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how to fix a lumpy bra

Most of us, whatever size or shape we are, would like a silhouette that’s sleek and smooth. It’s especially frustrating when our lingerie creates bumps that aren’t there without it – I’m looking at you, VPL! But it’s not just briefs that can lead to a lumpy look, bras can too.

Here are four ways that your bra could be creating a bumpy outline, and how to fix them (without any need to resort to shapewear):

Cup overspill

how to tell if your bra is too small

Cup overspill happens when the cup size you’re wearing is too small. It also gets called ‘quad-boob’ or ‘double-boob’ because, from the side, you end up with two bumps instead of one. Overspill is most visible when you’ve got a close-fitting t-shirt on top.

There’s an easy solution to this – choose a larger cup size. Your breast tissue is spilling out of the current cups because there’s just not enough room for all of it to go inside. You can also minimise the likehilood of overspill by choosing a bra with a taller cup, such as a full cup bra, which will contain your breast tissue better than a low-cut demi or plunge.

Misshapen cups

lumpy bra

If it’s a molded bra cup bra that’s looking lumpy, check that that cups are still in good shape (literally!). Unlike an unlined bra which molds to your body, a molded one holds its shape – so if the cups are dented off the body, they’re probably going to look dented on the body too.

If the cups are misshapen, wash the bra and then reshape them while it’s damp, before laying the bra face-up on a towel or draped over a washing line to dry. Unfortunately, because molded cups are formed with special machines that use heat and pressure to ‘stamp’ them into shape, it can sometimes be impossible to get big dents out with just our fingers.

To avoid damaging molded cups in the first place, hand-wash and air-dry them (so they’re not tossed about in machines), reshape them while damp as explained, and pad out or stack the cups when storing so they don’t get crushed.

Related: Bra Care 101: How To Wash Bras

Band cutting in

how tight should bra band be

If your bra band is digging in at the sides or back and creating bulges, that could mean that it’s too small. Your bra band should feel firm, but it shouldn’t be so tight that it’s uncomfortable or leads to chafing. Try a larger band size, but be sure it still lies horizontally all the way around your body (which is essential for good support).

The issue could also be that the band is too narrow. Especially if you have lots of soft flesh around your ribcage, a narrow band may always create a bump here even in the right size. In this case, try a bra with wider wings, which will be more smoothing.

Straps digging in

bra straps too tight

Is the bumpiness on your shoulders? Straps that dig in are often the result of a band that’s too big. The band won’t be offering enough support, so you may have the straps set extra-tight to compensate. But while shortening the straps can lift your breasts up to some degree, overdoing it can lead to discomfort and ‘shoulder dents’ visible under clothing.

You should be able to comfortably fit a finger or two under your straps at the shoulder. If not, adjust them longer. However, also check that your bra band isn’t curving up at the back, and try a smaller band size if it is.

As with bra bands, straps can also dig in when they’re too narrow. This is especially the case if you’re full-busted, since you’ll have lots of weight pulling down on them! A wider strap spreads that weight over a larger surface area so it presses in less – just like snowshoes stop you from sinking into the snow.

You don’t have to let a bra interrupt the clean lines of your outfit. Do you like your bras to look completely smooth (invisible even) under clothing?

Related: Bra Shopping Guide: Tips For Buying New Bras

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

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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