Finding a bra that fits smaller busts, without gaping or riding up, can be a challenge - especially if you can't try them on. From push-ups with padding and under-wiring to t-shirt bras with multi-way straps, from wire-free barely-there bralettes to sporty crop-top styles too - we will consider all of the options for those with A cup measurements.
If you're not quite sure of what you're looking for, we will guide you through our comfortable, stylish and supportive suggestions. We've found ten top-quality bras for small busts, from popular brands like Sloggi, Clavin Klein, and Wonderbra, all available to order online in the UK from Amazon, ASOS and John Lewis.
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You will probably already be familiar with push-up bras, they are designed to give your chest a bit of oomph, lifting and enhancing to various levels. They look just like a normal bra, except the padding is much thicker and can take up to around half of the cup space to create a fuller cleavage. However, while they can make a huge difference in shape, the padding is surprisingly discreet so you can wear them for any occasion.
One thing to consider when buying a push-up bra is that you should be able to adjust the straps to your desired fit. Yes, push-up bras are effective, but they must also be comfortable and you don't want them to gape. A wired, adjustable option is the best option for achieving a bustier cleavage. On the other hand, wireless push-up bras can still offer a moulded, perky shape and are generally more comfortable.
Are you on an endless hunt to find a bra that doesn't show through your clothes? The t-shirt bra is a comfortable every-day bra that gives you an even silhouette and its discreet seams help to hide the outline under your top. The cups don't stand out very much and they're moulded to a more natural shape in comparison to push-up bras.
This thin padding is a great option for small-chested people who want a bra that will cover the nipple without adding too much shape. If you're looking for a versatile, affordable option that you can wear pretty much anywhere, the t-shirt bra is the best option for you.
Bralettes are on the highest end of the comfort scale- if you don't particularly like wearing a bra, you will love how a bralette feels – it's like you're wearing nothing at all. Bralettes can be worn when you're lounging around the house and they can even be worn at work. They are easy to wear, as they just slip on right over the head without fiddly clasps and hooks.
A downside is that they're not usually adjustable so you can't change the length of the straps, although it's unlikely that you'd need to as bralettes are quite stretchy in comparison to other types of bras - but they can annoyingly ride up if the fixed straps are too short for you. Bralettes do not disguise your small bust, they emphasise the fact that you have a small cup size.
Cotton is one of the most appropriate materials for bras, which are garments worn against some of the most delicate areas of your body. It's soft, durable, and breathable so you can be comfortable in your bra without your skin feeling irritated or damp with sweat.
While it's super-silky, cotton can be a little bit more expensive than other high-quality materials, so you could consider synthetic fabrics such as polyester or polyamide. However, these risk becoming sweaty during hot weather. For a more affordable and durable material, modal would be a perfect fit. It closely replicates the softness of cotton, whilst being much more budget-friendly.
Of course, your bra can't be made from cotton or polyester alone – it needs some form of stretchiness in order to fit your shape. Elastane, lycra, spandex, and viscose are all popular elastics used in underwear. Think about it; if your bra wasn't elastic, it wouldn't stay closely fitted to your bust.
You need to have elastic in the straps so that you can easily stretch and adjust their length. In addition, a bit of elastic allows movement as you go about your day-to-day tasks. If you want to buy a bra that will last you a long time, 20 % or over of elastane will indicate a highly durable bra.
Unless you buy a bralette, which is traditionally a non-adjustable bra with a stretchy elastic to fit easily over your head, you should look for a bra with adjustable straps. Adjustable straps allow you to secure a tight-yet-flexible fit so that you can get the most out of your new bra.
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John Lewis & Partners
Willow Non-Wired Bra
Moulded Contouring Bra Without Underwire
Women's Seamfree Headline Bralette
A Bralette With Removable Pads For Smooth Contours
Women's Everyday Padded T-shirt Bra
Padded T-Shirt Bra to Boost You Two Cup Sizes
Women's Evolved Push Up Bra
Beautifully Shaping Yet Practical
b.tempt'd by Wacoal
Women's B Wow'd Pushup Bra
Cute Scalloped Seamless Bra With Multi-Way Straps
Women's Ever Fresh Plunge T-shirt Bra
Breathable Bra in a Large Range of Band Sizes
Zero Feel Bralette
Supportive Second Skin for Wear Under Fitted Clothing
John Lewis & Partners
Gentle Support Emily Balcony Padded Bra
Organic Cotton Push-up Bra Designed to Boost Your Shape
Modern Cotton Bralette｜Grey Heather
Calvin Klein Quality in a Comfy Low-Impact Sports Bra
Women's Petite Embrace Lace Push Up Bra
Petite Lace Push-up Bra With Removable Padding
A dream to wear, this bra will contour to the shape of your chest and offers a light padding to lift and support the breasts. With a wireless frame and a thick stretch of material at the bottom, this firming bra is exactly what you need as a wardrobe staple.
On the days where you don't feel like using a wire cup, grab this seamlessly-structured bra to hug you in all the right places. This bra is recommended for teens by John Lewis & Partners, although there are many happy reviews from women of all ages, especially as it offers a AA cup.
A comfortable to wear, quality bralette with the French style you expect from Elle. This bralette has removable padded cup inserts, to give you the option of a smooth contoured outline if wearing thin or close-fitting garments.
There are 5 additional bright colours to choose from, as well as the black version shown - hot pink, orange, emerald green, red and royal blue. The sizing is S, M and L, but sizing runs small, which is actually good news for those with smaller busts.
This is a popular favourite by Wonderbra and we love how versatile and soft it is. In addition to its silky cups and adjustable straps, this t-shirt bra offers medium support with decent padding, claiming to add two cup sizes to your natural shape.
With especially outstanding reviews from buyers with smaller busts, this is one of the best every-day shaping bras you can find. It's sold in a deep black and a light nude to complement any colour of clothing you wear over the top. The sizes range upwards from 32A so you're bound to find a comfortable fit.
This elegant V-neck bra is one of the most discreet push-up bras you will find. Its shape-hugging design will stay seamless under your clothes and the added padding will not only help you to fill your cup but even add some cleavage, too.
Of course, if that's not what you're looking for, you could just adjust the straps to your preferred amount of lift. The clasp of this bra is a decorative accent, placed at the front, making it a lot easier to open and close. This feature is also known to help people with disabilities live more independently.
The mastermind brand behind some of the most comfortable bras for small busts on the market, B.Tempt'd have designed this smooth, seamless bra with dainty scalloped edging. It's available in eight different colours and offers a myriad of loveable features.
You can change the shape of the straps from straight to crossed in order to style racerback tops and dresses. If you like bras that add a few centimetres to the lift, you will be pleased to hear that it has a firming plunge push-up to give a little extra shape to your outfit.
Sloggi is known for their lounge-like bras that are so comfortable you could wear them to bed. This bra, in particular, offers a round cup with only the slightest bit of protective padding – perfect for creating a smooth shape. It has a sporty look and a breathable mesh strap around the band of the bra to ensure long-lasting freshness.
It's made with a thick wire which can take time to get used to if you don't often wear bras, but on the upside, it's available in a great range of sizes, including 38 and 40 A and B. If you're not keen on grey bras, you can also find it in white, blue, black, and beige.
This snugly-fitting bra is available in three luxurious shades; black, cognac, and angora. Its slimline structure is free of any poking wires and it shapes to your body like a second skin. With non-obtrusive padding that gently lifts and protects the bust, you will hardly notice that you're wearing this bra.
The straps are fairly long as it's a low V-neck bra, which may be a problem for extra-petite frames. However, it's perfect for slipping on under any outfit on the days where you don't really want to wear a bra, but equally don't want to go out without some shaping.
It's affordable, it's comfortable, and it's available in two dreamy colours; blush and white. The straps on this bra are thin and stretchy with an adjustable clasp on either side. The padding in this bra is designed to gently boost your shape.
In addition, it's made from 91% organic cotton so it feels just as silky as it looks. From John Lewis's Gentle Support range – a bra range for smaller frames – this is a good option for petite wearers, however, this does mean it excludes anyone over a 34 band size. Plus, even though this bra is a good staple, it will require a hand wash every few days.
With eye-catching branding and the quality we expect from Calvin Klein, this bra is covers enough at the front to wear as a stand-alone top for yoga or other low-impact exercise. The wide under-bust band is flattering and comfortable.
It's a simple twist on the classic Calvin Klein bras with a racer-style back cut-out. This bra is super-comfy to gently exercise in and lounge in, but if you are small busted you can take advantage of relaxing without any bra at all - so this might not be deemed an essential if you aren't looking for a new yoga bra.
This petite luxury bra provides a flattering coverage with adjustable straps and a three-hook clasp to ensure a secure fit. The delicate floral lace is a beautiful addition to this comfortable bra and we love how elegant it looks.
There's fine detailing in just about every area of this bra; with its thin straps and rounded push-up cup, you're sure to see a difference in shape, even under a baggy jumper. This is an expensive option, however we think it's a worthy investment for its elegance and quality.
The most important factor to consider when buying a bra is the size. Shopping for a bra can get confusing so it's best to measure yourself first. You can determine your bra size by measuring yourself at home and you'll be pleased to hear that it's a pretty simple process.
Find a flexible dressmaker's tape measure and wrap it around your band area, just below the bust and note the measurement in inches. Then, do the same thing with the tape measure over the fullest part of the bust. To calculate your actual cup size, round both measures up to the nearest quarter of an inch and subtract the band measurement from the bust.
After taking AA and AA sizes into consideration, every inch difference you count is another cup size, for example; 1/4 inch difference makes an AAA cup, 1/2 inch makes an AA cup, 1 inch makes an A cup, 2 inches make a B cup, and so on! So, if your back measurement is 30 inches and your bust is 31 inches, you would be a 30A.
Written and researched by Annie Speight
No. 1: John Lewis & Partners ｜Willow Non-Wired Bra
No. 2: Elle ｜Women's Seamfree Headline Bralette
No. 3: Wonderbra｜Women's Everyday Padded T-shirt Bra
No. 4: Cosabella｜Women's Evolved Push Up Bra
No. 5: b.tempt'd by Wacoal｜Women's B Wow'd Pushup Bra
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