Bra Problems & Undergarment Solutions
BRA CUP PROBLEMS
Quad Boob – boobs that spill out from the top or side of your bra.
If It Doesn't Fit... Don't Wear It!
If your breasts are bulging out from the top of your bra making you look like you have four breasts, then the cup on your bra is most likely too small. Not everyone fits in the B, C, and D cups that you find at chain stores, so don't be surprised if your cup size is larger than you thought. There are great bras available up to an N (yes, N!) cup.
First, make sure your bra band is snug and lies parallel to the floor.
If your bra band fits correctly, then you need to go up in cup size. For Finding Your Real Cup Size example if you are wearing a 36C bra and have a little "muffin top" at the top of the cup, you will want to buy the same bra in size 36D.
Still Seeing Double?
If you have more than 1 inch of breast tissue coming out at the top of the bra, or if your band size is not fitting you properly, we recommend starting from scratch to find the best fit. We recommend getting professionally fitted.
FALLING OUT OF THE BOTTOM
Do you breasts fall out from underneath your underwire when you run or lift your arms, or even during the day? This is a sure sign that your bra does not fit you correctly.
Fix Your Fit
In order for your bra to stay put and support your breasts, the band needs to be snug. To test your fit, try putting a finger under the bra band, between the breasts. If you can fit two fingers or more under the band, it is definitely too loose. Most may not know that a band is the true supporting element in a bra, not the straps. A tighter band will give you more support and prevent pain in your shoulders and back.
One very important bra fitting fact is that the size of the cup varies depending on the band size. For example, a 36D bra and a 34D bra do NOT have the same amount of space in the cup. If you want to try a smaller band size, you will also have to go up in the cup size. For example, if you are wearing 36D bras and you are falling out of the bottom of the cup, you would want to try 34DD instead.
If your bra band is more than one size too big, or if you have trouble with your cup size as well, we recommend re-measuring yourself.
Proper Care is Essential
If you are falling out of a bra that used to fit you well, your bra might be simply too old. Over time, the elastic in a bra band can weaken and stretch out. If your bra is too loose on the tightest hook, it's time to say goodbye! Even the best bras won't last forever, so be sure to check you fit regularly and toss bras that aren't providing the support you need. Extend the life of your bras by hand-washing them - and never put a bra in the dryer!
One Breast Bigger Than Other
Don't be embarrassed if you don't have perfectly even breasts because it's completely natural. Some women have a noticeable size difference of a full cup size or even more. There are many different solutions to comfortably fit both sides of your chest or to disguise the difference.
Embrace Your Shape
To fit both sides without filling out the smaller cup, we recommend a stretch cup bra. You can use the shoulder straps to customize the fit on each side. This solution is great for women with breasts less than one cup size different on each side. It is also the most convenient solution for uneven breasts.
Try A Little Camouflage
If you would like to make your bust look more even, don't try to squeeze the larger breast into a cup that is too small. There are plenty of ways to fill in the smaller size to create a more symmetrical silhouette. The easiest solution is to wear a molded cup bra that is fitted to the larger size. Because this type of bra keeps its shape, it will hide a small difference in cup size. If your size difference is more pronounced, you can use a single breast enhancer in the cup to lift the smaller breast.
A great all-in-one solution for women with a smaller cup size is to buy a padded bra with removable "cookies" or push-up pads. Simply remove the padding from the larger side. Many modern padded bras come with this option.
Many women have uneven breasts after breast surgery. For women who have had lumpectomies, mastectomies, or simply have a very large difference between their cup size, we recommend specialty breast forms. Mastectomy bras have other advantages for post-surgical women, including fabric designed to be comfortable against Post-Surgical Solutions sensitive skin and full-coverage styles that support without binding.
GAPPING CUPS OR WRINKLING
Is there a gap at the top of your bra cups? Does the fabric at the top of the cups wrinkle or not lie flat? There are two possible reasons for this problem.
Check Your Cup Size
Often, a gap at the top of the cup is the result of wearing a cup size that is too large. Make sure you've adjusted your breast so that it is centered within the cup. If you have extra room in the cup, you should try going down one cup size.
If the bra cup used to fit and you have not lost weight, your bra may be too old. This is especially true of stretch cup bras because of the elastic which can stretch out or lose shape over time.
Flatter Your Figure - Forget Full Coverage
Another reason your bra could be gapping at the top is that your bra is not the right style or shape for your breasts. Every woman's body is different, even a bra in the correct size may not fit well if it is not suited to your breast shape. For instance: some women have breasts that are fuller at the bottom than the top, or "teardrop" shaped - Balcony bras and demi bras are more suited to this body type than full-coverage bras.
UNDERWIRE CAUSING PAIN
A painful underwire is one of the most common bra complaints. Many women are convinced that they can never feel comfortable in a bra with underwires. The good news is that most of these women are wrong!
In the correct size, an underwire bra should be perfectly comfortable. The underwire should surround the whole breast and lie flat against your side without pinching or poking. If you are spilling out of the sides, the cup is too small.
Reasons Not to Wear an Underwire
While most women can wear an underwire bra comfortably, there are a few exceptions. If you are definitely wearing the correct size bra, but still have underwire pain, it is possible that you have a high rib cage. Luckily, there are plenty of great wire-free bras available. Our soft cup section will help you find a non-underwire bra for every body type. There are also times in a woman's life when non-underwire bras are best. We recommend soft cup bras for pregnant women and women who are undergoing surgery. Some medical conditions, like hiatal hernias, make underwires uncomfortable as well.
In a properly fitted bra, your breasts should look lifted, upright and perky no matter your age. If a bra doesn't give you this look, it's time for a new bra!
While sagging breasts are a natural part of the aging process, the right bra can lift your breasts for a much more flattering look. How can you tell if your bra is giving you the support you need? Check out your profile in the mirror. In the right fit, your nipple will be halfway between your shoulder and your elbow. If your girls are heading south, your bra is not fully supporting your breasts.
Finding Your Perfect Band Size
First, check to make sure you are wearing the correct band size. Almost all of a bra's support should come from the bra band. If your band is too loose, the weight of your breasts will pull down the front of your bra. If you can fit more than two fingers under your bra band, the band size is too big. Try going down one band size and up one cup size. For example, if you are sagging in a size 36C bra, try 34D instead.
Proper Bra Care
Are you still saggy in a properly-fitted bra? Chances are, your bra is "dead". Your bra won't last forever but can have an extended life with the proper care. Again, we recommend hand washing and air drying. Heat damages the elastic band and causes the bra to lose its support (the dryer is a sure fire way to kill your bra).
Bras only last six to nine months - depending on your breast size and how you wash and store your bras. Besides wearing the wrong size in the first place, the most common bra mistake that women make is wearing their bras too long. Bras are under a lot of pressure and will stretch and weaken in time. You have to replace your bras regularly if you want to keep your breasts supported and not saggy. We recommend having several bras and rotating. Don't wear the same bra more than one day in a row, let it rest!
Bra hooks are an important factor with a purpose. Your new bra should fit on the loosest or furthest hook so as your bra stretches, you can go down to the tighter hooks to prolong the life of the garment. That's why there are multiple hooks!
Straps Falling Off Shoulders
Bra straps that constantly fall off your shoulders are an annoying and common bra problem. While it may sound obvious, many women simply do not adjust their bra straps or do not adjust them correctly. Don't worry about making both of your bra straps the same length. Because everyone has one breast that is larger than the other, you might have to make one strap longer in order to make the straps comfortably snug.
Straps Still Falling?
If you cannot adjust your bra straps to the right length, there are two possible reasons. One problem could be that your bra is too old. Over time, the elastic that is in most bra straps stretches out. To extend the life of your bra, make sure you never put the bra in the dryer, which destroys elastic. Even the best quality bras won't last more than a year when worn regularly, so don't torture yourself in a bra that's past its prime!
The Best Styles
If you are having this problem with a new bra, the bra is most likely not the right style for you. Many bras are designed with straps that are wide-set, or far apart from each other. While this style is fashionable, it is definitely not for everyone! Petite women or women with sloped shoulders should make sure to buy bras that have close-set, fully adjustable straps. You can see what kind of strap adjustment a bra has on the Fitting Support section of every item page.
Another solution is to purchase a racerback bra or a convertible bra whose bra straps can criss-cross in the back. These styles have straps that are close-set so they will not fall off during the day.
STRAPS CAUSING PAIN
Bra straps that dig into your shoulders are more than just a painful nuisance. This pesky bra problem can lead to permanent indentations, headaches, back pain and even nerve damage. Don't worry, even women with large breasts can wear a bra without shoulder pain. The secret is to make sure your size is just right and your bra style suits your shape.
First things first, your bras straps should NOT be holding up your breasts. The weight of your breasts should be lifted from the band of the bra. If your shoulder straps are digging in your bra band may not be doing its job. Try going down to a smaller band size for more support. If a bra that used to be comfortable has started to cause shoulder pain, it is probably "dead". Over time, the bra band stretches out and loses its support.
Right Size, Wrong Style?
For women with larger breasts, even the right size bra can cause shoulder pain if worn for a long period of time. If you are prone to shoulder pain and you know you are wearing the correct size, make sure to wear bras with wide straps. Many bras for full cup sizes have lightly padded straps for shoulder relief. You can also invest in a pair of shoulder cushions.
It may sound too easy to be true, but sometimes painful bra straps are simply the result of tightening the strap too much. Remember, the bra strap does not support the breast, so don't try to tighten the strap to lift your bust. The strap should be tight enough to stay in place, without digging into your shoulder.
BRA BAND ISSUES
Center of Bra Won't Lie Flat
One fitting complaint that many women have is that their bra does not lie flat between the breasts. Often, the underwire pokes forward instead of sitting against the chest. There are a number of different reasons for this problem to occur.
One reason why this bra problem is so common is that it can be caused by bras that are both too big and too small. The culprit here is your cup size. Cups that are too big have underwires that are too wide for your torso. The wire will poke up because it simply has nowhere else to go.
Check your Cup Size
If your cup size is too small, then it is impossible for the underwire to lie flat against your chest. Instead, the wire sits on top of your breast tissue.
In order to see whether your cup size is too small or too big, look at your other "symptoms". Do you have a wrinkle in the cups or extra space in the cup? Your cup size is probably too large. Do you have a extra bump of breast tissue at the top or sides of the cups? Your cup size is probably too small.
RIGHT SIZE, WRONG STYLE
If changing your cup size does not help the wires lie flat, it may be the style of bra that is not working for you. Not every woman's breasts are the same shape as a standard underwire. Don't worry too much about a wire that is a just a little bit away from the body. It will take a little trial and error to find a brand or style that suits your unique shape, even once you are wearing the correct size bra.
There are bras made for full figures with full coverage cups, while there are some suited to teardrop shaped breasts and others that are made to push up sagging breasts. Everybody is unique, and each person has different preferences. It's all about finding a bra that you feel comfortable and confident in.
BRA BANDS DIGGING INTO YOU
Your bra should never dig into your back and hurt you. If you want to rip off your annoying bra at the end of the day then you definitely need a new bra!
Rethink Your Bra Size
If your bra band digs into your skin and makes you uncomfortable, your band size is probably too small. One bra fitting tip to remember is that the cup size is related to the band size. This means if you try a larger band size, you will have to go down a size in the cup. For example, if you are wearing size 34C and the band is too small, you should try size 36B. If you are already an A cup but need to go up to a bigger band size, try an AA bra.
While the best solution to a digging bra band is the correct size bra, you may also want to try a back extender. This accessory makes the band of any bra larger. Bra band extenders are a great solution if your real size is difficult to find or if you have gained weight and do not fit into your bras.
Smoothing "Back Fat"
One common complaint we bra fitters hear about is extra back fat around the bra band. This is a natural part of a woman's body and not a sign that your bra does not fit. While wearing a looser band may reduce the appearance back fat, it will also sacrifice all of your bra's support and cause the band to ride up. A smooth look in the back is not worth sagging in the front! Instead of buying a larger band size, I recommend trying bras that have a wider band in the back, or a longline bra which extends to part of the torso.
BRA BANDS RIDING UP
A bra that creeps up your back during the day is never fun. More importantly, this seemingly small bra problem is a sure sign that your bra does not fit. There are three reasons why your bra band will ride up your back. By fixing these problems, you will have a much more comfortable and supportive bra.
The first reason is the simplest. You may be adjusting your bra straps too tightly, forcing the band to ride up. Some women try to lift their breasts higher by adjusting the bra straps, but this will not work. Your support should be coming from the bra band, not the straps. Carefully adjust your bra straps and see if this fixes the problem.
Get a Perfect Fit
The second, and most common, the reason for a bra band riding up is that the bra band is too big. This is the number one bra problem that I see in my stores. In the correct fit, your bra band will be snug and create a straight line across your back. If your bra band is too loose, the back of the bra will rise and the front will droop and sag - not a good look!
Going down a band size will probably fix your bra problem. However, bear in mind that the amount of space in the cup is related to your band size. For example, the cup on a 38D bra has larger cups than a 36D cup. This means that you when you go down a band size, you will also have to go up a cup size. For example, if you are wearing 38D and you need a tighter bra band, you should try 36DD.
When All Else Fails, Go Shopping
A third reason that your bra could rise up your back is that the bra is too old and has stretched out. If the bra only recently started to creep up your back, try putting it on a tighter setting. If you are already on the tightest hooks, your bra is "dead". You should buy a new bra in the correct size.
DIFFICULTY HOOKING BRAS
For some women, trying to hook the back of their bra is a daily frustration. If you are unable to hook your bras in the back, there are plenty of other options available to you.
Easy Close Bra Styles
A front closure bra has a clasp or hook and eye closure between the cups instead of at the back of the bra. This type of bra is easier to put on and take off for many women. Another great easy-close option for women with smaller breasts is to wear a bralette. Bralette is a stretch bra with no hooks or closures. This type of bra easily pulls over the head.
One problem with front close bras and bralettes is that the band size cannot be adjusted. If you wear front closure bras, be sure to wear the correct band size so that the bra is supportive. All bra bands stretch out over time, so you may want to buy your bras slightly tight so that they will last longer. Another trick for difficulty clasping a bra is to put your bra on backwards (by hooking your regular bra in the front) and then turn it around to the correct position.