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is my bra too small

How do your bras fit? Your bra size will likely change a few times throughout your life. A few common causes: a change in weight, birth control, menopause, pregnancy, and a fluctuation in breast size from your period can all affect your bra size. As they get older, many women find that they no longer wear the same bra size they wore in high school or college.

If you’re experiencing discomfort, pain, or a lack of support from your bras, you may be wearing a bra that’s too small. Ideally, your bra should feel so comfortable that you forget you’re wearing one. Breast tissue spilling out of the cups, sides, and bottom of the bra is a telltale sign of the wrong size bra. You’re also wearing the wrong bra size if the bra band is digging painfully into your skin.

So how can you tell if you’re wearing a bra that’s too small and how do you fix it? Read on for everything you need to know.

Signs Your Bra Is Too Small

Your breast tissue spills over the cups and sides and out of the bottom of the bra

A double-boob look isn’t flattering. In a perfectly fitting bra, your breast tissue should be completely contained within the cups. You might not know that what you consider to be “side boob” or “back boob” can often be solved by wearing the right bra size or a different bra style.

The bra band digs into your back, chest, and ribs

If the band feels uncomfortable or painful, you may need a bigger band size. But, an uncomfortably tight band could also be a sign of cups that are too small. When your bra cups are too small, your breast tissue still needs a place to go. Try sizing up in the cup first, before changing the band size and see if that fixes the bra fit problem.

The underwire lays on top of your breast tissue

The underwire should completely encapsulate your breast tissue – it should not be resting on top. Poorly fitting cups are a sure sign of a bra that’s too small. Remember: You’re doing yourself a disservice if you’re wearing the wrong bra size. Your clothes will fit so much better if you wear the right bra size.

You don’t know exactly what’s wrong with your bra – you just know you’re uncomfortable

Do you find yourself adjusting your bra throughout the day? Do you want to take it off and throw it away immediately? You’re probably wearing a bra that’s too small. A perfect-fitting bra should provide comfort and support for your bust. It shouldn’t be a source of discomfort or frustration.

Related: How To Tell If A Bra Fits In 4 Easy Steps

The Fix

Get a bra fitting

A bra fitting can solve common bra fit issues – like a bra that’s too small. In a bra fitting, a bra fitter will determine your bra size and personal shop for bras that you’ll love. She’ll take into consideration everything that you’re looking for in a bra – from comfort to support to something sexy to all of the above.

Go up a cup size

To fix a bra that’s too small, try going up a cup size (or two) first. More women wear bras that are too small in the cup than too small in the band. A too-small bra can often be fixed by changing the cup size, so don’t be surprised if you leave the fitting room with a new bra size entirely. It’s not uncommon to go from the 34C bra that you’ve been wearing for years to a 32DD/E bra or larger.

Remember: The bra sister sizes for a 34C are 32D and 36B. So while a 32DD/E might seem huge, it’s actually only one cup size bigger (and one band size smaller) than what you’re using to wearing.

Go up a band size

If going up a cup size doesn’t help, try going up a band size. A larger band size may be able to solve your bra fitting problem. Opt for your bra sister with the larger band size first so you can determine if it’s a band issue or a cup issue and a band issue.

If you normally wear a 36D, try a 38C first. Remember to pay close attention to the style – a demi bra will fit differently than a full coverage bra. Note the fabric too. A power mesh band will fit snugger than a modal band. Then assess the fit of the band in front of a mirror. How do the cups fit after you do the scoop and swoop? Is your breast tissue completely contained without the cups or does it spill over? Can you fit two fingers between your skin and the band or is it too big or too small?

If you’re trying on bras at a lingerie boutique, your bra fitter will check all of this for you and make recommendations for styles that will fit well and feel amazing. (And those are just two of the many perks of visiting a local lingerie store.) Perfect!

Related: Bra Sizing Explained: Here’s How Bra Sizing Works

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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Published by

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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