Don't Make These Mistakes With Your Bras

Finding a well-fitted bra may just be one of the best feelings in the world. Ultimately, your bra is there to help support your breasts and make you feel comfortable while moving around (per Nemours KidsHealth). Sounds easy, right? Unfortunately, we know just how incredibly difficult it can be to find the right bra. After all, with so many colors and styles of bras out there, the task can definitely be overwhelming. Throw in having to properly care for your bras and also accommodate your breasts changing in size, and finding a supportive bra just seems out of the question. Yet, there is no reason anybody should have to go without having a bra that fits like a glove.


The first step in finding and properly caring for a good bra is to understand the different bra issues that might be at play, according to HuffPost. Luckily, you are far from alone in making any of these mistakes with your bra.  Let's take a look at these common errors we are making with our bras and how we can fix them. 

Not getting fitted regularly

If you're experiencing neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, or any discomfort after wearing your bra, chances are you're probably wearing the wrong size. According to Popular Science, this is the case for nearly 80% of people who are stuck wearing an ill-fitted bra. 


With your breasts changing over time due to a variety of reasons like hormones, weight fluctuations, and simply aging, it is likely that your bra size will also shift (per Tufts Medical Center). For this reason, regular bra fittings are crucial in order to determine your correct bra size. According to Marie Claire, you should be getting fitted every six months to determine if your bra size has shifted at all.

The good news is that this is an easy mistake to rectify. Typically, most major department stores like Macy's or Nordstrom should have professional staff that can easily get you fitted (per Budget Fashionista). Otherwise, specialized retailers like Victoria's Secret or your local lingerie shop are guaranteed to size you. Thankfully, these fittings are usually free and fairly easy to navigate. All you'll likely have to do is remove your shirt in a private dressing area so that they can measure your bust in order to determine your cup and band size. Just be sure to wear a bra without too much padding to the fitting to ensure that your sizing is as accurate as possible.


Wearing the same bra for different occasions

Would you wear the same clothes that you wear to the gym out to a fancy dinner? If your answer is no, then you probably shouldn't be wearing the same bra for every occasion either. Now, we get having a trusty bra that you swear by. In fact, a study conducted by Rigby & Peller surveying 2,000 women on their bra-wearing habits showed that 70% wear the same bra daily. However, changing up your bra for a nice night out, to match your mood, or even to lounge can help boost your confidence.


According to Leonisa, lace, mesh, and light bras make for a great romantic option, while colorful bralettes with soft cups are a better choice for daily wear. You should also try to keep a few bras for going out in your closet, especially ones with deep necklines that compliment a night out outfit. 

Investing in the right bra for the right occasion can help you eliminate situations like sore breasts after a day of heavy lifting at the gym, via Fashion Gone Rogue. For example, if you anticipate that you'll be moving around a lot, then wearing a compression sports bras that day may be a good option. On the other hand, opting for a wire-free bra during your menstrual period can provide you comfort at a time when your breasts are likely swollen and painful, via Wingslove


Not tossing out old bras

Similar to the rest of our bodies, our breasts are constantly evolving with age (per Healthline). This means that the bra that fit you just right two years ago may not be the best fit for you now. So how do you know when it's time to toss out a bra? A good indicator that your bra is no longer in good condition is if it starts to feel uncomfortable in any way (per Insider). After all, there's no reason you should be putting up with a bra that is digging into your skin or is just a pain to wear.


Also, like any other clothing item, your bras get worn out too. Some signs that your bra might need to go include cups that are too stretched out or too small, having to constantly adjust your bra straps, or having an underwire that constantly pokes you. Broken-down fabric and fading color are also signs that your bra is done for. 

While it can be difficult to part with your favorite bra, doing so can actually make a huge difference for those in need of one. Because bras are such an essential item of clothing, many organizations like I Support the Girls or even your local women's shelter can make great use of bras that are gently used and still in good condition (per Tommy John). Plus, this can also prevent textile and clothing waste.


Always buying the same bra size from every brand

So you got measured and think you have your bra size completely figured out. Yet, after buying a cute new bra in your size, you're disappointed to find out that it doesn't fit you the way you had hoped for. While we wish universal sizing would exist, the truth is that each brand has its own unique sizing, according to Parfait Lingerie. And because sizing bras requires an enormous amount of precision to achieve the correct fit, even a few millimeters of difference from brand to brand may mean you require different sizes.


In order to combat this, you should try to not get hung up on the bra size when shopping for a new bra. Instead, start with trying on your known size. From there, if the bra you like feels uncomfortable, it is definitely advisable to size up or down. In addition, even if a brand runs out of your size, there may still be hope for you. This is because we all have sister bra sizes. All you have to do to find your sister size is to round up one cup size and down one band size (via SheKnows). For instance, if you're a 34C, you can also opt for a 32D, which should fit very similarly.

Opting for a bra with less support than you need

Who doesn't love a fun and flirty bra? While a cute flimsy bralette can seem tempting, coverage should always be your first priority. This is especially true if you have a larger chest, because wearing a flimsy bra can cause you to have back or neck pain (per Healthline). Ideally, a bra should lift and support the girls all while making you feel comfortable.


Research published in The Breast Journal shows that over 50% of women complain of breast pain caused by wearing bras that lack support. In order to find a bra with the support that your breasts require, you must look out for a few things. According to Today, a well-fitted bra should have a comfortable underwire that rests flat under your breasts without any pinching, cups that are filled out by your breasts, and a band that sits right above your rib cage.

If you have a fuller chest, make sure that your bra has underwire in order to give you the lift and support that you need, according to Healthline. Opting for a lightly padded bra can also help if you have particularly sensitive breasts and are looking for extra support (per FinallyBra). If you find underwires and padding to be uncomfortable, however, a racerback sports bra could also be a great option, as it helps distribute weight from your breasts evenly across your back.


Not adjusting your straps

A common bra mistake that you might be making is not adjusting your straps. Your bra straps serve an important purpose of anchoring and lifting the cups of your bras, per Derriere de Soie. However, a common issue with bra straps is that they can either slip off the shoulders or tightly pinch them.


If you find yourself constantly having to pull your bra strap up, then your band size might be to blame. Your straps falling off your shoulders indicates that your band is too big and that you may need to go down a size (per Bra Fittings by Court). Just keep in mind that if you do size down, you may have to also go up a cup size in order to balance out. However, before you run to the store, you can first try to make the bra you have work by tightening the straps.

On the other hand, if you feel like your bra straps are digging into your skin, it's probably time to loosen up the straps. It's also important to remember that many of us have asymmetrical breasts, which means that your straps may sit at different lengths (via Hourglass Lingerie). If the straps are still too tight after an adjustment, then it may be worth re-checking both your band and cup size. 


Wearing the wrong band size

Yes, it can be tricky to find the right bra size, but half of it has to do with finding the right band size. If you find the band of your bra riding up on your back, then chances are that you're wearing a band size that is too big for you (per Curvy Bras). Because a loose band lacks support, it can cause back pain and poor posture, via Healthline.


While a loose band is a more common mistake, it is possible that you could be wearing a band size that is too small. If your bra is gripping you too tightly or leaving red marks on your skin, then you may be wearing too small of a band size. Ideally, you should be able to pull the bra at least 2 inches away from your body comfortably (per Miss Mary).

In order to find your correct band size, simply use a measuring tape to measure the area around your ribcage and directly under your breasts (via Primal Wear). Then, add 3 inches to this measurement to get your band size. If you end up getting an odd number, size up to the next band size.

Wearing the wrong cup size

The remaining half of trying to find the correct bra size rests on the right cup size. While this can be challenging to navigate, finding your proper cup size is crucial. This is because the cups of a bra serve an important purpose of enclosing our breasts comfortably in the bra (per BraForMe).


In order to gauge whether your bra cups are sitting right, see if there is any bulging or spilling of the breasts. If this happens, then your cup size is likely too tight for you. On the other hand, if the cups of your bras feel loose near the top of the cup, then the cup size is too big.

You can find your cup size by using your measuring tape to measure around the fullest part of your chest, near the nipple level, to find your chest size, via ​​Plastic Surgery Center of Nashville. Then subtract this chest size from your band size to find your cup size. Since cup sizes are typically letter measurements like A, B, C, and D, the numerical value that you get for your cup size will correspond to your letter measurements. For example, if the cup size is 1, then you will be an A cup. You can also use an online bra size calculator to make things easier for you (per


Sleeping with your bra on

If you are someone who is used to wearing a bra all day, then it may feel natural for you to also sleep in your bra. However, it is important to note that while wearing a bra to sleep may be comfortable for you, it can also cause problems depending on the type of bra that you're wearing to bed. For instance, according to Flo Health, sleeping in bras that have an underwire or which are especially tight fitting can be damaging to your circulation and restrict blood flow to the nerves throughout your body. Since many of us also move around in our sleep, bras can easily irritate our skin overnight and even lead to hyperpigmentation.


There's a common myth that sleeping with your bra or wearing it at all times will help prevent sagging or even make your breasts perkier. However, there is no evidence to support this theory. That being said, those of us with larger chests may find it more comfortable to sleep with a bra on due to the added support. In addition, women who are nursing can also find comfort in wearing a nursing bra to bed, per Saatva. When buying a bra to wear at night, look for one labeled as a sleep bra and ensure it has a comfortable fabric and fit.

Not storing your bras properly

Let's face it, a good quality bra can be expensive. This is why storing your bras correctly is of utmost importance. So what is the correct way to store a bra? First and foremost, you want to ensure that your bras are not folded or crumpled, as this could damage their natural shape (per ThirdLove). Instead, try to lay your bras flat when you store them.


You can take inspiration from a Victoria's Secret drawer and stack your bras in a row. Having a drawer organizer can also help you to arrange your bras neatly. Utilizing shower curtain rings to hang your bras by clipping them at the center can also be another option, via Who What Wear. For sports bras and bralettes, you can roll them as you please — they are more low maintenance and less likely to become deformed. 

Having your bras organized by color or type can also make it easier for you to choose an appropriate bra for any occasion.

Not cleaning your bras correctly

Did you know that there is a right way to clean and wash your bras? If you're just throwing your bras in along with your weekly laundry and hoping for the best, then you're probably not cleaning your bras correctly. For delicate bras made of satin or lace, it is best to wash them by hand in order to prevent damage (per CNN). You can accomplish this by using a gentle detergent or even some baby shampoo and water.


If you opt to machine wash your bras, a mesh bag can be used for your undergarments in order to stop the bra straps from tangling and keep the fabric intact, via Wirecutter. Cleaning your bras in a smaller load can also help prevent tears that the machine may otherwise cause. Of course, your climate, temperature, and physical activity level will dictate how often you wash your bras. However, dermatologist Alok Vij told the Cleveland Clinic that washing your bras after two to three wears is typically a good bet.

As for drying your bras, air drying is usually the way to go, via Tide. You can do this by hanging your bras on a clothing line or simply laying them out flat across a drying rack. This option is typically better than machine drying, which can cause a lot of friction and, in turn, rips and tears.


Wearing the same bra two days in a row

Perhaps a common bra mistake that we all make is wearing the same bra two days in a row. While it may be convenient to throw on your favorite T-shirt bra in a rush, it's usually not the best idea. If wearing the same underwear two days in a row grosses you out, then you probably shouldn't be doing the same with your bra. While bras don't need as much washing as your underwear, sweat can easily build up when you wear your bra for long periods of time without giving it ample time to air out.


Wearing the same bra for multiple days can also cause your favorite bra some distress, such as stretching out and fading. This, along with the build-up of sweat, can ultimately lead to permanent stains in the bra, according to The Healthy Journal. In order to prevent this from occurring, it is probably best to give your bra some breathing room by switching up the bra that you choose to wear daily. So, rather than wearing the same bra daily, perhaps you can give a day or two break in between wears.