Buying the perfect bra can be difficult. With so many styles and designs to choose from, making sure you have the right fit isn’t always easy. But for small chested women, the process can get even more complicated.
For too long, bra shopping has demoralized women with small breast. Some department-store saleswomen tell adults to head to the children’s department for training bras. Others are just dismissive. As a size 28A, Heidi Brockmyre, an acupuncturist in San Diego, told The New Yok Times she has been turned away from bra-fitting boutiques. “They were like, ‘No, we can’t help you,’ ” she told the NY Times. “I felt like I’m a freak of nature.”
We found some expert tips to help anyone with a small bust find the perfect bra.
Expert bra-buying insight
“Larger busted women always think their smaller busted counterparts have it so easy, but in actuality, smaller busted women have just as tough a time,” Jené Luciani, fashion stylist and bestselling author of The Bra Book told The Huffington Post. “While many larger women can’t find bras in their size, a smaller busted woman who’s a 30A has just as hard a time.”
“When you’re shopping for a bra, look for lines specifically made for smaller busts,” Luciani says. “For example, a balconette style bra or a plunging front-close, push-up can help create cleavage you never knew you had.”Sometimes, women who are small-busted may not even register on the typical ‘size charts’ of certain brands or stores, Luciani says. The best thing to do in this case is to go into the store and try on bras that are closest to your size, she explains.
Avoid the wrong bra fit
There are a few signs that the bra you have isn’t the right fit for you. Luciani shares some of the most noticeable.
- The band “rides up” in the back or squeezes your flesh in a way that causes pain or leaves marks. (It should be somewhat “level” all the way around your body.)
- The band should also be comfortable but snug — you should be able to fit one to two fingers underneath it. It should also fit nicely on the middle hook, allowing you to extend to an outside hook if you gain a little weight, and vice versa.
- The shoulder straps fall down or dig in. (They may simply need to be adjusted.)
- Your nipples pop out of the cups or your breast tissue billows out of them. (You may need either larger cups or a fuller-coverage bra.)
- The underwire should be flush against your rib cage underneath your breasts, not cutting into the underside of your breasts. If it is not touching your rib cage, it does not mean you need a larger band. Most likely, you need larger cups.
- The “center front” of the bra (or the fabric between your two breasts) should also lie flat against your body. If it doesn’t, you are likely wearing the wrong size band.
- The cups should not be baggy, gaping or wrinkly. (If so, they are likely too big.)
The right bra fit
- The underwire lies flat against your ribcage.
- The bridge (the piece of fabric between your breasts) also lies flat.
- Your breast tissue is perfectly settled into the cups (and cups have no bulging or gaping).