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Lots of women are happy to give up structured bras for bralettes after they’ve had a reduction. Me, on the other hand… As much as I love my new bralette collection, I couldn’t wait to try all the pretty things I had been lusting over for years. But with so many options, I had to find out first what could potentially work.

Parfait Charlotte in Pink Blossom
Parfait Charlotte in Pink Blossom

Figuring Out Your New Size

The “A Bra That Fits” calculator is often regarded as the best online tool to find out your proper size. However, the results are not always optimal with reduced breasts. All things being equal, it tends to overestimate their cup size. Also, you may find that you enjoy wearing a slightly larger band than you used to once you need less support. The calculator is still a good starting point but bear this in mind before getting sticker shock.

Parfait Charlotte in Floral Shimmer

Bratabase recommendations are great because they give you specific bra suggestions in the size most likely to fit you based on other users with similar measurements.

But all in all, nothing beats trial and error. Easier said than done in the times of the coronavirus, but if you can access a bunch of bras close to your new size and safely try them on, that would be ideal. You might even want to try your old bras to give you a clue. It could at least help you confirm your band size.

Figuring Out Your New Shape

Size is only half of the equation. I mentioned in my initial post how the surgeon can only reduce the depth of your breasts, not their width or height. In other words, they won’t stick out as far, but the root will still take up the same space on your torso. That means that reduced breasts tend to be taller and wider, that is shallower. Even if you had a narrow shape before, you might want to look into shallow bras post-op. Imagine you used to wear a 32J and managed to get down to a 32E, even if you had short and narrow roots, they were probably the width and height of a 32GG…and they still are!

You can also softly pull the wires of a bra so that it doesn’t sit on breast tissue when you swoop and scoop. Obviously, it won’t work if the wires are two inches too narrow, but otherwise, that might give you some leeway.

Finally, once they’ve settled, reduced breasts tend to be fuller on bottom. Most before/after pictures show a pretty recent after (3 months post-op or less), which might be misleading. Shortly after the surgery, the breasts may look fuller on top due to swelling coupled with their position high up on the chest. But they can take up to a year to fully settle. I’ve always had a very full shape, which was distinctively fuller on top pre-op. Now, I’m still quite full and have maintained some upper fullness, but would describe my shape as even or slightly fuller on bottom. I see this as an opportunity to give another try to brands and models that wouldn’t have worked in the past.

Tutti Rouge Liliana in Fruit Salad
Tutti Rouge Liliana in Fruit Salad

I ordered a Tutti Rouge Liliana, because when this bra first came out, everybody mentioned how shallow it was. Bingo! This is currently one of my best fit in terms of wire width and length. I’ll make sure to share a full review in the future. In the meantime, you can check out a review from Comics Girls Need Bras for the same item in a smaller band size. I did opt for a more recent colorway, so it is not quite as shallow as the original.

Next on my list was Parfait Charlotte, because I’ve had it in a K cup and it was the tallest bra I’ve ever tried. Once again, I got a recent colorway, which is less shallow than the original. Big Cup Little Cup reviewed it here. I remember Charlotte being very comfy, although it didn’t fit and I had to sister size quite a bit. It is still not a perfect fit (much better than pre-op, but the gore is too tall to get a good tack), but the comfort is out of this world, in part due to the wide wires, which won’t sit on my root. I could honestly sleep in it.

The one issue I have with my “trying well known shallow bras” strategy is that these bras tend to be padded, and I have a preference for unlined bras. In any case, it’s a been lot of fun so far, both to try models I couldn’t access before and to revisit bras I used to wear in a much larger cup size.