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is my bra too small

Feeling like your bra might be too small? Read on for the three most common signs of a too small bra (and how to fix them)!

Your breast tissue spills over the cups.

Let’s get the most common sign out of the way first. If your breast tissue is spilling over the cups, one of two things is happening: the cups are too small or the straps are too tight. If you’ve scooped all of your breast tissue into the cups and they’re overflowing, try going up one or two cup sizes first. Your bra size may have changed since you last bought bras and you might just need a bigger cup size.

If there is a small amount of spillage over the cups, but the cup size is correct, try loosening the straps a little. Remember: You want to be able to comfortably fit two fingers between your skin and the strap for the best fit. Also, don’t forget that the majority of your bra’s support comes from the band. So, if you’re relying on your straps to do all of the lifting, you’re likely wearing the wrong bra size!

The bra band feels uncomfortable, and at times, painful.

Ever feel like you want to rip your bra off at the end of the day? We hope you don’t feel that way! Discomfort and pain are often key signs that your bra is too small; they can be caused by a bra in the wrong size or a bra style that just isn’t right for you. Trust us: When you’re wearing the right bra size and style for your breast shape, you’ll feel so much more comfortable.

The solution to this irritating problem? Try sizing up in the cup and opting for a different style. Need help deciding on a style? Check out How To Find The Right Bra For Your Breast Shape and then head over to The Girl’s Guide To Bra Styles for a little guidance!

Related: How To Find The Right Bra For Your Breast Shape

You notice red marks or indentations on your skin when you take your bra off.

Do you see an outline of your bra after you take it off? Red marks and indentations on your skin can be signs of an ill-fitting bra. If you’re wearing your bra on the loosest hook and all of your breast tissue is scooped into the cups, it could be a band issue. Try sizing up in the band first.

Depending on the fit of the cups, you may find that your bra sister size is a perfect fit or you may need to size up in the cup too. For example, if you normally wear a 34D, a 36C is your bra sister size with a bigger band. While it might seem crazy that you’d wear a C cup if you normally wear a D, bra cup sizing has more to do with cup volume than anything else. So, in terms of cup volume, a 34D has relatively the same amount of volume as a 36C. Which means that a 36C might be just what you need if the band is too snug but the cup fits just right.

Alternatively, if both your cup size and band size are too small, try sizing up both the band and cup sizes (in this case, a 36D) – you’ll get a bigger band size and a bigger cup size and hopefully a better fit!


The fit of your bra will mostly depend on your cup size and comfort preferences. Many women like the support of a snug band while others don’t and that’s perfectly ok. Buy the bra that provides support and makes you feel comfortable.

If you wear a DD cup or larger and you’re experiencing pain or discomfort, we strongly suggest getting a bra fitting at a local lingerie store. And, if you can, try switching to a bralette or wireless bra at the first sign of discomfort. There’s a chance you might be wearing the wrong bra size without even realizing it. A bra fitter can help sort it all out!

Related: How To Find A Local Lingerie Store You Will Love

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! 

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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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