Bralette Sizes Are Limited—Here’s How to Get the Perfect Fit, According to Lingerie Experts

Photo: Getty Images/Jelena990
I think anyone with boobs will agree with me on this: bralettes are a godsend. They're lightweight, cute, and so much more comfortable than any bra you'll ever find. There's really only one downside. Unlike bras where there's a pretty standard sizing system, it can be hard to get the perfect fit with bralettes. But don't fear—that's where expert advice comes in handy.

When shopping for a bralette, the key is paying attention to more than just the size listed on the tag. "Size matters, but shape matters more. It’s important to understand how to explore styles and silhouettes tailored to your body," says Sapna Palep, MD, board-certified dermatologist and the CEO of the online lingerie retailer Journelle. "Not all bras or bralettes are created equal, and no two women are alike. That's why when it comes to the simple S/M/L sizing of many bralettes, it can feel limiting for certain size ranges and breast shapes."

Before putting on a bralette, take a minute to first figure out your breast shape. "If you notice that your bralette is digging into your breast tissue, this may mean your breasts are fuller on top. On the contrary, if you notice gaping in your cups, you may be more shallow on top," Dr. Palep says. "These are just two variations in breast shaper and it’s important to know your own." Once you know your shape, you can look for the bralette styles and qualities that work for you.

Here's how to find your shape, according to Dr. Palep:

  • For full and round breasts (full all over), try triangle plunge shapes
  • For teardrop breasts (fuller at the bottom), try sweetheart demi silhouettes
  • For compact breasts (small cups where you carry your fullness high), try dimensional stretch fabrics or contoured padding
  • for wide-set breasts (fullness in your sides), try gently curving underwires and generous spacers
  • For slender breasts (fullness on the bottom, not as much firmness), try shallow demis or fabric overlays
  • For asymmetric breasts (one breast is bigger than the other), try stretch fabrics or shallower contour styles

Aside from finding the right bralette for your breast shape, there are a handful of other qualities you can zone in on to get a great fit, too. "The components that make a great bralette are strong cups, adequate support, quality seaming, and a well-fitting band," says Dr. Palep. Once you find the right style and qualities that feel heavenly and work for you, you'll never go back to buying based on basic S/M/L sizing ever again.

Now that you have your perfectly-fitted bralette, here's how to pack for your next trip:

Here's how to shop for bras and undies, according to a dermatologist. Then find out the five biggest myths about bras.

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