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How To Put On A Bra

Did you know that 80% of a bra’s support comes from the band? In fact, a bra’s straps only account for about 20% of the overall support. Yet, most women rely on the cups and straps for support (!!!) and are disappointed when their bras don’t fit.

So, how do you end the cycle of disappointment? By getting a bra fitting from a lingerie boutique. Professional bra fitters are trained to help women find bras that fit well and feel good. Most importantly, they know what it’s like to struggle with finding good bras. They’re been there and done that. Their job is to take the stress out of bra fitting by educating you on how to put on a bra the right way and showing you what a proper fitting bra looks like.

Don’t have a lingerie store in your area? Then this guide is for you. Since you’re checking the fit of the bra at home, we’re starting with how to put on a bra and including helpful tips on how to check the fit at home.

Ready to begin? Here’s how to tell if a bra fits in four easy steps. 

1.  Slide your arms into the straps of the bra and hook the band on the loosest hook.

how a bra should fit

Another option is to hook the bra in the front first, then turn it around to the back, pull it up your ribcage, and slide your arms into the straps. Once the bra is up and in place, check the fit of the band. For a properly fitting band, you should be able to fit two fingers comfortably between your skin and the band.

Before you move onto the next step, make sure the bra band is parallel to the floor. You don’t want a band that rides up in back because it’s too loose or leaves bruises or marks on your skin because it’s too tight. When you’re wearing the right size, your bra band should be parallel to the floor and feel snug and supportive.

2.  Next, scoop all of your breast issue into the cups.

how is a bra supposed to fit

As you’re scooping your breast tissue, focus on moving it away from the side underwire and toward the center of the cup (also known as the scoop and swoop).

For the best fit, all of your breast tissue should be completely contained within the cups. No breast tissue should be outside of the underwire on the sides or spilling over the tops of the cups (no “double boob”). You also shouldn’t experience any side spillage or “back fat” (which is often an indication that you need a larger cup size) in a proper fitting bra.

3.  Then, check the fit of the straps.

 how to fit a bra

You should be able to fit two fingers between your skin and the strap. Adjust if needed.

4.  Finally, take a look in the mirror and examine how the bra fits and feels overall.

bra fitting guide

Ask yourself these questions:

  • -Is my breast tissue spilling on the sides of the bra or at the top of the cups?
  • -Is there room in the cups? Are the cups gaping?
  • -Does the center front of the bra (also known as the center gore) lie flat against my chest or does it stick out?
  • -Is the band riding up in the back?
  • -Does the band feel loose or too tight?
  • -Are the straps falling off my back (too loose or the wrong style) or leaving marks on my skin (too tight)?
  • -Is this bra uncomfortable? Do I want to take it off immediately after putting it on?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, try a different bra size. Alternately, if the bra fits but it just doesn’t feel right, it could simply be the style that isn’t working for you.


So, how should a bra fit? The band should be parallel to the ground and worn on the loosest hook when you first buy it. Most importantly, it should fit snug, but not uncomfortable. The straps should stay in place on your shoulders and allow enough room for you to fit two fingers between your shoulder and the strap. The cups should contain all of your breast tissue without any spillage, gaping, or empty space.

Ultimately, you shouldn’t feel any discomfort or pain while wearing the bra. And you shouldn’t experience any marks, bruises, discoloration, or soreness after taking the bra off.

Related: What Is A Bra Fitting Specialist and What Do They Do?

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, 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 lingerie:
Parfait Ellie Unlined Wire Bra P5082Parfait Ellie Hipster P5085 in Pewter/Nude
Parfait Charlotte Padded Bra 6901 | Parfait Charlotte Bikini 6905 in Red/Black
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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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