Renee is one of a handful of lovely small-busted women I connected with through my previous blog, 32AA Bra. She wrote several reviews of petite lingerie for me, and was always happy to take the time to help get the word out about available options for readers having trouble finding sophisticated, attractive bras and lingerie in small sizes. Thanks for sharing your story, Renee!
Bras Outside the Box: What's it like for you, knowing that most department stores and chain lingerie shops don't carry bras in your size for adult women?
Renee: It is frustrating. When it comes time for me to get new bras, I have learned to no longer waste my time perusing stores like Victoria’s Secret, Aerie, or the intimates section of any department store. The cups in a bra might fit me, but the band is always too large. My bra size is 28/30A, and the smallest bra size most stores carry is 32A.
BOTB: When you find a bra that fits well, how does it affect the way you feel about yourself?
R: I feel much more comfortable, and therefore more confident. Prior to my “bras-for-petite-women-actually-exist” epiphany, it was always a source of anxiety for me that I would bend over and unintentionally bare myself to the whole world since the bras I was wearing were never cut to fit my small frame -- the cups weren’t actually supporting my breasts, but were more or less just sitting there. In order for a bra to properly fit a petite frame, the proportions of the bra must be cut on a smaller scale, i.e. smaller band, smaller cups, and smaller distance between the bra cups.
BOTB: Describe your best and worst bra shopping experiences (or, one time you had success and one time you didn't -- in real life or online).
R: Well, I can classify all of my bra shopping experiences in stores as negative since I have never found a bra that properly fit me and which I like in a store (pre-teen/teeny bopper bras aren’t really my thing). I have had both good and bad experiences trying on bras which I ordered online.
I have been happy to see that within the last few years retailers like Victoria’s Secret and Aerie have been expanding their lines to carry some size 30A bras (the rub is that you can only purchase these bras online). However, I was extremely disappointed with the Victoria’s Secret PINK Wear Everywhere Push-Up Bra in size 30A because it fit me well and is reasonably priced, but was extremely uncomfortable as I could feel the underwire digging into my ribcage. The Aerie bras in size 30A which fit me well have less padding than I prefer, and their more padded styles in size 30A are too big on me, so those bras have been another no-go for me. To their credit, though, Aerie at least has most of their 30A bras available to try on in stores if you ask a sales associate.
The Little Bra Company has been an absolute godsend for me. I remember the first time I tried on TLBC’s Angela t-shirt bra -- for the first time in my life, I found a bra that actually fit and supported me enough to give me cleavage! I have since tried other styles from this line and have developed some preferences regarding what sort of back I like on a bra, amount of padding, and whether or not the straps are adjustable. It is amazing to even have the opportunity to have “options,” because before finding this brand I felt that I had no hope of ever finding one properly fitting bra in one style, never mind having multiple styles to choose from!
BOTB: Are there bras you can recommend to other women with a similar figure to yours?
R: The Little Bra Company bras are the best in my opinion. I resent that they are more expensive than the majority of bras from other retailers; however, I was thrilled to recently discover that TLBC recently started selling bras through Target. The line is called Ariette Petite Lingerie, and the prices are much more similar to what you would find at Victoria’s Secret or Aerie.
Aerie bras are good quality and they offer a plethora of styles, so I do think their bras are worth checking out. Personally, I would most likely be purchasing most of my bras from Aerie if they started carrying size 28 band. I hit the jackpot with Aerie when it comes to sports bras—I love their sports bras in size XXS!
I have also been exploring strapless bra options since I will be a bridesmaid in my cousin’s wedding this March. I own a strapless bra from TLBC (the style is called Sascha), and I am going to try the NuBra adhesive bra cups. I have read good reviews of the NuBra (specifically the Super Padded NuBra) on petite fashion websites.
BOTB: What would you say to another woman with your bra size who feels insecure about her body because she doesn't fit the typical definition of "sexy?"
R: My worth is not found in lies sold by retailers like Victoria’s Secret who some years ago claimed in a campaign that they have a bra for “every body" -- clearly they don’t, because at that point they did not carry one bra in a band size smaller than 32!
If you are having difficulty finding bras that fit, keep searching. Perseverance is attractive, and you may be surprised at what you find. You are reading this for a reason! And you are beautiful.
Image: Diane petite bra by The Little Bra Company.