If your bra irritates you, constantly moves around, or just feels like it’s not supporting well, take a look at the top tips below and learn how to master a perfect fit.
1. The band rides up the back
When it comes to support and uplift, the band (the number of a bra size e.g. 34, 36, etc) is the most important part for lift. It should give 80 percent of the support breasts need. It should be firm on the body to ensure it can do its thing and help lift the weight of the breasts. It should be possible to get two fingers underneath the band and gently pull it away about an inch or so.
If a band is too loose, it will ride up the back, and breasts will fall forward or even start to droop. The firmer the band is, the more lifted breasts will be. It's a common misconception that bra straps do all the lifting.
2. Breasts spill out or don’t fill the cup
The dreaded "double boob" is a common problem with an ill-fitting bra. It happens when the cup size is too small. Conversely, extra space in the cup can mean the need to go down a cup size.
It’s also important to make sure the underwire doesn’t dig into breast tissue, as this is the main culprit of discomfort and soreness. Women often mistake this for the band being too tight and then go looser in the back. However, 99 percent of the time it is in fact the cup size that needs to be increased (and the band made firmer.)
The style of bra is also significant. Moulded cups (like a pre-formed T-Shirt bra) have a moulded, rigid cup shape. If breast tissue is quite soft or has lost its fullness, this style of bra may always stand away or leave a gap, no matter the size. The answer to this is to wear a bra with a soft stretch lace in the cup. This sort of fabric is soft and supple and will then mould to the bust shape, rather than standing away from it.
3. Bra straps fall down
Straps falling down can be down to a few different issues:
4. Bra lifts up or creates a gap
If a bra stands away from the body, or breasts slip out the bottom of the cups when arms are raised overhead, bra size is incorrect. If this happens because the underband is too loose and isn’t able to lift and support properly. The frame of the bra (the cradle) should be snug and sit flat on the body.
Here you can see that the bra sits away from the body - meaning that it's too big in the band
5. The bra doesn’t sit flat to the breastbone
The middle part of a bra – the part that sits between your breasts - is called the gore. It should sit flat against the breastbone. If it can be pulled out easily, and there's a lot of room, it isn't quite right. When it sits flat, it means the bra can fully support, lift and separate the breasts. When arms are raised above the head, this centre part of the bra shouldn't move or stand away from the body.
To solve this problem, a firmer band is generally required.
Alternatively, it may mean that the cup size isn’t big enough, and breasts are physically pushing the centre of the bra away. By going up in the cup, breasts sit in the bra more comfortably and the gore sits flush.
Lastly, the centre of the bra may stand away due to the style of bra. Women who have a heavier, close set bust may find that full cup bras (which have a deeper gore) can stand away. To resolve this, choosing a bra that has a lower gore (like a plunge bra) will sit much better and tuck up against the breastbone. Sometimes it really is down to each individual bra and what works best for a woman. There is no one size or style that fits all.
6. Finally – always remember to try before you buy. Much like other clothes and shoes, bras will all fit differently.
About The BraBoss of Kent
Joanna Van Blommestein, otherwise known as the BraBoss of Kent, is a fully qualified, advanced bra fitter. She has worked in the lingerie industry for 12 years and has vast experience and product knowledge, including fitting and offering expert bra fitting advice.
Based in the market town of Faversham, Joanna is on a mission to help the women of Kent discover their correct bra size and offers bespoke bra fitting in a calm and stress free environment. You can find out more @the.bra.boss.of.kent
Sign up to receive our monthly digest of advice, blogs and news on all things menopause, to help you on your journey