Finding the right bra, no matter your size, is a journey. But when you add the extra hurdle of having a smaller chest, it can be not only difficult but embarrassing and even humiliating at times. Being handed push-up bras at the department store, doubling up on or stuffing bras or even thinking something’s wrong with your body — just because it’s not being represented in mainstream media? All experiences shared by my sister and me — two members of the IBTC.
I think that like many people, I equated finding a comfortable, flattering and well-fitting bra to finding a needle in a haystack. My sister prefers to shop around for bras but is always looking for something that’s more comfortable and flattering to her specific shape.
So when I discovered Pepper, I knew it was something we both had to try out. Pepper creates bras specifically designed for those with AA, A and B cups. My sister, who is a 32AA, falls on the smaller end of that spectrum, while I, being a 34B, fall on the larger end of the spectrum. Both of us also want different things from our bras, so I was curious to see how even with a smaller range of sizes a brand like Pepper would be able to serve those of us with smaller chests across the board.
There were two main reasons I was really eager to test out Pepper, and (spoiler alert) why I’m a huge fan of the brand. The first are the actual products. Pepper claims that when it comes to those of us with smaller chests, bras often don’t fit because they weren’t designed for us. The brand describes how the intimates industry designs for a 36C, while Pepper designs for AA, A and B sizes. How is this actually implemented in the brand’s bras?
The first design difference is that Pepper’s bra cups are actually shallower, which means you won’t encounter any awkward, annoying bra gaps — one of my biggest pet peeves with other bras. The brand also uses a slightly smaller underwire (because smaller breasts need less support) and have optimized the length and curvature of the wire to maximize comfort. Finally, Pepper utilizes light padding for a natural look. The brand promotes embracing your natural shape and size instead of trying to make your boobs look bigger than they are with uncomfortable thick padding and push-up designs.
This brand ethos is the other reason I was so drawn to Pepper — it’s all about embracing and celebrating your body. In a previous interview with CNN Underscored, Pepper CEO and co-founder, Jaclyn Fu, shared that Pepper was “born from the pain, and eventually the love I have for my own body and learning how to celebrate it exactly as it is.” And that the brand “exists to remind everyone it’s not your body that has to change — it’s the industry.” Traditional bra brands and pop culture have conditioned us to believe that sexy has to include tons of cleavage — and Pepper hopes to help folks realize that that’s just not true.
Knowing this, it’s no surprise that Pepper creates and offers an inclusive range of sizing for smaller-chested folks of all sizes. Most plus-size retailers in the United States start cup sizes at a C, which reinforces the misconception that plus-size people must have larger breasts — something that’s just not the case. A couple of the larger bra sizes Pepper offers include 38AA, 38A, 38B, 40AA and 40A.
Sizing is always tricky when it comes to buying bras online. Fortunately, Pepper offers both a Size Quiz and Fit Guide on its website, so you have two ways to check what your best size might be. The Size Quiz asks you a couple questions about how your current best-fitting bra fits, and makes a size recommendation based on that bra. My best-fitting bra is a 34B, and the quiz confirmed that that was the right fit. When my sister took the quiz, for whatever reason her results showed that Pepper didn’t currently have a bra size that would fit her best. This didn’t end up being the case, since the size she ultimately chose — a 32AA — ended up being her perfect match.
Pepper’s Fit Guide is useful if you don’t currently have a best-fitting bra, or you’re starting from scratch when it comes to finding your perfect size. You enter your ribcage and bust measurements, and they recommend a size. I was surprised to learn that the Fit Guide suggested a 34A for me, which I was pretty sure was going to be too small. I stuck with a 34B, which ended up being perfect. When my sis
These bras are designed to empower those with smaller chests
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