Is My Bra Band Supposed to Hurt Me? Is There A Solution?

For many women, there’s no better feeling in the world than shedding the bra at the end of the day.  Even if yours fits well, over the course of a day you might get underwires that poke you in the side or straps digging into your shoulders—sometimes to the point where they leave painful red marks.

Although even the best bra in the world can feel uncomfortable after several hours of wear, it shouldn’t be physically painful or, worse yet, leave marks on your body.

Here, we discuss why your bra band may be digging into you, and what you can do about it. 

Is My Bra Band Supposed to Hurt Me? Is There A Solution?

Why is my bra digging into me?

Your bra may be digging in and causing pain for a number of reasons—a band or cups that are too small, or you’re not wearing the right bra for your type of breasts. First, let’s take a closer look at one of the most common problems with bra fit—an ill-fitting bra band.

The band carries most of your breasts’ weight. Think of it as the most important part of the bra. If the band isn’t the right size for your body (in this case, too small), it affects the whole garment and makes it very uncomfortable for the wearer.

What do I do if my bra band is too small?

If your band feels way too tight and it’s digging into you because it’s too small, the easiest solution is to go up a band size. Many women live with discomfort and pain from their undergarments because they just don’t know their correct bra size. Once again, there’s an easy solution—get measured. You can do it yourself with a measuring tape or stop by your favorite lingerie section and ask a sales associate for a professional bra fitting. If you’re taking your own measurements, you’ll get more accurate figures if you don’t wear a bra, but if this makes you too uncomfortable, wear one that’s lightly lined.

How tight should the bra band be?

Your bra should fit snugly but still, be comfortable. There is a simple way to determine if your band is too tight, too loose, or just right. Basically, if you can fit one finger under your band, it’s perfect. If more than one finger fits underneath, it’s too loose; if you can’t get one finger underneath, it’s too tight. Another common problem that comes from an ill-fitting band? It will ride up, especially if it’s too loose. Your breasts’ weight will cause the back of the band to move up. It’s annoying, but more importantly, it’s a sign that your bra isn’t giving you the “lift” it should.

How tight should the bra band be?

How do I figure out my bra size?

And remember—there is no one standard bra size for everybody. In other words, you might wear a B cup in Company A’s bras, but a C cup in Company B’s bras.  It’s easy to measure your bust yourself. Simply wrap the measuring tape around your chest, under your arms, and at the bust. Round up to the nearest number, and you now have your correct bust size. To determine your cup size, position the tape at the fullest part of your bust, then take the difference between the two measurements (band – bust = cup). You can also refer to a bra size chart online to determine the best fit. 

What’s the best bra band for me?

Now that you know your correct size, next, it’s time to choose the right type of band so you get an all-around perfect fit. Bra bands are usually thin, with one row of hooks, or wide, with three or more hooks. The thinner the band, the less support it provides.

Generally, if you are less than a C cup, a thin band should be fine. If you are a C cup or above, you will need more support from a wider band. Finding your bra band is important, especially with strapless bras, as the band provides all the support (you can’t tighten the straps on this garment to keep the girls in place!) If you’re wearing this type of bra, it’s critical that the band fits you properly—otherwise you’ll be uncomfortable the entire time you’re wearing the bra.

What’s the best bra band for me?

Finding the perfect bra takes some work and understanding of your body, but it can be done. First, be sure you have the correct size. Then, look for the type of band that will give you the kind of support you’re looking for and make sure it fits properly (which means it’s not uncomfortable or painful!)

And never underestimate the importance of buying a quality bra. Even if it fits you perfectly and you barely notice you’re wearing a bra, if it’s made from inexpensive materials or poorly made, it could wear out faster than one that’s of better quality.