A BRA expert has shared her top brand recommendations for fuller-busted women that don't break the bank.
Lingerie model and TikTok user Madison Alexandra, who wears a US size 26L, shared the importance of knowing the costs associated with supportive bras for fuller-busted women and ways to cut expenses.
Alexandra is the founder of the viral #BraSchool, an online community with resources available for people to have a one-stop shop for any and all bra-related questions concerning fit, sizing, and inclusivity.
Before she went viral on TikTok for her bra content, the Harvard music school graduate was an aspiring model shooting lingerie campaigns for brands abroad as a fuller-busted woman at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
So when everyone was stuck in quarantine towards the start of 2020, she went on TikTok to build a following for her music and unreleased album, which caused her to go viral for her instructive bra-fitting videos.
In an exclusive interview with The U.S. Sun, Alexandra shared some anecdotes about her journey within the lingerie industry, costs associated with a new bra and ways to avoid them, and her top bra brand recommendations.
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One of the biggest issues fuller-busted women have when buying bras is the limited accessibility to extended sizes, which can be even more difficult with a curvier body shape.
That's where Alexandra's Bra School comes in, where she encourages people to look outside traditional brands like Victoria's Secret and seek out companies that specifically cater to a fuller-busted audience.
The TikTok user herself said that she is a size 26HH in UK sizing and a 26L in US sizing, but for the longest time she thought she was a 36C due to a fitting in her teen years that led to inaccurate sizing.
What many people don't understand is that the 26 indicates her small band size and the L is based on proportions, so someone else could be proportionally the same but visually the other woman may look like she has bigger breasts due to her larger band size.
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Alexandra said that for her it is “so fulfilling to help people” in the bra industry and “so much fun talking to people about how a video changed their life."
She likes to say that she pulls from personal experience when she's developing the focus of the content for her TikTok videos.
"When I was 26, I was diagnosed with an intense form of PMS. I went on hormonal birth control and my boobs are still growing, she explained. "It was extremely painful breast growth and I was starting to grow out of bra sizes."
As someone who lives with PMDD, also known as Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, she shared that there are maybe ten days out of the month when she has severe and debilitating physical and psychological premenstrual symptoms.
The condition's symptoms include hypersomnia, memory loss, severe depression, fainting spells, panic attacks, migraines, and on top of all that, breast pain.
The growing discomfort she felt prompted her to become passionate about finding the right fit, and ultimately led her to have a fitting with the lingerie company Curvy Kate, one of her favorite brands that provide bras from a size D to a size K.
“At my size, I am like this is life-changing," the bra expert stated happily.
Alexandra insists that there are many options available to fuller-busted women for suitable bust support, but they may be more in the $50 and up range.
"Bra cost is a big thing, a more expensive thing than people think," she declared.
It's realistic that fuller-busted bras cost more because she claims they need more materials, with most underwires starting at $70 without the luxury price and $50 for wireless.
Proper knowledge of where to find good fuller-busted brands takes care of another major pain point, as many people don’t want to go through the return process as they wait to get the fit of a bra right.
The bra expert loves that Bravissimo and Curvy Kate have size-inclusive styles but also that they have free virtual fitters available for use.
Bravissimo also has a store in New York City that is available for in-person free fitting appointments as well.
She recommends going for a bra fitting every four months.
"Every woman feels the need for support to some degree, as you get larger you start to feel like you need this heavy-duty thing," she said.
Alexandra shared her exclusive tips for saving money on bras with The U.S. Sun so that others can take advantage of the unique money-saving hacks she's acquired.
"Bra lingerie brands always have semi-annual sales on big retailer sites like Bare Necessities and Bravissimo. Take advantage if you are set on getting a $20 bra. You’ve gotta be subscribed," she insisted.
The Bra School founder also added that Amazon starting to carry big fuller bust brands like Panache and Curvy Kate.
“They will have sales on specific sizes and colors, so always look out for that,” she mentioned.
"Also, a lot of brands are on Amazon's Try Before You Buy. You can buy four sizes and try them for free and then return them before you get charged,” she stated.
She said that it's the closest thing to a fuller-bust experience that most can receive if they can't get in to see a bra fitter for accurate sizing.
"I wanted to know what brands work for me and bought 20 on credit card and wanted to know and made a spreadsheet and only kept three before it hit the account,” she added.
Another trick of the trade she's learned is to check resale sites, like eBay, Poshmark, and more.
"Check eBay for bras. Type in the search term and save it so every time someone sells it, you get a notification,” Alexandra explained.
Bare Necessities has sporadic flash sales, and if on the email subscription list, it's possible to take advantage of a deal or two.
Bravissimo has a surplus of bras that are perfect for nighttime use, like the Bravissimo Sleep Bra, $64.
Lately, Alexandra has been a big proponent of the Curvy Kate reversible "Pool Party" one-piece swimsuit for bust support and comfort overall.
When it comes to Curvy Kate, some of the best bras she recommends are the Victory Side Support, which can be found on some resale sites for as low as $20 and up to $66, and the Wonderfull Full Cup Bra, $68.
On the Victory Bra, the size ranges are for bands that range from 30 to 44 and cups DD to K in UK sizing and DD to O US in US sizing, while on the Wonderfull Bra the bands go up to 42.
The Clara Side Support Bra, $67, and the Envy Side Support Balconette Bra,$67, by Panache, are also on her list of top choices for fuller-busted women with a band size normally that starts at 28 for most styles.
Alexandra advised contacting the supplier directly to see exactly which sizes they have.
According to the lingerie lover, Comexim and Molke are also big bra companies that provide for women with bands under 30.
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In short, she can't necessarily recommend a quality bra for a fuller-busted woman that retails for around $20, but these special tips can get anyone close to that price point.
In reality, it all comes down to making sure that they have the right fit so that they can navigate their bra journey appropriately.
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