How Your Bra Should Fit

Ever wonder how to find the perfect fitting bra, well we are here to help. There are several key factors that work together to give you that perfect fit. First is the band, this is what is actually provisioning most of the support for your bra. It is what is holding it in place. Next you have to consider the cups. They should hold all of your breast without any gaps or spillage. There are a couple of other factors based on what kind of bra you select. There are many different styles all suited to different functions. 

Below we will go over a few of the common issues and try to offer some solutions.

How the Band Should Fit

The band should sit snug, but not tight, around your body. Bras stretch over time, therefore, you should always start your bra on the loosest hook and hook tighter as time goes on. A lot of issues you have in a bra can be caused just by having an ill-fitting band. It can be the root cause of digging underwire, slipping straps, or gaping cups. A huge difference can be made by a size adjustment. 

Common Band Issues

One of the most common signs of an ill-fitting bra band is that the bra rides up in either the front or back. It may also be leaving marks or indents on your skin. 

Issue #1: Band Rides Up the Back

 When your band rides up in the back it is usually caused by the band being too large. It will ride up because the weight of your breasts are pulling down the cups and straps.

Solution: You can tighten your closure or go down a band size if you are unable to do so. If your bra is older it may have stretched too much to be usable and you will need to replace it. Did you know bras are typically only good for eight months of heavy use?

Issue #2: Band Rides Up the Front

When your band rides up in the back , it is usually caused by the cups being too small for breasts.

Solution: In this case you would need to get a bra with a larger cup Issue #1: Band Rides Up the Back

Issue #3: Band Leaves Marks or Indentations 

When your band makes marks or indentations in your skin your band is too tight or too small.

Solution: You can loosen your closure, if you can not do this then you will need to go up a band size. If you have to increase the band size, make sure you adjust your cup size accordingly. 

How the Straps Should Fit

While the band does most of the work, the straps are there to keep your cups pressed against your skin. They should stay snug against your skin without digging in or leaving indentations. You should ideally be able to pull them strap about an inch away (roughly two fingers) from your skin with some effort. 

Common Strap Issues

The straps in an ill-fitting bra are usually the source of a lot of irritation. They often slip down your shoulders at the worst moment, dig in uncomfortably, or loosen over time. 

Issue #1: Bra Straps Falling Down

Elastic tends to stretch with wear and we often forget to adjust them as this happens. 

Solution: You can tighten them, if you continue having problems you may need to select a different bra style. Those with narrow shoulders may need to get one with closer straps. 

Issue #2: Bra Straps Keep Loosening

This can be a sign that the bra has aged and is not fit for use any longer, or perhaps that the straps are doing more work for you than they should be. The band should be doing most of the work and not your straps.

Solution: You may need to look into different bra styles. Racerback or convertible bras would be your best bet.

Issue #3: Bra Straps Digging into Shoulders

This is a sign that you have them too tight or that your band size is incorrect. Remember, the band should be doing most of the work and not your straps.

Solution: You probably need to try a smaller band size. You could also try to loosen the straps, or look for a bra with a wider strap. 

How the Cups Should Fit

Your breasts should completely fill the cup. When you adjust your band size, your cup size will change as well. If you go down a band size you go up a cup size, and vice versa. Try not to get stuck on the cup size you think you are. You just need to focus on how your breast fills the cup. This is especially important as some styles of bras cup your breasts differently and you may need to adjust your cup size as a result. 

Common Cup Issues

Cup spillage from the top or sides  is the number complaint of an ill-fitting cup size.

Issue #1: Bra Gaps at Top of Cup

If you have extra room in your cup this indicates that your cup size is too large. This can also indicate that the bra has stretched to the point that it is no longer usable. Several different styles have cups that can be stretched like this.

Solution: You can tighten the straps to see if this helps, but you will need to go down a cup size if this does not work. You can also try a different style of bra. 

Issue #2: Spilling Out the Top

If you are spilling from the top of the cup, your cup size is likely too small.

Solution: You can either go down a size or try a different bra style and coverage. 

Issue #3: Spilling Out the Side

It is likely that your cup is too small.

Solution: As with above, you can either go down a size or try a different bra style and coverage. However, you might want to consider a different sized band. 

*If you have asymmetrical breasts you should go with the larger cup size, and look into getting an insert to help prevent gaping or spilling. 


Let’s talk about underwire bras for a second. This is a style of bra that is popular for the support it gives its wearer. In fact, many find them to be uncomfortable to wear, however, this can be caused by it not being sized or fitted correctly. Your breasts should be completely in the cups with the wire behind them. It should not be sitting on or below your breasts. 

Common Underwire Issues

Pain and discomfort are the primary complaints against underwire, whether on your ribs or under your arm, or digging in in either/both places.

Issue #1: Underwire digging in

There are several different wire shapes and lengths especially when looking at all the different styles and brands there are. Some types of underwire bras are not suited to certain frames.

Solution: You may need to try several different underwire styles and brands to find the one suited to your frame. 

Issue #2: Pain on Ribs

Over time the fabric that is covering the wire may have worn down after repeated use or washings. Your band size may also be incorrect causing skin irritation from friction. 

Solution: You may need to get a different band size. You should also check to make sure the fabric surrounding the wires is not worn or damaged. If so, you will need to replace your bra. 

Issue #3: Pain under arm

Each underwire bra style has its own way that it encases the wire. Sometimes the fabric material is not high quality and will cause the wire to poke through.

Solution: Make sure you are buying a well made bra. Cheap quality products tend to break more easily than others. Your bra may have had the wire escape its casing.  If this is the case then you should purchase a replacement.