Queen Of Cups: Jenette Goldstein’s Bra-Buying Tips For Full-Busted Women

Queen Of Cups: Jenette Goldstein’s Bra-Buying Tips For Full-Busted Women

by Emili Vesilind

If your cup size is a D or larger, you know there’s nothing easy-breezy about finding bras that look good and also offer solid, comfortable support.

Which is precisely why Jenette Goldstein, a full-busted woman herself, founded a bra boutique in Los Angeles that caters exclusively to women with big busts. The tagline at Jenette Bras—“The alphabet starts at D”—says it all (and sizes at the shop run up to 44H).

“I always had a big bust and it was so hard to find bras that fit,” Goldstein recalls. “I thought, this is ridiculous—there are women out there who need good bras and can’t get them. That’s when I came up with the idea of having a story for the overdeveloped and underserved.”

Since launching in 2009, this bra whisperer has expanded to three locations (with a fourth planned for the East Coast this year), all of which specialize in fitting women to a tee with beautiful, luxury-grade bras from brands such as PrimaDonna, Chantelle and Empriente.

We asked Goldstein to share her top tips for finding bras that fit, and for making bra shopping (which many curvy women loathe) a lot more fun:

 

Get Fitted In Person

“In the same way you can’t drink a cup of coffee on the internet, you can’t get fitted for a bra online,” says Goldstein. “You have to go in your body to the shop.” Remember, men hit up the tailor to fit their suits—and they’re not even remotely as fitted as a bra. If you’re in a city, head to an actual bra boutique. This may feel extremely retro in the Internet Age, but employees at these old-school specialty shops are highly skilled at fitting bras.

Opt For Low-Stretch

Goldstein imports bras primarily Europe—not because European bras are more beautiful (which they do tend to be), but because a handful of her favorites have a long history of making corsets and other structured underthings. These makers know how to create complicated garments using seams, not stretch fabrics. A tailored, low-stretch bra offers less give—which means the fit will be more precise. Those stretchy mall bras with molded cups are made for smaller busts that don’t actually need to be lifted. “The bra itself is a different object when you’re talking about a D and above,” says Goldstein. “It has to be engineered to actually do something, it’s not just looking good. And not every vendor can make them. You can’t just take a smaller bra and make it bigger.”

Find Your Perfect Seams

Holding these low-stretch fabrics together on a quality bra are seams. And “Seams are your friend,” Goldstein explains, adding,“You want to look for a cut-and-sew bra [on that has parts sewn together on the cup] that doesn’t have padding.” Depending on where the seams are, bras can create different silhouettes—from more rounded shapes to the pointier 50s-style “bullet bra” look. Goldstein suggests bringing shirts and dresses you love to try on over bras, to make sure you’re getting the shape you want.

Center Your Breasts

“A lot of large-busted women want to be minimized, they don’t want to be out and bouncing around,” says Goldstein. “But what that minimizing is really is centering your breasts. The slimmest part of most women’s chests is that middle rib part. So, you want to center the breast and then lift them from there.” Of course a good fitter will do the centering, but it’s an important bit of architecture to know if control is what you’re looking for.

Ignore Numbers

It’s easy to get fixated on the size of a bra that fits, but Goldstein says every country, and really every brand, has a different sizing system. So, you might be a 32F in one brand, but a 34DD in another. “Don’t get hung up on the letter and the number,” she says. “No one is one size.”

Practice Self-Care—Buy A Bra!

Goldstein recommends blocking out at least 30 minutes for your first real-deal fitting. And she urges women to view a trip to the bra boutique as they would a jaunt to the salon: an extension of self-care. “This is time for you to find what works for you,” she adds. “Just go and have a wonderful time at a place where you feel good and comfortable. And speak up about what you like. If there’s a bra that’s too exposed for you, it’s too exposed for you. Next!”

11 Stores That Will Help You
Find the Best Fitting Bra

If you are a woman, chances are at one time or another you have worn a bra that just didn’t fit correctly. From understanding the style of different brands to deciphering lingerie lingo and everything in between, finding the right bra can be an exercise in extreme patience. Fortunately, these 11 stores across the country have fit experts on hand to assist you in purchasing your perfect bra match.

New York City

Bra Tenders

Book an appointment at this spot that uses time tested techniques from Broadway and TV costume designers to find you the right bra.

630 Ninth Ave., Ste. 601
New York, NY 10036
212-957-7000

Boston

Forty Winks

Thoughtfully chosen brassieres can be found inside this shop, where the staff works seamlessly with clients to find the base garment that work best.

56 JFK St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
617-492-9100

DC

Le Bustiere Boutique

Whether your tastes skew more traditional or adventurous, this boutique will uncover the bra that suits your personality.

1744 Columbia Rd. NW #2
Washington, DC 20009
202-745-8080

South Carolina

Bits of Lace

In addition to offering a variety of fashionable lingerie, this shop provides custom-fitting mastectomy bras for their clientele.

453 W. Coleman Blvd.
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
843-531-6625

Memphis

Trousseau

Find impeccable styles that fit, flatter, and feel amazing with the help of this store’s team.

408 Perkins Extended
Memphis, TN 38117
901-682-6402

Chicago

Sally Ann Corset Shop

Known for their bra and corset selection, this boutique helps take the guesswork out of proper fit.

10501 S. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60643
773-298-1031

Austin

Petticoat Fair

One-on-one attention at this store ensures that you leave with a perfectly fitting bra.

7739 Northcross Dr., Ste. M
Austin, TX 78757
512-454-2900

Phoenix

Blossoms & Beehives

The staff at this shop will help you find the ideal brassiere to wear under anything from a tee shirt to a bridal gown.

5053 N. 44th St. Phoenix, AZ 85018 602-955-1594

Seattle

Belle Fleur Lingerie

This boutique combines an expert fitting with eye-catching underthings to make you feel like your best self.

3504 Fremont Place N.
Seattle, WA 98103
206-545-0222

Oakland

Revelation in Fit

Body positivity is the approach at this shop, which offers a wide range of bras to fit you into a style sure to please.

4158 Piedmont Ave.
Oakland, CA 94611
510-858-5459

Los Angeles

Jenette Bras

Bra sizes start at D at this chic spot that stocks lingerie and swimwear all aimed at giving your curves the love they deserve.

4308 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90029
323-665-7490

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