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how should a bra fit - 6 Common Bra Fitting Problems and Solutions

Our bras, it seems, can be friend or foe. When they fit properly, they can do everything from make workouts more comfortable, a certain blouse looks better around the bust, enhance your cleavage, take some strain off your back and shoulders, and even making your breasts look more even. However, when they don’t fit well, they can be quite the nuisance. You should never have to deal with straps that continually fall down or underwire that pokes you.

That’s why we rounded up some of the most common bra fitting problems — as well as some suggested solutions.

Cups with extra room

bra cup too big

If you aren’t filling out your cups, the most obvious solution would be to opt for a smaller cup size. However, this issue may also be an indicator that you need to tighten your straps, so definitely try that first. It’s also worth noting the bra style. If you have a small bust, a demi cup bra or balconette bra may be a better option than a full cup bra, which may simply offer too much coverage.

Gaping cups

bra cup gap

First thing’s first: Try tightening your straps or going down a cup size to see if any gaping or puckering in the cups goes away. If that doesn’t work, you may want to explore some different bra styles. Asymmetric, slender, and teardrop breast shapes tend to deal with this problem more often since the majority of the breast tissue (and thus, the weight) is at the bottom of the cup, leaving extra room at the top. Try a plunge bra or push-up bra, as the cups are angled, minimizing the chance of gaping.

Back bulges

how to get rid of fat on back under bra

Last but certainly not least, an all-too-common problem is the dreaded back bulge or “back fat” caused by an ill-fitting bra. One easy fix may be to simply go up a band size, as a band that’s too tight will squeeze the skin, or up in the cup size, as a cup that is too small will comprise the fit of the entire bra (even if you’re wearing the right band size for you). Another strategy to consider is seeking out bras with wide bands, which can offer extra support and prevent any potential bulge. You could also try a longline bra, which offers supreme smoothing benefits.

Related: Is Your Bra Too Small?

Straps falling off your shoulders

why does my bra strap fall off my shoulder

There’s nothing worse than constantly having to pull your straps back up. Of course, tightening them might do the trick in terms of resolving this pesky problem, but if they’re still falling down, you may want to try a different style. Specifically, you should seek out a bra style featuring straps that are set closer inward, as they’re far less likely to fall off your shoulders. Note that a racerback bra can also help you to avoid this problem. Certain styles (like balconette bras) that tend to have wider set straps are more likely to cause strap slippage if your shoulders are narrow or sloping.

Straps digging into your shoulders

bra straps digging into shoulders

Whether you notice indentation marks on your shoulders or the straps simply aren’t comfortable, there are several ways to prevent them from digging in. First, you could try a smaller band size. This pesky problem may be a sign that your straps are doing a lot of the work in regards to support, while the band should actually be doing the heavy lifting. By going down a band size, you can ensure it’s doing its job (instead of forcing the straps to pick up the slack, thus putting more strain on your shoulders). Don’t forget that wearing a smaller size means you may very well have to then go for a larger cup size (see: bra sister sizes).

A rising bra band

how tight should bra band be

The band on your bra should lie in an even horizontal line all the way around your rib cage. If it’s rising up in the back, you likely need a smaller band size. Or, if it’s an old bra, it might simply be time to replace it — bras gradually lose their elasticity and stretch out over time with more and more wear.

Of course, one of the best ways to effectively solve any bra fit problems is to get assessed by a professional bra fitter, which we recommend every 6 months at the very least. An expert may be able to quickly identify the source of the problems you’re dealing with, as well as provide recommendations for specific bra styles that will work well for your breast shape and size.

Related: This Is Why Your Bra Band Rises Up Your Back And How To Fix It

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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Lauren Hamilton

Lauren Hamilton is the founder of, a lifestyle and relationship blog offering relationship advice and encouraging women to be the happiest, most confident version of themselves through positivity and self-love. She's also a freelance writer and communications strategist. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, and check out some of her accomplishments on her portfolio.

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