9 Clear Signs That Your Bra Doesn't Fit You

 

Up to 80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra for them.

 

70% of women are wearing a bra size which is 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.

good sports bra fit

 

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 measuring tapes. 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 that 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 if our bra doesn't fit. So we've summarised some key points below that we should all be aware of when bra shopping.

Underband Issues

 
Bra Fit Guidelines - Underband
 

1. Underband size is too big

It's important to get your underband size correct as this is where the majority of the support comes from. From my personal experience, 8 out of 10 people I fit are wearing a underband which is too big for them. As 80% of your support comes from the underband, if this size is already too big then you no hope of getting enough support and this shows by it riding up on your back. You can easily check this by standing in front of a mirror and turning to the side. If your band rides up from front to back, it's time for a new bra or a smaller size.

Bra Fit Guidelines - Cup

2. Chaffing

Many women suffer from chaffing with their sports bras. Chaffing can occur when movement and friction occurs between the skin and the fabric. Consider checking if you could afford to size down in your size for a more snug fit.

If this is not the case and you size is correct then the design or construction of the bra might not be right for you. Consider moving away from a compression style bra or look for sports bras with wider components or underband, considering where the chaffing occurs. Click here to learn more about the different sports bra designs.

Bra Fit Guidelines - Underband

3. Boob popping out the bottom

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 and check that your cup size is also big enough. If your cup volume isn't sufficient, then this could be another reason that the bra is being pushed away from your body.

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 - Cup

4. The 4-boob look

Finding yourself constantly pulling up your cup to stop cup bulging? Your cup size is likely too small if you are bulging out of it and you'll need to size up. You might also want to consider a fuller coverage bra style, avoiding plunge cuts. 

Bra Fit Guidelines - Cup

5. Side-boob

This can be a more challenging issue to spot. However, when you are checking your cup size, make sure that your entire breast is encased within the cup volume, not on top of it. Size up if you are popping out the side. You might find that you are suffering from this issue if you are someone who struggles to find a comfortable underwire bra. 

Bra Fit Guidelines - Cup

6. Gore not sitting flush

If you are someone who suffers from gapping at the centre front of the bra then your cups are too small and consider sizing up. The fabric between the cups needs to sit flush against your sternum with a traditional everyday bra design. 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 that the cup doesn't finish far enough around your sides either. All of your breast tissue must be encapsulated within the cup.

Note: This won't necessarily be a requirement with many sports bra designs and some day-to-day crop-top style bras.

Bra Fit Guidelines - Cup

7. Underwires digging in

The underwire of your bra must encapsulate your entire breast tissue. If you find that the wires in your bra are uncomfortable then it is likely that it's your wrong size and your bra doesn't fit you correctly. Bra underwires need to sit in a very specific place and never on your breast tissue. I find that most women who are wearing their wrong cup size, normally need to size up. So do consider this if you suffer from this issue, as your underwire might be sitting ON your breast, rather than around it. Consider taking your bra off at the end of the day and inspect where exactly the underwire is digging into you. This might give you more helpful insight into how to correct it.

Bra Fit Guidelines - Cup

8. Excess fabric in the cup

If you find that you have excess material in your cup then you will need to size down a cup size. You want to fill the entire cup area with the breast so that you can't pinch any excess cup fabric when the bra is worn. This issue will be noticeable in non-padded bras. 

Bra Fit Guidelines - Cup

9. Not filling the entire cup

Gapping at the top of the cup is an issue that will be more noticeable in more structured bras and padded bras. If you can see the inside of your cup while you are wearing the bra, consider sizing down a cup size as you want to ensure that you fill the volume but without spilling over.

Overband Fit

The Overband® Technology is what makes MAAREE bras unique and revolutionary. It is a curved panel that runs over the top of the breasts, a concept designed by MAAREE founder, Mari, when she used to test the performance of sports bras under laboratory conditions. The Overband® reduces upwards motion of breasts when you're active, not just downward motion. Because our boobs move in every direction.

MAAREE Overband Fit

Our band evenly distributes the pressure across the breasts and runs with the curves of your body to restrict the range of motion that your boobs are allowed to move. Something no other brand has done before. Therefore, it must sit over the top of the breasts, not across them.

If the Overband® sits too low, almost across your breasts, then the cup needs to increase in size. Contrastly, you'll need to decrease the cup size if the Overband® sits too high. To view MAAREE sports bra range, click here.

 

 

Conclusion

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 is 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.  Shop the collection.

References:

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

3 comments

I cannot find anywhere that has actually fitted me properly. I go without a bra ss often as I can because wearing one is uncomfortable. I even resorted to going to Rigby & Peller. I was fitted there & brought one from there but I think the cup size is wrong. Its really getting me down as I can’t wear the clothes I want & it’s effecting my posture. Where can I go that actually fits you properly?

Clare Wilson July 25, 2022

Hi Laura, yes! We are due to get more sizes in this month! Pre-orders are open now if you’d like to head over to the sports bra page.

Mari (MAAREE) June 12, 2019

Do you plan to add anymore sizes to your range within the near future?

Laura Aldridge February 26, 2019

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