I’m a Bra Fitting Specialist, and These Are the Best Sports Bras for a Smaller Bust
Just because you have a small bust, doesn't mean you don’t need a really good sports bra. I would know. As a barely B cup bra expert, I’ve fit women for sports bras in every size imaginable. I like to point out that small busted doesn’t necessarily mean "small." Women of every size can have a small chest: this just means they’re cup size is A-C. Full busted women (full C cup and up) need to worry about encapsulation and separation as much as strength and support. Yet for us, while wire has no place in the A-B range, other things such as breathability, comfort and versatility are what makes for the best sports bras for small chests.
Sports bras have become essentials in our everyday wardrobes— especially these days, as athleisure bras do triple duty when we wear them at home, to work, and when we're just hanging out. And even though marathons have no place in my future, I do need something supportive for my walking adventures while listening to my favorite podcast.
Another barely B bra expert who understands our small busted needs is Julia Breitwieser, Athleta’s Design Director of Bras and Swim (and formerly at Lululemon). She agrees there are challenges to finding the right fit, support and aesthetic for smaller cup sizes.
How to find a great-fitting sports bra when you have a small chest:
1. If it’s a compression bra, make sure you feel “hugged” and secure. If it’s designed for a fuller bust, the circumference around the bust could be too big and not be holding you securely.
2. If it’s an encapsulated bra (molded or separate cups for each breast) make sure you are filling the cup. If you aren’t filling it, you’ll be getting movement within the cup instead of support.
3. Sports bras for smaller busts can have a lower front neckline than those for fuller busts. They can also feature narrower straps or less fabric overall in the back design. Make sure you have the coverage you need so you aren’t slipping out.
4. Don’t make the mistake of choosing a bra with too little support. Even those of us with small breasts have a lot of movement during activities, often more than we realize. Pay attention to support levels (low, medium, high) and avoid high impact activities in anything with minimal coverage or too-skinny straps. Check on the bounce when trying on sports bras.
10 Best Sports Bras for Small Chest
With a seamless bra this stretchy, you can rely on Miel 24/7. The knit molds to the body, whatever your size you are, making it a great choice for small busted women with band size 32-42. Sizes are S/M, M/L and L/XL. Since sizing is so easy, you’ll have to spend time wondering which colors to try first. Moroccan Spice, Dune and Olive round out the basics.
When customization is key, you’ll need a sports bra with back close and adjustability at every point. Le Mystere’s balance underwire bra has light compression and converts easily from standard to racerback. It has smoothing wings, plunge cups, and a moisture-wicking lining. Its’ available in sizes 32B-38G.
Although intended to be a yoga bra, the Like a Cloud bra is an all-day contender. The super soft ribbed fabric, multiple straps and wide band (it’s longline, so it’s longer than most) feels like a hug. The entire inside front is lined with a cushioned mesh for a little bit of coverage and a lot of breathability. Best yet is this B/C size bra comes in sizes 2-14, so you can really get a custom fit. (Tip: the B/C will also fit an A cup— it conforms to you so there won’t be any gaping in the cups.)
It’s hard to believe this bra falls into the active category considering how light and airy it is—the sheer, mesh back is dreamy! But the plush elastic band and the self adjusting straps give it great support. Mesh throughout provides breathability making this a great choice for hot workouts and hot summer days. Available in sizes XS through XL.
This workout bra is super soft thanks to an innovation in recyclability—it’s made from 75 percent recycled polyester. The full straps and back give you nice coverage during a serious workout, supporting cup sizes A and up. Available in XS-XL, small chested women will feel well supported without constriction.
Talk about a bra for all: this racerback comes in XS-3XL. With medium compression, the incredibly soft fabric has anti-microbial technology which wicks away sweat and reduces odor. And there’s a pocket in the racerback—because you know, keys/phones/money. Finally. And ooh, the wide waist band. A big bonus.
“Small busted” does not mean “wants pads.” Screw that. We are what we are during workouts and all times. The graphic rib design of this full coverage sports bra shows exactly where the support is built in, giving you compression and minimal bounce size XS-XL.
Small chested doesn’t mean small coverage—not everyone feels comfortable showing their bust-line during yoga or a run. This mock neck (with cutout in the back) is made in smoothing Airlift performance fabric to move with you small busted folks in size XS-L. The rich colors like gravelstone and dark cactus may have you showing this off as a crop top versus a standard sports bra/top.
Created specifically for small busted women—and vouched for by Breitwieser—the Solace Bra is soft and comfortable (with a capital C!). The lightweight Buttermesh lining works ventilation magic by keeping you cool while Powervita outer has the strength to hold you in with a beautiful V neckline. Available in sizes XXS-XL, this is a great option for bands 30-40 up to a C cup. And the colors…OOH…Paradiso Blue and Electric Fuchsia are so much more fun than basic black.
If you’re wondering how this bra is SO soft, it’s the recycled nylon they use (known asECONYL® ). Sized XS-L, we love the skinny straps and supportive, elastic band. Plus the keyhole is minimal, cool and oh yeah, breathable. The matching high-waisted legging is a bonus add to cart.
This sports bra is designed for low to mid-impact workouts, and has light padding and an ergonomic design. “Since you’ve already got your On sneakers (no?!?), it’s time to try their Active Bra. This super soft, smooth sports bra has a beautiful, strappy back with no-slip straps and a comfortable, wire-free bustline. The size range is XS-XL. I’m wearing the small, and as a 34A it’s a perfect fit,” says Jenny Altman, a bra expert.
You don’t have to just wear this low impact sports bra for workouts; you can wear it for everyday wear. It’s available in sizes XXS-4X , and has soft fabric, a V-shape with underbust detailing, a gorgeous back, and adjustable straps. Adds Altman, “and there’s a J-hook which is great for everyone— but especially small busted girls who can’t stand slipping straps as much as I do. That will never happen here.”
“A sweetheart neckline is a small chested woman’s best friend!,” says Altman. This bra has a double layered Italian wicking Superbeam fabric to help keep you cool and supported. “They’ve thought of all the details, including side panels for gel placements and a racerback with a pocket for your iPhone,” she says.
Lightweight and longer in length, this bra top has a super smooth fit with removable cups. ‘Why are removable cups so exciting? If you’re larger on one side than the other, take it out of the large and double on the small. Want to look fuller? Add inserts,” says Altman. It has compression and comes in fun color blocking styles.
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