HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST BRA FOR WOMEN OVER 50
How To Choose The Best Bra was Updated: January 2023
Do you struggle with how to choose the best bra for yourself? We all know that to look good in your clothes, you need to have the right undergarments. So, I’m hoping this post on how to choose the best bra for women over 50 will help. Undergarments can include bras, panties, shapewear, etc. Basically, an undergarment is anything that comes in contact with your skin and is worn under your clothing. However, the task before you to choose the best bra to fit your body can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. I am still looking for that needle, but I have found some bras that I think you will like. But, before we go shopping for bras, we need to know what size we wear.
How to Measure Yourself at Home for a Bra Fitting
Step 1. Find your band size
Here are some basic guidelines I use for a home bra fitting. First off, you’ll need to have a flexible measuring tape to start. You can measure with a thin, non-padded bra on, or you can measure topless. Wrap the tape around you just under your breasts where your regular bra strap would sit. Try to keep the tape level and pull it snug, but not too tight. You want to be able to fit a finger under the tape so that the bra doesn’t end up too tight. If the measurement is between sizes, go up to the next size.
An example would be: 35 1/2 should go up to a 36. Here is the weird thing, inches do not equal band size. For some reason, you are supposed to add 4 inches to the measurement to get the band size. So, a 32 measurement would equal a 36 band.
Step 2. Measure your breast size
Now, let’s measure the fullest part of our breasts. Keep the tape parallel to the floor and level, then wrap it around your back, just skimming the fullest part of your breasts. Usually, this will be right over the top of the nipples since that tends to be where our breasts project out the most. You do not want this measurement to be tight.
Step 3. Find your cup size
It is now time to do some math. It is pretty simple, take the bust size and subtract the band size. So, let’s say that your breast measurement was 40, and your band size was 36. You have a difference of 4 inches, but what does that mean? The difference between the two sizes will correspond to the cup size that you need. If there’s a 1-inch difference between bust and band, you’re an A cup; 2-inch difference is a B cup, 3 inches is a C cup, 4 inches is a D cup, and so on.
Armed with my measurements, I went bra shopping to try and choose the best bra. I asked on FaceBook for everyone’s favorite bras, and I ordered several different styles from the most popular suggestions. I then took a front and side photo with each bra to give you an idea of how the bra looks under clothing. After all, that is what matters the most. I don’t go for lace or cutesy colors; I buy the color closest to my skin tone so that the bra doesn’t show through my clothing. So, let’s get started.
Choose The Best Bra for Women Over 50
Soma was a crowd favorite from everyone. I had never ordered a bra from Soma before, but I ended up loving several of them. The Vanishing 360 Perfect Coverage Wireless Bra was great. I loved the adjustable straps and the wideband under my arms, which cut down on arm bulge.
Plus, as you can see, the amount of back fat showing was held to a minimum. I ordered the light nude color, but this bra also comes in a lot of different colors. I ended up ordering the same size in all of the bras, a 38 C, so you can get a better idea of how each bra size runs. This was a keeper for me. HERE is the link to the bra.
If you struggle to choose the best bra for yourself, then do yourself a favor and try this one. Bra number two might be my favorite of all of them. It is by Warners, and it is the No Side Effect Underwire Bra. The bra does an excellent job with side and back coverage, plus the cups are lined well for “no-show” issues. You also can’t see the bra under my shirt, so it is great for wearing under a t-shirt or top that fits tight.
See…hardly any back bulge, and that is not an easy feat for any bra. The website says that the straps are convertible, but I honestly haven’t even noticed that or tried it to see. I am wearing the Butterscotch color, and I love this color. Depending on your size, this bra will run between $28 to $51, so you will have to put in your size to see the exact price. HERE is the link to the bra.
Bra number three is a front closure bra. A front closure bra used to be the only type of bra that I would wear. I find them way more comfortable to put on and take off than a regular bra, and I love this one from Soma. It is the Vanishing 360 Perfect Coverage Front Closure bra. This bra has lightly lined cups, and it is their smoothest Vanishing® style is super light and incredibly comfortable. This is an underwire bra, so it gives me a nice lift. It also has wide sides, so there are hardly any side bulges.
As you can see, there is a tiny amount of back fat bulge, but I still ended up keeping this bra. I have on a tight t-shirt to try and show you every little bulge (you’re welcome), but under normal circumstances, I don’t think that this amount of bulge would be noticeable. HERE is the link to this bra.
Bra number four is the same bra as above but in a back closure. It does a great job smoothing the back and sides, and the cups are made so that they “vanish” and don’t show under your garments.
I liked this bra as well. It is comfortable, and it looks great under my clothing, which is the goal of a bra. I ordered this one also in a neutral color, which is close to my skin tone. HERE is the link.
Bra number five is the Wacoal Ultimate Side Smoother Bra. This is another t-shirt style bra that is designed to look smooth under the thin material of a t-shirt. The name implies that it will not show side bulges, and I think that it does a good job.
This bra also does a good job with the back bulges, so that is a bonus. This bra does have lightly padded cups, so you don’t have to worry about anything showing through. It is also soft and comfortable, so this was a keeper for me. HERE is the link to the bra, and I am wearing the color Sand.
Bra six is the Wacoal Basic Beauty Contour Spacer Bra. This bra is lightweight and is excellent for those who don’t care for a lot of padding. It has an underwire, and it does a good job with smoothing. As you can see in the photo, the side bulges don’t show. However, I can see the tops of the cups more than I could with the Vanishing 360 bras.
This bra did a great job with back fat bulges and was one of the best in that area. The way that the straps are attached in the back is made so that if you wear a top that has cut-in sleeves, then your bra straps don’t show. I bought the Nude color in this bra, and I thought the color matched my skin great. HERE is the link to this bra. Ultimately, I ended up sending this one back because I didn’t like that you could see the cups under the shirt.
Bra seven was not a winner for me. This bra was by Warners, and it is the This Is Not A Bra with an underwire. However, this is the only bra that I ordered where the cup size did not fit me correctly. I am not large chested in the first place, but the last thing that I want is to have the cups sink in at the top. You can see it even shows through the top. (you have to love me for pointing out all of my flaws)
If the cups had fit me correctly, I would have loved this bra. It is soft, comfortable, and it did a fantastic job with the side and back bulges. This was one of the best bras for the no-show back fat portion. However, since I am not walking backward most of the time, it was the front that I needed to look the nicest. So, this one sadly went back. But, if you have more to fill the cups with than I did, then HERE is the link to this bra because I think that you will like it a lot.
Bra number eight is by Warners. This is part of their Cloud 9 series, and this is an underwire bra. I think that this bra does a good job smoothing my side and back, and it isn’t visible under my clothing. It is soft and comfortable to wear, well, as much as a bra can be comfortable. Lol!
I see in this picture that I had a strap twisted, but otherwise, this bra does a good job of not showing. Haha! The bra also does a great job with full coverage, and you don’t have to worry about headlights shining under your clothing. I am wearing the Toasted Almond color. This bra will run between $20 to $28, so it is very affordable. HERE is the link to this bra.
Bra number nine is the Wacoal How Perfect Full Figure Wire Free Bra, and I think that it is the only wireless bra that I kept. I don’t know a single person that is a fan of wearing underwire bras because they are not as comfortable. But, they do a great job of supporting and keeping you from looking saggy, which will also help you will back pain. Having one or two wireless bras is a nice change, though.
This bra has wide camisole straps that are soft and comfortable. The bra has double layers of microfiber and mesh side slings, which is probably why it is so soft and comfortable. For a bra that doesn’t have wires, it does a good job of giving you the support that is needed. I am wearing the Naturally Nude color, and HERE is the link to the bra.
Bra number 10 is the last one from Soma, the Embraceable Full Coverage Wireless Unlined Bra, and also the last bra that I tried. This is the one bra that I wanted to love the most, but I didn’t. Who doesn’t want a bra that is so comfortable, no underwires, and unlined? For a bra that has no wire or lining, it does a remarkable job with side and back bulges. However, unless I was going to wear silicone coverups with this bra, I couldn’t get over nipples showing through my top. Sorry if this is TMI. Lol!
I will say, though, the website description of this bra is accurate. “Embraceable bras are so comfortable and supportive, you’ll forget you have it on. Every component is engineered for the ultimate in softness.” It was a fabulous bra that I would love if it had some lining in the cup area. I am wearing the Soft Tan color again in this bra. HERE is the link to this bra.
Now it is up to you to choose the best bra. Once your bra arrives, though, you need to see how well it fits. You might find my post on 7 Bras Every Woman Over 50 Should Own helpful, so check that out too.
To choose the best bra, see how well the bra fits:
- The center of the bra should lay completely flat against your skin.
- The band should stay level all the way around.
- The cups should gape open or dig into your sides.
- The straps shouldn’t dig into your shoulders.
- Raise your arms and make sure that the bra stays in place
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This post was fantastic! I’ve had trouble finding bras that fit right. Thank you!
I feel like it’s high time that I got myself fitted again for my bra, with growing older and my body changing so much. Thanks for the tips, I might get a front closure bra. Those are so much easier to clasp back on.
I can’t believe that I’ve been wearing the wrong bra for so many years! 2 kids and post menopause (and a few extra lbs) and I was still trying to squeeze into a smaller band and cup size. Let me now embrace my new size – 40C! It felt so much better to try on the one I ordered after reading your post. Thank you!!
Jen, that makes me so happy!!! I am thrilled that the instructions helped and that you AND your girls are now happy. Lol!
Tania, you are fearless! Kudos to you for sharing. I love it when I find a great fitting bra.
I wore the Warners This Is Not A Bra for years but recently tried their No Side Effects bra and like you it is my favorite bra and now have several. I am not as large as you but it is comfy, supportive, and gives me that “perky” look regardless of what I wear
I have been wearing the Soma bras for about a year now and love the fit and washes well and keep their shape.
What color is the paint in your office and the brand? Love it
Every time I have used the +4 inches for the band size I end up with bras that are sloppy loose. They don’t stay down if I raise my arms but if I snug the with the straps they cut into my shoulders. My fitter said buy the band and add nothing then measure the cup size by measuring leaning over wearing nothing. That took me from a 38 D to a 34 G and now no more tissue pushed back to the sides. I bought some Glamorize from amazon using her guidance and it worked.
Thanks for all the hard work you put into this article. One of your best
That took a lot of patience’s trying on TEN bras! After three …. I’m done!
It was not fun trying them on, keeping them separated and cataloged, or keeping the photos in the correct order. Whew!
Oh my goodness, Tania, thank you! This is such a helpful post!
I’ve spend a year or so and countless dollars on trying to find a bra that fits correctly, is comfortable and looks good under my clothes. I am very grateful for your suggestions!!!
Yay! This is not the funniest post. Who wants to show their back fat? Lol!
You prompted me to buy 2 new bras……thank you! I definitely needed them.
I hope they work for you.
Thanks you! This couldn’t come at a better time! I have been putting off bra shopping and have been wearing the same Soma bras for about 4-5 years! So with your help I just ordered your top 3 Soma favorites and can’t wait to get them! Your are great! I look forward to your emails everyday!
I sure hope that they work for you.
Best description on how to figure out size that I have ever found ANYWHERE! Thank you so much!
Aww, thanks, Kathy. I’ve read lots of descriptions and tried to make it easy to understand.
I’m in dire need of new bras! Your post is very helpful and quite timely. I’m off to measure the girls….?
Lol! I should have put this line in my post, “it is time for you gurls to go measure the girls.” Lol!
This was awesome. I really need to update my bra inventory and get rid of LOTS of old ones.
I was down to one ratty bra. I didn’t have a choice.
Well, once things open up more and I start getting out, I will sadly have to start actually WEARING a bra again! Right now, I wear an elastic-y one with no hooks or wires at all. ?
Lol! You will be so sad wearing a bra again. Lol!
Excellent work, Tania! I think proper bra fit is so important and a subject that every female can benefit from getting more knowledge about. So thankful for this very informative guide to bra measurement and shopping. It is such a challenge to find the proper fit in a bra that you like and is affordable. I need to go bra shopping so this post is very timely for me and will help me tremendously. Thank you so much!
It really is hard to find a bra that fits and is comfortable. I hope that some of these bras work for everyone.
Thanks for the sizing tips! I am in the market for some new bras. I hate shopping for them…can never find one that fits comfortably! I will check out your suggestions!
I hope some of these work for you, Karen.
Thanks so much for doing this post. A bra is the most difficult thing to buy, and you provided good information. Am going to order a couple that you suggested. ?
Lori, I hope they work for you! Be sure to let me know.
Awwww!! Tania!! You are a ROCKSTAR to be willing to try on that many bras to help your readers!! It is a lot of work for not much success!! You have found a lot of winners in this bunch!! And also great prices!! Thanks for putting yourself out there to show back bulges!! And “headlights “ ? I am a young-looking and sassy grandma too, and I appreciate your attitude and style!! Or as my kids call me “ glam- ma” ha! ha! You look great in those Capri leggings and t-shirt!! Athleisure looks good on you!!
Shelley, you hit the nail on the head. It was not fun to put my pictures on the web for anyone to see. I’ve had these pictures for weeks, but I just now got up the nerve. Lol!
I love that you have written about bras Tania. We are each made differently and therefore have different issues with bras, but the back and side bulge issues you mention are quite common when you get to our age. I have always had lot of trouble with my bra strap falling down my arm no matter how tight I made it. I just found a bra last year that didn’t and being that I am 55 it took me quite a while to find it. The straps on the back of some of the Wacoal bras go slightly towards the middle of your back helping the straps to stay on my shoulders. I really like the look of the Sonoma bra, but I am afraid I would run into the strap issue with them. I will probably stick to buying the Spacer t-shirt bra from Wacoal because I don’t want to have to deal with a slipping bra strap ever again! Thank you for writing a blog every day that is so enjoyable to read!
Loretta, I thought that the straps on the Wacoal bras were great. I never even though about how it would help to keep the straps up.
Third Love perfect coverage is the best underwire bra that I have found. They are pricey but worth it
I know that a lot of people love that brand.
Great post today. Sorry I missed the opportunity to suggest brands of bras. I wear Prima Donna. They’re European made. I am full figured and need support. I believe you can only buy them at specialty shops in particular Rigby and Peller or on their website. The price range is $75+ Check out Prima Donna website.
I’ve heard of that brand, but I’ve never tried them.
Thank you, Tania, for all the info on these bras. Bra shopping is awful & your evaluations wires helpful!
Excellent post ?
I hate bra shopping too. I decided that if I hated it, then you gurls would too. That is why I did the post.
Thanks for the measuring instructions. Maybe I’ll finally get a bra that fits!