How a bra should fit & how to solve common fit problems
Most people wear a size that’s too large in the band and too small in the cup.
Always try your bra on the loosest hook. This is to ensure you can wear your bra as long as possible, by moving to a tighter hook as the elastics start to loosen with age.
The gore, especially the wires, should sit completely flat on your chest. The exception to this might be if you have touching breasts or most of your breast tissue is located towards the centre of the chest, which most bras aren’t designed for. If this is the case a plunge style bra might be more suitable for you.
If the gore stands off your body, this usually means the cups are too small, and your breasts are pushing the wires off your chest. Try on one or two cup sizes larger and ensure your underband is fitting correctly (see below).
If the gore causes you pain:
- Check your wires aren’t too small or too large – this is usually what causes the problem.
- Also check your underband is tight enough – if not the wires will collapse inwards and put pressure on your breastbone – all the support should be coming through the underband.
- If none of these solutions work for you, try a different style of bra e.g. switch from a balconette to a plunge or vice-versa, or try a balconette with lower or higher wires (we will always tell you about our wires on our product pages, or check our style guide).
First check the wires are sitting flat on your ribcage and aren’t on your breast tissue. Scoop all your breast tissue from under the arms and below the wire and lift your breasts into the cups so all of your tissue is enclosed by the wire. It also helps to lean forward and wriggle the wires to sit right underneath your breasts.
Check the gore fits as described above. Check at your sides and towards the armpit that all breast tissue is surrounded by the wire, NOT underneath it.
If you cannot get all your breast tissue to sit inside the wire, it is too small. If the wires and cups look as though they fit, but you have some empty space between the wire and the armpit side of your breast, this is ok as long as the cup doesn’t look empty and you feel comfortable and supported – if the wires hurt you here, you need to go down a cup size. Never buy a bra if the wires do not fit properly.
Parts of a Bra
First check the wires are sitting flat on your ribcage and aren’t on your breast tissue. (See above instructions). The cups should lie smooth after doing this.
If the cups dig in or you have breast spilling out at the top or side, go up one or two cup sizes.
If the cups wrinkle but the wires fit perfectly:
- First try tightening the shoulder straps.
- If that hasn’t helped check that your underband is tight enough. If you can go down a size in the underband, try on a band size smaller with a cup size smaller (the tighter underband will pull the wires open more and you should be able to fit all of your breast tissue in). If this smaller cup with smaller band size is too tight, keep your smaller band size but go back up to your original cup size.
- If a tighter underband is not an option, this style might not work for you. Try a bra with different wires e.g. try on a plunge if a balconette style does not work for you.
It is common for people to compromise the fit of the wires to get the cups to look good. We DO NOT recommend this. You will not get good support or comfort from doing this. Instead, fit the wires correctly.
Please see our size chart to check you are wearing the right size.
If you need a decent amount of support for your chest you might want to try going down one size in the band, if possible, and see if this offers more support. If you want to test this with our bras you can put your bra on the tightest hook, which will mimic the size down on the loosest hook setting… however this only works when the bra is new. The reason for favouring a tighter band is that it will pull the wires further out, giving you more lift and support through the cup.
If you don’t need much support you can wear whatever you feel comfortable in, however we’d recommend wearing your correct size in wired bras, otherwise the wires may be uncomfortable.