness that didn’t make my blood boil by the end. I am a 32DDD or 30G and being told where/how to arrange my own breasts has never worked for me. I love swingy shift dresses and flowy tops and no one has ever gotten hurt or offended (other than the child I once accidentally clotheslined trying to run by me as I turned sideways, and in any case my right boob suffered more severely than the youth).
    As much as it’s a bit heartbreaking that all the pretty, $30 bras are a no go, I am a huge proponent of expensive, (read: well made/long lasting) underthings. They save a back ache and ten more trips to the bra store in a year. My favorite brands are Wacoal (no one can see your old lady bra under a tshirt), Freya (yes – pretty bras in your size!) and Panache (especially their sports bras!!!).

    • Sarak

      I also love Wacoal, Panache and Freya….but Freya is somewhat frustrating for me because they keep insisting that I am a 36G! Trust me, if I was suddenly a G, I would know (I am “only” a 36E)…. Just remember that the best bra is one that fits properly – no matter what the tag says!

  • Astrid

    Thanks, I always have trouble with this. BUT- instead of befriending a seamstress I would suggest purchasing a sewing machine and learn some basic techniques, because as a seamstress myself, having people ask me to “just fix this” (for free ofc, because why would I charge my friends), that is more than mildly annoying.

  • Stephanie

    “Keep in mind that if it’s too small, your boobs might crawl up to your neck and choke you.” That line made me laugh out loud at my desk!

  • Stephanie Nolasco

    I think, no matter your size, it’s absolutely crucial to get properly fitted. A right sized bra will eliminate “back fat” and back aches in general because you’re getting plenty of support.

    I also like minimizers because they can reduce me by a cup size and I can squeeze into certain dresses. They have the similar effect of sports bras, but they tend to be prettier and lighter. I sometimes even show these off, depending on the outfit.

    And finally, French brands tend to have way more sizing options than American ones, at least from my personal discoveries.

    34F Me.

  • Gabbs

    When it comes to sports bras check out Shock Absorber. Dont even try Nike, Adidas, etc. I know, they are ugly, but works.
    I recommend you Wellfitting(works in USA, at least it did, not sure) – its a brafitting platform. They have way more sizes most of people think exist.
    And there is one woman who literaly is a bra queen – Ewa Michalak. Not my style again, but she knows what shes doing.

    Oh, Mum! Nana! Why?!

    • Soraya Joy

      Check out Panache sports bras. Honestly the best thing!

  • Soraya Joy

    Ah <3
    My heart is always warmed to hear of my fellow sisters in the struggle. Im a 28GG and it's simultaneously the best and worst thing. I envy my friends who manage to buy a sexy lace number for a tenth of what it would cost me. Stylish swimwear that fits me is almost impossible. Oh what I would to be one of those girls who amass cute kini collections each summer.
    Panache sports bras changed my world, I can now actually run without causing serious car accidents.

  • THANK YOU Hadley! I am an 6 or 8E (Australian sizing), so finding anything that fits is ridiculous (luckily my seamstress knows how to take in a back like a boss). I hate how every ‘how to style’ post says we should wear V-neck this, V-neck that, like dude, we can wear whatever we want. Almost everything I have is high neck because that’s what I’m comfortable in, and I hate bra straps showing (unless it’s a pretty lace bralette, which don’t fit me anyway, haha).

    “…if it’s too small, your boobs might crawl up to your neck and choke you.” – the best of human truth.

  • withluckblog

    number 4 is the thing I really wish i learned earlier. I finally caved and got measured one day and I was so upset when the ladies brought over all of these thin, thick strapped numbers. THEY WERE THE BEST BRAS IVE EVER HAD. Stop giving my boobs extra tough fabric, people!

  • Angela

    OMG! YES! FINALLY! A post I can relate to on a new level. My bra closet is totally torn, I’ve joked about this to all my friends. It’s 50/50 exquisite Agent Provocateur Bras that look like they fell straight out of dita von teese’s closet and sports/minimiser bras that keep the girls down. I’m either showing them off in a cute crop/under a nicely unbuttoned Equipment shirt or pretending they don’t exist. Another ‘trick’ I do when I don’t want my chesticles to be the center of attention is to do black on top and colour/print elsewhere. Oh and also… I’m not really down for those Nike/Adidas sports bras…… they’re more just very lightly padded crop tops that are a pain to get in and out of! Okish just for daily wear but DEF not the gym/exercising. If I don’t wear a ‘proper’ sports bra under them even *I* get distracted by my jiggle on the treadmill. By “proper sports bras” I do needed mean the ones that actually look like basketballs cut in half with various ropes and pulleys. Those are especially great after working out since they have actual lingerie buckles at the back so you don’t have to ensure another workout getting out of it.

    • BK

      Chesticles is a word I will never recover from. I love you

  • GUYS I WORK AT 1STDIBS. I’m sitting in the office while reading this post.
    (I process and edit the website images across three verticals. I’m in charge of the fashion section, so chances are I edited the images you’re looking at now)

    My life absolutely changed when I learned that bra sizes extend beyond 32A-38DD. I currently wear 30FF/G and I barely notice my bra. I can’t relate with women who want to rip their bra off as soon as they can

  • dk

    Yes! Kyle XY! I had forgotten about this one.
    I started a habit of buying blouses that are a size (or two) bigger and bringing them to the tailor. This changed everything!
    As for bras, I decided about three years back to stop buying pretty bras that do nothing for the support and opted for the same Triumph in every color imaginable.
    The only sports-bra that gets to my chest is the double clousure Shock-absorber. And this one is the reason I jog. Without it jumping jacks would have been painfully impossible.

  • This article is full of bad advice and relatively worthless information. The key to a well fitting bra is that you get the desired level of support (there are many to choose from) while not feeling the garment. Feeling squeezed IS NOT indicative to a good fit. It is a sign of a poorly fitting bra and will not extend the life of a bra which is only 6-12 months.

    As a lingerie enthusiast finding bras to fit my 30E/F breasts was a real journey and articles like this make my blood boil. Overall it’s better than most because you’re telling larger busted ladies to dress themselves as they please, but at the same time the advice given is faulty. I wish that more publications consulted with individuals who knew that an “underwire lace bra” is not actually a term for a specific type of bra and that a lot of lace is not stretchy, but a firm unyielding material. The key to a comfortable underwire bra for larger busts is an unlined underwire bra. which comes in many different fabrics (If you’re worried about your nipples showing ~slide a small pad over your nipples~I personally use disposable cotton rounds)

    Most importantly breast size changes over time and the key to comfort is sizing. Regular bra fittings keep you comfortable and in the proper size. Also remember when ordering bras offline that sizing is not universal. Take the Fortnight longline bra in the photo. They run small in the 30 band size so make sure to order a 32 if you have a cup size larger than a D.

  • Lauren at Adorn La Femme

    Ahhh, yes to the importance of proper fitting! It does wonders for your profile and puts those babes right where they belong!! xo



    adorn la femme

  • I’m a 28E/F, which made finding bras rather difficult in the days before internet/moving to the city. One thing to consider before taking your bra to a tailor is that some specialty bra shops offer it in house. It may be worth seeking out shops that offer the service, since they’ll likely be more well versed in tailoring undergarments than shops that mostly do pant hems and whatnot.

  • Literally laughed through this entire post. The accuracy was almost as painful as my boobs crawling up to my neck and choking me haha.

  • Aydan

    Can I say as an E myself, (yay 34s), I fully support the decision to go for LITTLE TO NO support if that’s what you’re into. Bralettes are not just for the smaller chests, GO FOR IT! your back and shoulders will thank you and gravity be damned! (sorry corporate office, but I just gotta be comfy, ya know?)

  • Angie D’Armetta

    I’m a 32F, natural. All of my bras are crazy expensive and I can’t find a button down shirt that doesn’t pry open at the chest! This article made me smile because it’s so true

  • Thanks for tips!

    I will speak with my girlfriend read the tips of you!

    quần jean giá sỉ

  • WilliamSAdamo

    <❶❷❸.%@^@^@^!^!^!^!^.. ??????????+manr+.Part-time working I Saw at the draft which said $19958@mk9 < Read more info here='' ……..''

    • Izanami
  • Izanami

    I like boobs

  • ✈ ☟

    • Izanami

      Cool. :D

  • Nine boobs will like this article

  • kduck

    The last sentence…Playing with proportions is fair game for everyone, not just linear folk… Thank you! As a non-linear, I want to embrace, but am not always sure where to start. Any go-to proportion tips or tricks for someone bustier who doesn’t have shoulders like a clothes hanger? Sometimes things I think might look sophisticated end up looking either like a taut potato sack or reminiscent of football pads.

  • “Consider this a prime opportunity to remind all nipple-fearing humans that laser-sharp areolas are good, not evil.” Oh my lord I laughed so hard I scared the cat. This is brilliance. xx

  • VeritasVirtue3585

    One thing I find disturbing is when you see a beautiful and big-breasted girl and when she takes off her bra it all just drops…

  • Layla Corcoran

    I have never ever found vintage clothing to fit today’s large busts. The 1950s, 40s styles are better for showing off a bust due to the emphasis on the waist, yes, but if you are genuinely of a more modern build, you aren’t going to fit into clothing designed for the tiny people of that time period.

  • Jaclyn Barr

    Empriente will change your life. I have swimsuits and bras from there. French. Pricey. Brilliant. Cool. No padding whatsoever. I am a 34E (DDD). You can buy them on Amazon!!!!!!!!!!!

  • zincink

    Sports bras are created by miniature demons wielding spandex.

  • Jaclyn Loprete

    30E is not *that* large, considering cup size is relative to band size. Which brings us to the importance of proper bra fit. That means getting measured correctly (NOT at Victoria’s Secret) and buying accordingly. It can and will improve the fit of your clothes and also might reduce pain or discomfort. Went from a 34 b/c to a 30E and never going back.

  • I think I agree with many of you ladies in that getting fitted is the most important part of having a large chest. Even though I had a reduction and thought I was a D… the fitting showed me I’m more an DDD or E… I may have cried a little but at least I know. And I think Nordstrom does the best fittings in a relaxing way and they have supportive and pretty bras in stock. It’s so nice now that there are more pretty bras for us larger gals, I remember the trauma bra shopping was in high school! So much better now!