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How to Keep Your Bra Straps From Falling Off Your Shoulders

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VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: "Bra Fitting Secrets: Why Are My Bra Straps Slipping?" Length: 3:41

In our HerRoom survey of over 400 thousand women, 52% claimed having narrow sloping shoulders. They think that’s causing their bra straps to slip. So what’s going on here? Well, the reality is that many of these women are in a band size that’s too big.

So first, here’s a quick and simple test to see if your bra band is too big. Take your straps off your shoulders and see what happens. Too big, and the bra falls down and off. Just right, and the bra stays up. Bra straps should only slightly help support your breast weight – the bulk of your breast support should always come from your bra band.

When your band is too big, the band first rides up your back. So, in the morning, when you put on this bra, if feels fine, but during the day it creeps up your back like this, your breasts start to sag, the straps loosen, and fall off your shoulders.

This mannequin has on the same bra but in 2 different band sizes. See how the strap placement moves out towards the shoulders. But remember, when you go down a band size, you need to go up a cup size just to maintain your same cup volume.

Now if you’re short or long- waisted, or are less than 5’4” or taller than 5’8”, you really need to look at a bra’s strap adjustability. Many bra straps only adjust in the back like this. This obviously reduces the amount of adjustability. Instead look for straps with full adjustability both in the back and front.

For those of you with sloping shoulders, how the straps are attached to the bra is key. At HerRoom, we show you strap placement for every bra.

Here is a balconette bra. See how much further out the straps are located?

Bras with center pull straps are a great choice for sloping shoulders. A center pull strap is sewn closer to the center of the cup, and less toward the shoulder. A center pull strap is sewn closer to the center of the cup and less towards the shoulders.

Women with sloping shoulders can wear a balconette bra or other wide-set strap bras as long as the straps are “kicked in.”

See how close the straps come together in back on this balconette bra? This is what I mean by “kicked in.”

Having the straps angled instead of coming straight down does a great job of keeping bra straps on your shoulders.

Bras with a leotard back design, also called a U back, can also help keep straps on your shoulders. Here’s a traditional or camisole bra back next to a leotard back. The circular nature of a leotard back pulls the straps more towards the center to help keep your straps on your shoulders. But, beware; not all bras claiming to have a leotard back do this.

Here’s an example of a wide leotard back bra with straps set widely apart. This would do little to help keep your bra straps up on your shoulders.

Of course, Racerbacks t-backs v-back and other special bra backs will be a great solution for keeping straps on your shoulders.

And now, many manufacturers are including what’s called a j-hook on the back of bra straps that easily allow you to pull your straps closer together.

So you can see, if your bra straps keep slipping, you can remedy this by either finding your correct bra size, or selecting a bra with the right features.

Bras Featured in the video:

See all the styles from the video
Wacoal Embrace Lace Contour Bra 853191
$60.00Free Cosmetic Bag
Wacoal 853191 reviews
Free Cosmetic Bag
Chantelle Rive Gauche 3 Part Cup Bra 3281
$88.00Free Travel Bags
Chantelle 3281 reviews
Free Travel Bags

Best Leotard Back Styles:

See more top leotard back styles
Prima Donna Lotus Full Cup Underwire Bra 016-2970
$143.00Free Shipping & Returns
Prima Donna 016-2970 reviews
Free Shipping & Returns
Lilyette Ultimate Smoothing Minimizer Underwire Bra LY0444
$42.0030% Off Today!
Lilyette LY0444 reviews
30% Off Today!
See Discount in Bag

Best Racerback Styles:

See more top racerback styles
Maidenform One Fabulous Fit 2.0 Tailored Demi T-Shirt Bra DM7543
$42.0030% Off Today!
Maidenform DM7543 reviews
30% Off Today!
See Discount in Bag

Best Convertible Bras:

See more top convertible styles
Maidenform One Fabulous Fit 2.0 Tailored Demi T-Shirt Bra DM7543
$42.0030% Off Today!
Maidenform DM7543 reviews
30% Off Today!
See Discount in Bag

Best J-Hook Styles:

See more top J-Hook styles
Maidenform One Fabulous Fit 2.0 Tailored Demi T-Shirt Bra DM7543
$42.0030% Off Today!
Maidenform DM7543 reviews
30% Off Today!
See Discount in Bag

More About Bra Straps

Bra straps come in a number of variations. They can be all or part elastic, all or part rigid, wide, narrow, padded, and usually length adjustable. Whatever the style, bra straps are meant to act as stabilizers for the bra. At most, they should carry no more than 10% of the breast's weight. Take the bra strap test in the sidebar.

Whatever the style, bra straps should lie flat against your chest (unless you have implants) and not fall off your shoulders. Generally speaking, straps fall off shoulders because the straps are too wide-set both in the front and back of the bra; the straps have been sewn on at an angle; or the straps are attached to rings that allow too much swiveling. If strap slippage is a common problem for you, the trick is to find a bra where the straps are either sewn closer to the center in the front or the back. HerRoom is the only website that shows back views on all bras. (See the sidebar below).

You've probably never really noticed how your straps attach to the back of your bra. Well, after reading this, I hope it becomes one of the first things you look at. How the shoulder straps are attached in back can tell you a lot about how the bra will fit. There are basically two types of strap attachments: camisole and leotard.

Camisole Strap :

Camisole Strap The camisole strap attachment style has the straps sewn onto the back at a right angle - creating a box-like shape with the bra back. This strap attachment style has been around the longest and is also used on traditional camisoles and slips. The camisole attachment style works for all bra sizes, and is particularly good for larger bra sizes because it allows the bra back to have as many hook closings as necessary; allows the straps to be made out of elastic or a rigid material; and can be easily altered. When a bra has a very narrow back with only one or two hooks for closing, the camisole attachment can pull up on the bra back making it look uneven and out-of-place (ride high on the back).

Leotard Strap The leotard strap attachment is a fairly new design in bras. Rather than a rectangle shape like the camisole attachment, the leotard attachment gives a round look on the back - similar to the look of a leotard. It has fast become the most commonly found strap attachment technique in today's ready-to-wear offerings. Besides looking different, the leotard back style almost always includes some elastic to achieve the rounded shape. Consequently, this elastic gives the wearer flexibility to raise her arms or bend over without having to adjust her bra afterwards.

There are a few challenges to a leotard strap attachment. The straps attach to the back at a bit of an angle to keep the arch styling. If the "U" shape is too wide , the straps can fall off the wearer's shoulders. The number of back fasteners is also limited with this strap design.

Finally, any adjusting bra strap has metal or plastic rings on each strap to aid in the length of your bra straps. When this ring is sewn directly on to either the top of the cup or the bra back, it will allow the strap to swivel to the right or left, and fall in a more comfortable location for the wearer. If you have sloping shoulders or are prone to having your straps fall off, avoid bras with rings placed in either of these locations.

As for how the straps attach to the front of the bra, there are two things to look for. For the best support, the straps should attach directly above the apex or point of each breast. Balconnette and demi-cup bras have the straps attached closer to the arm. There are two reasons: first, wider straps will accommodate a wider neckline, and second, straps attached on the outside of the bra cup create more cleavage by spilling the breast tissue towards the center. If you are prone to having straps fall off your shoulders, you should not select bras with wide-set front straps.

Front, back, overlay and measured bra views

Only At HerRoom

We are the only lingerie website that shows straight on back and front views of all the bras we offer. This, along with our exclusive blouse overlay shots, allows you to see how the bra straps will work with your clothes. Additionally, you can search on "leotard back" or "camisole back" when looking at bras if you have a specific back preference.

Keep reading. Next section: How A Bra's Center Panel (or Gore) Should Fit - Fitting Tips From Tomima