I enjoy writing articles that help women feel more comfortable in their own skin and clothing.
In a way, I think bra problems are like bowel movement issues. They happen to many of us, but we don't talk about them that much. A lot of women endure their bra discomfort in silence, while some others simply dump their troublesome bras into a wastebasket and visit Victoria's Secret several times a year.
Some bra problems can easily be rectified with little tricks and devices. There's no need for you to put up with the dissatisfaction of, or spend a fortune on these undergarments. Before making an attempt to fix your ill-fitting bra, however, ask yourself whether it's possible that your bra might have reached the end of its usability. If the answer is yes, there is no point trying to modify it. Also, ask yourself whether the discomfort is caused by the bra or your own body changes. If you have experienced substantial weight gain or weight loss, don't go through all the fuss, it's usually better to just buy new bras.
1. Your Bra Straps Keep Falling Down
This isn't just a matter of discomfort but also style cramping, especially if your bra straps are all well-worn and discolored. Bra straps have an expiration date, you know. Sometimes the band and cups might still fit perfectly well, but the straps themselves are awfully stretched out and look about a century old. Plus, having to pull the straps up every half an hour could almost drive you insane. To avoid this strap mishap, try these two simple tricks.
- Use a strap connector (aka "strap holder") to link your straps together in the back and pull them as far inward as necessary. This will form a racerback or a Y shape, which not only keeps your straps from slipping, but also prevents them from peeking through a blouse with a narrow back.
- Apply some clothing double-sided tape between the straps and your shirt fabric. This bra strap solution works quite well most of the time. If your daily activities involve a lot of vigorous arm movements, however, this trick might not be as effective as it normally is.
2. Your Bra Feels a Little Too Tight
This bra problem actually happens to some women once a month, either during their period or PMS. Your fluctuating hormones can cause your breasts to swell, and your favorite bra can suddenly become a little too snugly. Another typical culprit in this bra crime is, of course, weight gain. Your breasts, which consist of mostly fat, tend to proportionately expand along with the rest of your body as you add on extra pounds.
As I mentioned earlier, if your weight gain is quite substantial, it's wiser to just switch to larger bras. Adjusting the band size alone won't suffice; your breasts will still be suffocated under the undersized cups. If you have gained some extra thickness around the rib cage but the volume of your breasts has not changed much, however, bra extenders are an easy and affordable solution. No sewing is required. They simply attach to the hooks of your bra and can lengthen your band by up to two inches.
3. Your Underwires Are Digging Into Your Skin or Poking Your Underarms
Underwires are small pieces of metal, sewn under the cups to help lift and shape the breasts. They are supposed to make our busts look nicer, so to speak. Sometimes, these underwires can cause women such immense irritation and even pain. They can cut into the underside of your breasts, lay awkwardly against your rib cage or keep poking your underarms. There are generally three explanations for this:
- Your band size might be too small. In this case, you can conveniently modify it with the help of a band extender.
- Maybe the shape of the wires simply doesn't fit the natural form of your breasts and rib cage. The best thing to do is give your underwires a little bend and carefully adjust them until they contour to your bust more nicely. (This is the one and only scenario where I would advise you to alter the underwires of your bra. Otherwise, don't mess with them!)
- You may need to opt for a bigger cup size. If this is the case, there's not much you can do about it, except shopping for new bras.
© 2012 Om Paramapoonya
Om Paramapoonya (author) on April 23, 2013:
@patim - Thanks for dropping by, Junie :)
patim on April 22, 2013:
I haven't read your hub for a while and foud out this one is interesting indeed, very useful:)
Om Paramapoonya (author) on January 10, 2013:
@Peggy W - You're very welcome, Peggy. You're right; I think finding a perfect bra is oftentimes a much bigger challenge than finding a perfect pair of shoes or jeans!
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on January 08, 2013:
Interesting subject that literally affects so many of us in various ways. Getting a comfortable bra that truly fits well and does what it is intended to do is always a challenge. Thanks for the tips!
Om Paramapoonya (author) on January 08, 2013:
@laylafaith - You're welcome. Glad you find these bra tips helpful :)
Om Paramapoonya (author) on December 29, 2012:
@Emma Harvey - Glad you found these bra tips helpful, Emma! Thanks for dropping by. :)
Emma Kisby from Berkshire, UK on December 28, 2012:
Love these tips. I hadn't considered my bra was a little tight during my period, but it makes sense. I may try out the extenders - thanks! Voting up and useful.
Om Paramapoonya (author) on December 16, 2012:
@lindacee - I thought I was weird to have some sort of emotional attachment to my favorite bras! Now you just made me feel a little better (or a little less weird). lol Thanks a lot for dropping by, Linda. So glad to see you :)
Linda Chechar from Arizona on December 16, 2012:
These are such great tips, Om! It will save a few of my old favorites. Isn't it funny how we become attached to certain bras. lol!
Om Paramapoonya (author) on December 14, 2012:
@Kulsum Mehmood - You're welcome :)
@FullOfLoveSites - That's great! Glad you found these tips helpful :)
FullOfLoveSites from United States on December 14, 2012:
Thanks for sharing your solutions for bra wearing problems. I often have the #1 problem so I think I found the answer. Thank you.
Dr Kulsum Mehmood from Nagpur, India on December 13, 2012:
Thanks for sharing the ideas.
Om Paramapoonya (author) on December 13, 2012:
@moonlake - I've never tried using a rolled cloth, but yeah, it sounds like it could work. Thanks a lot for sharing your tips, moonlake.
@akirchner - Ouch! Sounds like your "old lady" soccer games got a little rough sometimes. Some sports bras actually offer nice extra padding, but I'm sure washcloths (or towels...or comforters! LOL) work just fine, too. Thanks for dropping by and sharing your story!
Audrey Kirchner from Washington on December 13, 2012:
Great ideas, Om--gotta love the bra bulge--yikes. I always wanted bigger boobs when I was younger--flat as a pancake--now I joke that since my kids, breastfeeding and "middle age" I need to go to the 36 "long" section to find my bras. Sad but true. I will have to try some of these tips. I like the racerback idea--a decade or so back when I was playing old lady soccer, I took a few hits to the boobs--not pleasant--so I started putting washcloths inside my sports bra--I said I was going to work up to bath towels but retired before I got to that high cup number~ In all seriousness....great info!
moonlake from America on December 12, 2012:
I wear underwire and I have found if you place a rolled cloth (soft cotton or flannel) about the size of a washcloth under your underwire and tuck it in. The underwire feels better and it can't be seen. Adjust strapes. This also lifts and makes a person look better. Enjoyed your hub voted up.