Looking for bras with high side panels for your wardrobe? This guide is for you.
Before I learned the correct way of choosing a bra, I really did not think side support was such a huge deal. My main concern was whether my boobs would fit inside the cups. Things like bra spillage, shaping, and seaming did not seem important. I just wanted a bra that will prevent my breasts from sagging.
[image – woman wearing bra]
Today, I’m more enlightened and know that there is more to choosing a bra than simply finding one whose cups match my breast size. Here are some things that I consider when looking for a bra:
- The cups need to shape the boobs properly
- The sides should support the breasts and keep them pointing forward
- The straps should offer adequate support without digging into the shoulders
- The back should be smooth and sit parallel to the ground
When it comes to shaping the breasts, the cup is the star. Apart from the cup, you want a bra with good side support. Proper support helps to keep the breast tissue pointing forward while ensuring it fills the cup as much as possible.
Wearing a bra with good side support ensures a smoother look under your clothes. All women need bras with high end panels that will support their breasts. However, women with wide-set boobs, large breasts, and extra weight around the torso/chest would benefit the most from these bras.
Wearing a bra with side support will give your body a slimming effect by positioning the boobs within the width of your frame. This is especially important for women with large busts as wearing less supportive bras can push the boobs out to the sides. The result will be a bra bulge under your arms that will restrict the movement of your arms, which is quite annoying!
Best Bras with High Side Panels
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A bra that offers good support will, generally, have the following features:
- Good material. The material should not be too stretchy. If a bra it made of light material, it should compensate for this with double lining or inner slings.
- Bras with good side support typically have their side panel as part of the cup. This helps to lift and shape the breast.
- Supportive boning. The bra will have side boning (usually made of flex plastic) that helps to keep the shape of the band
- Wide fabric band/wings. The band should cover the side tissue to support and corral it.
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Olga Women’s No Side Effects Underwire Contour Bra – Molded Cup
Some manufacturers are making crossover bras that have both good back smoothing and side smoothing. One of the bras that fit this bill is the Olga No Side Effects bra. You can check the full review of the bra in my article of the best back smoothing bras.
One of the features that stands out on the Olga No Side Effects bra is that its side wing starts before the end of the cup. As a result, the sides of the bra appear smoother than many molded bras. With most molded bras, the band is usually sewn on the side of the cup and is often of a different height than the cup.
Empreinte Thalia Demi Bra – Demi Cup Bra
The Thalia Demi Bra is the most beautiful high-sided bra. This bra has beautiful lace detailing and is just adorable. The bra is one of the few demi bras with wide sides.
The Thalia bra has a power net fabric on the back as well as the wings that keep the boob in place. The bra is cut just as high on the sides as the Freya Hero.
The underwire of the bra is shaped to be quite deep but on the narrow side. Moreover, the cups do not have a lot of depth. If you have projected breasts and would like to wear the Thalia bra, you may need to go with your sister sizing to get the right fit.
Since the Thalia is a French bra, make sure you refer to their sizing guide to determine the correct fit.
Parfait Destiny Contour Bra
The Destiny Contour is a beautiful side coverall bra that has a lot going on to make your breasts attractive while hiding side boob fat. If you don’t like wearing padded cups because the boobs struggle to sit in the cup well or adhere to the shape of the bra, you won’t face these problems with the Destiny Contour bra. The bra overcomes these issues by having a vertical seaming in the padding together with 4-part seaming on the cup exterior.
The Parfait bra has a somewhat wide gore, which means it’s a good option for women with wide-set breasts. The sides are as high as other side support bras and are further reinforced by plastic boning.
Fantasie Lois Underwire Side Support Bra
If you want a fun but functional bra that provides side support, the Fantasie Lois is what you should get. The bra comes in various colors, all of which feature a cute stripe-patterned fabric that makes most of the cup. On the top, each cup is made of sheer stretch fabric that helps to line it with your top breast tissue.
The bra’s side panel has no boning and its height is about average for side support bras. However, while the underwire is one the wide side, it is not too high along the side. Therefore, the bra will fit you if you have a shorter torso.
One thing I would have loved the bra to have is sufficient space at the top of the cup. This, together with the sheer strip fabric, means that FOT (full on top) breasts may experience some quadding. On the flip side, this means the bra is perfect for women with FOB (full on bottom) breasts that need a break from unlined laced bras.
Elomi Caitlyn Underwire Side Support Bra
Here, I’ll put Elomi and Goddess bras in the same category because the brands produce similarly constructed bras. For full coverage bras with side support, no other brand matches the bras produced by Elomi and Goddess.
Most bras from these two brands have reinforced sides and smoothing, leotard backs. From there, you’ll have to decide on the type of shape and amount of coverage you need from the bra.
For this review, I’ve selected Caitlyn because its sides are higher than average. The bra is made of the same sturdy material used to make most of the cup. Moreover, it has a sturdy side panel and its band is made of power mesh to keep things looking smooth.
Panache Jasmine Balconette Bra
If you love Panache’s Andorra, you should definitely check out the Jasmine. These two bras have similar construction.
The Jasmine is a great balconette (I dare say it even surpasses the Freya Rio). The bra has a 4-part cup that is mostly made of sturdy, printed material that provides excellent shaping and stability. The cups of the bra are lined with beautiful stretch lace.
If you have been carefully looking at bras, you may notice that seaming plays a major role on how the shapes of the breasts. However, did you know that the way that the material is cut and sewn into the bra also has an impact on the shape?
The Panache Jasmine provides great shape and lift from its firm patterned material. The material has been constructed excellently to hold the tissue in well and lift heavy breasts better than the majority of all-lace cut and sews on the market.
For a Jasmine alternative that offers a similar fit, get Sculptresse’s Chi Chi. This bra has excellent side support for higher band sizes. This bra has very high side panels. Therefore, if you like how Jasmine fits but want even more side control.
Curvy Couture’s Flawless Lace Smoother – Honorable Mention
Last on our list, which appears as an honorable mention since it’s a controversial pick, is the Curvy Couture’s Flawless Lace Smoother. This bra with high side panels offers a very snug fit. However, its sizing is not consistent as it should be with other bras from the brand. Before buying, make sure you qualify for free returns for the bra.
One reason why I included this bra on this list is that it has generous side coverage. With over 5 inches of fabric at the wings in larger sizes, what more can you say?
If you want maximum coverage but are not looking for a bra with supportive side boning, the Flawless Lace Smoother is an excellent pick. However, given that the bra has a high coverage, it is not one for short women or those with shorter chests. If you have a short torso, the underwire of the bra will dig into your sides since there won’t be enough space under your arms to accommodate it.