Above image: © Magryt
One of the least talked-about size categories in the lingerie industry is sub-A cup sizing. It’s also one of the least catered-to, with almost all brands (besides, of course, full-bust specialists) beginning their range at an A cup.
Part of the reason for the lack of AA and smaller bra sizes is that, like DD+ ones, they’re harder to design for. If you simply take an A cup bra and make it smaller, it may not fit right. The straps may end up in the wrong place, the underwires may be the wrong length, or the cup style that works fine for B and C cups may just be too deep for these particularly shallow breasts (and therefore gape).
Below an A cup, sizing also gets more precise. Usually, cup sizing goes up in one inch intervals, with a 1” difference between underbust and overbust measurements being an A cup, a 2” difference being a B cup, and so on. However, when you go the other way, that method would make a 0” difference a AA cup – and what then would an AAA cup be?
Instead, the difference between an AA and A cup tends to be half the difference between an A and B cup. As Rachel at small-bust brand Lulalu explained, “our A-cup is a 1″ difference, followed by 0.5″ for our AA cup, and less than 0.5″ for our AAA cup”. This can make even measuring yourself your size quite tricky – she also told me “the inch measurement for AA and AAA cups is so minimal, they can be skewed easily based on whether the customer is using their measuring tape correctly or if they are holding their breath” – so it’s not hard to imagine that these smaller cup sizes could see a higher return rate than A-Ds. They’re riskier for brands to make.
Still, there are people who need them, and hence brands willing to take on the challenge! And no, they are definitely not all tailored towards the ‘first bra’ market. Here’s a list to help you find them:
The best bra brands for very small busts
These four brands are all small-bust specialists and, in my opinion, the best-known names in this niche. So I recommend starting your bra hunt here.
Based in: UK
Price range for bras: £25-35 (approx. $31-43 / 28-39€)
Size range: 28-40 bands, AAA-B cups
This small-bust retailer carries bras from various brands, but it’s their in-house collection that offers the widest range of (and prettiest) styles in AAA and AA sizes. If you’re on a tight budget, definitely check out their outlet where you’ll find multiple bras going for just £5.
Based in: USA
Price range for bras: $58-64 (approx. £47-52 / 53-58€)
Size range: 30-38 bands, AAA-A cups
Lulalu developed its bras from scratch, always with small busts specifically in mind in order to nail that perfect, comfy fit. In typical American style, many of their bras are moulded, t-shirt ones. However, aware that most of their customers are perfectly happy with their breast size, they mainly stick to lightweight padding.
Based in: UK
Price range for bras: £16.99-35.99 (approx. $21-44 / 19-40€)
Size range: 28-44 bands, AAAA-B cups
While researching this article, this was the only place that I found offering AAAA cups. That said, do check their size guide before purchasing. Anything less than a 2cm difference between your underbust and overbust measurements and you are technically sized out, so I have a feeling that their cup sizing is generous.
Based in: USA
Price range for bras: $48-54 (approx. £38-43 / 44-49€)
Size range: 30-38 bands, AA-B cups
Pepper launched with a single bra style in 2017, after an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign which saw it reach its $10,000 goal in just 10 hours. The current style options (plain plunge, lacy plunge, and plain bralette) and colour options (black, white, beige, and grey) are still pretty limited and there are no matching bottoms, but they do have great reviews for their fit.
Other brands making AA and AAA cups
Know Knockers – the UK-based retailer specialises in AAA-B cup sizing. They stock a variety of brands, but also have a handful of ‘KK exclusives’, lacy bras that you won’t find anywhere else. Currently, these include options for 32-42 band sizes.
Itty Bitty Bra – this US-based brand sells a small range of bras by other brands that start at an A cup or size XS. However, they have also developed their own style, called the Flatter Me Bra, for the underserved large-band-small-cup market. It comes in 40-46 band sizes and AAA-B cups.
Jane Woolrich – if you are looking for luxury, definitely check out this UK brand. All of their wired bras are available in 30-38 AA, and are made from silk and high-end laces.
Dobreva [affiliate link] – this Chinese brand sells direct-to-consumer on Amazon and Aliexpress. Most of their bras begin at a A cup, but at the time of writing there are two available in a AA, including one that’s strapless.
Victoria’s Secret – America’s biggest lingerie chain gets a lot of stick for its lack of inclusive sizing, but it does offer AA cups in 32-36 band sizes. Look here if you’re after a not-so-subtle boost – they are all ‘adds 2 cup sizes’ type ultra-padded bras.
Aerie [affiliate link] – at the time of writing, this other well-known US brand has a whole 126 bras available in a AA cup, ranging from moulded t-shirt bras to prettier, lacy looks. There is a catch though, which is that they only come in 32 and 34 band sizes.
ThirdLove [affiliate link] – the AA selection at this other well-known US retailer is noticeably smaller even than for its very unusual A½ size, and is currently limited to 34AA only. However, if you happen to wear that size, you’ve got a dozen or so bras to choose from here.
Auden by Target [affiliate link] – another large US brand here, and you thought AA cups were hard to find! However, as with the brand above, they are limited to a single band size, in this case a 32AA. Choices include moulded cups, lacy bras, and even a strapless option.
Lascana – just under 10% of this British brand’s bras come in a AA cup, which is a whopping 73 AA styles at the time of writing. They cover band sizes 30-42.
All For Me – this Japanese brand sells semi-customisable bras in a fixed size range, which includes 28-44 AAA and AA. I say semi-customisable, because you can choose colours/prints, strap styles, and lace placement, and even choose between a rounder or pointier cup shape. The website is in Japanese but I found it easy to navigate using Chrome’s built-in website translation tool.
Marks and Spencer [affiliate link] – this beloved UK department store offers plainer-looking bras in AA cups on 32 to 38 band sizes, plus 28 and 30 bands if you don’t mind that those ones are from their Angel range which is geared towards teens.
Triumph – a major player in the lingerie industry, this originally German but now international brand makes two of its bra styles in sizes 32-40AA. They’re both wire-free and lightly-padded – the plain Soft Sensation and the lacy Amourette 300.
Ewa Michalak – based out of Poland (but with their website available in English), this brand is particularly well-known for its expansive size range. That includes AA cups on 30-42 band sizes, albeit only in two of their many, many bra styles.
MaxCleavage [affiliate link] – as you can probably guess from the brand name, this UK retailer is aimed at those who want a larger-looking bust. Their own Atomic bra, available in a multitude of colours and with or without lace, has liquid gel and is available in 30-36 AA.
Wacoal – this Japanese-turned-international brand has many stockists worldwide, and offers one bra style, the Embrace Lace™ Petite Push Up, in a 32-36 AA.
Shirohato – this Japanese multi-brand retailer (which has its own website and also sells through Rakuten) currently offers two bra styles by Palissee that come in 30-34 AAA-A, and one by Mode Marie that comes in 32-38 AA-A.
Ellicelydia – based in the UK, this handmade brand is worth a look if you like bralettes, especially if you also wear a hard-too-find small band size. Items are made to order and can be custom sized, but you can also just pick from their standard size options which include 22-42 AA.
Helen Kukovski [affiliate link] – another handmade brand, this time based out of Ukraine, the standard size range includes 28-44 AA, although some items I clicked on were not available as a AA cup in all of those band sizes.
Annmarie Kahn Lingerie [affiliate link] – a US-based handmade brand focussing on petite sizes, all of the bras are underwired and available in 28-38 bands and from a AAA cup.
Your other option – custom sizing
I intentionally didn’t include brands that offer made-to-measure bras in the list above (unless they also have standard sizes to pick from), because custom lingerie comes with added hassle and a higher price tag. This article is aimed at those who want to be able to shop ‘off the rack’ just like someone who wears a 32C or 36B can.
However, if you don’t mind waiting longer or paying more, then yes, you could commission a custom bra made just for you. I shared some lingerie brands offering made-to-measure bras over on The Breast Life a while back.
Do you know of another brand making AA, AAA, or even smaller cup sizes (besides ones aimed at teens)? Add it in the comments section below and I’ll check it out.