To all my petite Asian ladies out there, I feel you, no one understands our struggles when it comes to shopping for clothes. Unless we’re buying exclusively from petite sections, we inevitably end up looking like children playing dress up in our mom’s baggy clothes.
While many clothing shops have come to our rescue by stocking up on petite ranges for dresses, jeans and tops, they still clearly haven’t gotten the memo for one other essential clothing piece — bras.
You’ve probably been told that 32 is the smallest bandwidth size available. Well, I am here to tell you that whoever said this LIED to your face. In fact, you may have been wearing the wrong bra size your entire life.
If your bra straps have ever left indentations on your shoulders or if you experience pains due to the wiring in the bra, it may be time to start considering different styles and or sizes.
If you’re a lifetime member of the itty bitty titties club or just have a very small bandwidth size, you should know that there are lingerie companies out there that specialize in extended sizes. To help my petite sisters, I took it upon myself to try out four of the best petite lingerie brands on the market so you don’t have to. Curious? Here’s the verdict:
Cosabella is a family-owned Italian lingerie company that has been making hand-made products since 1983. This brand is perfect for petite ladies out there, especially those with bigger cup sizes as they carry bandwidth sizes of 28-40 and A through H cups.
If you’re not so well endowed in the bust department, Cosabella offers push up bras especially made for smaller chests with removable padding so you can control the desired amount of cleavage. I’ve always found lace bras from big brands such as Victoria’s Secret very uncomfortable, scratchy and cheap. However, the lace from Cosabella seem to be significantly softer and more durable — perhaps this is because they design and produce their own lace in their Italian labs.
Besides the traditional wire bras, Cosabella has a fantastic range of bralettes that surprisingly provide a great level of support as well. They also recently launched the “Curvy” collection bralettes, which are specifically designed for larger busts and smaller rib cages, a feature that is practically nonexistent in most other shops, and this fits like a glove.
The Bra Lab
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The Bra Lab is truly a one-of-a-kind company — unlike traditional bras that hook in the back, their bras hook on the SIDE. This means you can literally mix and match bra cups and back straps to create whatever design you want.
I have to confess I was very skeptical at first thinking the hooks may dig into the sides, leaving painful marks but as long as you find the right size, this won’t be a problem (not to mention, this is a hell of a lot more fun compared to traditional bra shopping).
Cups range from AA to H and there are dozens of backs and straps to choose from, many of which are absolutely stunning and designed to be shown off to complement different outfits.
Unlike other high-end boutique lingerie brands, The Bra Lab is on the more affordable end of the spectrum, yet they’re among the most stylish and versatile. I also want to personally note that their strapless options are among some of the best that I’ve ever tried — and this is coming from a complete strapless bra skeptic. If you’re interested in trying their products, they’re available on The Bra Lab official website and at Nordstrom.
The Little Bra Company
If you’re a petite bra size looking for a great push up, The Little Bra Company is probably your best bet. I’m not exactly sure how they’ve managed to do this but their strategically-placed push up pads give a very natural-looking curve and cleavage. The Lucia Bra offers a very comfortable yet flattering push up that will make your rack look absolutely phenomenal.
The Little Bra Company was founded by Emily Lau and their products are specifically designed for petite, smaller-framed women. Therefore, unlike other brands that encompass a large variety of sizes, their products are much more flattering on smaller women. Also, depending on the shape of your boobs, you can choose from their wider-set or closer-set bra options.
Slightly bustier petite women may have to opt for alternative sizes (i.e. a 32C in place for a 30D) as The Little Bra Company does not offer D+ cups. However, they do carry 28-38 in bandwidth sizes, and because their bras were specifically designed with petite women in mind, I can honestly say sizing will never be a problem.
ThirdLove is one of my personal favorites. Their soft, high-quality fabric is unbeatable, not to mention the gorgeous styles and comfort. If you’re looking for the traditional T-shirt bra or a stylish plunge bra, options from ThirdLove are the most flattering and comfortable bras I’ve personally come across. They offer 28-48 in bandwidth and to absolutely make sure you get the perfect fit, they even offer half cup sizes which no other company carries.
While some petite lingerie companies only go up to a C cup for their smaller bras, ThirdLove sells A through I cups which is honestly a life saver. Also, if you have asymmetrical boobs you’ll be glad to know that some of their bras have removable inserts that can be used to bring balance.
I can personally recommend their Classic T-shirt Bra and the Contour Plunge Bra, they both have very gentle, stretchy straps and make you forget you’re wearing a bra at all, and the necklines are perfectly suited for smaller framed women.
Fit tips from ThirdLove: “The cups should form to the curve of your breasts without gaping or digging in. Your straps should sit snugly on your shoulders without digging in or leaving indentations on your skin. The band should feel comfortably snug around your body without constricting. When wearing a new bra, be sure to start on the loosest hook. That way, you can tighten it as the band naturally stretches over time.”