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10 Signs You Are Wearing the Wrong Bra Size

10 Signs You Are Wearing the Wrong Bra Size

It is common for many women to take their bra off as soon as they step inside their front door. But why? Surely their bra shouldn’t be that uncomfortable right? Unfortunately, in far too many cases it is a yes!

The fact is many women are wearing the wrong bra size. Studies show that up to 80% of women wear the wrong bra size. What? No wonder they want to take their bra off at the first opportunity. Interestingly of that 80% that wear poor fitting bras, 70% wear bras that are too small.

No matter how well made your bra is if you are wearing the wrong size it will never feel right. So, what are the signs of an ill-fitting bra? I have compiled a list of 10 signs to look for. So put on your bra, stand in front of the mirror, and go through my list.

Sign 1: Your Bust Spills Over

As they say, ‘a little cleavage never hurt anyone’. Whether you agree or not spilling out of your bra is not a good feeling and is not good for your boobs either. This extra ‘bulge’ of upper breast tissue is unsupported and can ‘jiggle’ about during exercise. This can be more of an issue if you have a little more up top.

Solution; go up a cup size! You want all of your breast to be supported so simply going up a cup size will provide more coverage and support for your girls. You’ll know you’ve got it right when there is a smooth transition from bra to skin with no ‘bulge’

Sign 2: Your Cups Are Bulging, Wrinkly or Baggy

If you find a bra you love you’re likely guilty of wearing it over and over again. However, unlike your favourite jeans, bras do not fit better as time goes on. All that wearing takes it’s toll on your beloved bra and they can begin to lose their shape. Especially bras with moulded cups. To keep your silhouette as smooth as possible consider replacing you best friend with a new breast friend (see what I did there.

A similar issue is bras that are wrinkly or baggy. If your boobs are swimming around inside your bra it’s either got cups that were too big to begin with or you’ve stretched your bra over time. Either way it’s time to get a new one. After all you want your breasts to be as snug and supported as possible

Sign 3: There’s Gapping Between Cup and Breast

The whole purpose of a bra is to keep everything closer to your chin than your knees. Your breasts creeping out from underneath your cups is not going to achieve this. Your breasts should never escape from your bra and a good fitting bra will ensure this.

The problem here can be two-fold. If the cup is too tight then your breasts can be forced out of your cup in all directions. Most commonly out the top and sides but occasionally out the bottom. If this is the case, consider going up a cup size.

The more common issue is your band is to lose allowing your girls to squeeze out from underneath your cup bottom. This problem can be amplified with exercise. All that bouncing around combined with gravity will have your breasts heading South if your band is too lose. Solution; go down a band size.

Sign 4: Your Breast Doesn’t Rest Against the Bottom of the Cup.

Quite the opposite to Sign 3 is when your breasts do not fill out the bottom of you cups. There shouldn’t be any empty space at the bottom of your cups. The band isn’t going to support you if there is nothing directly above it too support!

Regardless of size and shape, the breast must be able to rest and get support from the bottom edge of the cup. If your bra fits like this, you should consider a bra with a smaller cup size.

Wrong Bras Size_01

Sign 5: Your Band Rides up at The Back

This one is an extremely common occurrence for a lot of women. So how do we check? Easy, standing side on too your mirror check your bra band as it goes around your back. It should form a straight line. The band should be level all the way round and not be higher than the underside of you breasts.

If it isn’t, you have a problem. It could be as simple as having your shoulder straps too tight thus ‘lifting’ your bra. Try loosening them to see if that helps making sure your band is not too big.

If not (and more likely) you are wearing a band size that is to big. To compensate for the bigger band, you tighten your shoulder straps causing the band to ride up at the back. Luckily, this is an easy fix. Simply go down a band size. Remember if you go down a band size you should go up a cup size (assuming your cup fits well). For example, a 14C becomes a 12D. Check out my Sports Bra Sister Size Guide for more.

Sign 6: The Dreaded Back Bulge

I get a lot of Live Chats from women looking for bras that ‘cover back fat’. The problem here is most likely with sizing not bra style. Bulging over your bra strap is an extremely common problem with an easy solution.

Most likely your band is too tight for your body. As mentioned earlier your band needs to be snug to offer the support you need but it shouldn’t be too tight. As a rule of thumb, you should be able to slide two fingers between the band and your body. Adjust your band size to suit if this is not the case with your present bra

Sign 7: Your Straps Keep Falling Down

Bras have straps to help hold you up so when they slip down so do your boobs. Slipping straps is almost always due to them being under-tightened (is that a word?) or having stretched or lost elasticity. Check and adjust your straps every time you wear your bra. If they continue to become loose after adjusting, then it’s time for a new bra.

Loose straps can be a sign that your cup is to big. Tighten your straps to the correct level; your bra strap should be tight enough to fit two fingers between it and your skin comfortably. If your cup doesn’t feel ‘full’ then consider going down a cup size.

If you have sloping or narrow shoulders you may find the straps slip no matter what you do. If this is you, consider trying a cross-back or racerback style. This will help anchor the straps to your body stopping slipping. Check out my blog on Racerback sports bras for more info.

Sign 8: Your Straps Gap in the Back

While we are talking straps your bra strap should fit comfortably and snuggly across your back. If there are gaps or it simply ‘feels’ too loose then you’re not getting the support you should.

A simple fix could be to simply tighten the band to another clasp setting. If this doesn’t work, consider going down a band size to get a snugger fit. And remember the sister size rule; down a band up a cup!

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Sign 9: Your Strap Leaves Marks on Your Shoulders

Ow, ow and ow! There is nothing worse than going on a long run and feeling like your bra straps are cutting off your circulation. A bra should be comfortable, not a torture device. This can be more of a problem for those with larger cups. Extra weight = extra force on your straps = sore shoulders!

A common fix many women employ is to tighten the shoulder straps more in the hope if things bounce around less their shoulder pain will reduce. I am sorry but you are on the wrong track. Your shoulder straps should only provide about 20% of the support. With the band offering the other 80%.

Therefore, a snug fitting band is your first option. This will help take the strain off your straps and your shoulders. Also consider strap width. Many bras come with wider, more comfortable straps that help spread the load.

Sign 10: Your Clasp is on the Tightest Hook

Many women believe that fastening your bra strap on the middle hook is a sign of a great fit. I can tell you this is not necessarily so. When you first wear it, your bra should fit snuggly on the loosest hook. This will allow you to extend the life of your bra for as long as possible.

Over time and wear your band will stretch. When this happens, you can simply tighten the band to the next hook to continue to receive optimal support. Eventually you will stretch the band to its limits. When you reach this point it’s time to get a replacement.

So, there you have it my 10 signs you are wearing the wrong bra size. If you would like to learn a little more to ensure you get the best possible fit for you, please check out my blog 10 Common Sports Bra Fitting Problems and How to Solve Them.

If you’ve followed my list and your present bra isn’t up to the job, then it’s time to go shopping for a new sports bra. As always if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours in Support.

Amy x

Amy Jaffers

Amy is the face behind Sports Bras Direct, Australia’s largest sports bra website. She's a mother of two, outdoors lover and sports bra expert. Her life mission is to help active women get the support they need as well as assisting women in need through her charitable donations.

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