If you’re an A, B or C cup, there are a plethora of bra styles out there in your size. So
many styles, in fact, that it can be difficult to find the ones that look the best. After all, just because a
certain bra style is available in your size doesn't mean that it will be the most flattering option for you.
Everyone’s breasts are unique, which means that your shopping process should be unique to you as well. In the
guide below, we’ll walk you through six essential tips for choosing a bra and then explore the 11 best bras for
Tips for Choosing the Best Bras for Small Busts
Before exploring the best bras for small busts, it’s important to know the best principles for selecting the
ideal bra for yourself. Here’s what you need to know before you go bra shopping:
Figure out your correct bra size
No matter how small or large your breasts are, determining your bra size is key to finding
the best bra for you. Even if you choose the perfect bra style, it will still fit poorly if you choose the wrong
size. Bra size is made up of two components: the cup size and the band size. The band size is determined by
measuring the circumference of your rib cage, either directly above or below your breasts. You can also take
both measurements and average them together. Your band size is usually one to two steps above the measurement in
inches, depending on the brand, so someone who measures 32 inches around their ribs would likely wear either a
34 or 36 band size.
Cup size is determined by measuring the difference between your rib cage and the middle of
your chest. To take this second measurement, put on a plain t-shirt bra that doesn’t have a lot of padding and
measure around the widest part of your chest. To make sure you’re not pulling the tape too tight and squishing
your boobs, take a few deep breaths. Once you have your bust measurement, subtract the band measurement from it.
Your cup size is the difference between the two measurements, with each cup size letter corresponding to an
increase of one inch. A 35-inch bust measurement and a 32 band measurement means a three-inch difference (35 -
32 = 3), which translates to a C cup.
Each brand makes their bras a little differently, so you might be a slightly different size in one brand than you
are in another. It may take a little bit of trial and error to find your perfect bra size, which is why Leonisa
offers 100 percent free returns and exchanges for U.S. orders.
Consider the shape of your breasts
Not all breasts are shaped the same, and the tissue is distributed differently throughout
your chest. Examining your breasts and deciding what
shape they are can help you determine which bra style is best suited to your breasts. For instance, if
your breasts are fuller on the bottom than they are on the top, they will probably look great in a balconette bra, which has a lower cut cup shape with less
material on top. However, if your breasts are more full throughout, wearing a balconette bra might cause the
dreaded “quadra-boob” look. There are many bra styles that will make your breasts look fantastic. It’s just all
about picking the right one for YOU. If you’re overwhelmed by all the options listed, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with our
Personal Shoppers who will help you narrow down your options.
Decide how much padding you want
Many women with small breasts love to wear a bra with a little bit of padding to give their
chest a boost and help fill out their breast shape. If you do want to get a padded
bra, it’s important to decide how much padding you actually want and where you want it to be distributed
within the bra. Some bras have cups with a thicker lining throughout so they’ll provide more support and hold up
for longer without actually making your breasts appear much larger. On the other hand, push up bras add pretty significant padding to the bottom of the cup,
pushing your natural breasts up and to the center and making them appear larger under clothes. Not all push up
bras are created equal either, and some have more padding than others. Definitely keep this in mind as you shop
for padded bras for small busts!
Select the features you want
Different bras have different features that may or may not be important to you. Some have
convertible straps, some clasp in the front, some have removable padding, some are covered in fancy lace and some are meant to be worn as crop
tops. Every single bra has its place in someone’s wardrobe. It’s all about determining the ones that fit
your needs best. Deciding on what features you do or don’t want can really help you narrow your options and make
it easier to finalize your selection. Don’t hesitate to reach out to
our Personal Shoppers if you’re not finding the exact combination of features that you want in a bra!
Notice how far apart your breasts are
Everyone’s chest has a different width, and everyone’s breasts are set different on their
chest as well. Some women’s breasts are very close together, while others are wider apart. When you have bigger
breasts spaced wider apart, this isn’t as noticeable when you wear a bra because you have that extra breast
tissue that the cups push towards the center to fill the gap. With small breasts, you don’t have that extra
tissue so it’s more obvious that you’re wearing a bra with cups that are spaced differently than your breasts.
If your breasts are more wide set, then look for bras that also space the cups further apart so you can get a
more ideal fit.
Embrace the wireless lifestyle
One of the most amazing things about having a smaller chest is being able to forgo
underwire. Now, underwire definitely has its place and it’s a critical structural element for some bra styles
such as push up bras. However, it does make the bra stiffer and can be uncomfortable to wear, especially if you
wear a bra in the wrong size. Thankfully, there are many wireless bra options
available for those with smaller chests—everything from lacy
bralettes to molded wireless bras. If you hate underwire and have a smaller chest, you might be able to
say goodbye to wire for good with wireless bra options.
The Best Bras for Small Busts
So those are the general tips for selecting a bra style and size. What about what bra styles actually flatter
smaller breasts? Here are 11 bra styles that women with smaller busts should check out:
Push Up bras
Whether you’re trying to make your breasts appear bigger, fill out a looser shirt or even
out the shape of your breasts, a push up bra can help you achieve your ideal
look. Push up bras feature padding along the bottom and side of the cups, lifting your breasts up and pushing
them towards the center to enhance your cleavage. Push up bras are more structured and thus perfect for keeping
everything in place, and many women with small busts love how these bras make their chest look
There’s a lot of overlap between push up bras and plunge bras, but not all push up bras have
plunge cups, and vice versa. Plunge bras are cut narrower on the inner sides of the cups in the front, revealing
that deep V of cleavage. Generally, the outer sides of the cups are left as is, pushing your natural cleavage
towards the center to create an even more dramatic effect. When paired with the padding of a push up, it creates
a truly show-stopping look that’s perfect for giving your smaller bust a boost.
T-shirt bras are the Goldilocks of underwear: not
too thin, not too padded, but just right. These comfy, everyday bras may not look as exciting as some of the
other options on this list, but you’ll probably find yourself reaching for them the most often. They offer the
perfect combination of lift, coverage and structure, and their more plain design doesn’t show under clothes,
even thin, tight t-shirts (hence the name). If you don’t have at least one t-shirt bra in your closet, then
you’re really missing out!
Balconette bras have lower cups that are cut straight
across, with more widely spaced straps. They are perfect for wearing underneath shirts with wide, low-cut
necklines when you don’t want the cups or straps to show. If your breasts are more bottom heavy, you might enjoy
wearing balconette bras as opposed to full coverage bras, as the lack of fabric across the top of the cup can
reduce gapping in that area.
Demi cup bras are similar to
balconette bras, but they’re not quite the same. Think of them as a ¾ cup bra. The cup follows the same angled
shape as a regular bra, but it’s cut lower on the breast, revealing more cleavage for a flirty (yet still
everyday) look. Demi bras are especially popular among women with smaller busts, while it can cause a bit of a
“quadra-boob” look in women with larger chests. Be sure to pick the right size so the edges of the cups don’t
cut into your boobs!
Front Closure Bras
Front closure bras are easy to put on and take off,
but they’re not the best choice for larger breasted women because of the pressure that all that breast tissue
puts on the clasp. However, women with smaller busts don’t need to worry about that, making front closure bras a
super convenient choice for them! Keep in mind that front closure bras aren’t as adjustable as back closure
bras, so be sure to choose the correct band size.
Pro tip: The lift in most bras comes from the band, not the straps. If you’re relying on the
straps to keep your bra in place, you’re wearing the wrong size! If you have smaller breasts, you might be able
to comfortably wear a strapless bra since your breasts are probably already
pretty perky. A strapless bra will give your boobs lift and padding without you having to worry about your
These soft, unlined bras come in many styles—from fancy lace to plain cotton. Whatever your
preferred style, there’s a bralette out there for you. While many women wear
these for lounging around the house, if you have a smaller bust, you might actually be able to make bralettes
your everyday underwear. If you get enough support and coverage from a bralette, there’s no reason you have to
wear an underwire bra!
Wireless bras exist in the grey areas between bras and
bralettes. They usually offer more padding than a bralette, and the cups may be molded as well. However, they
don’t have underwire, which is what distinguishes them from other options on this list. Basically, a wireless
bra is kind of like a t-shirt bra without the underwire, making it a great choice for everyday wear, especially
around the house.
We couldn’t complete this list of the best bras for small busts without mentioning sports
bras. Whether you like compression bras made of stretchy fabric or molded underwire with separate cups, there’s a perfect sports bra out there for you. In fact, some women with
smaller breasts, especially those who live an active lifestyle, prefer to wear sports bras as their everyday
bras. It’s entirely up to you!
If you’re still having trouble choosing the best bra for you, don’t hesitate to schedule a
consultation with one of our personal shoppers!