The unemployment rate reached a whopping 14.8 percent¹ in the United States at the height of the pandemic. Loss of income became so dire that one in five households were behind on rent as of July 2020 in 26 states.
This loss of income, along with lockdowns and other regulations across America, led to the permanent shuttering of almost 100,000 businesses. In addition, many other companies were forced to close their in-store locations, relying solely on their online services and sales to stay afloat.
Before the pandemic, it could already be challenging to find a retailer that had a large selection of plus-size bra sizes. COVID-19 made it more challenging to shop for plus-size bras within in-store locations. As a result, plus-size bra stores became harder and harder to find, making it difficult for consumers to find the perfect fit.
If you have struggled to find plus-size bras that look and feel good, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are ways that you can find the perfect fit without visiting a retail location.
What is Considered a Plus-Size Bra Store?
Plus-size bra stores are apparel retailers that focus on providing bra sizes designed for more generous body types. Depending on the brand, plus-size bras may begin between sizes 38D and 40D. In addition, many plus-size bra stores feature other intimate items, including lingerie, underwear, and swimwear. Some stores may also provide additional plus-size apparel items outside of intimates.
Signs That You’re Wearing Ill-Fitting Bras
Do you know your bra size? While most women might say yes, it’s estimated that around 85 percent of women are wearing an incorrect bra size. Wearing the wrong bra sizes can be harmful to your health, and you may experience:
- Prolonged back, breast, shoulder, or neck pain
- Breast sagging
- General discomfort
- Poor posture
Here are some signs that you might be wearing a poorly fitting bra:
- Your bra straps dig into your shoulders
- Your bra straps fall off your shoulders, even after you tighten them
- The fabric between the cups of your bra is not flush against your ribcage
- The underwire of your bra causes you discomfort
- The underwire of your bra breaks or stabs you
- You develop soreness or rashes where your bra rests against your skin
- If you run or jog while wearing your bra, you experience significant bouncing, pain, or discomfort
- You have back or armpit “fat” around the back or sides of your bra
- The band at the back of your bra rides up your back
- Your bra causes you pain or discomfort either immediately after putting it on, or after wearing it for a prolonged period
- Your breasts overflow from the cups of your bra
- Your bra leaves bruises or marks on your skin
Why Are the Plus-Size Bra Stores Closing?
The coronavirus pandemic hit the apparel industry particularly hard, as the demand for new clothing dropped significantly. As a result, some retailers saw an overstock of apparel items that they struggled to sell. While some apparel retailers had no choice but to close for good, others shifted their focus to operating solely online. Unfortunately, plus-size bra stores fared no better than other apparel businesses that struggled during the pandemic.
What Other Ways Can You Purchase Plus-Size Bras?
As plus-size bra stores have shuttered, some consumers have found themselves frustrated at the lack of avenues for acquiring the perfect fit. Fortunately, plus-size bras can still be purchased online. Shopping for plus-size bras online provides benefits such as:
- Increased convenience
- A more extensive selection of brands, colors, and styles
- More ways to save with everyday sales
- Greater ease of finding larger bra sizes
Because you cannot try on bra sizes that you purchase online, it’s helpful to search for a retailer that provides a generous return or exchange policy.
The coronavirus pandemic has been difficult for consumers and businesses alike in the United States. While America is nearing the end of the pandemic, many apparel locations – including plus-size bra stores – have had to close their doors for good or rely on their online presence.
However, while this new normal may change the way you shop for bra sizes, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find the perfect fit.
Shopping for plus-size bras online offers many advantages, including a more extensive selection and ease of convenience. In addition, shopping online is convenient, and there are several ways to save money while you shop.
Finding the perfect fit can be difficult for any woman initially, but knowing how to measure your band and bust sizes will help you avoid pain, discomfort, and the lasting symptoms that a poor-fitting bra can cause. Bra shopping should be a pleasant experience – and with the proper preparation, it can be.
Are you searching for the perfect fit? Then check out the rest of our catalog and find the perfect style, color, size, and brand for you.
¹ Source: CRS Report R46554, August 20, 2021