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Bra shopping is a major pain in general, but searching for a bra that offers both comfort and support for smaller busts can feel like a particularly daunting task. Options for smaller busts tend to be pretty limited and finding the right fit is no walk in the park, but the quest for the perfect bra doesn't have to leave your head spinning.
Dora Lau, founder and president of Dora L International, knows a thing or two about shopping for bras and she was nice enough to share some of her knowledge with the Shop TODAY team. With her tips (and our product picks!), you'll be on the road to finding your perfect match in no time.
How to shop for bras for small busts
It's hard to find a bra that's comfortable, supportive and flattering, but it's not impossible and it's well worth the effort. "Women owe it to themselves to find a bra that they love. You should think of a bra as an investment piece," Lau told us.
It's a common misconception that women with AA or A cups don't really need bras, but Lau said these unpopular undergarments can help women with any bust size. "Gravity is going to be a fact of life and a well-fitting bra can help prevent stretching and sagging," she said.
In order to get the best fit for a smaller bust, Lau offered the following advice:
- Comfort is key: "A bra must be comfortable and fit well when looking at the side profile. Put the bra on and then a T-shirt to make sure that the bra gives a natural look," she suggested.
- Don't be afraid of a little padding: "Bras with pads that are breathable, supportive and not too bulky are great," Lau said.
- Push-ups are your friends: "For women who have smaller breasts and wear a bra with padding, there's often a gap at the cleavage because the breast doesn't fill in the cups. A light push-up at the base of the pad helps fill in the gap," she said.
- Shop strategically for strapless bras: "When you need a strapless bra, look for a bra with a firm push-up at the base of the pad and with wires that are embedded in the pad for comfort," Lau advised.
The best bras for small busts, according to experts
When it comes to your bra collection, variety is key and it's smart to have several basic styles on hand that pair well with particular garments in your wardrobe. These are a few that Lau swears by.
- Demi cup or balconette: "Experiment with different style bras like a demi cup or a balconette bra because those styles are cut lower on the breast and provide lift," she said.
- Push-up bras: "These are popular and can enhance (breasts) by giving support within the cup," Lau explained.
Demi cup bras for small busts
This multitasker is a true triple threat and offers support, comfort and style, all for $15. The semi-demi cut works well with low necklines while the molded cups offer a touch of lining to help keep things looking nice and perky. We're also totally enamored with the beautiful mint color!
None of us actually enjoy wearing bras, so it helps if you have a little fun with it and rock a vibrant color or pattern. Take this leopard print demi bra, for instance. We're big fans of the lacy side panels and the memory foam cups that hug your curves, and love that we could rock it under a range of tops and dresses.
Craving a natural fit with just a touch of lift? Aerie's got you covered with its Happy Demi bra. The lace straps and band lend the style a sophisticated look and the ribbed fabric adds a touch of personality. It comes in five colors, but the beautiful baby blue is definitely at the top of our wish list.
Push-up bras for small busts
We could all use a little bit of lift sometimes, and push-up bras deserve a spot of honor in your lingerie drawer if you have a smaller bust. Lively's floral print push-up is definitely speaking to us with its sassy pattern and we also dig the fact that it's wire-free.
Over 5,000 Amazon shoppers have given this push-up bra a five-star rating, so you could say that we were a little bit intrigued when we first came across it. The sexy style comes in 17 colors (our fave is called Fierce Violet) and gives intense lift. It's definitely a va-va-voom piece that's perfect for smaller busts.
You'll look lovely in lace in this popular push-up bra that has 1,400+ five-star ratings. The supportive design features an underwrite and padded foam cups that add up to one cup size. In other words, it's absolutely perfect for date night!
Balconette bras for small busts
It's easy to get bored with the same old bras you wear on repeat every week, so we like to sneak a sassy balconette into the rotation every once in a while. This one from Wacoal comes in pretty light pink and posh black colors and features lovely lace and comfy mesh detailing at the sides.
This hybrid style merges two different bras — a balconette and a push-up — into one sleek style. The affordable find has convertible straps, making it a handy and versatile addition to your bra collection, and comes in five colors.
Every bra collection needs a basic balconette in a neutral hue and this one is made with small busts in mind. The sultry style has soft and stretchy lace cups that don't have extra padding, so it's perfect for those days when you just feel like a more natural look.
Bralettes for small busts
Bras that feel good and do good are always OK in our book, so we were pleased to hear that this one from Single Stitch is made of a soft and sustainable Tencel fabric. In case you needed another excuse to buy yourself a new bralette, a tree is donated to the One Tree Planted nonprofit organization for every purchase on the brand's website.
Bralettes should feel like a second skin, and this lightweight design from Knickey certainly does. The double-lined cups ensure that you get a smooth fit underneath clothing, and vertical bust seams help provide a touch of lift. Not bad for a bralette, right?
It was love at first sight when we first tested a comfy True & Co. bra earlier this year, and we also have nothing but appreciation for this other bralette style from the brand. It's insanely soft, for starters, and wireless so it basically feels like you're wearing nothing at all. Finding the perfect fit is easy, too, since it comes in XS-XL, so you don't have to worry about trying on multiple band and cup sizes.
T-shirt bras for small busts
T-shirt bras are ideal for smaller busts because they provide just enough coverage while still feeling like you're wearing nothing. We're obsessed with this fuchsia style from Kindly, a new brand that uses plant-based materials to make its undergarments. The bra's cups are made of sugarcane and the straps and wing elastics are also made of recycled materials, so you can feel good knowing you're sporting something that's totally sustainable.
Want to slip into something a bit cozier than your average undergarment? Maidenform's T-shirt bra is a worthy option that features foam cups, light padding and convertible straps. The style comes in multiple colors ranging from black to nude, but our favorite definitely has to be the stunning baby pink hue.
Pepper specializes in bras for small busts and the brand hit it out of the park with this soft and silky mesh masterpiece. The mesh isn't just for appearances, either; it serves to lift the bust up from the bottom while shallow cups sit close to the chest for the perfect fit.
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- Yes, comfortable bras exist — 14 sensible options to try
- 27 breathable underwear and bra options to have the most comfortable summer ever