How Should a Bra Fit?

How Should a Bra Fit featured photo

There’s nothing more frustrating than an ill-fitted bra. I can’t seem to wear a bra for most of the day and just can’t wait to take them off the moment I step in my house. The thing is, an uncomfortable bra might be the way it is because of the wrong size, after all.

A well-fitting bra should consider how the band, underwire, center gore, cups, and straps all fit. It should be comfortable; never digging or riding up; no gaps, spillage, or bulging; never leaves marks on the skin; and it should provide adequate support.

While it’s important to know how to measure your bra size, they are an ever-changing number of available sizes. Breasts also come in different shapes and some even have a boob bigger or smaller than the other.

In this post, we will be diving deep on exactly how a bra should fit and tread lightly on bra sizing, what factors affect your bra size and some bra fit tips.

Why Does My Bra Feel Uncomfortable?

There is nothing more satisfying than getting home after a long day of wearing your bra and being able to rip it off once you close your doors. This is often the scenario for many women around the world.

When we’re talking about bras, comfort should be one of the priorities we consider. But as most are busy during the day, not everyone has the time to stop and consider their comfort in their own bras.

If you feel uncomfortable while wearing your bra, you might not be giving it a second thought and would just want to take it off as soon as possible.

But why does your bra feel uncomfortable?

First off, a bra may be uncomfortable due to the fabric itself. The fabric can be rough and scratch your skin.

Bra style also plays a huge role on how it wears and fits you. Not all bra styles will work and wear comfortably on different body types. While some like sporting a strapless bra, others with bigger bust sizes aren’t comfortable with the idea.

Underwire bras provide a lot of bust support but they can pop out in many bras, especially old ones. Underwires popping out of its place can pinch and scratch the breast tissue and skin.

And lastly, a bra fits very uncomfortablely because you’re wearing the wrong size and it doesn’t fit your body properly. A bra can be too tight or too loose and either way, it would be too uncomfortable to wear it all day.

Signs Your Bra is in the Wrong Size

While we’re on the subject of wrong bra sizes being uncomfortable, how does one know their bra is in the wrong size?

The band keeps riding up

When you’re going out and about your day and notice your bra’s band keeps riding up as you move, your bra might be a size too big.

The underwire is digging in and causing pain

A bar too tight on your would have underwires that dig in and cause you pain throughout the day.

You’re spilling

When you’re wearing a bra with a cup size a tad too small for your breasts, there is spillage on top or on the sides of the cups.

There are gaps

If you notice extra room in the cup, then your bra is too big for your size.

You can fasten it on the tightest hook and eye closure

A bar that fits your size perfectly should close at the loosest hook and eye closure. You should only tighten the closure as the bra stretches through wear and tear, but not when it’s brand new.

There’s bulging when worn

The perfect bra size should create a smooth silhouette along your back and sides. If there are any signs of bulging, then it’s a sign you have the wrong bra size.

If there are marks anywhere where the bra is

After taking your bra off, check for any marks the bra left. If there are marks on your back, sides, ribcage, and shoulders, then your bra is most likely too tight for you.

Determining Your Correct Bra Size: Bra Fitting Guide

According to this study, most women (at a whopping 80%) wear the wrong size of bra. Of the 80%, 70% wear bras that are too small and 10% wear bras that are too big for their size.

So how does one determine their correct bra size? Here’s a simple step-by-step on how you can do it right in your home:

  1. First, to measure your bra size, you should be wearing a lightly-lined, non-push-up bra.
  2. Second, measure the size directly under your breasts, where the bra’s band would usually be.
  3. Third, measure the fullest part of your bust. This is usually at the nipple level.
  4. Then, calculate the correct cup size. Do this by subtracting the band size from the determined bust size. The difference denotes the cup size. Your bra size is the band and cup sizes combined. Refer to the cup sizing chart below to determine your bra size:
Bra Fitting Guide Chart

How Should a Bra Fit?

Determining and knowing your technical bra size is one thing to keep in mind but you have to remember this isn’t the only factor at play when you’re bra shopping.

Bra sizes can change and vary across brands and manufacturers, so it’s not always safe to rely on this predetermined bra size. You also have to keep in mind how a bra should fit your body.

How should a bra band fit

The band provides most of the bra’s support.

The band of a perfect-fitting bra should be snug but not too tight. It should not ride up but you shouldn’t be able to easily pull it away from your body either. It shouldn’t pinch or dig into your skin either. The perfect band size should sit snugly but comfortably on your skin without noticeable bulges.

A new band should be able to close at the loosest closure. You only tighten and adjust the closure when the band goes loose due to normal wear and tear.

You can insert two fingers under the band without it feeling too loose. If you can’t do that, then the band size probably isn’t right for you.

How should bra underwires fit

Bra underwires provide necessary extra support you need.

Bra underwires should rest right along the rib cage, just below the breasts. It should never sit on top of your chest and on the breast tissues.

When the underwires don’t sit right, it can be uncomfortable and damage the breast tissues. Perfectly-sized bras shouldn’t have poking or painful underwires. If you have wide set breasts, there are bras best suited for breasts that are wide set.

How should a bra center gore fit

A bra’s center gore should lay flat against your sternum or chest. It shouldn’t be digging in nor fit too loosely against your body.

How a bra’s center gore fits has a direct correlation with bra underwires. An underwire bra’s center gore should lay flat against the chest. The same part of the bra, however, can actually fit more loosely on non-wired bras so make sure to consider the other bra-fitting factors as well.

How should a bra cup fit

You should comfortably and perfectly fill perfectly-sized bra cups. There shouldn’t be any gaps between the cups and your breast tissues. At the same time, you shouldn’t be spilling over the cups, creating quad-boobs as a result.

Bra cups should lie comfortably around your busts without digging in too much to the point it’s painful.

How should bra straps fit

Bands do most of the lifting and support so bra shoulder straps don’t need to be too tight on your shoulders. It should only sit comfortably without digging in. At the same time, it shouldn’t be too loose that it constantly slips down.

For the perfect bra straps size, you should be able to comfortably insert your fingers under. But if you can lift them up more than a few inches, then they’re too loose. Check out these bras for sloped shoulders if you’re constantly irritated by falling straps.

A Gentle Reminder…

When you’re out bra shopping, it’s important to know and remember that your bra size is a constantly-changing number. No one stays in the same size all their life.

It’s highly recommended that you measure your bra size every few months to ensure you get the right size next time you’re out shopping.

When you get a new bra, you might need to give yourself some time to break in your bra. A brand new bra might have fabric that’s too tight overall because, well, it’s new.

A new bra that’s in your perfect size might feel especially too tight if you’re used to always wearing the wrong size of bra prior. Breaking in your new bra might take a couple wears and washes so you might want to give it some time.

Also, tops and dresses come in all shapes and sizes with cutouts and halters and unique details. Halter top bras and others that accommodate these unique styles aren’t always the most comfortable, so they might not become your everyday bra. However, they serve a purpose for specific occasions.

Don’t forget to think about color! Which color bra works best under white tops and other shades will make a difference in how you feel and how your top looks on you.


Most women wear bras everyday, for the most part of their days. Bras give your girls the support it needs so you can comfortably go about and move around.

Many women find bras uncomfortable because they’re actually prone to wearing the wrong size. Wearing a bra in the wrong size can be uncomfortable and downright painful.

A well-fitting bra should be comfortable, provide adequate support, and should not dig against your skin.

And that has been our guide on everything on how a bra should fit. If you have any more questions for us, let us know.