Crossing the K cup barrier

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve recently gone up to around a 30K/KK. I have been getting by in Cleo bras, but I’ve also tried quite a few bras over the past few months. None of the bras in this post are really successes, but I decided to review them anyway for anyone in K+ territory who was considering them.

Alana bra at Bravissimo

The first bra I decided to try was the Bravissimo Alana, one of the only bras readily available up to an L cup. I have tried the Alana before when I was a 30JJ, so I knew that the Alana runs about a cup small and I would probably need a 30L. Unfortunately, despite going to an L cup in 32-40 bands, it only goes to a KK in a 30 band (and only to a J in a 28 band), so this is a 30KK.

30KK Bravissimo Alana in black

As expected, I found it to be too small in the cup, resulting in significant overspill along the top. What did surprise me is how much of a difference there is between the 30K and 30KK – the 30K Alana was one of my favourite bras, mostly due to how comfortable and well constructed it is. With just one cup up, I found the straps to be unbearably wide, the wires too wide, the gore too high, and the sides are far too tall under the arm. I can’t tighten the straps enough without the straps/cups digging into my arms/shoulders, and I also found the band to run surprisingly loose. The Alana features the usual 3 hooks and fully adjustable straps, along with a fairly narrow gore. Ideally I’d need a 30L for cup volume, but even if the size was being made, I think the straps and armholes would be unbearable. A 30K in a regular Bravissimo balconette would be far more preferable and should fit the same as this, so I wouldn’t recommend buying the Alana in this size.

Boudoir Beau Raspberry at Bravissimo

The next bra I decided to try was the Bravissimo Boudoir Beau, which is available in 28 E-J, 30-38 DD-K. I have tried this bra in the past and found the cups to be slightly generous, so I thought it could be worth trying a 30K in the Ivory/Raspberry colourway.

Bravissimo Boudoir Beau 30K close-up

Once again, despite being a stunning bra, I found this to be too small in the cup. The cups were definitely deeper than the 30KK Alana, but it also seems to be more closed on top, resulting in an extremely pointy, projected shape but with the same amount of overspill. Due to this, I would think this bra may be more successful on those who are more bottom heavy. I found it to be quite east-west, and I didn’t seem to be able to get a very uplifted shape however much I tightened the straps. I found the wires to be quite wide (Brav wires tend to stretch easily), and the gore fairly standard for Bravissimo (narrow but tall). The band seemed like a true to size 30, and the bra sports the usual 3 hooks and fully adjustable straps. As with most bras, I found the straps to be slightly too wide set for my frame, but they seemed fairly standard for Bravissimo – definitely not as wide as the 30KK Alana, and the sides didn’t seem as tall either.

Panache Ariza at Belle Lingerie

One that was recommended for me to try, the Panache Ariza, which is available in 30-38 D-K. I was told that it ran tight in the band and generously in the cups, with narrow wires and deep cups.

Panache Ariza in a 30K

Despite the reports of the band being tight, it’s worth noting that the band seems to get looser in higher cup sizes – this fits more like a 32 band, so I’d say it fits like a “standard” 32JJ. The wires are very sturdy and do not distort when the band stretches, so they are quite narrow when on. However, I wouldn’t say the cups are particularly deep in this size – it doesn’t bring you up and centre, it’s more of an hourglass-from-the-front bra. The cups also don’t seem particularly generous, as I still have overspill, especially if I hold the gore flat. I found the wires to be uncomfortably tall, both at the gore and sides, to the point that I’m considering unpicking the wire channel and shortening the wire. The gore doesn’t tack on me, both due to its height and the too-small cups. I might try bending the wires to see if it relieves the armpit digging/floating gore, but I don’t know if it’s worth me buying any more of this style. Apparently some other colourways are lower at the arm, which might be worth looking at for anyone in the size range. One good thing about this bra is the strap placement, as they are significantly closer together than anything else I’ve tried. However, the straps are also quite thin compared to most other bras, which can be quite uncomfortable. Ideally I think I’d need a 28L in this bra, though I would definitely need lower sides for it to be a success.

So far, I have tried bras that I hoped would run big in the cup or small in the back. The other current options for K+ bras would be looking for more bras that are readily available above a K cup (such as the Bravissimo Alana or Panache Melody), custom orders (some possibilities are Ewa Michalak or Louise Ferdinand), or altering the band of a sister size. I am also looking forward to the launch of Edwards & Millers, a luxury line who plan to stock 26-34 DD-M. Hopefully when I find a few more bras that fit I will be able to cover more of these options in depth!


The following two tabs change content below.
Founder and main author of Bras and Body Image. Anna is a lingerie lover, feminist and maths student based in the UK, who hopes to someday cuddle every cat in the world.

9 thoughts on “Crossing the K cup barrier

  1. The last one looks least bad, almost good. But the first two ones… awful – the wires end almost on your back and AFAIK the wires in Boudoir Beau are not supposed to look so stretched. So either they are too flexible or the band is too tight.
    Either way – a huge part of the cups in two first bras go to your sides which causes the feeling of them being too small. Either the wires are too wide/too stretchy, or the bands are too tight, pulling the cups to your sides, making them feel too small while with an extender (or two) they would become too big.

    • Yup, and yet the last one is horrifically uncomfortable due to the very tall wires. The Alana and Ariza both ride up at the back, the Boudoir Beau is a true-to-size 30 – the problem isn’t the band tightness. Bravissimo have fairly weak, easily stretched wires, which leads to them being about an inch too wide for me in this size, compared to Panache’s very sturdy (but annoyingly tall) wires. I need narrow, sturdy wires, but they are quite hard to come by. Based on my breast perimeter, the Boudoir Beau would likely be a good fit with narrower wires and a slightly more open top.

      • Sturdy and narrow wires? Hm… did you try Comexim? I’ve tried a couple of their bras on and the wires were actually too narrow for me (they felt narrower than in Ewa Michalak’s bras) :)

        • I’ve heard good things about Comexim, they’re meant to be really lovely. Buuuut AFAIK their biggest cup is a 65M (roughly 30JJ), which would likely be too small for me. I might end up trying them anyway, it’s just a bit of a gamble to buy full price bras that I don’t know I’ll fit into and would have trouble returning :/

      • In my oppinion Comexim bras have quite tight bands (I remember when I was wearing a 32 band from Panache and Freya and a 75 band from Comexim was a bit too small for me ;)), so you might even try with a 70 band but the cups might still cause some issues… But if you ever end up in Poland (plane tickets are quite cheap ;)), you should most definitely visit Łódź – you could try on some Comexims and EM bras there :)

  2. I’m also (very) close-set and (slightly) fuller on top. Yet, the Boudoir Beau gives me a rounded shape. I think that might be due to my tissue being softer? Another Bravissimo option you might want to try is the Lola Luxe Basque. The band is true to size, but the cup is slightly more generous than other Bravissimo bras. That is the most comfortable item I have from them.

    • I know, so many people get a super-round shape in the BB, but it gives me the torpedo look. Very weird. I do actually have the Lola Luxe Basque in a 30K, I got it over a year ago because the 30JJ was out of stock. It’s a bit small but somewhat wearable, it’s just not the most comfortable thing to wear under everyday clothes :/

  3. Pingback: Review of the Panache Jasmine - Bras and Body Image

Leave a Reply