Ask a Bra Fit Expert: Why is my bra band riding up?

Ask a Bra Fit Expert: Why is my bra band riding up?

It’s an occupational hazard: I fit bras for a living, so when I am standing behind someone in line, I can’t help notice how their bra is fitting. For instance, say I’m standing behind someone whose bra band is practically riding up to their neck. What if I reached out and pulled the back of her bra down horizontal to the floor (like it was calling out to be)?

Would she turn around and say, “Oh my gosh, thank you! That feels so much better!”? And would her friend have said, “Wow! You look so much younger!”? Probably not. More likely after she quit screaming, the police would escort me out of the building.

So, why do bras ride up in back like that? There are three main reasons:

1. The cups are too small

bra too small

Think of a coffee cup. When you pour coffee, you only pour enough to fill the cup. You don’t keep pouring until it flows over the sides. Now think of your bra cup. It is meant to contain your breast. If your breast is spilling out over the top or the sides, it’s going to be pulling forward and down on the straps. The straps then pull the back band up. When you get resized, you may realize you need a larger cup to really fit your breasts.

If you don’t have a local lingerie store like Bosom Buddies around to size you, try a new bra in a lower band size. Just remember this helpful trick: when you decrease your band size you need to increase your cup size. So if you are currently wearing a 38D cup that is too loose, try going down to a 36DD/E. If you are wearing a 36B cup that is too small with a loose band, try going down to a 34C. Decrease the band, increase the cup. Just keep repeating that until it makes sense.

2. The bra band is not adjusted properly

The back of your bra band is part of the frame of the bra. It’s the part that is supposed to anchor everything in place and keep it there. Most people don’t realize that this is where the majority of support comes from. If your band isn’t tight enough then a bra can’t give any lift or support to the breasts. Simple as that.

Bra band riding up
Our social media manager Kate, modeling a bra in an incorrect band size

If your bra is riding up, first try tightening which hook you are using. Most bras come with 3-4 sets of hooks in the back for adjustable band sizing. If you’ve tightened the band as far as it can go and it’s still riding up, then you’ve got another problem…

3. The bra is worn out

Worn out bra
The most worn out bra we’ve ever seen at Bosom Buddies.

Every fabric relaxes over time. As the fabric of your bra gives, you can make the band more snug by using tighter hooks. When you run out of hooks to make it tighter, it’s time for a new bra. The bra elastic’s memory is gone and it is time to put it out to pasture (aka the trash can). Next get re-sized and get a new bra!

Here are the lessons:

  1. If your band rides up like this, tighten the band by using different hooks.
  2. If it still rides up, get a new bra, probably one with a smaller band size and/or a larger cup size.

And remember, it never hurts to call in the experts. Professional bra fitters at a majority of lingerie boutiques can help guide you into a better fitting bra.

We want to know what you think!