Over the past year, I inadvertently shed a bit of weight. As luck would have it, the "girls" were the first to go. The bras that I had been wearing happily gradually became fraught with issues:
1. Loose bands caused cups to shift from left to right
2. Cups that didn't taper to my chest caused gapping and "nip slips"
3. Too much thick padding (my bra criteria has certainly changed since freshman yr of college!)
Alas, I turned to the experts at The Little Bra Company (TLBC). Some of you may remember my first review here. TLBC specializes in bras for petite frames, and offers hard to find sizes (28-38A, 28-36B, and 28-34C). They sent me a few items to try on from the low to medium end of the padding-ometer.
1. Yvonne Bra in Mocha, 2/5 stars on TLBC's padding scale.
2. Mercedes Bra in Slate, 3/5 stars on TLBC's padding scale
3. Lucia Bra in Nude, 3/5 stars on TLBC's padding scale
As you can see from the photo, TLBC's padding is placed at push-up angles. Before getting dressed, it's important to bend over and scoop to get the girls situated for the day. I first learned about the scoop when a brazen saleswoman in China took the liberty to scoop for me. Here is a great video by TLBC illustrating the method. I love TLBC owner Emily Lau's voluminous hair! And oh...is that a Target juniors lace cardigan I spy?
Before I show fit pics, I wanted to stress the importance of trying on a few sizes. It took me several tries before settling into a 30A. As you move up/down band sizes, cup size will change proportionately. Thus, if you wear a 32A, you could possibly fit better in a 30B.
Continue reading for my review...
Onto the review! The bra-over-tank style is a good look to sport, no?
LEFT: My absolute favorite bra out of the 4-5 styles I tried is the Yvonne Bra in Nude/Mocha (TLBC padding level: 2 out of 5), which is perfect for everyday wear. It felt wonderful to put on a bra with a snug band, no cup gapping, and delicate push-up padding. This was an unexpected favorite because it looks rather plain online, but is just so comfortable and pretty when on. The smooth cup looks seamless under tee shirts, and the lace is stretchy and soft (I was afraid lace would be itchy).
RIGHT: For a little more "oomph," I also loved the Mercedes Bra in Slate (TLBC padding level: 3 out of 5). Notice the structure of the bra (the "U" shapes) inherently gives more support and lift to the outer corners of the breasts, and surely enough I achieved better cleavage with this bra than the Yvonne. One other thing I wanted to point out is that the Mercedes' cups have less coverage than the Yvonne, so it may not be for those who want full breast coverage.
I must point out that the lace band on the Yvonne is stretchier than regular bra bands. The Mercedes fits perfectly on the first hook (which is good because as bra bands stretch out over time, you can move onto the tighter hooks), but to achieve the same level of support, I have to use the second hook for the Yvonne. I hope the lace doesn't stretch out too much with wear.
The third bra I wanted to show is the ever-popular Lucia in Nude (TLBC padding scale: 3 out of 5). I've heard nothing but rave reviews about this bra. In-person, the lace overlay is gorgeous, and I love all the colors this comes in (especially the pink & tangerine). Unfortunately, I just couldn't find the right fit for me. Both a 30A and 32A were too narrow in the cups and left me with sideboob oozing out where my fingers are pointing, so I probably needed a size 34 band.
Amongst these three styles (all in 30A), there are some band size inconsistencies, as shown below. The Lucia has the smallest band, the Mercedes has a slightly larger band, and the Yvonne has the largest band (and stretchiest).
For other great TLBC posts by fellow petites, visit Stylepint for a thorough C-cup review, PetiteLittleGirl's review, and AlterationsNeeded's review. For video reviews, check out a bra-fitting vid from Frmheadtotoe.
Disclosure: Bras were provided courtesy of TLBC. Samples that did not fit were returned.