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how should a bra fit

Whether you’re shopping for new bras or checking the fit of the bras you have at home, there are a few things you should keep in mind when assessing the fit.

Here are seven common bra fit problems you can figure out at home (and how to solve them):

1.  Your bra cups are too big

Do you notice any gapping or extra space in your bra cups? Ideally, you want your breast tissue to completely fill the bra cups without any extra space leftover.

A smaller cup size or a different bra style (like a demi cup bra or balconette cup bra) can solve this common bra fit problem.

2.  Your bra cups are too small

If your breast tissue is spilling out of the top, bottom, or sides of your bra, you likely need a bigger cup size. To check this, first fasten your bra. Then, scoop all over your breast tissue into the cups using the scoop and swoop method.

Your breast tissue should be contained within the cups without any spillage. Keep the same band size and try a larger cup size instead.

3.  Your bra band is too big

Can you fit a hand or two between your skin and the band? If so, this is a telltale sign that your bra band is too big. The bra band provides the majority of a bra’s support, so a snug but comfortable fit is ideal.

If the bra you’re wearing is old and worn out, you might just need a new bra. Try a fresh bra in the same size. If that doesn’t fix the problem, opt for a band size smaller to get a tighter fit.


Related: How Should A Bra Fit?


4.  Your bra band is too small

Does your bra band feel painful or uncomfortable? Your band size might be too small. If the cups fit you fine, try a bra in your bra sister size. Your bra sister sizes have relatively the same cup volume as your regular bra size.

To get your first bra sister size, go up in the band and down in the cup. To get your second bra sister size, go down in the band and up in the cup.

For example, the bra sister sizes for a 34DD are 32DDD (32E UK) and 36D. You’ll notice that the band fits differently in these sizes but the cup fits similar to the cup size you’re used to.

5.  The center gore doesn’t lay flat against your sternum

The center gore, or center panel, is the small part of the bra between the cups. On a bra, it looks like it connects the cups. It is typically stabilized – and because of this it does not stretch. This ensures that the cups stay in place.

For the best fit, you’ll want a bra that lays flat against your breast tissue. This helps to separate breast tissue and creates a flattering shape.

However, keep in mind that some bra styles may never tact completely. Minimizer bras and full coverage sports bras are both examples of bra styles that may not lay completely flat against your sternum. These styles typically have tall center panels – making them a tricky fit for the fullness and shape of augmented breasts and close-set breasts.

6.  Your bra straps fall off your shoulders

Do your straps fall off your shoulders? One of two things could be happening: (1) your straps need to be tightened, or (2) you need a smaller band size.

Remember: Your band size does most of the heavy lifting. If you’re relying on your straps for support, you’re not getting the support you need. Your straps are designed to keep your cups in place. Your band is what lifts your bust and provides support.

A good rule of thumb for straps: Make sure you can fit no more than two fingers between your skin and the straps. And be sure to pay close attention to the band. The bra band should stay in place when you’re adjusting your straps. It should not rise up or move up your back.

On the other hand, if your straps fit fine, it could be any issue with the band. Opt for a smaller band size if adjusting the straps doesn’t keep them from falling off your shoulders. You might be surprised what the simple change in band size can do!

7.  Your bra band rides up in back

Lastly, you may be experiencing an issue with the bra band being too big. Your bra band is too big if it is riding up your back. Your bra band should be parallel to the floor and always stay in place when you raise your arms in the air. It should not move up your back or be worn with the back band higher than your center gore in front. Sizing down in the band typically solves this bra fit issue.


Related: Bra Shopping Guide: Tips For Buying New Bras


We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


Featured image lingerie:
Sandrine Plunge Longline Bra P5351 in Wild Pink

Published by

Katie Donnelly

Katie Donnelly is a full-time freelance writer, content manager, and founder of Katie Rose Creative. An experienced bra fitter, Katie has helped hundreds of people shop for lingerie. Her favorite bra is the Sandrine Plunge Longline Bra.

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