Bra Tips for Small-Busted Women

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If you are looking for tips on how to make your molehills appear like double Mount Vesuvias, you won't find this article very helpful. I'm not going to talk about perfect bra-stuffing tricks or promote bras that make it look like your chest is cushioned with two fat pillows. True, "bigger is better" seems to be a mainstream belief when it comes to female busts. One male-oriented website, I shall not name, even goes so far as to classify A-cup breasts as "almost boobs." A few years ago, a good friend of mine actually went under the knife to change her cup size from A to C, and has been very happy with her new look. Beauty will always be a subjective matter. I'm not in the position to chastise men who favor women with heavier bosoms, or women who feel the urge to "measure up." Of course, they have their right to choose and I respect that. In my opinion, though, there is absolutely nothing wrong with small breasts. To me, A-cup Gwyneth Paltrow is not any less attractive than DD-cup Jennifer Love Hewitt. They're both fabulous, really. I wear 34A myself and never feel underprivileged in any way. There's no reason to resent Mother Nature for granting us plums instead of melons. This article, my modest-busted fellows, is about A-cup pride.

Finding the Right Bra


Cup Size Chart

Differences in Inches
U.S. Cup Size
Less than 1
DD or E
H or I

Bra Fitting Guide

First of all, whether your breasts are big or small, you will need to know your correct bra size in order to buy bras that fit perfectly. Jene Luciani shares this bra fitting method in her masterpiece, The Bra Book.

  • First, use a measuring tape to measure around your ribcage, right below your bust. If it turns out to be an odd number, round it up to an even number, because bra sizes are all even numbers. For a measurement of 32 or below, add 4 inches. For a measurement of 34 or above, add 2 inches. (Most small-breasted women will likely need to add 4.) This is your band size.
  • Then wrap the measuring tape around the fullest part of your chest. Subtract your band size from this number. Use the chart on the right to identify your cup size, using the difference in inches between your band size and full bust size. For example, if your bust size is 33, and your band size is 32, your cup size should be an A.

Bra Size Conversion Chart


***This chart only includes band sizes. Cup sizes are pretty much the same in most countries.***

Bra Problems and Solutions for Small-Busted Women

Unlike women with large assets, we usually don't have to worry about certain bra problems, such as too much cleavage, excessive flesh bulging around the bra's cups, or underwires that cut into the underside of the breasts. That doesn't mean small-chested women have it easier when it comes to bra shopping and wearing, though. There are several types of bra faux pas that can occur to the A-cup population. Here are the most typical problems.

Best Bras for Small-Busted Women

Bras for Small-Breasted Women (NOT Little Girls' Training Bras!)
Eve's Apples Lingerie
Itty Bitty Bra
Little Women
Lula Lu
The Little Bra Company

Adult Bras that Fit Perfectly are So Hard to Find

In the past few decades, the general population have gotten more overweight; D cups have become the norm; and K-cups are even available nowadays. So let's face it, small-busted women are now minorities. It's getting harder and harder to find adult bras for our petite size. The ones that fit snuggly tend to look like little girls' training bras, whereas the ones with more mature designs don't usually fit quite right. Some department-store sale assistants even suggest that women with not much on top should shop for bras in the junior section. That might sound like a practical solution, but those saleswomen probably have no idea how frustrating that is for 40-something women to buy bras with silly designs, not really meant for grown ups! If this sounds familiar to you, consider buying bras from specialized lingerie stores for small-breasted women. Above is a list of some of the best brands. These brands cater to even extremely tiny sizes like AAA. You'll find a variety of styles that reflect your age and fit perfectly on your body, as these bras are built with smaller between-the-cup spacers and more shallow cups, designed to contour to petite busts.

Sports Bra with Separate Cups by Lululemon Athletica

Encapsulation Sports Bra
Encapsulation Sports Bra

Your Sports Bra Turns Your Small Breasts into One Flat Board

Some call this appearance a "uniboob." The truth is most sports bras are compression bras, which are specifically designed to press breast tissue against the body and minimize the "bounce" during exercise. If you often play vigorous sports or engage in physical activity that involves a lot of movement, yet can't stand the uniboob look, try switching to an encapsulation bra instead. This style of sports bra comes with two separate cups, so while still compressing your breast tissue like a sports bra should, it at least doesn't turn your breasts into one unified mass or flatten them too much.

Your Strapless Bra Won't Stay Up

Don't you hate it when your strapless bra heads down south? This tends to happen to small-busted women more often than those with fuller bosoms. There are 3 solutions to this bra blunder. First, consider wearing a bra with a smaller band size. This might be quite uncomfortable but it will surely fix the slipping issue. Second option: apply clothing double-sided tape around the band of your bra; this might sound like a cheap trick but it can really strengthen your bra's adhesive power. And third, you might want to invest on a backless, strapless bra (aka adhesive bra) that's held up by medical-grade adhesive. These high-tech bras can also help you overcome other kinds of fashion challenges, including backless dresses, low-back tops or gowns with a sheer midriff area.

Demi-Cup Bra with No Padding
Demi-Cup Bra with No Padding | Source

You Have a Hard Time Finding a Perfect Cleavage Enhancer

Push-up bras are famous as cleavage enhancers, but most of them are not designed with small-busted women in mind. Some push-up bras with thickly padded cups can make your fullness look obviously artificial. Plus, most of them tend to unflatteringly stand away from the chest, leaving big gaps in the cups rather than contouring to your petite form. My best advice to you: stop looking for push-up bras! The best cleavage enhancers for small-breasted gals are actually simple demi-cup bras with no padding. Demis cover the lower three quarters of the chest and have tilted cups that push the breasts toward the center. In other words, they slightly squeeze the breasts in together instead of pushing them up with the help of pads. This way, there are no annoying gaps in the cups, and your breasts also look more natural.

Keira Knightley
Keira Knightley | Source

Good Things about Having Small Breasts

  • No breast-induced back pain.
  • No extreme sagging as you age.
  • No excessive bounciness during vigorous exercise, even without a sports bra.
  • No embarrassing under-boob sweat.
  • Much lower chances of a "breast popping out" accident.
  • You can comfortably lie on your belly.
  • If you like wearing low-cut tops, it's easier for you to get away from being stereotyped as a "skank" by some narrow-minded people. Heavy-bosomed gals are usually not that lucky.
  • Going braless is a practical option.
  • Men might be less distracted when you speak to them and actually listen to you!

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Comments 28 comments

yxhuang profile image

yxhuang 4 years ago from California

Seriously, I like this article. And I especially like the list of "Good Things about Having Small Breasts"!

GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

Your amazing! This is such a comprehensive study for everyone to read. You have it covered. It's a great, great piece - as well as being helpful and supportive (no pun intended). It's really important to get measured for the right bra size, agreed. Makes all the differernce to daily comfort. I don't have small breasts but I hate bras (always have done) and look for the alternatives. Marks and Spencers in the UK makes a great 'vest' which has a supportive elasticated breast liner inside the vest, so all you're wearing is a cute vest with thin straps, but you're supported. (Not sure if the word is 'vest' in USA??? It's what you wear under clothes.)

Hoping the large breast = fun sex image fades! Not sure women like it.

Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

haha...i like the list of good things about having small breasts.

informative hub and voted up, Om :)

randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Great advice! There are not enough resources on this topic.

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago Author

@yxhuang - Thanks! Really appreciate your comment. And so glad to hear from you!

@GoodLady - I just googled the support vest you mentioned, and yes, it seems like a great alternative for those who don't really like bras! Thanks a lot for your comment, Penelope. Always good to see you!

@Ruchira - Everything on the list is true, isn't it? hehehe

@randomcreative - Thanks a lot, Rose.

lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona

Be proud of what you have, I always say! I enjoyed this Hub, Om!

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago Author

@lindacee - Exactly! Thanks for your positive feedback, Linda :)

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago

Haha, this makes me laugh. Since I'm just as endowed as you're--in my cirlce of friends, we call them "pancakes" (they have only one dimension--flat), I've to give many thumbs up to the list of happy things about being small. I totally agree!! Great article and shared.

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago Author

@anglnwu - "Pancakes", huh? hehehe In Thailand, we call them "fried eggs!" Thanks for commenting and sharing, Angeline. So glad to hear from you :)

tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 4 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

"Bra tips for small busted women" Is that supposed to be a pun? Sorry but I'm afraid I'm not qualified to make any other comment on the subject. :-)

watergeek profile image

watergeek 4 years ago

A friend of mine suggested a sports bra when i complained once about my straps slipping all the time. I tried it out and it was one big flat ugly look, like you said. Luckily I had some old pads I'd been keeping. So I cut the bra lining inside the cup on each side, slipped the pads in, sewed them back up, then sewed down the center to make a cleavage. Now I can wear it.

My sister took her size A to a C also, and gave me her bras - which look good, but I still hate bras. I didn't even know women with big busts sweat under them!

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago Author

@tsadjatko - Hehehe You might not be qualified to make insightful comments on this particular subject but I'm glad you stopped by!

@watergreek - That was very resourceful of you. Glad you found a creative way to fix your bra problem, watergeek. And yeah, some heavy-bosomed women (not all) have the under-boob sweat issue.

krsharp05 profile image

krsharp05 3 years ago from 18th and Vine

Om, Well researched, beautifully presented and spiked with humor. Love it! I had reduction in 2003 and it was the BEST surgery I've ever had. Great idea on the fitting guide and excellent illustrations. -K

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 3 years ago Author

@krsharp - Hey, so good to see you, Kristi! I'm glad your surgery went well and you're happy with your decision. I can imagine how good it feels to take that extra weight off your chest!

krsharp05 profile image

krsharp05 3 years ago from 18th and Vine

Om, I pinned this article yesterday and one of my gymnasts found it, fell in love with it and re-pinned it! Gymnasts are usually so flat chested. They're always looking for ideas to make themselves look like they have cleavage. You've created a masterpiece here! -K

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 3 years ago Author

@krsharp - Oh, very cool! Thanks a lot for pinning this =D

Londonlady profile image

Londonlady 3 years ago

There definitely should be more articles written on this subject! I totally agree when you said that heavily padded bras just stand away from the breast and make it looks awkwardly artificial. Thanks for the awesome info. Voted wayy wayyyy up!

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 3 years ago Author

@Londonlady - Thanks a bunch for your positive feedback and votes! Really glad you found these bra tips helpful.

Vega Vallari profile image

Vega Vallari 3 years ago from Saint Petersburg, Florida

I like the final part you wrote! Larger breasts are not really looked at positively all around. When I was living in Berlin, my American friend and I had to go to what they call, "specialty stores," to get our bras because apparently our breast sizes were larger than the average for the women there. Typical retail didn't carry it. They were more expensive and most appeared as if made for older women at the specialty stores (unless you spent a lot). So, it was like we were plus sized and ostracized at 36D,38dd when it is quite common here! In Germany(& other EU countries), typically lean and small breasted is ideal. Everything's cultural. :)

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 3 years ago Author

@Vega Vallari - Hmmmm very interesting. Maybe I should move to Germany where my breasts would be considered "ideal"! LOL

Fiona17 profile image

Fiona17 2 years ago

yeah I think small breasts have a lot advantages. I'm not satisfied with my breast. If they could be a little smaller, I would be very happy

Phil Siddell profile image

Phil Siddell 2 years ago

Great article-My wife runs which specialises in small bust lingerie. Theres some great advice on the site too.


Cherylann Mollan profile image

Cherylann Mollan 2 years ago from India

I think small-busted women are lucky! I'm on the 'well-endowed' side and a) find it difficult to find a well-fitting bra b) have to deal with people staring at your chest and not your face and c) be very careful of the T-shirts or strappies i wear because they make everything so much more obvious! Could you write up some tips for people like me?

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 2 years ago Author

@Cherylann Mollan - Yes, I will at some point. Thanks a lot for stopping by and commenting.

orangedressgirl 2 years ago

Nice post om paramapoonya. :)

Will you give me a suggestion.

I've been using padded bras since many years. Now I regret it. I want to be natural. But I'm so afraid because I'm using extremely padded bras. And everyone will notice the change if I use normal bras. I thought to reduce the size gradually, but I'm unable to find suitable bras for that. Please suggest me what to do. I'm desperately trying to be natural. Btw i'm 25 years old.

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 2 years ago Author

@orangedressgirl - Hi. Sorry it took me more than a week to respond. Gradually reducing the size might be a good idea. Instead of trying to find padded bras that fit, maybe you should consider wearing thinner bra inserts with regular bras in the beginning. Switching to unpadded bras might sound a little daunting, but in fact, it's probably not going to be shockingly noticeable. (Even a heavily padded bra can add only 1 cup size at the most.) Going from C to B cup, or D to C, isn't going to make a huge difference. :)

StealTheirStyle profile image

StealTheirStyle 2 years ago

I found this really interesting, thanks for sharing. You always need a good selection of underwear to wear with certain items or it can completely ruin the look.

Rebecca King 2 years ago

Have you tried the Magic Cleavage adjustable bra? Great for us small chested women with a good level of control. One of the more useful products I've found here in the UK. A lot of good sites seem to be aimed at US patrons.

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