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9 Clear Signs That Your Bra Doesn't Fit You

According to a 2008 study published in the journal of Chiropractic and Osteopath*, up to 80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra for them. 70% of women are wearing br sizes which are too small for them and 10% are wearing sizes that are too big. Ill-fitting bras can lead to breast pain, inadequate support and discomfort. MAAREE is on a mission to better inform women of the signs of an ill-fitting bra so that we can all be confident that we are purchasing our correct size.

Bra Fit Guidelines - UnderbandBra Fit Guidelines - Cup

Tape measures can take us so far, and has been the traditional way to determine your bra size. However, you'll notice when you go and get yourself fitted in a shop these days that fewer and fewer places are actually using tape measures. This is because it doesn't give us enough information. More places now normally determine your correct size by trial and error. You select a size which is roughly your size and then, using the techniques stated below, determine if you need to size up or down in any way.

We don't always have a fitter on-hand to help us determine our right fit. So we've summarised some key points below that we should all be aware when bra shopping.

Underband Issues

Bra Fit Guidelines - UnderbandBra Fit Guidelines - Cup

It's important to get your underband size correct as this is where the majority of the support come from. If the underband is too big then you don't have enough support and the bra rides up on your back. If the underband is too tight then it can cause skin irritation and great discomfort. Be sure that your underband fits comfortably and runs parallel to the ground.

Bra Fit Guidelines - Underband

Some women may notice that their boobs fall out underneath their bra. This is another sign that you have a loose underband as it doesn't sit snuggly against your skin. Consider sizing down in your underband.

Remember: If you want to size down in your underband but keep the same cup volume then you will need to size up in your cup. For example, if you had a 34D bra and wanted to size down in the underband only, then your new size would be 32DD. For more information on sister sizes, click here.

Cup Issues

Bra Fit Guidelines - CupBra Fit Guidelines - Cup

Your cup size is too small if you are bulging out of it, either over the top or the sides. The volume needs to increase in order to hold your entire breast tissue. Ensure that your underwire sits around you entire breast and not on top of it.

Bra Fit Guidelines - CupBra Fit Guidelines - Cup

If you are someone who suffers from gapping at the centre front of the bra or wires digging in then your cups are too small and consider sizing up. Since the volume isn't large enough you'll notice that there isn't enough cup material for the cup to finish back far enough on your body to allow the front panel to sit where it's meant to. You may also find the the cup doesn't finish far enough around your sides either. All of your breast tissue must be encapsulated within the wire (if you have one) and cup.

Bra Fit Guidelines - CupBra Fit Guidelines - Cup

If you find that you have excess material in your cup or gapping at the top of the cup then you will need to size down. You want to ensure that you fill the volume but without spilling over.


With information like this we can all become more confident in determining our correct size when we are out bra and sports bra shopping. Please be aware that there are different shaped bras out there and some shapes just simply may not suit your body. 

Bra sizes are like clothing sizes. We can be different sizes in different shops, so don't assume you are the same size everywhere. Furthermore, not all bras will be made to the best quality so make sure you are shopping somewhere reputable, ideally with a bra specialist in store.

MAAREE's mission it to inform and empower you to choose the right sports bra support and design for you. MAAREE's founder, Mari, has a background in sports bra testing and grew tired of the current sports bra offering on the market. Wanting superior support, she has taken it upon herself to design her own and start MAAREE.

MAAREE Overband Technology

Mari has designed and incorporated Overband® Technology into her sports bra to provide superior performance and support in a revolutionary new way. Read more here.

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*Breast size, bra fit and thoracic pain in young women: a correlational study