12 Common Bra Fit Problems & Solutions (Part 1)

You measured yourself, tried the size calculator, read our blog, took the plunge and ordered new bras – but they are not perfect. Is it the size? The shape? Or just the wrong design? We are here to help you figure out your bra fit issues. Read through Part 1 and Part 2 of our troubleshooting guide. We are passionate about finding bra solutions to your bra fitting problems. We hope you get closer to your dream bra! You are almost there.

1. The underwire digs in at the center gore

If the bra otherwise fits well, the reason is the underwire is too hard and rigid. A softer underwire will help (anything in our FlexWire collection).

If the center gore hurts because it’s too tall for you, try a bra with a shorter center gore (here are our bras with short center gores). If the cup gaps on top, the gore pokes because the cup size is too big. Switching to a smaller cup size will make the center gore less painful.

2. The cup wrinkles at the top

If you are shallow-on-top (when you lift your breasts with your hands, most of the weight is below the nipple), you have most likely experienced a bra wrinkling at the top, near the straps.

Bra cup too big but band fits? Go down a cup size. Bra cup too tall, just need “less bra” on top? Choose bras with less front coverage.

3. The underwire digs into your armpit

If the bra otherwise fits well, but the underwires pokes armpit, the underwire is too tall on the sides. This tends to happen to people under 5’2, or people with shorter torsos. Switching to a bra with a wire that comes up shorter on the sides will fix the problem (check out bras with shorter underwires).

4. The underwire digs into your back

If the bra otherwise fits well, but the underwire hurts because it’s reaching all the way to your back, the underwire is too wide. Switch to a bra with a narrow underwire (check out our bras with narrow to regular underwires).

Note: points 1, 3, and 4 cover underwire discomfort. The bra solutions above assume you want to stick with underwire bras. If you don’t mind sacrificing a bit of lift, consider a wireless bra.

5. The cup gaps/wrinkles above the wire

This is when there is excess space between the wire and the bottom of your breasts. First, make sure you scoop and swoop. If that doesn’t fix the issue, you will need a bra that has more projection at the wire, and an underwire that is more open and flat at the bottom. Unlined bras (made only with fabric, no foam or padding) tend to be more friendly to more projected breasts. Our wide underwire bras all have underwires that are open and flat at the bottom.

6. Overflow from bottom

Bottom overflow is usually due to the band being too loose. A properly fitted band shouldn’t let any breast tissue “escape.” If the bra otherwise fits well, choose a smaller band and larger cup (e.g. 36D to 34DD) to avoid an overflowing bra.

4 thoughts on “12 Common Bra Fit Problems & Solutions (Part 1)”

  1. I recently received my first orders of your bras. According to the calculator I was either 34J or 36I (34 – 45 – 43). I ordered a variety in both sizes.
    First impression was that I loved the products, very good quality and far exceeded my expectations.
    Upon trying on I found the 34 band sizes in some of the styles to be a little tight and have returned some of them.
    I haven’t worn all of my bras yet, the 36 band sizes fit better but I’m having the following issues:
    Sidney 36 H – I wish this came in a higher cup size because I like the smooth fabric, I have a slight quad boob on the left side because that breast is larger, but it’s not so noticeable. I do find the wire digs in halfway around my back and the cup extends quite far up into my armpit. Also, the underwire really digs into my rib cage under the breasts.

    Quinn – 34J – I also tried this in 36I but the cup was way too big. The 34 is a snug fitting band but I love that everything is contained! I still have the underwire digging into my underarm and rib cage though.

    Salma – 36I – Cup seems to fit well and I’m contained, however the underwire continues to dig into my rib cage.

    I’ve yet to wear my Ivy – 36I and Harper 36H but I loved the full coverage of Ivy and the sexy look of Harper when I tried them on.

    What are your suggestions for addressing the underwire issue for future purchases? Honestly, I can take a little discomfort for the amazing coverage I’m getting, and the great shaping without padding!! But if I could get the perfect fit I would love it.
    FYI – before I ordered from Understance, I went for a professional bra fitting at a specialty store, where I was measured at 34H, however from the selection they had 36J was the best fit. I spent over $300 on 2 bras, and I still have the band digging into my ribs!
    Would love to find a solution to this.
    I am 61 and have experienced fluctuations in weight over the last couple of years. When I gain weight, I it really affects my breast size.

    1. Hi Susan,

      Re: Quinn and Salma underwire digging, it seems like the underwire is potentially too wide. A lot of our “small band big cup” customers (28-34 H/I/J+) prefer a narrow underwire.

      Re: Sidney, it’s designed as a side boob coverage bra. It goes quite far into your tail of spence area, a different size likely won’t make it better. We apologize that it’s not available in your true size as well.

      We suspect that Ivy and Harper’s underwire will be the right width, but might be too shallow for you at 36I/36H.

      Our recommendation would be Anya in 36I. Anya is a North Americanized version of a Polish bra, known for their ultra narrowness and deep projection. If Salma is almost right but the underwire is too wide, and you could use a little more depth in the cups, Anya is a good option.

  2. Elizabeth Pavlakos

    ordered Salma and Zoe, first in 36 DD, TOO SMALL, THEN 36 DDD, still have double boob effect, any suggestions?

    1. Hi Elizabeth, could you let us know your 3 measurements (snug underbust, standing bust, leaning bust), your breast spacing (very side set, very center full, average), as well as your preferred fit (firm & lifting, or relaxed)? We can make some recommendations based on this information.

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