Plus sized bras – Tutti Rouge review

Let’s talk about boobs.

Bazooka sized boobs which make you feel like you’re carrying watermelons strapped to your front 24/7 and not in a way which is going to make a Patrick Swayze look-a-like swoon all over you. I’ve got them, and I always have, regardless of my dress size and weight I have been blessed (or cursed) with an hourglass figure since puberty.

There’s going to be some people out there reading this who just can’t identify with the struggles of having big boobs, and think it must be incredible to have such an asset but trust me, it doesn’t make life easy at all. Along with the backache and the constant worry about gaping buttons on blouses, there’s the constant need to wear a supportive bra and thus sacrificing style. I’ve never been able to wear a strapless or spaghetti string top because I never wanted my inch thick beige bra straps to be on display. I’m the woman who takes my bra off as soon as I get home so that I can relax and feel free.

When I was younger I used to see friends pick up new colourful lacy little numbers every week from affordable and fashionable stores whilst I ended up heading to stores you’d normally associate with your grandma to spend a whole days wages on an ugly looking bra just because it was the only one in the store which would fit. Once I found the style of bra which worked for me I would buy it in the three shades it came in – black, white and nude. I used to wear these bra’s until the elastic gave in and then go back and try and find the exact same style.

Whenever I plan my outfits, be it work wear, casual day outfits or my Saturday night dresses – everything would have to work around the bra. Nothing low cut would work for me and nothing backless either. Every so often I would fall in love with a new dress and head out to a shopping centre to try on a new style of bra supposedly for “fuller breasts” – heading to nee and upcoming lingerie stores only to find that the design of the DD+ bra’s were simply not supportive enough, with no adjustments made to accommodate the bazookas. I can’t even begin to tell you how many claustrophobic changing rooms I’ve encountered.

The trying on process always begins with a well meaning assistant brandishing a tape measure, throwing it around me and then counting up the alphabet on her fingers. I only go shopping for bra’s when I absolutely have to because I hate the experience so much. It always starts well, with the enthusiastic checking of the tags on the styles of bra’s I like, only for me to be told that they don’t go up to my size. I wait whilst store assistants end up checking the computer system to find which two or three styles do come in my size and then rummage around on the shop floor to find the one that is in stock. I always sit and wait patiently, and then try to feign happiness when the same boring beige number is eventually presented to me through the gap in the curtain.

So here I am, a mid thirties woman who’s only ever worn a handful of different bra’s successfully, and so when I was asked to review some lingerie from Tutti Rouge which was suited to fuller breasts I was sceptical to say the least – especially when ordering from an online retailer. I went off to scrutinise the size guide and was greeted with a series of questions which made me feel like finally this was a company which understood my needs. I confirmed the size of bra I currently wear and then also described the fit of the straps, cups and band to be presented with my size to shop the website. Not quite the size I usually shop but I thought I would trust the process.

I clicked over to the online shop and filtered the shop by my size. Not only did they have something in stock in my size – I had options. Clicking through different styles and colours available gave me a reason to be happy. Each style was displayed on the search landing page on a model with a full bust, and clicking through I managed to get views of the straps and band which made me feel confident that these bra’s indeed were designed with big boobs in mind. Having different options for the first time was a joy and feeling confident I clicked through to look at bralettes too.

As I browsed the website I felt ridiculous for even thinking that they would have a bralette in my size but then I clicked through to the ocean blue colour of the Ana. I’ve never worn underwear in a colour before and I added this to my wishlist immediately just for the novelty of having something bright blue. I hadn’t even thought about how I would style clothes over a bright blue bralette, but I knew I had to have it.

I never usually go for a matching set of briefs and a bra, I usually try to find myself briefs which compensate for the lack of style in the bra’s I wear – the matching granny pants always get left behind by me in the department stores – I can usually find something in the black, white or beige which works and doesn’t break the bank on the high street. Clicking through that website I noticed I had yet more options. Matching briefs in more than one style, and going all the way from XS to 6XL to accommodate all shapes and sizes. This was so refreshing, the online plus sized bra shopping experience with Tutti Frutti was fun in itself.

My order arrived via Royal Mail tracked delivery within a few days of ordering – discreetly packaged in a mailbag with my four items individually wrapped. I tore open the packaging of the Nika bra first. I say tore – even at this stage I was very careful to keep all of the packaging to be able to send everything back if it didn’t fit. With its Lacy black trim across the nude cups I had to try this bra straight on. I noticed immediately that the band felt strong and wider than I’m used to. The clasps at the back are spaced apart well enough to provide a strong and supportive frame. The cups themselves are made from a robust material which gives a smooth shape.

There was no side boob spillage, or appearance of the dreaded four boobed monster. I stood in the mirror and checked myself out from all angles – the Balconette style gave me a lift and a shape I wasn’t used to experiencing and I found myself reaching for a tight t shirt to see how the fabric would fall. I found myself standing just that little bit taller. Very impressed with this style and just to have matching pants was enough, but the same quality in design was represented, both well fitting and strong without losing any style or delicateness. I didn’t even need to adjust the shoulder straps – but I did notice the heart shaped detail on the sliders which is a lovely finishing touch.

The bralette had me feeling nervous – I wasn’t sure how this would even work holding up my boobs, but as soon as I opened it I realised that it had five hook and eye fasteners to the back and the double banding was not just part of the aesthetic but also served a function too. This bralette is basically a marvel of engineering! I was reaching for my high waisted jeans and a blazer and totally ready to rock that look before I realised that the cups were slightly transparent and I’m not quite brave enough to walk out of the house with nipples on display.

Just the feeling of walking out and knowing I have a matching set of beautiful underwear on underneath my clothes is enough to give me added confidence, I can’t believe it’s taken me twenty years to find underwear for big boobs which fits well and looks great too.

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