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wrong bra size

One of the first things we do when we’re getting ready for the day is put on a bra. Many of us wear them all day, every day, and some of us even wear them through the night. So needless to say, bras play a big part in our lives. And when they don’t fit properly, they can be downright uncomfortable or unsightly. So, how do you know whether you’re wearing the right size?

Obviously, if the underwire poking into you or your bra is otherwise causing you any pain or discomfort, you need to get fitted. Here are some other ill-fitting bra symptoms that can help you determine whether you’re wearing undergarments that are too small or large: 

Your bra band rides up in back.

Take a peek over your shoulder in a mirror. Does the band on your bra lay horizontal at an even height all the way across your back? A band that rides up at all is a telltale sign of an ill-fitting bra. And it’s also one you should definitely pay attention to, as the band provides the vast majority of the support. Make sure, of course, that you haven’t simply adjusted the straps too tightly (which can cause the band to ride up). If it still isn’t laying at an even level, then you definitely need a different band size.

Your bra straps won’t stay up.

It goes without saying that this symptom is a nuisance — after all, who has time to keep pulling their straps back onto their shoulders? But it’s also an issue because it indicates that you’re not getting adequate support from the straps, either. If they’re still slipping even after tightening them a tad, you may need to try a smaller band size (or a different bra style altogether).

You have shoulder indentations.

If you have the opposite problem and your straps stay up but they’re digging into your shoulders, then you’re likely not wearing the right size, either. This suggests that your straps are taking most of the weight of your breasts, meaning the band isn’t providing sufficient support. A smaller band size might do the trick, taking some of the slack back and relieving the strain on your shoulders.

Your breast tissue is spilling over the bra cups.

It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing a push-up bra or a demi-cup bra aimed at creating cleavage. Spilling out of the top, sides, or bottom of the cups are all signals that you need a different bra size — most likely a larger cup or smaller band. A bra that fits flawlessly will remain flush against your body rather than create any dreaded quad-boob effect, adequately encapsulating the breast tissue. In fact, it will keep your breasts contained even when you raise your arms in the air (speaking of which, is a phenomenal test to put your bra through to make sure it fits).

The cups are wrinkly.

If you notice that the fabric on the cups is dimpling or wrinkling at all, then you may very well need to go down in cup size. Properly fitting cups shouldn’t bunch whatsoever — they should lay smooth so as not to show under your form-fitting tops and dresses.

Your bra is giving you a back bulge.

Sure, some of us have some back fat, but when your bra is creating the appearance of more than is actually there by digging into or squeezing your skin, then you may need a larger band size.

The center of the bra doesn’t lay flat against your chest.

If that panel in the middle of the cups (called the center gore) is lifting off your chest, you certainly aren’t wearing the correct bra size. That piece should lay flat against your sternum, even when you lift your arms up.

And the final sign that you’re wearing the wrong size? If you figured it out on your own. Don’t be shy about getting some professional assistance in this matter — these experts can ensure you know your accurate size, thus helping to prevent any of the aforementioned pesky problems and furthermore, making bra shopping a breeze.

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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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