Your Voices: AJ, size 28C/30B

AJ: So...physically, I'm very skinny and small-chested, currently sized out on the low end not only of most bras but also most clothes. I used to be a competitive athlete, with a very different body shape as a result, so I've had a variety of fit challenges through the years, and I have plenty of Feelings about that (the strongest of which is, to misquote Shakespeare, the fault lies not with us, but with our clothes).

The fit problems, along with my style preferences, have led me to sew most of my own clothes, including underwear. Because bra fitting and design is so challenging, I got pretty interested in it and started reading up--thus how I found Bras Outside the Box, Reddit's A Bra That Fits, and other resources.

I'm also a bit gender-weird. I wear a variety of top-half-underwear including both compression tops/binders and "regular" bras. I don't wear anything padded, which limits my choices a lot, especially in my size range.

Manufacturers seem to assume every person with a smaller chest wants mega-padding; maybe they're right, I don't know, but I seem to see a lot of women online who bemoan the fact that there aren't a lot of real-bra (as opposed to bralette) options for small-chested women who don't want to be heavily padded, especially at <$100. This is especially true in the small-band/small-bust combo, I think, unless you're both able to fit girls' sizes, with their close-set cups and straps and shallow profiles, and willing to wear girls' styles, which a lot of grown-ups aren't.