Even though women are never one true size in every bra, a lot of women are still wearing the wrong bra size. It's heartbreaking for us to know that women are uncomfortable and struggle with wearing bras, because that's not what should happen! Wearing a bra will change the way your clothes sit on your body and it will also improve your posture. Bras offer great shape and body confidence, so we recommend investing in some great fitting bras to make you look and feel great.
We recently read an online article by The Sun about the possibility of bras giving you headaches. Now, we can't say we believe this entirely...but the chances are they might, especially if you are wearing a bad fitting bra.
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When it comes to buying bras, we also know that a lot of women worry about having a bra fitting in a retail shop and don't know the first thing to look out for. To be honest, most of bra fitting rules about getting a good fit is basic common sense. Just ask yourself is it comfortable? Is it supporting my breasts? Does it hurt anywhere? Is it too big or too small in the cups? These are very simple questions you can ask yourself when bra shopping.
If you've ever wondered whether other women have the same bra problems as you...they do! Bra sizes are just like clothes sizes, every brand differs in size and you may be one size in one brand, and one size in another brand.
We want to go through some of the main common fitting problems that women face and the best solutions to tackle them.
Common Fitting Problems
PROBLEM: My breasts are different sizes and I can't get a bra to fit both sides.
It's very common for women to have different size breasts, but for some women it's more noticeable than others and occasionally there's a difference of a whole cup size. In this instance, we advise fitting the bigger side first, so you get the most support out of your bra. You can also buy chicken fillets or foam pads to fill your smaller side to even them out or try a bra that has removable pads. All you need to do is take the removable pad out of the bigger side and add it into the smaller side to even it out.
PROBLEM: The straps are digging into my shoulders.
This could mean one of three things.
- It could mean that your straps are just too tight on your shoulders. Try loosening them slightly to see if this helps.
- It could also mean that your straps are compensating for the lack of support around the under-band. Try a smaller back size to get more support and loosen the tension on the straps.
- Sometimes straps also dig in because they are too narrow. We advise trying the Bra Strap Cushions or trying a new bra style with wider straps.
TIP: The bra straps should only give you 20% of the support. The underband should be the most supportive element of a bra.
PROBLEM: The straps are slipping off my shoulder.
First try tightening the straps, so they are firmer on your shoulders. After washing and wearing, the bra straps can slacken slightly and sometimes we forget to tighten them up! It could also be that the bra style you are wearing doesn't suit your shape. Some women have sloping shoulders and it can be difficult to find a bra style that sits comfortably without slipping. Half cup bras and balcony bras sit further out on your shoulders, so we advise trying a full cup bra where the straps sit more central.
PROBLEM: There is breast tissue spilling out of the cups.
There is only one real reason for this and it's because the cup size is too small for the breasts. You need to make sure when trying on bras that the underwires are not touching any breast tissue in the centre front or under the arms. The can be very uncomfortable after a while and can cause red marks. Try a bigger cup size until the underwires sit flat against the centre gore and all the breast tissue is incased under the arms. (You may need to go up more than one cup size).
PROBLEM: There is creasing or gapping in the cups.
The simplest solution to this is to try a smaller cup size, so your breasts fill the entire cup without any creasing or bulging. It could also be the bra style that doesn't suit your shape. Opt for a balcony bra or half cup bra because they are shallower in the cup.
TIP: Bra sizes are graduated, so if you go down in the back size by one size, you need to increase the cup size by one size as well. If you feel the underband is sitting parallel with your back, but the cup size isn't correct, only adjust the cup size, but not the back size. You can read our Bra Size Chart for all the sizes.
PROBLEM: The underband is riding up the back.
If your bra is very old and worn, you will notice the elastic has stretched and therefore won't provide any support...well, this is the time to get rid of it and replace it! Any new bra should be fastened on the loosest hook, so you can tighten it when it has been washed and worn. The under-band should also sit square at the back and parallel to the front, so it offers 80% of the support. If this isn't happening, try a smaller back size. (You may need to go down more than one back size).
You can test your under-band by standing in front of a mirror and lifting up your arms to see if any breast tissue comes out underneath. If it does, the back size is too big and possibly the cup size is too small as well.
We have some other great Bra Fitting Guides:
Follow these simply solutions to get great fitting bras every time. Don't forget, we advise checking your bra size regularly especially through major lifestyle changes and special occasions. Happy Bra Shopping!