Petite Bras Revisited: The Little Bra Company

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!)
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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.
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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).
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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.
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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.
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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.  
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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).
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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.

42 comments:

  1. whoaa what a good deal! gonna check it out!

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  2. I really want to purchase some TLBC bras since I am a 30C, but they are so darned expensive!

    Thanks for the heads up about Ideeli!!

    xx{ish.},
    Mae Lu @ thereafterish.!

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  3. Great timing Jean!! I have been wanting to get more of TLBC bras. I got two last year and I have not found anything as comfortable as them that gives you an "oomph" factor.

    I have to agree that there is inconsistency in sizing in different styles. I got Lucia in 32B and it fit great all around while Isis in the same size is too big. Overall, they are great and the paddings are not too thick like most push-up bras. Thanks for the sale alert..I am breaking my ban for this sale...woo-hoo!!

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  4. Thanks Jean for your timely review! I picked up the Yvonne in Mocha and may pick up something else thanks to ideeli's one-time shipping charge for the day.

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  5. I am not fully qualified as petite but have always been curious about the little bra company, and more importantly all the ones I have bought (say from VS) don't really that well even I used the correct "measured" size. Do you think their sizing is different from the normal sizing? Ideeli does have my size I might just place an order of my size and see if that fits better. Thanks for the heads up :)!

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  6. Yay! Thanks for the review. I've been looking for new bras so this sale will really help. I've actually had the opposite problem -I gained weight and the first to bubble up was the behind and girls. =\ I know I should be happy but I'm kind of disappointed I won't be fitting my old bras anymore.

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  7. Oh, TLBC! I drove to RI, was fitted last year, and have the Yvonne in a 30B and a Lucia in a 30A.

    The Lucia is gorgeous, definitely va-va voom, and requires much scooping to fit everything in. The band is so tight I'm not going anywhere, but as time has passed, I wish I'd gone up a band size, as it sometimes digs into my ribs.

    The Yvonne is my daily go to, and I love the lace. Unfortunately, after a year of very routine wear, the lace has stretched out. I'll be replacing it soon.

    Very tempted to try the Mercedes, as my problem seems to be making sure there is no ooze!

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  8. That's such a clever way to model your bras! Eprops!

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  9. *sigh* that they do not go up futher than a see. I recently found that my actual size is 28D-DD T_T Of course, sizes made in the US may run differently than in the UK...

    They look so pretty and I am surprised to read that the lace was not itchy. I usually go for smooth, plain bras because I don't like itchiness; nor do I like the texture that shows under your top from the lace. Do these lacier bras have that issue?

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  10. Lol...I meant C..like the cup size hehe.

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  11. Love that you found a conservative way to model bras. I think you are a breath of fresh air.

    Anyway, kind of off topic: is that your theory tank you have on?

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  12. @NelahIt sounds like the Lucia runs smaller than some of their other bras in general! Glad you can take advantage of this sale in time to restock : )

    @R.L. I think you'll love it! What other styles do you have...did you get anything from their 2010 Ideeli sale, lol? And I wish all sample sale sites had the one-time shipping charge.

    @Winnie* They say on the site to size up from your "normal" size but I don't completely agree. I think this will differ with the styles, which does make it a bit harder to shop online without trying them on.

    @Megan Smart move! I rememeber this story : ) I always just ordered 32A when shopping online and it probably wasn't right. I'm glad you love the Yvonne too, but I'm nervous to hear that it has stretched out. One year of routine wear is a lot of mileage though. Maybe I'll get a backup during this sale.

    @DSK Steph @Anonymous I can't take credit : ) I was inspired by Frmheadtotoe's bra fitting video where she models these over her tank. Anon - good memory! But this is actually an H&M tank. It looks the same as those Theory ones, is tons cheaper, but not nearly as nice. Those Theory tube tanks are my staples!

    @Jackie Wow, where do you order bras in that rare size? I'm not sure if the lace strap shows up under clothing - I haven't noticed that yet, but haven't exactly inspected.

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  13. Great review. Do they make wireless bras? I tried to search it on their website but nothing came up.

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  14. I love the Lucia - However, I walked into the store wearing a La Senza Perfectly Me Lace Pushup in 32A (http://www.lasenza.com/eng/products/bras/pushup/lace-push-up-bra?215501-053), and I didn't find the fit or lift of it to be dramatically - So check out the La Senza one if you're on a budget. :)

    I'm wearing my 30A Sascha right now! :) I won it from PetiteLittleGirl's blog a while back.

    I agree that there's some inconsistency with sizing - I wore the 30A Lucia on the last hook, but my Sascha is always on the tightest one.

    I tried on the Sascha in-store in a 28B, but the last hook still gave me "back fat" - If I were to redo it though, I Would have gotten my Sascha in the 28B + bra extender. :/

    Do any other Sascha owners feel that the band kind of "crumples" vertically?

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  15. Thanks for another review, Jean :)

    I've tried many TLBC bras at the local store, but they simply do not fit me. I'm not the traditional petite because I'm 5'8", but I have a very small band size much like yours.
    TLBC bras make my girls way to centered in the middle of my chest, very awkward.
    Perhaps it's my height? I think despite my small size I still have a broad frame.

    Any suggestions for a TALL petite? (oxymoron? haha)

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  16. You lost weight? Please don't Jean, any more can be detrimental to your health as you are so skinny already.

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  17. It's risky to order undergarments online and what if they don't fit right? Kind of awkward to return them. I am a 32B, a cheapskate and bought my bra via Target.

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  18. I wish I could buy bras from there, but I am a 30DD. It's really no way near as big as it sounds. Most would guess I'm a B cup and, if the same boobs were on a 36 band, they WOULD be B cups!

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  19. Thank you for this post! I appreciate your details on how the bras fit, especially the Lucia. My chest is more wide-set, so I need to be wary of bras that have narrow cup placement. I ordered the Yvonne--it really is gorgeous--in two sizes and hopefully one of them fits. And yes, the "girls" seem to always be the first to go.

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  20. I find that American Eagle/Aerie makes fantastic bras for small chested women. The wash well and last a long time. I am a 32A and always buy my bras from there. Usually with discounts, its never over $20.

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  21. I just recently found your blog!

    Thanks so much for the review! Although I'm not that petite, my girls are and I always have trouble finding the right bra! (And your review with the bra-over-tank is ingenius)!! I'll be sure to check out these brands!

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  22. LOL! I'm just now seeing that you posted this on the exact same day at the Ideeli sample sale! Good timing indeed! Now I know what that tweet you sent me means. :)

    I'm loving that slate color!

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  23. great post. i am really thinking of buying a few bras from the little bra company.

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  24. Hi Jean,
    Grest post for tiny chested women like me. Even a 28A from TLBC is roomy, but it's the best i cam find. Also-if your able to answer this where is Liane/petitexxs? I really enjoyed her blog, and she dropped out of the petite fashion challenges and i can no longer access her blog-the url doesn't work. I hope everything is okay with her. Great post!

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  25. Excellent review!! Sadly I still have yet to buy my first TLBC bra :( I need to get them to carry them in more stores around Toronto!!!!

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  26. My personal experience with TLBC was a failure. I had to send the shipment back twice because they sent me the wrong color/size. It took too long to finally get the correct items back as well as a response =[

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  27. Oh my goodness! Thanks so much for posting this. This is super, awesomely helpful. I hate too much padding. It's so annoying how bra companies seem to assume that all flat chested people want some fake action going on. Lovely review + photos :D

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  28. I have experience with bra fitting and all of the bras you've shown in the photos look a bit small in the cup on you. The underwire should sit further back on your ribcage. Were you able to try 30B?

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  29. I agree with Anonymous. If you measure 28inches aroung your ribcage, you should probably wear 30 or 28something. Believe me, it makes great difference - but of course your bra size will go bigger, I mean I measure 26inches around my ribcage and I used to wear 32 or 34B, now I'm wearing 28E or 30D. My breast looks bigger and I feel comfortable. Believe me and try with such companies as Freya or Panache. - here's brafitting guide, I recommend other films from this youtube profile http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHZDC39ZNgw&feature=related

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  30. I purchased the Lucia in 30B in found the same problem as you. It was just too small and I had to return it. I wish these were in my area so that I could try them on. I hate paying shipping if I don't know which ones will fit.

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  31. i need to start wearing proper bras.

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  32. @Anonymous Hi there, I miss Liane as well, but I don't think she'll be returning to the blogosphere for a while. I hope she will come back though to at least let her readers know she is okay! I know a lot of her readers care about her and are concerned.

    @styl-szatynki @Anonymous Thanks for the input and suggestions! I did not try 30B because I thought for sure the cup would be too big. The next time I have the opportunity to try on various cup sizes in a sz 28 or 30 band I will be sure to try up a cup size.

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  33. Thanks for the second review. I have an appointment for a fitting tomorrow and can't wait to find out what my true size is, especially in TLBC bras!

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  34. Jean, thank you so much for the review! I have to say I certainly do not classify as a petite. But your blog is an amazing source of information, advice and style inspiration for all shapes and sized, and not only petites.
    I do have a smaller size bust and this review could not have come in a better time. I ended up trying on quite a few TLBC bras and hands down they are the most comfortable bras I've ever tried and they actually fit!
    Thank you so much!

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  35. Thank you, thank you for this post! I wear a size 30A - and have only managed to find one, decent bra in that size. I am so excited to have found this company!!

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  36. What are your measurements? Like underbust,bust, and overbust. I want to get a better idea of what the bra is like!

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  37. You guys have to check feelroxy.com I found a great deal on seven way push up bras.Six pieces in six different colors for less than $70
    They are very very comfy and give a nice amount of support.definitely recommend it to everyone!!!

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  38. here's the link- http://www.feelroxy.com/Seven-ways-push-up-bra-p/seven%20ways%20push%20up%20bra.htm

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  39. Thanks for the review! I'm always petite but am still unsure of my size...
    could you please tell me your measurements (over bust, bust, underbust), then I could compare mine and get a better idea of my true size.

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  40. Just received Yvonne in 30c and its very pretty. the only thing is the band feels a little tight. I always have issues with my bands stretching out after a couple of weeks, since they really don't fit. but you think I should exchange for a 32b? every other 32b ends up stretching and being too lose. their exchange policy sounds like a pain... Advice?

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  41. I know this post is from a while ago, but I'm also curious as to your underbust/overbust measurements. as a long time reader, I know how truly petite you are, and it strikes me as a little odd that you would wear a 30 band. I'm a few sizes larger than you are, and I fit comfortably into a 28. Bras are obviously a very personal subject so I hate to pry, but you seem to be much closer to a 26 band. Most stores encourage people to add 4 inches to their underbust measurement but this method is outdated and false, causing people to buy bras much too big in the band and small in the cup, which can cause back pain. If you want more information about bras in a 26 band, you should check out http://www.reddit.com/r/ABraThatFits/ the ladies there are friendly and always willing to help. The only company that currently makes bras in a 26 band is Ewa Michalak, a polish brand of very good quality.

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