A COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF BRA
FIT PROBLEMS & SOLUTIONS

PROBLEM

THE BRA CUPS PUCKER

REASON

Your cup size is too large.

SOLUTION

Go down one cup size (example: from a D cup to a C cup) while keeping the same band size and/or tighten your bra straps.

PROBLEM

BREASTS ARE BULGING OVER THE TOP OF THE BRA CUPS

REASON

Your cup size is either too small or cut too low for the size of your breasts.

SOLUTION

Try going up a cup size (example: from a B cup to a C cup) or choose a bra style with more fabric in the cup, such as a full coverage cup instead of a demi or balconette cup.

PROBLEM

ONE CUP FITS WHILE THE OTHER CUP PUCKERS

REASON

One breast is larger than the other (this is very common - almost all women have one breast larger than the other). Sometimes the difference is noticeable, sometimes it's not.

SOLUTION

  • Purchase breast enhancers and put one along the bottom of the cup of your smaller breast.
  • Purchase a bra with stretch fabric in the cup. The size difference will then be less noticeable and both cups will fit.
  • Try adjusting the straps so that the larger breast cup is looser than the smaller breast cup.
  • Purchase a padded bra with removable "cookies," and take the cookie out of the side with the larger breast.
PROBLEM

THE BRA IS THE CORRECT SIZE, BUT THE TISSUE NEAR THE UNDERARM IS FALLING OUT

REASON

You have the wrong style bra. Demi bra styles and other styles with smaller cup coverage are probably not for you. Such styles are more for women who don't need much bra support. Remember, not all bra styles will work on your figure - even if they come in your size.

SOLUTION

Select a bra with taller sides. Large busted women with this symptom should consider going up a cup size. A larger cup will contain this additional breast tissue.

PROBLEM

SOME BRAS JUST DON'T LOOK RIGHT

REASON

Not all bras do all things well. A full cup bra may look like it's strangling you. A demi cup may look too skimpy. Wide set bra straps might make your cups gap, padding may give you lumps and bumps. No one can wear all bra styles.

SOLUTION

Assess your figure and see what category you fall into: petite, full figure, plus size, etc. Next, go to our Classifying your Breasts section to learn what bra styles work best for your figure.

PROBLEM

SEVERAL BRA SIZES FIT ME

REASON

You have different bra sizes because different manufacturers make your bras. Your breast size can change around your period, causing you to need a different size bra. Or, you do not have clear and stringent bra fitting requirements for yourself.

SOLUTION

  • Bra manufacturers can call your cup size by different letters if your cup size is larger than a D. Find your Universal Cup Size and always find your correct bra size.
  • Your bra size should be the same among one manufacturer's many styles (unless I post a Tomima's Tip).
  • Many women buy a bra style they like in two sizes - one size for regular days, and one size for period days. This is a great idea if you have significant breast fluctuation. Don't suffer during your period days by stuffing yourself into a bra that's temporarily too small.
  • You need to fully understand what a good fitting bra looks like on you and not compromise. If a bra's fit, comfort and/or shape is not right, don't buy it.
PROBLEM

Underwires pop out of bra

REASON

Your band size is probably too large. If your band is moving around your body, this friction wears down the casing covering your underwire and ultimately causes a hole for the wire to pop out. In a really bad fit, this hole can occur within a matter of hours.

The fabric sewn over underwires inside a bra, called channeling, is sometimes made of cotton. Washing in hot water can shrink the channeling and force the underwire to pop out.

The manufacturer may not have sewn enough stitches to close the underwire channel and the underwire has been able to pop out.

SOLUTION

Try a smaller band size and a larger cup size (e.g. go from a 42D to a 40DD) and see if your bra stays in place better. Never wash your lingerie in hot water or put in a dryer. If your wire popped out due to a sewing error, it can be fixed with an alteration.

PROBLEM

Underwire is uncomfortable and poking my underarm

REASON

The cup size is too small and places the underwire right on the tender breast tissue and too far forward on the body.

The style of the bra is not providing a wide enough cup to support your breast.

The design of the bra is placing the cups too close together.

SOLUTION

Try going up a cup size and see if the underwire fits more comfortably (e.g.: 36C to a 36D). Or try a different style bra with fuller cup coverage and/or a larger center panel in front. A large-breasted woman can still experience poking on the sides, even in a bra that is the correct size. Therefore, she should look for a bra that has side support panels. These panels will push her breast tissue towards the front and away from under your arms. Also, if this problem is occurring with a minimizer, you should probably stop wearing a minimizer. A minimizer works by flattening your breasts and moving the tissue more under your arms and up your chest. Too much tissue under the arms will get in the way of comfortable movement.

PROBLEM

Underwire is poking my armpit

REASON

You are probably petite in build, and/or have a short torso, or have breasts that are high-set on your ribcage. Petite women have this problem because average bras are not made for women with short torsos. Therefore, the underwire is too tall and pokes into their armpit.

SOLUTION

Consider a demi style bra, or a bra style with less cup coverage and thus shorter underwires. TThis shorter underwire should reduce poking. HerRoom identifies all full-figure short underwire bras in our petite plus-size bras department.

PROBLEM

Underwires tip away from body between the breasts

REASON

Your bra cups are not deep enough and/or the center panel is too narrow at its bottom.

The underwire is not sitting in your "breast crease" and therefore is not laying flat against your chest.

Your bra may be a minimizer.

You have close-set or touching breasts.

SOLUTION

Try on a larger cup size or select a bra with a different shaped center panel. Your breasts may also be unusually wide and not rest in underwires well. Consider wearing a Soft Cup / Wireless bra, of which HerRoom has a large assortment. Minimizer underwire bras work by compressing breast tissue. One side effect is that sometimes the center wires tip outwards. Try another minimizer or forgo a minimizer all together. Finally, consult our Breast Separation area to understand your breast distance.

PROBLEM

Can't find an underwire that fits

REASON

Your breast shape may not be suited for underwires. Some women have breast tissue that extends around their chest and under their arms. An underwire is going to press into breast tissue and feel very uncomfortable. This is known as a non-traditional Breast Crease.

SOLUTION

There are many Soft Cup / Wireless bras on the market now. Also, take our Breast Classification Test to learn more about your breast shape and the best bra styles for you.

PROBLEM

Breasts are too big

REASON

You may have what’s known as an Omega Breast Shape which makes it difficult to find a bra that fits.

You just haven't found the right style bra. Wearing the wrong style bra that does not have proper support and does not elevate your breasts to their proper position will make you look heavier and bigger than you are.

SOLUTION

Full figured women have way more options today. HerRoom offers many full-figured bras that cater to the full-figured and plus-sized woman.

PROBLEM

buttons keep popping open on blouses

REASON

Your breast projection in front is such that causes your buttons to be pulled apart and pop open.

SOLUTION

This is the reason we have minimizer bras. A minimizer bra reduces your front breast projection. It’s like taking a mountain, and turning it more into a hill while using the same amount of dirt. Most minimizer bras can reduce your breast circumference by 1’ to 1-1/2".

PROBLEM

Same bra size as friend, yet can't wear the same bras

REASON

Breasts are unique. Though two women may measure to the same bra size, one's breasts may be higher-set on their ribcage, spaced farther apart, or could have a wider back.

SOLUTION

Understand your unique shape variations and learn what bra styles and bra features work best for you. Try our Bra Size Calculator to learn what type of breasts you have and the styles best suited to them.

PROBLEM

Sagging Breasts

REASON

Your bra does not have enough support.

Your cup fabric is too stretchy and flimsy for your breasts.

Your band size is too large.

You may also have heavy breasts that are becoming pendulous due to lack of proper support.

SOLUTION

The apex of your breasts should fall half way between your elbow and shoulder. To get there, you need a bra with good support. Features of great supporting bras include a 3-section cup, support panels built into the cup, a band all the way around the bottom of the bra, and 3 or more hooks in the back. Avoid single layer molded cup bras. Going down a band size and up a cup size may also solve this problem (e.g. 38C to a 36D).

PROBLEM

Rashes and redness under breasts

REASON

Your cup is too small, your underwire is not in the breast crease, and your bra does not give enough support to lift your breasts off your ribcage. Consequently, your breast skin is overlapping and rubbing on your ribcage skin and irritation is occurring.

SOLUTION

Increase your cup size until you find the right underwire that fits within your breast crease comfortably. Choose a bra that has a band on the bottom. This band will give additional support and insure your breast tissue does not come in contact with your ribcage skin. Select a bra with a supportive cup design such as 2 to 3 section cups, contains support panels at the bottom, along the sides and possibly all the way around your breast. Finally, consider a Soft Cup / Wireless bra with a band and good supporting cup design.

PROBLEM

Stretch marks are visible running up and down the breasts

REASON

Your breast tissue is breaking down because you are not wearing a bra, or are wearing a non-supporting bra. Breakdown of the breast tissue is causing your breasts to sag and creating stretch marks. This problem can occur on small- breasted women as well.

SOLUTION

Wear a well-constructed, supportive bra during the day and a high impact sports bra for exercising. These stretch marks will never go away, but wearing supportive bras will reduce or eliminate further damage.

PROBLEM

Center bra panel does not rest on sternum

REASON

Your cup size is too small.

Your bra is a minimizer or a soft cup style and these bra styles tend not to touch your sternum.

You're not wearing your bra correctly.

SOLUTION

Re-arrange your breast tissue in the cup and see if the fit improves. If this doesn't solve the problem, try on the bra in the next larger cup size (e.g. go from a 42D to a 42DD). If your bra is Soft Cup / Wireless and you're large breasted, the center panel will probably not touch. This is okay. Minimizer bra styles also tend to push away from the sternum. If you're large breasted and have touching breasts, your center panel will probably not touch your sternum. Better bra style choices would be bras with little or no center panels, and plunge bra styles.

PROBLEM

Center bra panel has a gap

REASON

Style of bra does not work with your figure.

You have splayed breasts.

SOLUTION

Try a different style bra, have the bra altered, or select a bra style more fitting to your breast seperation.

PROBLEM

Bra rides up in back

REASON

Your band size is too large.

SOLUTION

Try hooking your bra on a tighter setting and loosening the straps. If this doesn't work, your band size is too big and you need to buy a smaller band size (e.g.: from a 36C to a 34D- when you go down a band size, you need to go up a cup size to maintain the same cup volume).

PROBLEM

Bra rides up in back, but bra size is correct

REASON

Your torso does not get narrower at the waist and in fact might be wider.

Your breasts are large and heavy. Both these body characteristics predispose your bra back to riding up.

You have curvature of the spine which makes it difficult for the bra back to stay in place.

SOLUTION

Make sure your bra back has the leotard back strap styling, is wide - 4-or more hooks along your back closure, and wide elastic sewn along the bottom edge. Also, when you put on your bra, make sure your bra back is pulled down under your scapulas or shoulder blades - this will also help to better anchor your bra back in the correct location. Other bra options include backless bras which have lower back designs, posture bras because they have large backs and no back closures, and front closure bras because, again, there are no irritating back closures.

PROBLEM

bra gives back fat bulges

REASON

As we age, the skin on our back becomes soft and fluffy. Since a bra causes pressure to provide support, the look of back fat arises.

SOLUTION

The more back coverage a bra has, the less back fat you will have. Thin straps and thin back only exaggerate back fat. Bras with a leotard back claim to also reduce the amount of back fat. But, the best way to reduce back fat is to wear a shapewear camisole or torsettes shapewear over your bra. Either one of these solutions will greatly help reduce or eliminate your back fat.

PROBLEM

Shoulder Straps keep falling off shoulders

REASON

If tightening the strap is not working, the problem could be that your cup size is too big - You're not filling out the top of your cup (probably because you have shallow upper breast fullness and this is causing your straps to slide down your shoulders.

You’re using bra extenders which move the bra strap placement closer to your shoulders’ edges.

When putting on your bra, you are not making certain your bra's back is pulled down and under your shoulder blades.

Your band may not be tight enough or a size too large and the straps in the back are thus too close to the edge of your shoulders.

Your bra style could be the problem -wide-set straps are very popular, but if you have small or sloping shoulders, this style is not for you.

Your bra straps are attached to a ring either in front or back. This ring allows your straps to swivel and thus contribute to them falling off your shoulders.

You were born with narrow or sloping shoulders.

SOLUTION

Here are several solutions:

Try your bra style in a smaller cup size or select a different style bra with straps sewn closer to the neck.

Look for bras that have center pull straps – straps sewn directly above the cup’s apex rather than over towards the side.

Look for bras where the straps are sewn close together in the back; also called kicked in or set-in straps.

Racer-back bras and leotard back bras are great solutions for falling straps.

If you're using bra extenders, remove them and buy the bra in a larger band size and one cup size smaller to maintain the same cup fit. those bra extenders are placing your straps farther apart and exacerbating strap slippage.

Go down a band size and up a cup size and see if your bra fits better.

There are many bra strap accessories available at HerRoom that help keep your straps in place.

PROBLEM

Shoulder Straps dig into shoulders

REASON

Your bra is not giving you enough support, so your shoulder straps are being forced to do too much work, or your straps are too tight or too narrow. Straps should carry no more than 10% of the breast's weight.

SOLUTION

If you drop your shoulder straps off your shoulders, your bra should stay in place. If this is not the case, your band size is too large and you should go down a band size and up a cup size - if your cups fit correctly (e.g. from a 42D to a 40DD or 40E). Bra straps should never create dents in your shoulders; straps should carry only minimal breast weight. A wider bra strap is also a good idea for breast sizes larger than a D cup. Buying a bra with a band in its design under the underwires will give you the greatest support – if your band size is also the correct size.

BRA FIT CHECKLIST

A LIST OF BRA FIT MUST-HAVES FOR EVERY BRA PURCHASE

10 MUST-HAVE BRAS

CREATE THE QUINTESSENTIAL LINGERIE WARDROBE

DIY BRA SIZING

FIGURE OUT YOUR BRA SIZE YOURSELF BY LOOKING FOR SYMPTOMS

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