As is the case with many women, my relationship with my body has been very changeable over the years. I spent most of my teens wishing for curves that simply refused to materialise, and wearing uncomfortable push-up bras that looked totally disproportionate to the rest of my body. Thankfully, I've now settled on a happy middle ground and made my peace with my shape, swapping OTT padding for more pretty and comfortable lingerie styles, and embracing some of the benefits of having a smaller cup size.
There seems to be a lot of info around for women with bigger boobs—and understandably so, as they tend to need more consideration on the fashion front—but that doesn't mean people who are smaller don't need to think about what lies beneath. I decided to get the insight of an expert in the area to find out exactly what we should be looking for when it comes to bra shopping for small busts.
"Choosing lingerie is incredibly personal, as every woman's shape—as well as her size—is unique, which is why style, comfort and flattering fit are key," explains Julia Mercer, head of specialist services at Marks and Spencer. “I would usually recommend a T-shirt bra for women with a smaller bust, whether that’s wired or non-wired. This style will not only offer comfort and support but will also give a great shape and silhouette under any outfit.
"Bralettes are also a really great option. With a more relaxed and casual attitude to dressing and emphasis on comfort, we know our customers are looking to underwear which creates a softer, more natural silhouette. It's also important to get the right size. M&S offers a free bra fitting service in our stores, with our experts on hand to help you find the perfect fit."
Here are some of Mercer's top tips for checking you have the perfect bra:
1. Underband: This should be parallel to the floor and secure enough that only two fingers can fit under the elastic.
2. Centre front: Make sure this sits completely flat against the sternum.
3. Side wire: This should be flat against the ribcage and never digging into the breast tissue.
4. Cup capacity: The breasts should sit fully into the cup without any spillage.
5. Straps: These should be adjusted to just fit two fingers on top of each other, which will give the right pressure for your shoulder.