Helping you find the best bras for all occassions

Bra problems Your frequently asked questions answered

  • By: Nicki
  • Date: July 26, 2023
  • Time to read: 23 min.

We all have bra problems and some point whether it’s to do with the bra style or just an ill fitting bra. We all have a bra style that we like but sometimes it can be better to try a different bra style. There are so many bra styles it can be overwhelming to choose one.

Why does my bra roll up in the back?

When the center gore is too wide or too high for you, it can roll up. If it’s really rolling and uncomfortable, and adjusting the straps (both cross and regular) doesn’t help, try the following:

Wear a tank top with built-in shelf bra under your bra; that will keep it from rolling. You could also try wearing your bra over a cami, but that may be uncomfortable without the shelf-bra layer in between.

If you don’t want to wear another layer in the heat of the summer, try this: Cut out strips of fabric (about 1/2″ wide) and sew them together so they are long enough to go all the way around the inside of your bra.

Then, sew them to the top back of your bra wherever they fit and cut off any excess. This will give more support and firmness to reduce rolling and shifting around.

If you want the straps to stay up on their own but don’t want extra material or stitching touching your skin, choose a

Why does my bra ride up in the front?

When your band is too big or too loose, it can ride up. Try this:

Slip a finger under the bottom of the band and pull it back down around your ribcage. Be sure to tighten your straps at the same time you’re doing this – they help with support!

Also, check that your bra isn’t riding up over your breasts (usually the cups are too big or not filled well enough). If it is, go down one cup size.

Bra does not provide enough support

If your band isn’t snug enough, you probably won’t get much support. Many times people think to tighten their straps, but that only pulls the weight into the straps, not the band. To make sure you’re getting enough support from your band, try this:

Slip a finger under the bottom of the band and pull it back down around your ribcage. Be sure to tighten your straps at the same time you’re doing this – they help with support! Also, check that your bra isn’t riding up over your breasts (usually the cups are too big or not filled well enough). If it is, go down one cup size. Menstrual cycle changes

Many women notice that their bras fit differently throughout their menstrual cycle due to water retention and hormonal fluctuations. To get around this problem, you have a few options:

Try wearing removable pads in your bra on days you notice fit issues. These are available at most department, drug and discount stores. Try using a non-foam pad or panty liner to see if that absorbs enough of the extra moisture. If you’re not comfortable with any of these options, just try changing your bra more frequently on days when you’re noticing fit issues.

If you notice issues, but simply can’t afford to change bras as often as needed or don’t want to deal with the hassle of different bras every day, one option is wearing a sports bra underneath your regular bra (if there’s enough support in it). This will help absorb some extra moisture and provide just enough extra support that, in most cases, you won’t notice any issues.

If none of those options work and your bra is still fitting very poorly despite your best efforts to fix it: if your band is riding up and the cups are too small and/or aren’t giving you enough support at all times during your cycle, then go down a band size (keeping the same cup size) to see if that helps. If the cups are fitting fine, but your band is still riding up, go down a band size (keeping the same cup size).

Why does my bra ride up in the back?

If your bra band is riding up in the back, you probably need to go down a band size. If it’s too loose around your ribcage, it will ride up on the backside as well as the front.

You may also be wearing a cup that is too big for you – if your breasts are overflowing out of the cups, they’ll slide under the band instead of being held in place by it, causing slippage. You can sometimes get away with wearing a smaller cup just to have more support if the cup fits properly (and looks right under clothing), but try going down one or two sizes first since most bras are not designed this way and there may be issues with give due to how they were engineered.

Bra straps are digging into my shoulders

If your bra shoulder straps are digging in, the band is probably too big or not giving enough support. Try tightening your band instead of your straps since they help with overall stability. If it’s still too loose, go down a band size (keeping the same cup size) to see if that helps. You may also want to try sizing up in the cup if you haven’t already done so just to have more coverage and better shape while you’re adjusting for a better fit there.

Do I need an underwire?

It depends on what type of support you want/need from your bra. An underwire bra gives extra lift and separation because an underwire bra lifts from both sides – however, not all women need this level of support.

As a rule of thumb: if your shoulders and breasts are wide set, you’ll probably benefit from an underwire bra for extra lift and separation. If your shoulders and breasts are closer together (like most people) you’ll probably be fine with a non-underwired bra or one with demi-wires (or half-cups).

If your breasts are very full on the top, an underwire may provide better separation since they tend to stay more separated due to their weight (heavy things fall downwards).

If you feel like you don’t get enough support from any bra that doesn’t have an underwire, then consider getting either an underwired push-up bra or a molded/padded underwire T-shirt bra. These options tend to do the best job at providing adequate support without padding, but this will depend on your breast shape and size since some may still sag in these bras (very well-endowed individuals may need extra support).

What about push up cups?

If you’re looking for more separation and lift, then try an underwired push up bra – these provide much greater support than unpadded push ups or T-shirt bras. Keep in mind that it’s possible to be too well endowed for many of these bras which can cause asymmetry and/or spillage, so going down a band size (keeping the same cup size) might help if this is the case and you’re still not getting enough support.

I don’t need underwire or push up cups, why do they come in these sizes?

Beyond a D cup, cup sizes generally just refer to how much coverage you get from your bra. For example, a DD cup will offer more lift and coverage than an A cup even if the band size is the same… but both bras may be labelled as a DD due to differing manufacturers. So while some styles labeled with different letters after a D may say they are equivalent to each other’s fit, this is usually arbitrary since there isn’t a universal standard for this sizing system besides full bust/plus size women.

However, going down a band size (keeping the same cup size) can help support smaller breasts that are sagging or not separated enough.

If you’re a D cup or larger, you’ll probably benefit from trying out some of the great options available specifically for fuller busts – these bras are often made by different companies and have wider bands as well as straps designed to provide greater support overall, plus they may come in underwire options which are more comfortable for heavier breasts.

Why does my bra hurt my ribs?

If the straps are digging into your shoulders or around your ribs then it’s likely that either the band is too big or you’re wearing a bra with an underwire – both of these mean less support for your breasts which will cause them to sag more.

Going down a band size (keeping the same cup size) may solve this issue, or you can try stretching out the back of your bra band on a regular basis. Do this by hooking each part of your bra on something sturdy like a door handle and gently pulling until you feel it loosen up.

D cup girls especially may benefit from trying to wear an extender with their standard band if they find buying bras with smaller band sizes to be difficult.

You may also need to wear a bra with an underwire if you have sloping shoulders or large breasts which are not supported well by unpadded bras – this is because wire-free bras tend to “cut in” on the top of your breast tissue whereas underwires provide extra support and lift due to their shape, especially for larger breasts that naturally have less separation.

You can also try stretching out the back of your band which should help with any pain/pressure caused by the side section digging into your ribs, though this issue usually occurs when you’re wearing an underwire so it will depend on whether or not you really need it for

Why do I always get gaps between my underwire and my breast?

When you wear an underwired bra it’s possible to get small gaps where your breasts join (where the underwire is seated) due to sagging, larger cup sizes preventing the end of the wire from sitting flush against your sternum or because of skin between the cups. Going down a band size (keeping the same cup size) can help prevent gaps occurring, or try wearing your bra on differently to see if it makes a difference (you might also need to tighten the straps).

If you’re in D+ sizes then this may be caused by your underwires not sitting against your sternum – some women find that they must go up enough in cup size to fit their breasts but down in band size so that their underwire sits flat (going up in both gives them overspill and discomfort).

You can try using petals/petal shaped inserts which are similar to silicone liners but stick directly onto your skin for improved grip; these usually work best when worn with bras with wider bands or lower underwires.

What causes my breasts not to sit in the cups of my bra?

If your cups are too shallow it can cause your breast tissue to spill over the top, creating a double-boob effect. This is often due to cup sizes being too small for your breasts, but it may also occur with smaller band/larger cup combinations or when you try on bras that are padded. Going up in the cup should help solve this issue while going down one band size (keeping the same cup size) will ensure better support without digging into your ribs.

Why do I have an empty space at the bottom of my bra?

If you have extra room near the bottom of your cups then it may be due to your breast going past the bottom of the cup. This is especially common with full on bottom breasts that have less separation due to having fuller cups, or with women who are petite in stature.

Going down a cup size should help reduce the extra room while going up a band size (keeping the same cup size) will ensure better support without digging into your ribs – this small amount of extra fabric from going up in back size is needed so that you can get the cups and wires to fit correctly.

If you don’t want to wear an underwire bra, try wearing bras with wider bands and lower underwires which provide more support and lift for larger breasts sizes. You might also need to wear a bra with an underwire if you have sloping shoulders so that the wire doesn’t tilt outwards.

If you experience pain in your back or ribcage when wearing underwires, try wearing padded bras which don’t put as much pressure on your ribs or go up in band size (keeping the same cup size) while going down a cup size.

Why can’t I wear smaller band sizes?

The middle of your bra band should sit level against your back; if it’s riding up then this means that it’s too large for you and not doing any support work! You may also get gaps between the top of the back of your bra and your shoulder blades – this is because larger bra bands cause them to ride further apart, giving you extra room.

Going down in the band size should help to reduce gaps while going up in the cup will ensure you get support without digging into your ribs – this small amount of extra fabric from going up in back size is needed so that you can get the cups and wires to fit correctly.

When I wear my bra, why doesn’t it feel like there’s any padding?

If you’re wearing a padded bra and it still feels flat against your skin then there’s a chance that you’ve chosen a poor shape for your breasts or perhaps even need larger cup sizes.

Padded bras usually have less shaping properties because they add volume where needed, however some people find their breast tissue feels more comfortable when worn with light shaping due to the extra room at the bottom.

Going down a cup should help reduce the flatness while going up in back size should give your breasts more room to create curves, giving you a better fit overall.

How do I know if my bra is big enough for me?

There are some signs that will let you know if your bra isn’t fitting correctly or needs adjusting! When done up on the first few hooks, try wiggling around – if your bra frame moves significantly then it’s likely too large for you and/or not providing enough support.

If there are little to no gaps between your underwires and skin at all points around where they sit then this could be because your cup sizes are too small or perhaps even padded to give you a smooth edge.

When doing your bra up on the first set of hooks, try to pass more than one finger under the back strap – if you can’t then this means that it’s too small for you and could be digging into your skin.

If there’s a gap between where your shoulder straps join the back of your bra and where they should sit on your shoulder blades, then this is because your band size is too large for you; causing them to slide further apart and putting excess stress onto your shoulders.

If one or more of these signs are occurring then it’s likely that you need to go down in band size (keeping cup sizes) or up in cup (keeping band sizes). For example: going from a 36H to a 34GG.

Why do I have several changes in cup size throughout my bra size range?

If you find a significant change between a few of the different sizes, it’s usually because each band size has a different amount of wire width and cup height. The more difference there is between them, the more apparent it will be when worn.

Going down or up in back size should help with these differences while going up or down in cup should reduce further discrepancies – remember that if one element of your bra is too large then you’ll need to compensate for this by increasing another area!  

In most cases this isn’t often problematic as most women can wear several band sizes before needing larger cups but for those that have a small frame and can’t tolerate larger bands then this could be an issue.  

Why do I get different results from the same size bra?

If you’re doing your bra up on the first set of hooks, it’s likely that it isn’t tight enough for you – try going down in band size while maintaining cup or going up a cup while maintaining a smaller band size.

If your straps are loosening over time when wearing a certain bra, again this means it’s not fitting correctly so please check your measurements to see what could be causing this! Repeatedly having to tighten your straps is also another sign that they aren’t tight enough for you.

When my boobs are smushed into my bra, why does it feel like I’m getting a double boob?

When the underwires and fabric of your bras aren’t sitting flat against your skin, this can result in an extra layer or two of breast tissue. This is because when wearing a bra that’s too small for you, there simply isn’t enough room to hold all of your breast tissue without squishing it together – creating a ‘double’ look.  

For those with larger breasts, this effect will be less apparent as the weight of your boobs will keep them closer to the centre; meaning that they don’t move as freely and therefore won’t create such a drastic difference compared to your other side! If you find yourself always having to use multiples hooks on your band because it’s riding up and slipping down, try going up a band size even if this means increasing your cup as well to compensate (for example: going from a 36GG to a 38FF).  

As your cups increase in size, the fabric can become too stretchy to keep all of your boob inside; unless you’re wearing an extremely firm bra which is likely to be uncomfortable for most women.

You should therefore go up one or more back sizes (keeping cup the same) as the larger your breasts are, the more support they need! If this doesn’t solve the issue, consider trying a different shape instead such as balconettes and plunge bras.

Why do I get double boob when wearing certain styles?

Like the above answer, if the fabric is too stretchy or there’s too much space at the top of your cup then this will also give you a double boob effect. If the cups are too large for you or have too little bottom projection then it can cause them to sit away from your chest wall which will allow some of your breast tissue to bulge over. 

Try going down in back size and up in cup, e.g.: 38G -> 36GG  

If you’re wearing half-cups or balconettes try different styles as these are less likely to have shallower cups which would allow more room for your boobs! For those with larger breasts, another reason why they might not be fitting so well could be due to the support of your bra – bras with underwires should be lifting upwards at the centre front, pushing your boobs together and up.

If you find that it isn’t doing this or has a gap at the bottom, try going up a cup size as this means there’s less breast tissue for it to hold onto. If you’re wearing a sports bra try taking one band size down from your normal bra size as these can often have looser bands which don’t offer as much support, especially if they’re thicker too!

Why does my boob appear empty when I wear certain styles?

Many women will have one boob slightly larger than the other but if the difference is particularly significant then it could be due to over-spill or a shape mismatch.

The former is often caused by boobs either being different sizes or one breast having more projection, creating too much room at the top of your cup and bulging over onto the other boob (which has less space as it’s closer to your chest wall).

Doing this for quite some time will result in stretch marks around the boob as there isn’t enough support!

The latter can occur if you have differing levels of firmness between each boob; with your dominant hand/arm doing most of the work and therefore naturally supporting what’s underneath. This means that the weaker side isn’t getting any support and also won’t have been given a chance gain any momentum – leading to sagging overtime. Irrespective of whether your boob is larger or smaller than the other, if you find that one boob always seems fuller and has more movement than the other then it’s likely due to a shape mismatch.

Size and projection differences between boobs

One or both of your breasts could be drooping downwards which will make them appear smaller and less full – creating a ‘gap’ at the top of your cup where they’re not filling it out. To get around this, try going up in back size (and down in cup) so that there’s more fabric to accommodate for any excess tissue; making sure that you don’t go too far up as this could result in overspill.

If you find that you’re having to tighten your straps to the max in order to get any support then you should try going down in back size (and up in cup) as this will lift your boobs upwards and lessen the stress on your shoulders.

Doing this for quite some time can make it look like you’ve got stretch marks around the boob due to its base becoming looser over time; leading to less support which can result in sagging.

If one boob is much larger than the other, it could be because there’s more fat or muscle tissue in that area – making it heavier when compared to your smaller boob. When trying on bras, if one side always appears fuller but centres itself underneath the underwire of a bra whereas the other hangs lower and therefore doesn’t sit centrally underneath the underwire, this means there’s a size and/or shape difference between your boobs.

To get around this, try going up in back size so that half of your breast tissue is on the bottom half of the cup which should hold it in place and prevent gapping.

It could also be due to a different level of firmness between breasts – with one being more supportive than another. This can often happen if you have one arm stronger than the other or have been carrying babies on one side for long periods of time! If you find that your dominant hand/arm does most of the work when wearing bras then it won’t have been given a chance to gain any momentum so will be much weaker – leading to sagging.

In order to get around this, try going down in back size so that your boobs are being held from underneath their full weight and you should find that they sit centrally and fill out the cup.

What do I do if my boobs are different sizes?

I can’t say there’s a whole lot of bras on the market which cater for differing breast sizes – unless we’re talking about 36J and 36K; however some styles can still work especially when one boob is smaller than the other.

Look at what bra styles you like or think would work for both different sized breasts and go from there…

(A) If you have one boob larger than the other: Full coverage vs balconette/half cup

For anyone who likes a fuller coverage bra, going for something with a higher bridge will make your boobs sit centrally and create more support. If you’ve got one boob larger than the other then look for a balcony-style bra as the side panels should help to reduce gaping where you need it most. Balconette styles will also work well if you find centre gapping happens with balconettes too!

(B) If you have one boob larger than the other or drooping downwards: Padded vs non-padded/sheer  

Both padded and non-padded bras come in lots of different styles – so try on both options to see which gives you the most support. As for sheer styles , these are best suited to smaller breasts as they allow for natural-looking cleavage.

(C) If you have one boob larger than the other or drooping downwards due to uneven firmness: Foam vs moulded/semi-soft cup  

Foam cups are the most supportive style of bra available – especially moulded ones which give a rounder, fuller shape under clothes. Semi-soft bras are fantastic too as they’ll still offer great support but give your boobs a slightly more relaxed look under clothes so there won’t be so much pressure on it all day long!

(D) If one boob is significantly bouncier than the other: Underwired vs non-underwired 

If this is the case, it’s best to go for a non-underwired bra as these make the most of natural breast tissue which should reduce/minimise bounciness. If you’re looking at underwired styles then look for ones which have side slings or panels to offer extra support.

(E) If one boob is significantly bigger than the other: Underwire vs no underwire 

When wearing an underwired bra , fit into your smallest boob first so that it sits centrally underneath the underwire – this will help to keep everything in place and give your larger boob more support too! When doing this, try tightening the straps on your smaller boob so there’s less gap between its strap and shoulder.

If your breasts are of different sizes then you could also try wearing a sports bra as these tend to be very supportive and will help to keep everything in place!

What is the best size for me?

When measuring yourself, make sure that you’re taking measurements from your chest wall , not from below. With this method you should find that the fullest part of your breast sits around a finger’s width above your nipple .  When doing this it may look as though your cup size is smaller than it actually is – however don’t let this fool you as standing up straight with shoulders back and breathing normally should give a truer representation of the correct size.

For those ladies who feel they have one boob than the other: It can be difficult to know which breast is larger so why not try measuring them first. To do this, measure around the fullest part of each respective boob (just under your boob) and see which measurement is bigger; that will be the biggest out of the two!

For those ladies who wear bras on the outer edges: If you wear your bra closer to your shoulder then chances are it’s too big for you as wearing a bra at this level can make boobs appear smaller than they actually are. So next time you buy yourself a new one, try moving it more central onto your chest – if it fits better but still offers good support then it means your breasts are slightly closer together than average 🙂

Regardless what bra size you think you might be, it’s always best to get yourself professionally fitted – Most bra shops offer a free bra fitting service and will be happy to help you find your perfect fit!

What is an overflow bra?

An overflow bra is a bra designed specifically for women that have larger breasts – at least, in certain areas.

For example: If you have a 58GG then your under-boob might be around a size 12 but your cup size may be a 14 or 16 depending on the brand of bra!

This means your under-boob may spill out from underneath the cup and can result in an unflattering appearance. As such, overflow bras are designed with extra room under the arms so as to allow all breast tissue to fit comfortably & securely inside.

Some overflow bras contain padding which minimises gaping between cups & boob while others consist of mesh panels which give more room for bigger. So shop around and try before you buy!

Why do I need my bra straps to stay in place?

Keeping your bra straps in place is important as it helps to ensure that your bust stays centred and in the correct position. This means that they should sit around the centre of your back so that when you let go of them, they’re not falling off.  If this isn’t possible then they’re probably too big for you – if this is the case, try tightening them until they are more centralised.

How do I stop my bra slipping down?

Slipping straps are a common problem but there are ways of solving this issue: One way is by fastening the top hook on your bra before doing up the rest of it – this just means that you have less hooks to contend with so there is less tension on the straps.

Another way of doing this is by using a bra strap holder – these resemble elasticated hair bobbles but are much longer and are meant for fastening your bra strap in place. They are available from most lingerie stores or can be found online.

What’s the best way to wear my bra?

Wearing your bra correctly will help ensure that it offers good support &, more importantly, it will prevent sagging too early which tends to become an issue as women age.  

To do this: Ensure that hook clasps at the back are done up securely before putting your arms through the straps Make sure both straps are level by adjusting them until they evenly follow your shoulders & your bust.  

This can be done by pulling the strap so that it is centralised with your shoulder blade before re-positioning it in its original position. Once correctly fastened, stand up straight and pull your shoulders back to ensure you’re “looking down” – this reduces strain on the back which will help prolong the life of your bra!

What’s a full cup?

A full cup bra is basically just another term for a balconette style – these usually feature 3 or 4 vertical seams which allow more breast tissue to fit inside without compromising support. What makes them different from other bras however is how much cleavage they tend to offer: Balconettes still give good support but they have a low centre so as to create a more “up front” look.

What’s the difference between a 32A and 30B?

Despite being different cup sizes, there is actually very little difference from the band measurements – the only thing that really defines them is how much breast tissue can fit inside.  This means that a 32A would fit someone who has almost no underboob while a 30B would fit someone with small amounts of under-boob but whose boobs are still relatively centred & balanced for their size. So it all comes down to your boob size/shape! As such, try going up in the back band if possible & go down two cups until you get to an A-cup – this way, you’re more likely to get a better fit without compromising on appearance!

Why is my bra loose?

If your bra is loose then it probably means that you’ve been wearing too small a back band & have adjusted it to sit lower on the ribcage. The other reason this could occur is if you’re losing weight – as your bust size decreases, so should your cup size.

Why is there a gap at top of my bra cup?

If the top of your cup is gaping then it could be because: Your band size is too big You’ve adjusted your straps so that they sit closer to the shoulders causing the bust to spill over The width between underwires isn’t wide enough for your bust

If you’re sure that your bra fits correctly (according to this list) and there’s still a gap, then try re-finding a bra which has tighter arms but looser back. To do this, find bras which have very tight arms & band measurements compared to those in their back – these should give you a better fit without compromising on support!

What does “center gore” mean?

As for what “center gore” means: This term refers to the area of the cup which lies directly between the two underwires.  It usually has a bow or other decorative detail – it’s purpose, though, is to reduce pressure on your breasts by ensuring that there are no hard edges against them!

What does “sling” mean?

A sling, as for what it means in terms of bra construction:

This term refers to a strip of elastic or mesh sewn into the top portion of the cups’ back section. This helps hold everything up and ensures that there is enough support so as not to cause discomfort. It is important if you have heavy breasts because it adds an extra layer of reinforcement where most women need it most!

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