A lot of attention has been focused on the fuller bust lingerie market in recent years as brands and retailers have caught up with the growing size of the UK’s breasts.
But at the other end of the spectrum, women with small busts can have just as much, if not more, trouble finding something that fits and flatters them as their bustier counterparts used to. And they are not always looking for a cleavage boost, which is a common misconception about the less well endowed.
Many retailers don’t stock very small cup sizes, and when they do it is often not in combination with very small or large back sizes, or the bras are aimed at teens. And there is definitely less choice for smaller busted ladies online as well, although this is often the best place for those harder-to-find sizes.
Luckily, there are some specialist retailers we highly recommend checking out. Little Women is an online retailer based in the UK that is dedicated to AAA-B cup lingerie from 28-40 backs and has some very pretty bras in all kinds of styles. Dainty Lady is another, offering bras from AAA-B up to a 42 back.
Figleaves also has a reasonable selection with an easy-to-use search by size function and is well worth a look, while brands such as Wacoal offer a petite range, which has some very good everyday styles. Try Meg at Midnight for gorgeous designer lingerie for smaller busts.
Edit 03.06.14 – new specialist small bust lingerie retailer Avariella.co.uk has teamed up with Emma Harris Lingerie to develop a line of AA-B cup bras that come with a ‘No Gaping Guarantee’.
Edit 12.06.14 – for beautiful handmade lingerie designed specifically to fit and flatter small busts, take a look at Arabel Lingerie, a luxury British brand designed and made by Sarah Lister.
There are also a number of US brands, including the Little Bra Company (see website for stockists) and Lula Lu, which specialise in lingerie for smaller sizes. Both are worth checking out if you’re struggling to find lingerie that works for you.
We’ve also done a little research and found some lovely smaller bust bras for you in a range of styles that all offer something a bit special. Here’s our pick of the best that’s out there right now.
Bralets are such cute little garments and they are really only suitable for smaller sizes as they offer minimal support and the non-cup sizing makes them a flexible fit. More crop top than bra in appearance, bralets are often lacy and very comfortable and easy to wear,
Left: Lacy bralets in bright colours are classic Hanky Panky and this stretch lace neon blue bralet is typical of the brand’s fun, relaxed style. Buy in sizes XS-M for £43 from Net-a-Porter.com.
Centre: B.tempt’d’s Lace Kiss bralet in lipstick red has a seductive edge. Buy in sizes S-L for £15 from Figleaves.com.
Right: Butterfly Blue from Figleaves also has nice bralet – we like the new season peach and black colour combo – with a deep V front that is great for plunging necklines. Available in XS-L for £18 from Figleaves.com.
Triangle bras have triangle cups and are similar to bralets in the fact that they are usually non-wired and unlined but they offer a little less coverage and a little more support and have more of a bra shape. Again, great for small sizes and they can be both girly and sexy.
Left: The Harlow triangle bra from Hackney-based brand Iris London is very sweet, available in sizes S-L (A-C cups) for £35 from Irislondon.com.
Centre: Implicite’s Fusion soft cup triangle bra comes in a girly powder pink mesh. Buy for £36 from Figleaves.com.
Right: We love the cute stripes and lace trim on this Maritime striped triangle bra from Eberjey. It comes in sizes S-L and costs £42 from Net-a-Porter.com.
The sexy soft cup
Some people assume that soft cup bras are only about comfort, or just for teens and pregnant women, but neither is true. A lot of women prefer non-wired styles and they can be super sexy too – think barely-there triangle bras, skimpy lace and delicate straps, all perfect for small busts which don’t require as much support.
Left: This Kiki de Montparnasse Ondule soft cup bra with its delicate lace is perfect if you want a little bit of luxury. Available in sizes XS-L for £160 from Net-a-Porter.com.
Centre: The Entice Alexa soft cup bra from Figleaves boudoir will get the temperature rising in the bedroom. Team it with the matching suspender and brief with strapping detail. XS-L, £22 from Figleaves.com.
Right: Mimi Holliday offers so many sexy ranges and most include a flirty soft cup bra. We love this Bisou Bisou Flambe silk satin triangle bra in hot pink with black lace. XS-XL, £52 from Damaris.co.uk.
The push up bra
While women with small busts don’t necessarily want to wear padded bras on a daily basis, there are times when we all want a bit of a boost, which is where the trusty push up bra comes in. Surprisingly, it is actually quite hard to find push up bras in the smallest sizes – many start from a 30 or 32A – but there are a few good ones out there if you know where to look. A good place to start is MaxCleavage.com, the lingerie retailer that specialises in, well, cleavage bras, and has a good range of styles from brands such as After Eden in AA cup sizes.
Left: Chantelle’s new Merci range does not go down to the really small sizes – it starts at a 32A – but it is the confirmed favourite of the smaller busted member of the Fashion Bust team (32A), and therefore gets a mention. Buy for £49 from Figleaves.com.
Centre: This new metallic effect push up from M&S promises to give you a two-cup size boost and sizes start at a 32AA. Buy for £19.50 from marksandspencer.com.
Right: The Embrace Lace push up from Wacoal’s Petite range is a wonderfully wearable bra and very pretty. Sizes start at 30A and it costs £43 from Figleaves.com.