As women with an ample bosom know only too well, their physique rules out all manner of summer wardrobe options – in particular strappy dresses.
The problem is that it has been virtually impossible to find underwear which offers enough support to enable them to look elegant in a shoulder-baring outfit.
Now a company promises to boost the fashion potential of Britain’s larger ladies – by offering the world’s biggest strapless bra.
Pretty in pink: The makers N Brown of the 42K bra, which has a similar style to this smaller strapless bra, describes the new design as a ‘triumph’
At a prodigious size 42K – the equivalent of a dress size 26 – the bra, described by its makers as a ‘triumph of textile engineering’, claims to accommodate the bosoms of some of Britain’s bustiest women.
It is made of polyester, nylon and elastane and has a toughened underwire to give maximum lift. The cups are fully lined and have strengthened seams to give additional bust support. The bra also has extra boning in the sides to enhance the bust shape and profile.
The world’s largest bra is being sold by N Brown, which owns online mail order brands Simply Be and Figleaves
Despite being jokingly dubbed a ‘hammock’, the bra, created by plus-size clothing retailer N Brown, is far from dowdy, with the firm crediting the garment for a recent rise in sales.
N Brown, which owns online mail order brands Simply Be and Figleaves, offers clothing for women sized 14 to 32 who have difficulty finding fashionable garments in regular shops.
Its chief executive Alan White said the strapless bra was one factor behind a 2 per cent increase in sales since February.
Since the 42K bra was launched around 12 months ago it has sold more than £100,000 of stock worldwide – accounting for a tenth of the company’s bra sales last year.
It has been so successful that the firm is planning on launching an L cup version next year.
Mr White said of the strapless bra: ‘It involves very clever engineering to support what are very large weights. A “K” is, indeed, a very big cup size.’
Costing £27, the bra, which comes in ivory and magenta, also has detachable straps which can be worn four ways.
It is a full three sizes smaller than the biggest strapped bra on the market, which comes in a size 48N, created by Rigby & Peller, the Queen’s underwear retailer.
Average women’s body shapes have changed in recent decades, with the most common bra size in the UK having increased from a 34B ten years ago, to a 36D.