The Best Bras For Small-Chested Women

A plunging 'v' bra you can confidently wear.It's a misconception among women that bra shopping is easy peasy when you have a small chest. But, sadly you cannot wear "literally anything" because your cup measurement is AA. In truth, members of the IBTC have a host of lingerie gripes — slipping straps, rising back bands, that awkward space between one's bra cup and her actual breast. It can be a whole lot of ugh all around.
Seeing this as a challenge rather than a throw-in-the-towel-and-go-commando sort of situation, we spoke with the bra-fit experts from Aerie, Cosabella, and The Little Bra Company for the scoop on what styles are best suited to small boobs. "Just like full-figured or larger-chested women deserve a better-fitting bra, so do smaller-breasted women," Emily Lau, founder and owner of The Little Bra Company, tells us. We couldn't agree more.
To that end, we highly recommend a professional bra fitting if you've never had one or it's been a while; you might be surprised by your results. Once you've crossed the fit hurdle, it's time to shop. Ahead, we're sharing 20 gorgeous, functional bras that cater specifically to the small-boobed set. You've never felt this supported.
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Lightly Lined Bras
A lot of people — hi, nosy sales clerks — falsely assume small-chested women don't need to wear a bra. “I've had many customers tell me that they’ve had terrible experiences when shopping for a bra, because a salesperson told them their size didn't exist, directed them to the teens section, or told them that they didn't need to wear a bra at all,” Lau tells us. “Another misconception about bras is that small-chested women don't need any support. On the contrary, bras for petite cup sizes need to have support in the right places in order for them to stay in place and create natural-looking curves.”

To that end, Aerie fit and style expert Jenny Altman recommends “lightly padded bras for a little extra oomph with a very natural amount of padding.” Cosabella designer Kristin Ulrich echoes Altman, adding that this style “provides definition and shape” where there might not be a ton to start.

“Light padding all over the cup is referred to as ‘lightly lined’ and does not add any volume, but creates a more even, natural shape while also providing ample nipple coverage,” Altman explains. “If you want volume, go for padded bras that have the padding at the bottom of the cup. The amount of padding in the bottom of the cup is what makes you look feminine versus whoa!”
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Bralettes are a popular fashion item right now, but in truth, they’re made for smaller cup sizes. It’s good news for you! While they don’t offer much in the way of support, depending on the brand, some can actually give you a great shape. They have a bit more definition to them than a bandeau, and they have greater sex appeal than a sports bra.

“Pretty bralettes are perfect for women who embrace their small chests,” Ulrich says. “They provide coverage with minimal support, and the added benefit of no discomfort from underwire.” Altman reiterates Ulrich’s sentiment, adding, “Padded bras are genius if you want to look more curvaceous, but the amount of padding one wears is very personal. The completely natural shape offered by a bralette is just as feminine and beautiful as a push-up.” Well said, ladies.
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Araks Beatrice Bralette, $100, available at The Dreslyn.
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Daydream Nation Cheesecake Gin + Tonic Bra, $44, available at Daydream Nation.
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Out From Under Over The Rainbow Bralette, $39 $19.99, available at Urban Outfitters.
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Racerback & T-Strap Bras
It could be that your straps are always slipping because they’re too loose. If that’s the case, Ulrich advises tightening the straps to prevent them from falling onto your shoulders. That said, she explains, “Over time, straps stretch along with the rest of the bra, and it could be time to replace it altogether.”

If simply adjusting your straps doesn’t prove a quick solve, it might be time to consider different bra styles that’ll complement and work with your petite chest and delicate shoulders. A small-chested woman herself, Altman champions racerback and T-strap bras: “If you’re constantly reaching into your shirt to pull your straps back onto your shoulders, you MUST switch over to a racerback or T-strap. They are just so practical! Life changing for some people.” The positioning of the straps makes it impossible for them to slip — it’s pretty much a no-brainer solution to the nagging issue.

You can even shopping this handy bra-converter clip to turn your existing styles into racerbacks. Now, how convenient is that?
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You’d think going strapless would be easier when there’s less breast to support. This isn't always the case. While in theory this bra style is very useful for the summer, that's only if you can get them to stay up. That requires you to be discerning in the dressing room or when reading online product descriptions: “When shopping for a bandeau, make sure to look for details like silicone on the inside band instead of just elastic to ensure there is no slippage,” encourages Ulrich. “Side boning will also give your chest a little support and shape.”
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Cosabella Never Say Never Padded Flirtie Bandeau Bra, $69, available at Cosabella.
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Maison Close Music Hall Bandeau Bra, $105, available at Maison Close.
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Only Hearts So Fine with Lace Bandeau, $48 $24, available at Journelle.
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