As someone who absolutely loves to shop, I proudly admit that I absolutely hate shopping for plus-size bras. While you can blind buy to your heart’s content, it’s always best to try those core staples in the dressing room to ensure that your fit is right. And if you’re like me, always low on time and patience, then you probably have as many ill-fitting bras in your drawer as I do.

Getting a professional fitting at your local department store—or at a plus-specific retailer like Lane Bryant or Torrid —truly takes care of half the job. More than likely, your fitter will have you try on a selection of sizes and styles to find your best match. And since you’re in the dressing room anyway, these are the core bras that you need for flattering support underneath any kind of of top or dress. Shop them below.

Plunge Bra

Image: courtesy of Lane Bryant

Dare to go low and wear this nude-colored bra underneath your sexiest V-neck dresses and tops.

Lane Bryant Smooth Boost Plunge Bra, $51, lanebryant.com.

T-Shirt Bra

Image: courtesy of Torrid

For sexy support and smoothing, I personally swear by this underwire bra. Torrid’s selections usually feature fun, bright prints and matching panties as a fun alternative to typical nudes.

Torrid Push-Up T-Shirt Bra – Lace Black With 360° Back Smoothing, $65, torrid.com.

Convertible Bra

Image: courtesy of Ashley Stewart

Who wouldn’t want a multifaceted undergarment like this one? This selection is ideal for all of your strappy and strapless vacation slay staples.

Ashley Stewart 6 Way Convertible Butterfly Bra, $55, ashleystewart.com.

Side Support Bra

Image: courtesy of Bare Necessities

Rocking a form-fitting minidress? Try this side-slimming piece for a smooth silhouette all around.

Bare Necessities Goddess Keira Satin Side Support Bra, $40-50, barenecessities.com.

Sports Bra

Image: courtesy of Fabletics

Yitty, Lizzo’s exciting new collection with Fabletics, features revolutionary shapewear powered by quality fabrics and crafted with bold colors and modern patterns. This bralette is cute enough to wear with a pair of relaxed jeans or boyfriend shorts.

Yitty Collection Major Label Smoothing Cross-Front Bralette, $50, fabletics.com.

Balconette Bra

Image: courtesy of Savage X Fenty

Not into a deep plunge? Balconettes are still great for low-cut silhouettes, but give you a bit more protection and coverage up top.

Savage X Fenty Savage Not Sorry Lightly Lined Lace Balconette Bra, $65, savagex.com.

Bralette

Image: courtesy of Love Vera

Love, Vera offers one of the best ranges of true flesh-toned intimates on the market —because, like all good things, the concept was nurtured and executed by a Black woman.

Love, Vera Logo Bralette, $32, lovevera.com.

Picture this: it’s T-minus 72 hours before your vacation. In your closet filled with plenty of things to wear, you have absolutely nothing to wear. You furiously stuff a random assortment of tops, dresses and leggings in your packing cubes and pray to the TSA gods that A) your bag is underweight and B) you can find a reliable store at your destination, just in case you need another ‘fit.

The above scenario reflects me before any trip, whether it be a quick weekend getaway or a week-long tropical vacation. I get anxious because at least 95 percent of my shopping is done online, and sometimes my packages don’t arrive in enough time before my trip. And if my luggage ever gets lost in a city or country that’s barren of plus-size retailers, I’m screwed.

Surprisingly, Amazon comes through with plenty of plus-size finds that are affordable, stylish, and most importantly, Prime-friendly. I admit, I used to sniff at the site’s curve and plus selections as they veered a bit matronly. But now, there are ample high-quality selections that are worth adding to cart—and can probably be shipped to whatever domestic location that you’re visiting, too. See some of our favorites ahead.

Image: Instagram/@essiegolden.

I spotted this gorgeous summer dress on Essie Golden, who says that it’s “lightweight, super comfy, and can easily be dressed up or down.” I’m looking forward to trying the blue option and teaming it with cute slide sandals or my new favorite Air Max 97s.

The Drop Women’s Anaya Square Neck Cut-Out Tiered Maxi Dress, $60, amazon.com.
Image: courtesy of Shein

I own this skirt in several colors. The draping and ruching hides everything I want, and accents everything I desire. Plus, it looks and feels way more expensive than its actual cost.

Shein Women’s Plus Asymmetrical Side Split High Waist Midi Ruched Satin Skirt, $33, amazon.com.
Image: courtesy of Amazon

When it comes to summer color, my philosophy is this: the brighter, the better.

Daci Women Plus Size Two Piece Bikini Swimsuit With High Waisted Bottom Tummy Control, $33, amazon.com.


Image: courtesy of Amazon

With a solid four-star rating and over 2,000 reviews, this Vegas-ready minidress is worth taking a gamble on.

IyMoo Women’s Sexy Plus Size Rhinestone Mesh See Through Bodycon Party Club Mini Dress, $46, amazon.com.
Image: courtesy of Amazon

My best friend, Boston-based writer Arielle Gray, swears by this puff-sleeved pick because of its generous elastic in the back.

TINSTREE Women’s Plus Size Square Neck Dress Long Puff Sleeve Flowy Swing A-Line Short Casual Mini Dress, $29.99 – $38.99, amazon.com.
Image: courtesy of Amazon

I love a little bit of frame-flattering ruching on a minidress. Save this one for your most special pair of heels.

IyMoo Women’s Sexy Plus Size Bodycon Drawstring Ruched Mini Club Dress, $38, amazon.com.
Image: courtesy of Amazon

If you have an apple or square-shaped frame, a pair of flared jeans or pants is perfect for creating the illusion of curves. These jeans have plenty of stretch, too, so they’ll be flattering on your bum.

HannahZone Womens Ripped Bell Bottom Plus Size Jeans Flared Jean Pants, $38, amazon.com.
Image: courtesy of Amazon

And if you’re like me —a person who wasn’t blessed with ample, err, assets— these jeans are perfect for providing a little boost.

Levi’s Women’s Wedgie Straight Jeans, $3$70.14, amazon.com.
Image: courtesy of Amazon

Going on a tropical vacay? This two-piece set can double as a cover-up or an actual outfit. Crochet is hot right now!

ECHOINE Women Two Piece Skirt Set, $35, amazon.com.
Image: courtesy of Amazon

Another easy way to mix-and-match. You can easily team this cover-up with a pair of cut-off shorts for an easy daytime look.

MakeMeChic Women’s Plus Size 3 Piece Swimsuit Printed Halter High Waisted Triangle Bikini Set with Cover Up, $34, amazon.com.

Fashion, to me, is one of the most essential art forms to ever exist. You tell a story with each piece that you put on, and in a way, your outfit is the best (and easiest) way to express yourself without saying a word. I fell in love with fashion by way of magazines—‚ glossy editorials featuring garments that I could only fantasize about touching one day. The real fun is taking inspiration from those looks—or whatever your source of inspiration is—and creating your own moment.

It’s so exciting to see emerging plus-size brands popping up on runways and newsfeeds these days, especially when the plus demographic often gets the industry’s scraps. The brands featured below offer pieces that are—dare I say it?—exciting. They invite those of us with bigger bodies to take up space stylishly—to play with colors, textures, lengths and dimensions, and to write our own sartorial stories with no boundaries. Keep scrolling for a jolt of inspo from some of the coolest plus brands out right now.

PARI PASSU

Image: courtesy of Pari Passu

Pari Passu is Latin for “equal in all respects,” which is the mission of this sleek, chic New York City-based brand. If you’re looking for wardrobe staples (think tailored slacks, gauzy vacation separates and fine fabrics), this is the line to look into. Plus, the fit can’t be beat: according to the brand, they spent almost a year perfecting their body forms based on 7,500 3D body scans.

Pari Passu Wide Leg Pajama Pants, $248, paripassu.com.
Pari Passu Pajama Shirt, $268, paripassu.com.

Wray NYC

Image: courtesy of Wray NYC

Fashion as art—in a very literal sense. Wray NYC was founded by Wray Serna, a graduate of California College of the Arts and Parsons School of Design, Paris. The artistic influence is evident with this line’s vibrant neon co-ords, acid floral-stamped loungewear separates and much more.

Wray NYC Rosemary Dress, $265, wraynyc.com.

GIA/Irl

Image: Gia/IRL

Minimal and meaningful, these solid dresses and cut-out co-ords have been on my shopping list for months. This set of linen separates can be worn in infinite ways, dressed up or dressed down.

Gia/IRL Gia Skirt, $98, giairl.com.
Gia/IRL Gia Top, $100, giairl.com.

Jibri

Image: courtesy of Jibri

Jibri’s not a new brand, but the house continues to reinvent itself every season with contemporary takes on evening wear, loungewear and resort-ready separates. I always browse this site for inspiration before a tropical vacation.

Jibri Angled Slouch Mini Dress, $250, jibri.com.

Christian Omeshun

Image: courtesy of Christian Omeshun

This brand received tons of well-deserved buzz after the Internet got ahold of actress Raven Goodwin’s beautiful Santorini, Greece wedding portraits. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a bride to experience the magic of this brand. Fill your cart with made-to-order maxi dresses and kaftans, crushed velvet separates and more.

Christian Omeshun Apreil Backless Maxi Dress, $350, christianomeshun.com.