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A gif showing various bras on mannequins
(Photos by Danielle Roderick, Adobe Stock; Illustration by Liv Paggiarino / Los Angeles Times)

Where to buy a bra in L.A. that actually fits

After visiting the bra shops of Los Angeles, I learned that every chest is a country of its own, and there’s a committed and generous world of bra fitters in our city who understand all topographies.

Gone are the Judy Blume nightmares of being groped by a brusque fitter telling you what your bust will never be. These bra shops work hard to make sure anybody with breasts that need support feels good in their body. If something doesn’t fit, it’s not us — it’s the bra, and they know there is another one out there that will fit.

Each fitter I met wanted their customer to be happy with their purchase, knowing they would be wearing it for hours, that bras truly are a foundational part of our wardrobes. They reminded me that we deserve to be comfortable as we move through our day, and they understood that a bad bra can be like a tiny, quiet demon, hexing us relentlessly.

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A lot of us don’t even know these shops exist, or if we do, we’re afraid of the process — of getting naked in front of a stranger, or being forced to spend too much on something that will always be cheaper at Target.

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Every fitter I met was respectful of my privacy, and only came into my dressing room at my request. Prices vary, but the real gold is having somebody who knows bras figure out your size and fit. All my fitters understood my budget concerns and never guilted me into buying a bra I couldn’t afford.

Here’s what to expect at most fittings:

  • Very few shops are walk-in. You usually need to make a fitting appointment online or by phone. When you arrive, often the front door will be locked until the time of your appointment.
  • The fitter will ask you to take your shirt off but leave your bra on. They will assess your size and talk about the current bra you are wearing and the fit issues you are having.
  • They will bring you bras they think will be a good fit for your body, and will often leave you alone in the room to try them on. You will only see the fitter again when you are in your bra.
  • The fitter will always ask before they touch you, or if you want them to stay in the room as you change. Saying no is completely fine.
  • Most fitting appointments are 30 to 45 minutes long. You might find the perfect bra immediately, or you might try on 30 bras. Check in with your fitter if you feel you are going over time.
  • Let the fitter know your budget. It’s fine to pass on the world’s most comfortable bra if it is out of your budget. Most shops will keep a wishlist of bras you loved.
  • These are small businesses offering an incredible level of customer service, so resist the urge to take a picture of the bra that fits and try to find it cheaper online. You are not required to buy anything, but it will be hard to walk away when you find a great fit. Only make an appointment if you are truly open to making a purchase.

In my research for this guide, I was told I wear six different bra sizes, and by the end, I realized, bra size itself means nothing. It’s only the fit that counts, and that fit changes not only from brand to brand but from each style within a brand and each color and fabric within a style. Most fitters didn’t use a measuring tape. They all knew bodies so well that often, by sight, they knew what size to start with and what bras we should explore.

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The women who fit me had been doing it for years, and often inherited the business from their mothers and grandmothers. They had seen everything under the sun and were tired of customers apologizing for their bodies. These women love their work and want everybody to know about it, and to know there was no reason to try to decipher the world of bras alone with a laptop and a measuring tape.

Go get fit, I tell everybody I know complaining about a bra. I’m wishing for them a great bra but also, an afternoon of care, delight and serious lift.

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Bras in a variety of hard-to-find sizes, including 38G and 32F, on rows of hangers.
(Danielle Roderick)

A Total Woman

La Mirada Bra Shop
Walk-ins are welcome at this sweet shop tucked into a strip mall in La Mirada. Owner Stephanie Sokol will take you under her wing and find you the bra that is just right. She’s been in the business for years, as was her mother before her, and she fits sizes 26AA to 56N with instant knowledge of her stock and what will work best for you. Her goal is to create an “undergarment haven” where women don’t have to be embarrassed about anything, and instead can get properly fit. Custom bras are available, as are post-mastectomy bras. You can easily get carried away chatting here, and the shop is cozy and relaxed with a family feel. Easy parking out front.

A Total Woman carries various brands perfect for everyday wear, including Evelyn & Bobbie, as well as underwire swimsuits. Prices range from $58 to $88.
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A mannequin in a tropical bra beneath a sign that reads "Bra Garden."
(Danielle Roderick)

Bra Garden

Huntington Beach Bra Shop
Bra Garden carries every size in the book, 28 AA to 56 O. The approachable Orange County store has a strong selection of midrange bras. The goal is for beautifully fitting bras to be the norm, not the exception. Owner Windy Bess fits with a keen eye to comfort and style and is passionate about educating her customers about breast health. There’s an excellent sales rack with past seasons’ styles and a fun chattiness around the store as multiple customers shop. It’s a welcoming environment with a fix for all bra needs and undergarment emergencies.

Appointments are preferred but not required and can be made online. Bra prices range from $50 to $80.
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A plus-size mannequin wears a lacy black bra with navy blue accents in front of multiple racks of lingerie.
(Kat Contreras/For The TImes)

Cantiq L.A.

Echo Park Bra Shop
There’s no underwire in sight at this expansive Echo Park shop, but there is a lot of joy. Each piece is made with the intention of body euphoria, and the exuberant designs prove it. Owner Chelsea Hughes focuses on sustainability and inclusivity. Her bralettes are made in small batches in-house to create a smaller carbon footprint, with 95% of materials bought locally. She favors elastic and mesh fabrics that can easily accommodate size fluctuations and “meet you where you are in your body’s journey.” To find your size, a fitter will measure with a measuring tape and direct you to the right size to start with (ranging from 6X to extra small). Racks are arranged by size, not item.

Offerings include binders, top surgery bras and a range of comfy bralettes in fun colors and styles, starting from $42 to $68.
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Bras hang in rows below various wig styles on mannequins.
(Danielle Roderick)

Intimate Image

Woodland Hills Bra Shop
This is a specialty shop that takes finding prostheses and post-mastectomy bras to the next level. With an in-house insurance biller to handle the paperwork, Intimate Image wants to make an already hard time as easy as possible. Specially trained fitters help find the right prosthesis and bra, and since this is their main customer base, they are more than familiar with the many questions customers might have. The shop also offers a wide array of other everyday items like wigs, scarves and compression garments.

Appointments are suggested for a private fitting, but most important, they want you to come in when you are comfortable and ready to shop. Bras range from $42 to $68 and often are partly covered by insurance.
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Mannequins in bras sit atop drawers.
(Danielle Roderick)

Jenette Bras

Pasadena Bra Shop
There’s an edgy elegance at Jenette Bras that is instantly enticing. When you walk into a Jenette store, you want to be the type of person who wears these bras, like the strong, beautiful, rad models of various ages whose portraits decorate the store. There’s a sense of humor here, but it never compromises itself to be cute or twee. Jenette’s vibe of elegant strength proves that a good bra is a power move — a killer accessory that might just make the world shut up and listen. Appointments aren’t necessary, and there is no time limit on fittings. Brands are often European, including the French brand Empreinte. While Jenette’s tagline is “The alphabet starts at D,” it carries all sizes, starting with 28A.

Everyone is welcome at Jenette, and the staff works hard to make sure that customers know that bras can be functional, beautiful and also very fun. It’s a delicious place to shop. Prices range from $175 to $300. In addition to the Pasadena location, Jenette Bras has stores on the Westside and in Burbank.
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Pink curtains and pink walls accent dressing rooms at Laura's Corset Shoppe.
(Danielle Roderick)

Laura’s Corset Shoppe

Glendale Bra Shop
Open since 1922, this store is the real deal, with a prominent sign announcing: “Please do not ask for a size. Ask to be fitted.” Current owner Haley Trivoli has sold bras to generations of women, from first bras to last bras, and she knows what you need before you do. Decorated in pink ruffles with a ’60s boudoir feel, the shop has everything from mastectomy surgery camisoles and prostheses to everyday bras to, as Trivoli says, “bras for your honey.” After decades in the business, she knows every kind of curve and the undergarment for it. She also understands that not everybody has a big bra budget, so the shop carries a full range of prices as well as sizes. Classical music plays as she fits you in her jewel box of a store. Deeply committed to her clients and making sure the world’s boobs are right where they are supposed to be, she even matches your shopping bag to your outfit.

Bras range from $48 to $90. There are two free parking spots in back as well as street parking out front. Appointment only.
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Half a mannequin in a light blue bra sits on a table surrounded by lingerie.
(Danielle Roderick)

Les Corset Lingerie

Woodland Hills Bra Shop
If a bespoke bra is what you are looking for, Marina Levin specializes in specialty bras that are tailor-made for each client. The process involves multiple fittings (and cups of coffee) as Levin measures and makes sure everything is just right. You have the opportunity to pick your fabric, cut and style, and will end up with a garment made to your exact measurements. The shop is small and cluttered with fabrics, samples and sewing machines, so it feels like you are visiting an aunt’s sewing room. The glass door might be locked when you arrive, but just knock. A former engineer, Levin’s love for quality construction is apparent, and her bras are one-of-a-kind. She specializes in creating custom bras for formalwear.

Bras usually are ready within three weeks, and they start at $100.
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Bras hang in an armoire behind a suede green couch and red loveseat
(Danielle Roderick)

Lucy’s Boudoir

Long Beach Bra Shop
This is the store where a woman in her 60s came out of the dressing room in a lace bodysuit glowing, excited to show off how good she looked to everybody around. Lucy’s seems to have that effect. I met customer after customer who was ready to lift up her shirt and show me how amazing her bust looked, how well a bra fit or how, with this swimsuit, she wasn’t going to hide behind her husband in family vacation pictures. There’s an ethos of fun here, where all bodies aren’t just accepted, they are celebrated. “Your bra should support you like a friend,” says owner Crystal Rogers, who got me to try on all kinds of things I would never pick out myself, including a Polish bra with straps that were as confusing as they were enticing. She wants her customers to leave with new expectations for what their bras can do for them, and delight is key. The shop also offers After Dark fittings where a group of friends can come and shop together, as well as boudoir photography.

Fittings are $30 with an appointment, $40 as a walk-in. This is a busy shop, so appointments are definitely recommended.
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Elegant lingerie sits on tables and hangs on racks inside Sara's Lingerie.
(Danielle Roderick)

Sara's Lingerie

Studio City Bra Shop
Welcome to maybe the most beautiful bra selection you’ve ever seen. This boutique offers an exquisite collection of high-end European lingerie, all masterpieces of construction, material and design. These bras are expensive, sure, but they have the gall to also be outrageously comfortable — the delicate craftsmanship is immediately apparent. Owner Rebecca Sanfir Krihali, whose mother opened the store, has been fitting for years, and she treats every customer like an A-lister. Each fitting room is outfitted with a luxe robe to stay warm between garments, and she listens attentively to make sure that style and fit exceed expectations. This is the place to come for a splurge or a very special occasion. You will find pieces here you won’t see anywhere else, unless you shop in Europe often.

Most bras start at $172, with the most expensive specialty bras landing around $450. Subscribe to the shop’s newsletter for monthly discounts. Walk-ins are welcome. Sizes range from 32A to 46H, with alterations available as needed.
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A mannequin wears a black lingerie set in front of a rack of bras.
(Danielle Roderick)

The Lace Lounge

Harvard Heights Bra Shop
Don’t be fooled by the inconspicuous sign or hard-to-find door — inside is an elegant and relaxed West Adams treasure. At your appointment, you’ll be the only client in the store while you work one-on-one with your fitter to make sure you find a bra for your body and your budget. The Lace Lounge is committed to comfort and fit and has a casual peer-to-peer vibe. This doesn’t feel like shopping with your mom. Open for eight years, the Lace Lounge just moved to Harvard Heights from its original La Cienega location. This is a comparably priced option for those who loved Wizard of Bras in Monrovia, which closed. The Lace Lounge offers a chill, easy environment for you to find a bra you love.

Appointments require a $30 deposit, applied to your purchase. You and a friend can be fitted at the same time, but no kids or extra guests allowed. Street parking, entrance at the back. Bras range from $65 to $100.
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Colorful panties hang on a string with bras on a display table behind a window that says "Tres Jolie."
(Danielle Roderick)

Tres Jolie

Pasadena Bra Shop
Tucked into Pasadena’s Colonnade on Lake Avenue, this alley-shaped store is a wonderland of lace and underwire. Rose Nassanian, who has owned the shop for 34 years, works with each customer one-on-one, and she will not stop until she is satisfied that the fit is right. She carries mostly European brands like Marie Jo and Simone Pérèle, makers of well-constructed bras with exquisite details. You don’t come here for a sports bra — this is where to shop if you are looking for a bra with a beautifully detailed strap to peek out from a summer dress. Customers are under no pressure to buy — Nassanian wants you to feel excellent about your purchase, and only to buy what delights you in all ways. She’s had generations of customers, and working with her feels like meeting a wise woman who knows the ways of lace.

Basic everyday bras range from $78 to $128, and fancier bras range from $98 to $198. There is a large pay lot out back for parking, and Erewhon is nearby if you’re craving a rose smoothie to celebrate your newly appointed bustline.
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