How are Bras Supposed to Fit?

How are Bras Supposed to Fit

How are bras supposed to fit? Bras are infamous for being uncomfortable, restricting, and sometimes even painful. With countless shapes and sizes of breasts, bra-wearers are forced to wear tight undergarments that sometimes squeeze and stab you all day. 

Despite this less than ideal reputation, bras are actually supposed to be comfortable and supportive, even for all-day wear. One of the biggest problems is that wearers are buying the wrong bra size for them. This happens when someone measures your breasts incorrectly in stores, or when you’ve been buying the same size forever and never try to re-measuring yourself. 

At the end of the day, bras should be comfortable with the cup against your skin without gaping, the back band not riding up your back, and the straps not too tight. In fact, you should be able to comfortably stick two fingers underneath the shoulder strap without feeling like the strap is digging into your skin. 

How a Bra Should Fit?

The most important part of a bra fitting correctly is making sure it is comfortable. A comfortable bra can transform your whole day and your whole outfit! It is time we stop settling for unflattering and uncomfortable bras, no matter what size your breasts are. 

In this section, we will dive into how to assure your bra is resting correctly on your body. For starters, the back strap of the bra should be straight across your back. It should not be pulling up towards the straps or sagging at all.

To make sure it is not too tight or loose, you can see if you can stick your hand in perpendicularly and still be comfortable. Your hand should not be able to pull the strap out further, but it also should not be pushing into your skin tightly. As for the clasp, you should have your clasp comfortably on the middle latch. 

Like the back of your bra, the front of your bra should also be sitting comfortably. It should be parallel to the ground and not pull up or sag down. It is easiest to tell if the bra is parallel by looking at yourself from the side in the mirror. Is the strap straight all-around your body?

As for the cups, the fit can look different for different sizes, however, there are some standard practices that can help determine if the bra is fitting correctly. For starters, your breasts should be able to fit inside the cup without spilling out over the top, bottom, or sides. You also should not have gaping or excess room in the cups, as that could mean the cups are too big.

You should also be able to move freely without your breasts spilling out of the cups at all. If you are wearing an underwire bra, the wire should sit comfortably underneath the natural crease of your breast. You should not feel any uncomfortable poking or digging. 

For the center panel, the small piece of fabric that connects both cups on the bra, the fabric should lay flat on your chest between your breasts, it should not feel too tight or too loose. It is important to know that for larger breasts that are naturally closer together, the panel may not sit flat on your skin. This is okay as long as it is still centered and comfortable. 

One of the most uncomfortable parts of a bra can often be the straps. Sometimes it is an all-day battle of feeling the straps digging into your shoulder or constantly fixing them from sliding down your arm. These issues result from incorrect fitting.

Straps are intended to carry minimal breast weight and not be the main source of support. They should sit flat on your shoulders comfortably with no digging or creasing in your skin. If your straps are carrying most of the weight of your breasts, it may mean you need a smaller band size. 

How a Strapless Bra Should Fit?

Maidenform Women's Stay Put Strapless Bra SE6990, Black, 34A
Source: Amazon

As mentioned above, bra straps are not supposed to be the main supporter of weight on your bra. If anything, they should be carrying less than 10% of the weight of your breasts. With this in mind, it makes more sense how strapless bras work.

Strapless bras rely on a well-fitting band and cups to support your breasts when straps don’t work for your outfit. Believe it or not, a strapless bra can actually be comfortable if it fits correctly!

When getting a strapless bra, start with your normal bra size. Strapless bras may feel slightly tighter or more constraining as they are making up for the lack of strap support. If your normal size is too tight and uncomfortable, size up. 

The cups should fit like the cups on a normal bra. There should not be spillage of the breast over the cup and there should not be gaping or excess fabric either. The band should also still fit comfortably and be parallel to the ground in all areas.

Many people may hike the band upon their strapless bra to feel more support, but this is an indication that the bra does not fit correctly. If you are concerned with your strapless bra falling still, you can look for one that has a no-slip grip or a rubber lining so it does not fall down. 

How Should a Bra Fit on the Side?

A bra should fit comfortably on the side with the band parallel to the ground. The band should not be riding upwards or sagging, it also should not be digging into the skin at all. You should not have to stretch it to fit around your body and clasp it in the back. 

How Are Pushup Bras Supposed to Fit?

DOBREVA Women's Push Up Bra Wireless Padded Support Lace Longline No Underwire Bras Beige 36C
Source: Amazon

Pushup bras are another popular bra style. These bras have extra padding in the cups to elevate your breasts to make them appear larger, perkier, or closer together. Pushup bras follow the same rules as other bras in the straps and bad.

The cups should also feel similar, with no spillage or gaping indicating the cups are too big or small. Overall, the fit of a pushup bra should be nearly identical to a regular bra, with the desired effect being different. 

How is a Sports Bra Supposed to Fit?

RUNNING GIRL Sports Bra for Women, Criss-Cross Back Padded Strappy Sports Bras Medium Support Yoga Bra with Removable Cups(WX2353D.White.L)
Source: Amazon

Sports bras are another type of bra that people wear, some choose to wear them on a day-to-day basis while others prefer them only for physical activity. Sports bras traditionally do not have underwires and many do not have hooks on the back or adjustable straps. They also come in fewer size options since they are stretchier. 

A sports bra should be snug but not tight to the point that it is digging into your skin, you should be able to take it on and off easily without it being too tight or stiff. Your breasts should also be secured, but not to the point where they feel crushed, they should also not be sagging in the sports bra, as a sports bra is intended to keep them snug. For the straps, you should be able to fit two fingers under comfortably. 

Most importantly, your breasts should feel supported when doing activities. Try doing a few jumping jacks or a quick jog to see if your breasts stay in place and do not feel strained. 

Should Sports Bras Fit Tight?

Sports Bras should feel snug, but not uncomfortably tight. You should not feel it digging into your skin. It should be tight enough to support your breasts during physical activity, but you should not be uncomfortable or feel limited in movement. 

Do Nike Sports Bras Run Small?

Nike Womens Swoosh Medium-Support Padded Sports Bra Black/White M
Source: Amazon

Nike is a huge manufacturer of sports bras, many professional athletes opt for them. Nike sports bras can feel like they fit small due to their thick material of them. In this case, you can size up if you feel uncomfortable since sports bras have fewer size options, many people may feel the need to size up to fit comfortably.


A well-fitting bra is one of the most important parts of feeling confident and put together. It also will help combat back pain and other health issues. While finding a well-fitting bra may oftentimes feel like a struggle, with this guide you should be on your way to finding your most comfortable fit!

Recent Posts