This is a review of The Little Bra Company, a petite lingerie brand designed specifically for smaller women.
Do you wear petite clothing? Have you ever considered wearing petite lingerie? Sounds obvious right??
Yet I am always shocked by how many small-breasted women have never tried lingerie designed specifically for petite body types. Granted, there’s not a ton of brands on the market, but they definitely do exist. One of the leading brands is The Little Bra Company.
This past summer I ran into the founder of The Little Bra Company, Emily Lau, at a lingerie trade show in NYC. I was really excited because I’d known about The Little Bra Company for a while and it was great to meet the face behind the brand.
Emily loves the mission of Your Breast Self and she offered to send me some of TLBC’s newest styles to try. I ended up testing out seven bras, a sports bra, and a babydoll style.
This gave me a really good overall impression of the brand and the variety of options. In this post I’ll share my top three TLBC styles and my general tips for shopping a petite lingerie brand.
If you’re someone who wants to amp up your cleavage and loves feminine details like laces, soft pinks, and embellishments, then this post is for you. That being said, TLBC designs for a full spectrum of “smaller” body types (the common denominator being small breasts). . . size 38A anyone?? TLBC has it. So even if you don’t consider yourself “petite,” you still might find this post useful.
ABOUT THE LITTLE BRA COMPANY
The idea for TLBC was born out of Emily’s frustration with the lack of petite-sized bra options available in mass retailer stores. She shared that as a young girl she was “obsessed” with finding a pretty bra that also fit her well (I can relate).
“All my friends were getting hips and curves, while my body stayed straight as a board.” – Emily Lau
In an effort to avoid wearing “training bras” from the girls department, Emily resorted to wearing bras that were too big for her. For years she accepted this as her reality, until she decided there had to be a better way. In 2007 she founded The Little Bra Company out of a bedroom in her home, and she’s never looked back.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN SHOPPING
HOW’S THE FIT?
TLBC bras fit small breasts extremely well. But keep in mind, the brand runs small. I had to upsize to a 32B in some styles after realizing my normal size (32A or 30B) was too tight in the band and too small in the cups.
Before shopping, consider whether you fall into conventional petite sizing. A good measure of this is if you can wear petite-sized blouses without them being too tight in the rib cage or shoulders.
Side note: having small breasts and being short does not necessarily mean you’ll fit the industry definition of petite. In my case, I am 5’1 with small breasts, but I have a broad upper half/shoulders, so some aspects of petite bras don’t work for me (e.g. narrow center bands). If you fall into this category as well, you can definitely still wear TLBC bras, but you might need to look for bras that cater to wider-set breasts (I have a few suggestions below).
TLBC offers a wide range of hard-to-find sizes (e.g. 28-38A; 28-36B; and 28-34C). It’s definitely a very comprehensive line for petite-figured women. Says Emily,
“No matter what size or shape you are, you deserve a bra that fits your body and your lifestyle. That’s why we a created a complete bra wardrobe that is specifically made for a petite or smaller-framed woman.”
I appreciated the versatility of the bras. TLBC offers both padded and non-padded styles and even has a “padding scale” on their website to help you understand which level of padding works best for you.
I really liked that I could filter by padding level. Keep in mind that a 3 out of 5 on their padding scale is still pretty hefty, so if you are looking for light push up or contouring you might need to go with a 2 or 1.
Additionally, every bra I tried had adjustable straps that convert to a racerback, as well as removable pad inserts (to boost you up if the padded cup isn’t enough).
PRICE & QUALITY
TLBC’s pricing and quality is in line with Victoria’s Secret and Adore Me. I’d say the look and feel of the materials is a step down from Calvin Klein and Natori (for a similar price point). This isn’t a deal breaker though, as I expect to pay a premium for products customized for the needs of a petite frame.
- Contour/t-shirt underwire cups; closer to demi than full-coverage
- Graduated padding in cups, plus pockets with removable padding
- Eyelash lace on band and cup overlay
- Seamed sides have boning for additional support
- Wide-set straps convert from traditional to cross-back style
WHAT I LIKE:
If you have a broad shoulders like me, the Kaia is a great bra to try because it’s designed to flatter wider-set breasts. I really like the cup shape, which is more similar to a demi style than a plunge. This means less upper breast coverage and cups that tilt slightly inward to give you a boost without requiring a ton of padding (great for small boobs).
The cups are thicker than average and provide ample push up (even without the additional push up inserts).
The shape of the cup and the removable straps also make this a great strapless bra alternative. It stays in place and the shape looks great under tube tops. In some cases I think it’s better than a “real strapless” because the cup shape works better with sweetheart or v-shaped necklines.
In addition to the fit, I also like the simple design and the touch of eyelash lace and mesh.
WHAT I’D IMPROVE:
The foam cup has a tendency to get creased, so you need to be careful when storing. Additionally, the band was a bit scratchy and it was very tight (you can see it causing my skin to bulge – hoping it will stretch out). I would have opted for the 34 band, but I found the cups didn’t fit me as well in the 34A.
If you have shallow, wide-set breasts, the Kaia is a great option. The demi shape of the cups provides great push up without requiring a ton of padding. This bra is also a great strapless alternative. Eyelash lace and mesh details add a nice feminine touch. Keep in mind this style runs small, so you might need to go up a size.
- Contoured push up cups are in between a true demi and a t-shirt bra
- Crescent-shaped padding in cups (non-removable)
- Seamless microfiber cup overlay lies flat under tops
- Side seam boning provides additional support
- Floral lace band
- Convertible lace trimmed elastic straps may be worn traditional, halter, or racerback
WHAT I LIKE:
This is another great option for wider-set breasts. It has a slightly stretchier band and wider center panel than the other TLBC bras.
I like the sleek feel of the cups and the way they fit my breasts. The bra is very seamless under tops and super comfortable. When you have small boobs it can be tough to find a push up bra that doesn’t gape in the cups and that keeps your cleavage in place, but I didn’t have any of those problems with this bra.
I also really like the foam used in the cups. It wasn’t too heavy and it doesn’t get creased or wrinkled. The band has just enough boning in it for additional support, without feeling too stiff. This helps the bra stay in place (so you don’t have to keep tugging on it all day).
WHAT I’D IMPROVE:
I wasn’t a huge fan of the purple satin and white lace combo. I’d check out the solid black or nude options (just my personal opinion). And while the fit was great, I’d love to have this style in a slightly less padded version.
This is a great t-shirt bra if you want to “make the most” of your subtle curves. It provides a nice boost without looking bulky under tops and the adjustable straps provide great versatility. The stretchy band and wide center panel make this bra work especially well for small-breasted women with wider-set breasts or broader frames.
- Contour, underwire cups with heavy graduated, crescent-shaped padding (non-removable)
- Lace overlay that extends past the contour cups and continues along the front straps
- Narrow center panel – deep plunge front
- Seamless sides for a smooth look under clothes.
- Elastic straps are adjustable in the back; convert to cross-back
WHAT I LIKE:
This is one of the most popular styles and one of the first bras I ordered from The Little Bra Company. My favorite aspect is the lace overlay. It’s both sexy and functional – it’s not only pretty, but it also prevents the cups from gaping.
This bra is best suited for plunging necklines (because CLEAVAGE). But keep in mind that sometimes the lace can stick out of wider/scoop-neck tops.
The cups are set pretty close together so it gives you more of a center cleavage, rather than an overall push up. It’s best for narrow rib cages or true petites. The band is true to size (stretchier than the other styles I tried).
WHAT I’D IMPROVE:
While the push up is effective, it’s a bit hard. That being said, it’s definitely effective at giving you that extra boost. I also wish the cups were spaced farther apart (you can see it looks a bit narrow on me in the photo above).
The Lucia is definitely one of TLBC’s sexier options. I love the pretty lace overlay, and the deep plunge and push up cups create great center cleavage. Wear it as a normal bra or as a cross-back style. As a bonus – it also comes in a babydoll lingerie version.
I didn’t care for the shape of the cups in this strapless. They were a bit pointer than I like. Keep in mind that the band in this bra runs even tighter than the other styles.
While I love the feel of the fabric of this sports bra (it’s super thin and comfortable), it didn’t fit me well. The 32B and 34A (which fit me in regular TLBC bras) were both too big for me in the sport style. I would have liked shorter or adjustable straps. This is a lightweight bra; better suited for yoga and low-intensity workouts rather than running.
This bra looks fabulous in the photos online so I’m sure on the right model it works well. But for me, it didn’t provide the right support or shaping. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the pink satin band. I prefer microfibers and laces as I think they look more high quality.
“We want you to accept and embrace your bodies just the way they are, but we realize that sometimes you may want to have the option to make the most of what you’ve got. No matter what size or shape you are, you deserve a bra that fits your body” – Emily Lau
TLBC has done a great job at delivering on this promise. The best thing about the brand is the wide range of options it offers petite body types. This is super refreshing since many brands often lump “petites” into a one-size fits all category.
If you’re shopping TLBC for the first time, keep in mind that this brand doesn’t fit like other brands. The proportions are sized specifically for petite frames, so you may need to go up a size in the band or cup.
TLBC is also best suited for women who want push up or padded bras and have feminine tastes (think lace, pastels, satin). If your first priority is comfort, or if you’re looking for edgier or trendy styles, this may not be the brand for you. But if you love feminine silhouettes and want to “make the most” of your petite curves, you should definitely give TLBC a shot.
Have you tried The Little Bra Company or other brands that work well for petites? Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Note: this post reflects my own opinions and I am not compensated for my review.