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bra cup too big at top

It may be easy to tell when your bra is too small — for one, the band could feel tight around your rib cage, or your breast tissue could be spilling out of the cups. But what about when your bra is too big? This is an equally important fit issue to pay attention to. If your bra is too big, it will simply not be able to provide adequate support for your breasts. And support is crucial for preventing such issues as back/shoulder pain, breast discomfort, and premature sagging.

So, how can you tell if your bra is too big? Here are some of the most common signs that you need to go down a size:

1.  Your straps are falling down

Have you noticed that your straps have a tendency to fall off your shoulders? That’s a red flag that your bra size is too big. Of course, the first step is to tighten your straps and observe whether that fixes the issue. If they’re still falling down, then you’ll probably need to opt for a bigger cup size (and decrease the band size).

2.  Your cups are puckering

Wrinkled cups aren’t just unsightly — they’re also a sign that you need a smaller bra. When your breasts can’t adequately fill out the cups, the cups will often pucker because they’re too loose. Occasionally, tightening the bra straps can resolve this problem. Often, though, it’s a matter of going down a cup size to ensure that you can fill out the cups completely.

3.  The band is riding up

If the band on your bra seems to ride up in the back, the bra may be too big for you. The band is supposed to fit horizontally all the way around your torso. However, when the bra is too big, it can fall forward in the front due to the weight of the breasts. As a result, the band starts to ride up in the back. This means you’re not getting the support you need — so you’ll likely want to size down.

4.  You’re on the tightest hooks

Which row of hooks do you fasten your bra on? If it’s on the tightest setting, there’s a good chance your bra is too big for you — particularly if it still doesn’t feel snug on that row. Your bra should fit comfortably on the middle hook. In fact, when you first buy a bra, you’ll ideally be able to wear it on the loosest hook — that way, as it loses some elasticity over time and gradually stretches out, you can keep tightening it as needed and get the most wear out of it without compromising support.

5.  Your shoulders hurt

No bra should make your shoulders sore. If you’re feeling some pain in your shoulders, it could mean that the band is riding up because it’s too loose — and as a result, the bra straps have to do all the work of carrying the weight of your bust. You may also notice that your bra straps are leaving indentations in your shoulders, as they’re taking on the heavy lifting. You’ll likely need to go down a band size if you’re dealing with this pesky problem. 

6.  There’s a gap between your chest and the cups

Notice some gaping going on between your breasts and the bra cups? That typically means you should go down a cup size. Your breasts should be centered in the cups, and the cups should lay flat against the breast tissue with no gaps near the bottom, top, or sides. Sometimes, solving this issue is a matter of finding the right bra for your breast shape. Depending on the fullness of your breasts (and whether they’re full on top or full on bottom) as well as the projection, there are particular styles that may help prevent this gaping better than others.

Pro tips

There’s no sense in wearing a bra that’s too big. Not only does it mean you’re not getting the right amount of support, but it’s also not going to flatter your figure. The right bra size will make you look — and feel — your very best, no matter what you’re wearing (or not wearing) over it. If you suspect your bra size is too big, head to your local lingerie boutique or department store and get fitted by a professional. A pro bra fitter will not only measure you but also potentially suggest bra styles that work best for your breast shape.

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:
Amour Cross Plunge Padded Bra A1471 | Amour Bikini A1473 in Black
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Published by

Rebecca Strong

Rebecca is a Boston-based freelance writer who focuses on style, fitness, food, and travel. She has contributed to such publications as HuffPost, Elite Daily and U.S. News & World Report. When she's not writing, she can be found at home or in the studio working on the songs for her upcoming album. Her favorite bra is a black demi-cup style with all-over-lace — timeless and feminine.

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