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common fitting problems

Wearing the right size bra can really change the way that you feel about yourself.

Your posture can improve as your shoulders may be less hunched, your clothes will hang much better and aches and pains can disappear overnight.

Unfortunately, it is a fact that the majority of women are wearing the wrong size bra. Our research found that even when our customers thought that they were in the right size, after being properly fitted, on average most customers were wearing one back size too big and three cup sizes too small. This might explain why 32F is our best selling bra size. Customers often started off wearing a C or D cup before calling our experts at customer services. Here are the common problems explained:

the Underband

A perfectly fitting underband will feel firm and sit in a horizontal line around your body. Turn around and have a look in the mirror to see where your underband is sitting.

If the underband is riding up your back then it may be too big. The straps may have been overtightened to compensate for the lack of support from the underband.

To test the fit of the underband, face the mirror and lift up your arms. If any breast tissue is exposed under the cups at the front then the underband is probably too big and the cups too small. The band may arch at the back.

To test the size of the underband when fastened on its loosest hook and eye, pull the bra band out from the centre back. If the bra fits correctly then the underband should not pull out more than 4cm. Depending on how far out you can pull the underband, you may need to go down a back size or two. Here's a chart to illustrate how to measure your new size - but remember this is just a guide.

If the underband is too small then it may ride down your body in search of the smallest part of your torso.


Correct underband size


Go down one back size


Go down two underband sizes


Go down three underband sizes


Top Tip

Each back size reduction will require at least one increase in the cup size. So, a 34C may change to a 32D (4-8cm difference) or 30DD (8-12cm difference).


When you're confident that the underband fits perfectly you should adjust the straps so that they sit comfortably on your shoulders.

Top Tip

The straps only provide 20% of the support. Most of the support is provided by the underband. If the straps dig in then it could be because the underband is too big and the straps are having to do most of the work to support the bust.

The centre front

The underwires should sit flat against your rib cage and the centre front with no gaps. If the underwiring is dragging down at the front then the underband could be too small causing it to pull the bra down your body.

If the underband lifts away at the centre front then this could be because your cups are too small and the breasts are pushing the centre front away.

The cups

A perfectly fitting bra should have no bulging at the neckline or the underarm area.

Top Tip

A good way to check you have a smooth fit is "The T-Shirt Test." A bra that fits well will flatter your shape in a t-shirt with no visible lumps and bumps.

If the cups are too small then you will notice breast tissue spilling out of the cups. This can happen at the neckline and at the sides of the cups. You may want to consider going up a cup size or two.

If the cups are too big then you will notice creasing or wrinkling on the cups. You should consider going down a cup size for improved support.

Top Tip

If there is gaping where the cups meet the straps then it could be that the bra style doesn't suit your shape. Balconette bras that finish lower down on the chest may suit your shape better.

Different Sizes

It is perfectly normal for women to have breasts of different sizes, some are more noticable than others.

For the best shape and support, we recommend fitting your bra to the larger breast. If you notice any creasing to the smaller cup you can always try adding a gel or foam insert.

Top Tip

Flex the wires! The wires are the key to the comfort and support of your bra. If you find it hard to find a bra that's comfortable then try flexing the bra wire from its tips and twisting it from side to side. If it's flexible then the bra may be more comfortable, but offer less support. If it's rigid then the garment may quickly become uncomfortable and may dig in. Wire flexibility can vary greatly between brands, so try a few different brands to see what suits you.

Top Tip

Wearing too big a back band is one of the most common mistakes. Many people confuse the back measurement with breast size, incorrectly thinking, for instance, that a 36 or 38 must be busty. Your dress size can be a helpful guide - if you are are dress size 12, for example, you are unlikely to need a 36 bra and are more likely to be a 32 or 34.