So I found a nice two birds, one stone solution for my slipping straps and projection problems. When I tighten the straps to where they slip less (although they all slip to some extent), either they dig in and hurt or they squash my boobs and that hurts. This is all compounded by the straps all being so wide-set for my frame, since balcony styles are the only ones that don't majorly quad and at this size, they're all so wide. So I've just been leaving them as loose as I dare. But I found some racerback clips and bra strap holders, and so far I haven't had to pull my straps back up once (I was doing it literally every five minutes or every time I moved before).
They're pretty low-profile. I don't notice the holders at all. They're pretty easy to get on. They attach to the straps on either side and then there's a little clip that opens in the middle. It's a bit fiddly, but once you get used to opening it, it's okay. I'm able to reach up behind my neck to clip it, but for someone with limited mobility, it would be possible to clip it before you put on your bra and slip it over your head (I tried this as well). The only thing is that you have to have it in the right spot before you put it on, since it's very, very hard to move it once you're wearing the bra. It held everything nicely in place without too much tension, and I had it tightened as much as I could. Normally when I tighten the straps, it pulls flat over my boobs, so my boobs are squashed and quadding, and then because the shape is wrong, the sides will feel loose. If I don't tighten them very much at all, the sides will feel even more loose. With the holders, my boobs didn't hurt, and the sides of the cups fit perfectly even though they're a tiny bit wide for me.
The clips are noticeable, but they're not uncomfortable as long as they're in the right spot. They're much trickier to get on, though. I wasn't able to put the clip on and then slip the bra over my head; it brings in the straps way too much no matter how high/low I positioned it, and I had loosened the straps as far as they would go before I tried this. It's doable to put the clip on one strap, put on the bra, and then reach behind you to get the other in, but it's uncomfortable, makes the clip a little bulky as the straps may not sit right, and won't be possible for everyone. I also tried it by putting on the bra, attaching the clip to one strap in the front, and sliding it back to clip at the top. This was still a little tricky, but much easier. However, once the clip is on, I really had trouble sliding it down where I wanted it to be, and when it's up higher, it can put a little more pressure on my shoulder/neck, so I'd like it a little lower.
Either way, I'm more comfortable, my straps aren't a nuisance, and, although this was not the goal, my bras do feel like they fit better. The gore seems to be tacking better and staying in place, instead of tilting out. I think I have an omega shape going on, so I often get a little gap where the straps meet the cup, and that seems less noticeable now. It feels like my breasts are more able to keep the shape they want to be, instead of getting squashed down or to the side like they do when I can't get enough depth (you know, where a crease forms because they're pushed to the side so far that they're essentially trying to fold). I know the band is supposed to give most of the support, but at a UK 32K, I find that my bands have to be incredibly tight to give me the support that I need, to the point where my ribs hurt a little when I take it off, and the bands just loosen over the day anyway. This seems to be helping the band do its job without offloading that weight onto my shoulders.
So I'd recommend either the holders or the clips to people with strap slipping/wide-set straps and/or issues finding enough projection in large cup sizes. Obviously they won't work for everyone (and I'd be careful if you have serious neck/shoulder issues or are prone to related tension headaches), but I'm actually able to ignore my bra now instead of adjusting it constantly. I'd also caution that if you have low-set breasts and really need the strap length, the clips probably won't be comfortable, as they really do eat up a huge amount of the strap length. The holders would be better for that.
(Side note: I did have to adjust my bra once, and when I reached down to do it by tugging the gore a little, I felt air, so I looked down and realized that my hand was a good inch and a half away from the gore, which was sitting just about flush with my sternum. The muscle memory had me reaching for where the center of a bra normally sits on me, which, I now realize, was incredibly far away!)
Filed under Bras ups and downs