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how to put on a bra

Hand-washingair drying, and careful storage are some of the more obvious things that might come to mind if you’re trying to take better care of your bras. But did you know that the way you put them on is important too? It’s easy to over-stretch a bra band when you’re getting dressed, and doing that repeatedly, day after day, will take its toll on the elastic.

So to help you increase the longevity of your bras, here’s how to – and how not to – put one on.

Don’t put your bra on like this

Almost all bras use a hook-and-eye fastening, and I get it, they can be fiddly. But you should never, ever fasten it off the body and then:

Pull your bra over your head


Step into your bra and pull it up

Both of these methods stretch the band excessively. One forces the band to its limits when you’re yanking it down over your shoulders, and the other involves pulling it over your hips and stomach, at least one of which is usually wider than the ribcage it was intended for.

If you put your bra on like this, the band will quickly stretch out and become too loose to be supportive. You might break stitches and damage seams. You could even stretch the elastic to the point of snapping – ever noticed tiny threads poking messily out of your lingerie fabric? That’s broken elastic.

The exception to this rule is, of course, stretchy bralettes and bandeaus that don’t have any fastening, and are intended to be a pull-on style. However, it’s still a good idea to go slowly and stretch these types of bras as little as possible. They’ll last longer if you do.

Related: Here’s How To Make Your Bras Last Longer

correct way to put on a bra

Vanna Unlined Wire Bra | Vanna Hipster in Black/Gray

Do put your bra on like this

Most of us fasten our bras one of the two following ways. Although they are both fine to do, one is slightly better than the other:

Fasten your bra behind your back (the best way)

Doing up your bra directly behind your back puts the least strain on the band. At no point is it stretched more than it will be when you’re wearing it. If you’re really determined to not stretch out your bra bands, this is the way you want to be putting them on.

It’s extra important here to scoop and swoop. It’s very easy to end up with your breasts not sitting in the cups correctly when you put your bra on this way.

Fasten your bra at the front and then swivel it

Of course, not everyone is physically able to reach around to their back. And yet others of us are, but just can’t get the hang of doing up hooks-and-eyes that we can’t see!

The problem with putting your bra on backwards to begin with and then twisting it is that, again, you might over-stretch the band in the process. Especially if you secure your band very tightly, it could be difficult to swivel it round without lots of tugging.

So although this is a very common and not ‘wrong’ way to put a bra on, do be gentle! Take it slow and don’t pull the band further out from your body than you really need to. Use two hands, pulling the band from either side at the same time, so that you’re not putting lots of strain on one side only.

If you have mobility issues but like a firm band and are worried about stretching them out, you could always consider a front-fastening bra instead.

Are you a swiveller or a reacher? Or – hopefully not for much longer after reading this – do you prefer to pull your bras on?

Related: 6 Reasons Why We Adore Front Closure Bras

putting on a bra

Vanna Unlined Wire Bra | Vanna Hipster in Bare/Ivory

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:
Vanna Plunge Padded Bra | Vanna Hipster in Bare/Ivory
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Published by

Estelle Puleston

Estelle Puleston is the founder of, a blog dedicated to her love of lingerie. She works full-time as a copywriter and digital marketer for the lingerie and swimwear industry, and when she’s not doing that, she’s probably sewing or enjoying a good cup of tea.

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