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why do my bra straps keep falling down

When it comes to common bra annoyances, strap problems have to up there near the top of the list. From complaints about discomfort to endlessly pulling them back up onto your shoulders, bra straps are a source of endless frustration for many people. But they needn’t be!

All of your bra strap problems are fixable, and I don’t just mean by opting for a strapless bra.

Here’s what could be causing your strap issues, and how to solve them:

Slipping Bra Straps

how to keep bra straps up

Possible cause: The straps are too loose.

Pretty much all bras come with adjustable straps, but how many of us actually use those sliders on a regular basis? It’s not simply a case of setting the straps to the right length once and then forgetting about them. They can stretch out over time, so you’ll need to tighten them up every now and then. Before you try anything else, simply adjust your bra straps shorter and see if that fixes the problem.

Possible cause: The straps have stretched out.

If your straps are adjusted as short as they will go and still seem loose, and if the bra is old (or has been tumble-dried, which degrades elastic), it could be that the strap elastic has become stretched out. If so, you’ll either need to get your sewing kit out and take some length off or replace the bra.

Possible cause: The bra band is too big.

When your bra band is too big, it will ride up at the back. That means the straps aren’t being pulled as far down your back, and therefore taut, as they should be. Take a look in the mirror and see if the band is higher at the back than at the front. If it is, try going down a band size to see if that helps. (Remember to go up a cup size at the same time too).

Possible cause: The straps are too wide-set.

Finally, the issue could simply be the bra design. Some straps are placed further towards the edge of the cup than others. Balconette bras, in particular, tend to have very wide-set straps. Combined with narrow shoulders or ones that slope downwards, that’s a recipe for having them constantly fall down onto your arms. You can either try a different bra style, alter the bra to move the straps permanently inwards, or use a racerback clip accessory to gather the straps securely together between your shoulder blades.


Related: 7 Sewing Adjustments That Can Improve The Fit Of A Bra


Bra Straps That Dig In

bra straps digging in

Possible cause: The straps are too tight.

This one’s obvious but your straps could just be too short. Many boutiques keep them shortened all the way because it looks neat on the hanger, but remember that you need to adjust them to the right length for you when you first put the bra on.

Possible cause: The bra band is too big.

As described above, a loose bra band can lead to slipping straps. But depending on the bra design and your bra size, it might alternatively make them dig in. That’s because the majority of the support should be coming from the band, but if that’s loose it won’t be working very effectively. Instead, the weight of your breasts essentially ends up hanging off your shoulders, which can be a significant strain if you are full-busted. Try a smaller band size – the fit should be comfortable but firm.

Possible cause: The straps are too narrow.

Although it’s mostly the bra band that should be supporting your bust, the straps do take on some of that weight. If you have particularly heavy breasts, the straps can end up cutting in even when your bra band fits fine. If that’s the case, look for a bra with wider straps – it distributes the weight over a larger surface area, for better comfort. Bra strap cushions are also an accessory that you can try. They simply attach to your straps to provide a layer of soft padding.


Related: Which Part Of The Bra Provides The Most Support


Visible Bra Straps

how to hide bra straps

Try this: Racerback bra clips

Don’t want your straps poking out from the shoulders of a sleeveless top or dress? A racerback clip, mentioned above, pulls them inwards at the back so that they’re less likely to be visible under clothing from the front. In a pinch, you can get the same result with a paperclip.

Try this: Replacement bra straps

If you have a multiway or convertible bra – that is, one where the straps are detachable – you can replace the straps with ones bought elsewhere that are more discreet. You could try narrower straps, clear plastic ones, or ones in the same colour as your outer clothing. Or, you could spring for decorative straps (with ruffles or beads for example) which are designed to look like an intentional part of your outfit.

Try this: A strapless bra

And finally, going strapless is, of course, one way to ensure you definitely won’t have any bra straps showing! It can be challenging to find a strapless bra that feels supportive and doesn’t slip down, but they do exist. Check out our guide here to find one that works for you!


What’s your biggest bra strap annoyance? Let us know if one of the tips here helps you solve it!


why does my bra strap fall off my shoulder


Related: 4 Common Bra Fit Issues and How To Solve Them


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:
Charlotte Padded Bra in Floral Shimmer

Published by

Estelle Puleston

Estelle Puleston is the founder of www.estylingerie.com, a blog dedicated to her love of lingerie. She works full-time as a copywriter and digital marketer for the lingerie and swimwear industry, and when she’s not doing that, she’s probably sewing or enjoying a good cup of tea.

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