12 Common Bra Fit Problems & Solutions (Part 2)

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 it out. Read through Part 1 and Part 2 of our troubleshooting guide. We hope you get closer to your dream bra! You are almost there.

7. The underwire is sitting on your breast tissue

If the underwire hurts on the sides because it’s sitting on your breast tissue, and there is wrinkling above the wire, this is a sign that the underwire is too narrow. Try a bra with a wider, more open underwire (check out our bras with wider underwires). Alternatively, try a wireless bra (check out our wireless bras).

Another reason for the underwire sitting on your breast tissue is the underwire being too short. If the underwire is too low on the sides, and your breast tissue overflows and sits on top of the underwire tip, it can be painful. Here are our bras with regular to tall underwires.


8. Center gore doesn’t lie flat

If this tends to happen to you, choose “Firm Fit” when using our size calculator. If you are already wearing the “Firm Fit” size, try a smaller band and larger cup.

If you don’t have any room between your breasts, choose a bra with a low center gore (check out our bras with lower center gores).

9. Band rides up in the back

The bra band does most of the support work (not the straps! The straps are mostly there to keep things in place). When your bra band creeps up your back, and the whole bra “see-saws,” this is usually because the band is too loose. Choose “Firm Fit” when using our size calculator. If you are already wearing the “Firm Fit” size, try a smaller band and larger cup.

10. Overflow on top

Top overflow (also known as “quadboob”) typically happens when the cups are too small. Try a larger cup size.

Full-on-top shapes (when you hold your breasts up with your hands, most of the breast tissue is above the nipple) tend to struggle with top overflow. If you’ve tried the same bra in several neighboring sizes, but you always overflow, you need a bra that’s FOT-friendly. Petal is the Understance bra with the roomiest, tallest upper cup.

When you go up a cup size, the top doesn’t overflow anymore. But the bottom and sides are empty. This means the original bra was likely the right size, but wasn’t projected enough for you. If you were wearing molded cup bras before, switch to a cut-and-sewn (ideally unlined) bra. We recommend Zoe or Salma, in the original size. 

11. Shoulder straps dig in and cause pain

When your shoulder straps dig in, it can cause pain in your shoulders, back, and neck. Most of the support work should be done by the bra band, not the straps.

Wearing a smaller band size and larger cup size can shift more of the support work to the band, instead of putting it on the shoulder straps. Choose “Firm Fit” when using our size calculator. If you are already wearing the “Firm Fit” size, sister size down.

Don’t just tighten the straps for more support! If the band is loose, only tightening the straps without changing size will cause the shoulder straps to dig.

Bras with wider shoulder straps and more back coverage (such as Eva, Amber, and Noelle) can also help with digging straps. The wider the straps, the more spread out the weight distribution.

12. The cup gaps on top

Tighten your shoulder straps and do the scoop and swoop. If the bra continues to gap on top, it could be 2 reasons: 1. the cup is too big, and 2. the cup is too tall. If the cup is too big, cup sizing down will fix the issue. If the cup is too tall, cup sizing down will make the underwire and bottom portion of the cup feel too small.

People with wide and tall roots + less than average projection tend to struggle with top-gapping. If you’ve tried a few sizes of the same bra and all gap, choose a shallow bra instead. Molded cup bras tend to be shallow in the cups, as well as some styles specifically designed for “plate” shaped breasts.

Jump to: Part 1