Common Bra Problems (and how to fix them)

Bras. If you wear 'em, you've had problems with 'em. Bad bras are frustrating, unflattering, uncomfortable and downright depressing. Good bras are uplifting, flattering, comfortable--but almost impossible to find. With so many different sizes and styles to choose from, it can be hard to find one that works. But don't fret-today I've got some basic fixes for some pretty common bra problems. And stay tuned in the coming weeks for more posts to help you find the right bra for you!

Bra problem #1: Straps slipping off your shoulder

Possible causes: Wrong size bra, wrong style for body type, sloping shoulders

First try: tightening the bra straps. Tighten them before you put on the bra, or have someone help you after you put it on. I usually start with a little tighter knowing it will slip during the day a bit.

If that doesn't work: Time to replace the bra. If the bra is older than 6 months, it's time for a new bra. Bras do stretch out, especially if you're bigger than a B cup.

Still not working: You need to find a different style. Try a racerback bra. A full coverage might work, but definitely avoid balconets and demis.

Bra problem #2: Bra rides up in back. 

Possible causes: Wrong size band, bra is stretched-out, straps are too tight.

First try: Try loosening the straps a bit and tightening your band hooks. If you're already on the smallest set of hooks, read on.

If that doesn't work: If simple adjustments don't work, it's likely time for a new bra. Since I know I'm in the right size, this usually tells me it's time for a new bra. Bras do stretch out over time, and it seems like the bigger your breasts are, the faster it happens.

Still not working: You need a different size and/or style. Most likely you need to go down in band size, and you may need a style that provides more support from the band and less from the straps.

Bra problem #3: Double bubble, spillage, whatever you call it - boobs comin' out the top.

Possible causes: Wrong size (durr), wrong cup style for body

First try: Make sure you are in the right size, spillage is often caused by a too-small cup size, but if your band size is wrong it can throw the whole thing off. Also, don't forget to adjust when putting your bra on in the morning - make sure the girls are situated into the bra. One trick: bend over after you put on the bra to help get them in all the way!

If that doesn't work: Try a different style. Some have more "coverage" than others, even if they are the same size. A full-coverage style is going to come up a bit higher and help prevent overflow. Online shopping tip: try searching for "full-figured styles" or "perfect coverage" to find a full-coverage bra.

Still not working: Molded bra cups are great for wearing with t-shirts, but for busty girls, it can be hard to get a proper fit. Try a style with seams on the front - they will help give a nice, natural shape and reduce the amount of "spillage".

Bra problem #4: Underwire is poking you -- or poking out of the bra!

Possible causes: wrong size, wrong style - probably both, cheap bra, or just time to replace.

First try: It *might* be a manufacturer's defect, in which case try to dig up the receipt and take it back where you got it - depending on the retailer's return policy, you might be able to exchange it for a new one. I recently did this when it happened about 2 months after I bought a bra, and since I had the receipt I was able to exchange it for a new one. If your bra is over six months old, it's just time to pony up for a new bra.

If that doesn't work: For the love of diamonds quit shopping in the tween/teen bra section. This includes the PINK bra collection from Victoria's Secret, the entire Aerie brand and the Xhiliration brand at Target. The prices are attractive, but the sizes and fits are designed specificially for still-in-puberty bodies - if you've had a kid or two, your breasts are going to need the structure and support that a bra from the juniors' section just can't provide.

Still not working: Have I mentioned that you need to get the right size? If you have too-small cups or too-small band, your breast is probably pushing on one side of the underwire, which makes it poke out the other end. Or you could be in the right size but another style or brand would work better with your exact dimensions.

Hope you enjoyed today's class here at Fashion School! If you have a bra dilemna, be sure to chime in below in the comments - I'll answer your question in our next class!

And if you like it, be sure to pin it!

Click image below for my follow-up post with tons of tips for bra shopping:

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{all images via victoriassecret.com)

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