Buying a bra when you're a C cup or larger doesn't have to be a nightmare if you know what brands cater to your ample curves. Check out our list of the best bra brands for larger sizes in every price range.
Not only is Addition Elle the fashion go-to for fuller-figured women but it also offers a selection of sleek and seductive bras. The bra sizes start at 38C and go up to 44H in some styles. What better place to get a bra than a company that knows all about how to hug curves? Addition Elle Flawless T-ser bra, $55, additionelle.com.
PrimaDonna has been designing bras for bigger busts since 1865—that’s more than 150 years of experience. The brand offers sizes ranging from B-cup to J-cup, with a collection that includes padded bras, underwire, pushups and minimizers. Not only do these bras provide amazing support but PrimaDonna also uses stunning designs and materials to make you feel sexy all the time. Prima Donna "Madison" full cup bra, $145, melmira.com.
Wacoal boasts superior quality, easy wear and elegant aesthetics. Most bras are available up to a G-cup, and there’s a fantastic selection of styles. Wacoal has a diffusion line, too, for its younger clientele, called B.tempt’d, offering fun and colourful varieties. Wacoal is the parent company of Elomi and Fantasie, which are considered exceptional labels for women with a larger bust. Wacoal "Awareness" soft cup bra, $82, nordstrom.com.
There’s no surprise that French designer Chantelle has some of the most beautiful patterns and shapes for bras. The brand creates an elegant collection of lingerie that lifts, separates and minimizes, depending on your needs. In any given season, Chantelle offers 165 styles exclusively for women with DD-cup breasts and above. Chantelle "Hedona" bra, $95, lineaintima.com.
This company prides itself on being “experts in comfort,” and when it comes to wearing a bra all day, comfort is of utmost importance. With more than 100 years of experience, Glamorise has perfected the fit of bras for larger breasts. The brand is also credited for inventing the first-ever sports bra, back in 1975. Glamorise Elegance satin and lace Wonderwire bra, $75, thebay.com.
In 1948, Simone Pérèle set out to liberate the female body from girdles and corsets by fusing comfort with chic designs. Most bras in the collection are available up to a G-cup and offer extra lift, thanks to vertical seams. Simone Pérèle "Wish" full cup bra, $139, lineaintima.com.
Based out of Germany, Rosa Faia has a designated section for larger breasts. The brand has a collection of well-loved basics and fancier fashion bras, complete with smooth lace, that reach up to an H-cup. Rosa Faia guarantees comfort with an ergonomically shaped underwire that also aids in support. Rosa Faia "Aurelia" seamless underwire bra, $92, anita.com.
Founded in Europe in the late 1800s, Triumph has had continued success developing comfortable and striking bras for women with varying breast sizes. Some of the brand’s cuts go up to an H-cup. In 2015, Triumph launched its “Find the One” campaign to help women find the right bra size. The company’s website hosts a questionnaire that will help you determine if you’re wearing the wrong size. Spoiler alert: You probably are. Triumph "1860" smooth-skin underwire bra, $50, thebay.com.
One of your first bras was probably by WonderBra, and if you haven’t checked out the company since, it may be time to revisit the brand. WonderBra offers cup sizes up to a DDD and varying support levels, depending on the cut. There’s an outstanding selection of styles, ranging from simple to ornate, to fit your lifestyle and price point. Using innovative fabrics, the bras won’t scratch or poke you, either. WonderBra "W4436" Breathable T-shirt Bra, $45, wonderbra.ca.
What women need to know about dense breasts Image by: svetikd
Having dense breasts increases your breast cancer risk and makes tumours harder to find. Doctors explain the puzzle behind this common condition.
Just when you thought you were up to speed on breast cancer risk factors, a new game changer has physicians and clinicians talking: dense breasts. Misunderstood and often incorrectly associated with bumpy, hard or occasionally sore breasts, dense tissue is more worrisome than you think.
What are dense breasts?
Your breasts are comprised of three types of tissue: fat, epithelium (the glands and ducts that produce milk) and stroma (supporting tissue). Breasts with a higher ratio of epithelium and stroma to fat are considered dense. According to Dr. Norman Boyd, senior scientist at the Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, women with dense breasts have this tissue ratio for the majority of their adult lives. "The tissue develops in adolescence when the breasts form," he says. "Past the age of 40, it gradually decreases and is replaced by fat on average by about one percent every year." Once a woman reaches menopause, that natural decrease in density jumps to eight percent on average; however, some women still have dense breasts into their 60s and beyond.
Breast density is quite common. "It’s been estimated that approximately 50 percent of women have heterogeneously dense and/or extremely dense breast tissue," says Dr. Christine Wilson, medical director of the screening mammography program at the BC Cancer Agency. Risk factors that influence density include genetics (Dr. Boyd says that 60 percent of breast density variation can be ex plained by genes), delayed childbearing, combined estrogen/progesterone hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and a family history of breast cancer.
Dense breasts cannot be diagnosed by touch, appearance or symptoms of dis comfort. "Some women have really firm breasts that suggest that they may be dense, but we don’t know for sure until their breasts are viewed with mammography," says Dr. Ruth Heisey, chief of the department of family and community medicine at Women’s College Hospital and a GP oncologist specializing in breast diseases at Toronto’s Princess Margaret Hospital. A clinician who spots what appears to be excessive density during screening mammography may call you back for further examination if it is also accompanied by symptoms such as a lump or pain. "We don’t want to miss something that we can’t see on the mammogram," says Dr. Wilson. Each province and territory operates under different protocols. Most centres may follow up with a breast ultrasound, while some will turn to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to rule out hidden cancers. If they’re following current mammography guidelines in Canada, many women won’t know that they have this problem until they go for their first mammogram at age 50.
Surprising health risks
If healthy breasts can be bumpy and hard, why does excessive density matter? There are several reasons. "Women with density of 75 percent or more of the breast have a risk of breast cancer that is four or five times higher than that of women of the same age who have little or no density," says Dr. Boyd. "And breast density is a much stronger risk factor than family history of breast cancer, which is twice that of women without a family history." The only factor that’s a larger risk for breast cancer is if you carry the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene.
Not only does density increase your risk, but it makes tumours more difficult to spot. Mammography X-rays can easily pass through fat, but have difficulty penetrating dense epithelium tissue. To the trained clinician examining the mammogram, dense tissue and tumours both appear white on the X-ray, making it tricky to differentiate between healthy and cancerous breast tissue.
There are currently two proven strategies to reduce density. "If somebody is taking combined HRT featuring both estrogen and progesterone, density will lessen slightly if she stops it," says Dr. Boyd. "The other strategy is the drug tamoxifen, which can reduce density, but it can increase the risk of blood clots going to the lungs, so it’s not something that everyone wants to take." Not all women with dense breasts can take advantage of these two strategies, so research is ongoing to uncover alternative solutions.
Dr. Caroline Diorio, an assistant professor in the department of social and preventative medicine at Université Laval in Quebec, is currently researching ways that lifestyle changes can alter breast density. Her latest study, published in June and funded by grants from the Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance, found an association between high-sugar diets and increased breast density in pre- and postmenopausal women. "I cannot say that [sugar] is causing an increase in breast density, but women who eat more sweet foods seem to have a higher density than women who eat less," she says. "I believe if we change our habits, we can reduce our density, but we need more studies to prove it."
Dr. Diorio also published a study in January on the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids. "My study suggests that post- menopausal women who consumed higher intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, found mostly in fish, had less dense breasts." Her 2005 study also showed an association between an increased intake of vitamin D and calcium, and lower density readings in premenopausal women. While these findings are encouraging, more research is needed to confirm results and provide guidance on how to adopt these lifestyle changes.
Making proactive changes could reduce your risk of breast cancer "Maintaining a healthy weight, drinking no more than one alcoholic drink per day on average, taking 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily, and exercising regularly have been shown to be effective in reducing breast cancer risk," says Dr. Heisey.
While the chances of cancer are greater for women with dense breasts, it doesn’t guarantee you will develop the disease. "I view it like knowing that you have relatives with breast cancer," says Dr. Boyd. "There’s nothing you can do to change your relatives, but what does that knowledge do? It may increase your awareness, so if anything changes in the breast, you’re more likely to have it investigated, by medical experts at and it may encourage you to take steps to reduce your risk."
Best dressed at the Oscars Image by: Getty Images
On Hollywood's biggest night (aka the Oscars) the stars always look incredible. Here are our favourite looks and trends from the 2017 Academy Awards.
Our favourite red carpet dresses from the 2017 Oscars ranged from red hot (Ruth Negga) to classic (Taraji P. Henson) to super romantic (Hailee Steinfeld). See our favourite looks from the Academy Awards below.
Ruth Negga in custom Valentino
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Negga, who is nominated for her role in Loving, paired a demure dress silhouette with a fiery colour. We love the lace detailing on her custom Valentino gown—which she paired with Irene Neuwirth jewellery (including that incredible crown. That blue ribbon she accessorized her dress with? It’s to show her solidarity with the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union).
Hailee Steinfeld in Ralph & Russo
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This dress is the most romantic. With pastel colours, metallic florals, a delicate scalloped neckline and soft flowy fabric, Hailee Steinfeld is the picture of feminine romance. Good thing she paired this stunning dress with a smoky eye to keep things young and modern.
Olivia Culpo in Marchesa
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Culpo not only wore a stunning custom gown from Marchesa, the gown was made in collaboration with Stella Artois to benefit Water.org. We especially love the fringe detailing and that delicate black bow at the waist.
Octavia Spencer in Marchesa
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Spencer looked stunning in this silver, feathery dress by Marchesa. The feathers look artful—not gimmicky—and the colour is gorgeous. Take notes people, because this is how you embrace texture on the red carpet.
Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton
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We love this plunging neckline on Michelle Williams—and the fact that she swapped her usual column gown for this softer silhouette. The two tone blocking isn’t something we usually see on the red carpet, but to combo of classic black and soft golden shimmer are subtly elegant.
Viola Davis in Armani Prive
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We’re suckers for a stunning red dress—so Viola Davis’ off-the-shoulder number is one of our faves. The neckline is super flattering to her toned arms and she wisely chooses to let that colour own the look by keeping hair, makeup and accessories simple. Bravo.
Busy Phillips in Stella McCartney
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More velvet on the red carpet! This strapless hunter green dress is so flattering on Busy Phillips. The polka dot panelling and rounded neckline make this simple silhouette much more interesting.
Emma Stone in Givenchy
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Stone goes for the gold (a trending colour) at the 2017 Oscars. This delicate and detailed (That fringe! The beading!) column gown isn’t as risqué as past red carpet choices for the actress—but of course she stuns in just about anything. Is anyone else getting old Hollywood vibes? Applause all around for this outstanding look.
Nicole Kidman in Armani Prive
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Not many women can pull off a dress the same colour as their skin tone, but Nicole Kidman is a red carpet pro—so she does it effortlessly. The delicate beading and 90s-era neckline have us swooning over this Armani Prive gown.
Taraji P. Henson in Alberto Ferretti
Image by: Getty Images
Sometimes sinple is best. Henson wore a simple navy velvet dress (yes, we know it looks black) with a high slit and off-the-shoulder neckline. She complemented her almost-LBD with a stunning diamond necklace. Simple, elegant and drop dead gorgeous.
Charlize Theron in Dior Couture
Image by: Getty Images
Metallic and gold were clear winners on the red carpet tonight, so it makes sense that the always-stunning Theron would embrace the trend. We love the deep neckline and pleating of this stunning dress.
Headaches are one of the most common health complaints for Canadian women. Here's the rundown on five types of headaches: what causes them, how to proven them and how to feel better faster.
Headache type: Tension
If you've ever experienced a headache—and who hasn't?—this is probably one you've had. "It's your regular garden-variety headache, with aching around your whole head and more steady pressure than migraines," says Dr. Michael Zitney, the director of the Headache & Pain Relief Centre in Toronto. You're not likely to have any nausea, and there won't be sensory sensitivity. "You can usually still watch TV or work at your computer, for example, through a tension headache," he explains.
Why they happen: Doctors used to think tension headaches were caused by too-tight muscles in the neck, shoulders, face and head, but experts now believe they might be due to inflammation of the lining and main nerve areas in the brain. "Some of the triggers can be similar to migraine triggers," says Dr. Farnaz Amoozegar, a neurologist in Calgary. These include stress, sleep and dietary factors.
Treatment options: Most tension headaches will go away on their own, but taking ibuprofen, acetaminophen or acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin) can help. There are also preventive medications that can help reduce the frequency or severity of chronic tension headaches, ones that occur more than 15 days a month; your doctor might recommend a muscle relaxant or an antidepressant (amitriptyline and nortriptyline are a couple of the common forms), though the latter needs to be gradually increased and can take a few weeks to start working.
Headache type: Migraine
These headaches, which typically last four to 72 hours, are one of the most common in women—about one-quarter of us suffer from them, compared to about eight percent of men. The diagnostic criteria are very specific, says Dr. Sian Spacey, a neurologist, physician and director of The University of British Columbia's Headache Clinic in Vancouver. Patients must have two of the following characteristics: throbbing, moderate to severe pain, unilateral pain (on one side of your head) and pain that worsens with activity. They must also experience nausea and vomiting, or sensitivity to light and sound.
Why they happen: Frustratingly, it can be hard to pinpoint the cause, but it seems to be a mix of genetics and environmental factors. If you have a family history of migraines, you might be more prone to them. And there are common triggers, says Dr. Zitney. These include substances found in foods (MSG, nitrates and other preservatives, aspartame, alcohol and ca eine), lifestyle factors (skipping meals, dehydration and getting too much or too little sleep), weather changes, stress and fluctuating hormone levels thanks to our menstrual cycles.
Treatment options: Dr. Zitney recom-mends three stages of treatment. "The simplest and easiest thing to use is an anti-inflammatory," he says, adding that over-the-counter ibuprofen is a good option, as are prescription medications such as naproxen. If those don't o er relief, the second stage is triptans, migraine-specific medications that target pain at its source. "Migraine pain develops from a circuit of neuronal pathways and molecules in the brain,"says Dr. Amoozegar. "Once these path- ways were discovered, scientists began working on medications that specifically target them." There are seven triptans approved for use in Canada. They're available by prescription and come in oral, injectable and nasal-spray forms— but they're not an option if you have heart problems, as they can increase your risk of a serious cardiac event. You can also use a triptan and an anti-inflammatory in combination, as they approach pain in different ways. The last stage is a stronger painkiller, used sparingly—and only if you aren't at risk for addiction.
It's also worth asking your doctor about preventive meds, like antiseizure medication, beta-blockers and even Botox (which works by inhibiting the release of pain-related molecules). And if your menstrual cycle triggers migraines, you can also look into hormonal manipulation. "If it's safe for you to use the birth control pill or the hormonal IUD, you can fool your body into not having periods, which stops menstrual-related migraines," says Dr. Zitney.
Headache type: Medication-overuse
Formerly known as rebound headaches, these tend to occur in patients who have a high frequency of headaches and take a lot of painkillers, says Dr. Amoozegar. Folks who get migraines tend to be more prone to this type of headache, especially those who take medication for their migraines more often than they should.
Why they happen: It's the headache we cause ourselves due to regular, long-term use of painkillers, says Dr. Zitney. "If you take medications too often, they can turn around and bite you," he adds. "The head- aches start to come more often. Then, when the medication wears off, you have to take more, which brings on another headache. It's a pattern that's very hard to get out of once you're in it." As a general rule, it's OK to use medication (either over-the-counter or prescription) to treat headaches about 10 out of every 30 days. But if you find your-self using drugs more than 15 days out of the month for three consecutive months, see your doctor.
Treatment options: Education is key. "People need to know that their meds are the culprit," says Dr. Amoozegar. "Depending on what they're using, they need to gradually stop taking painkillers and start taking preventive medication." Beta-blockers and antiseizure medication aren't painkillers, but they can help reduce the frequency of migraines.
Headache type: Cluster
This is a rare, distinct type of headache. Cluster headaches are often seasonal or occur during the same time every year (or every couple of years). "These are shorter headaches that last from 15 minutes to three hours. They're unilateral and accompanied by symptoms like tearing, a droopy eyelid, a change in pupil size and nasal congestion on the side of the face where the pain is," says Dr. Spacey. This is the most severe type of headache you can get, and it's been dubbed the "suicide headache" because of the sufferers who have either committed suicide or thought about it during a cluster attack. Though they're more common in men than women, a 2012 study in the Journal of Neurological Sciences found that when women do get cluster headaches, they tend to have more daytime attacks and worse pain during nighttime attacks.
Why they happen: Causes haven't been pinpointed, but there's evidence that suggests abnormalities in the hypothalamus (the part of the brain that regulates sleep- wake cycles) could be part of the problem. Cluster headaches usually occur in the spring or fall, and triggers vary widely. Alcohol can worsen an attack.
Treatment options: Over-the-counter drugs won't make a dent in treating a cluster headache, nor will triptans (the attack is usually over before they kick in). For the drugs that do offer relief, opt for injections or nasal sprays, which are often faster acting. Giving the sufferer oxygen via a mask can also help some patients.
Headache type: Sinuses
You know those throbbing headaches where you also have a fever, a runny nose, congestion, an icky green discharge and pain in your face? That sounds like a sinus headache, says Dr. Amoozegar. But, she adds, they're often misdiagnosed. Many headaches that occur in the face are actually migraines; it can only be a sinus headache if you also have a sinus infection or another serious sinus issue.
Why they happen: Blame inflammation of the sinuses (a.k.a. sinus- itis), which is caused by anything that stops them from draining properly, such as a cold or flu, allergies or respiratory infections.
Treatment options: The first step is a visit to the doctor's office to confirm you have a sinus infection. If you do, you'll likely get a prescription for antibiotics. Ibuprofen, acetaminophen or acetylsalicylic acid can help ease the pain while you're waiting for the meds to kick in.