You're (Probably) Wearing The Wrong Bra Size. Here's How To Tell If You Are

Two in five women are unsure if they're wearing the right bra size. Are you one of them?
When was the last time you had a bra fitted?
martin-dm via Getty Images
When was the last time you had a bra fitted?

It’s highly likely many of us are roaming around wearing the wrong size bra, as a new survey has revealed one in three women have never had a bra fitting done.

The survey by Marks & Spencer also found two in five women (38%) are unsure if they are wearing the right bra size.

There are a variety of short and long term impacts of wearing the wrong bra size – from breast and back pain, to rubbing and chafing leading to sore or irritated and skin.

Bra experts often stress that a person should get fitted at least every six months to a year, as our bodies are changing constantly. So how can you tell if you’re wearing the wrong size bra and need to get fitted?

How to tell if your bra doesn’t fit properly

“If your bra is uncomfortable in any way it probably means it doesn’t fit correctly,” says Priya Downes, founder of Nudea.

“A proper fitting bra should support and add to comfort, not detract from it.”

Some of the most common signs your bra isn’t quite fitting properly include: straps digging in, cups digging into the breast, or the bra cup failing to contain all of your breast.

You’ve determined your bra doesn’t fit. Now what?

M&S’s head of lingerie design Soozie Jenkinson has shared some things you can look out for while bra shopping to help you find your best fit.

1. Make sure the under-band is sitting correctly

“If the under-band of your bra is riding up at the back, your bra is too big,” says Jenkinson.

The under-band should sit horizontally around your body, and you should be able to fit two fingers under the band comfortably.

“If the bra wires are digging in either at the front or the side of your breasts, then the cups are too small,” says the lingerie expert.

2. If you’re wearing a wired bra, it should lie flat against your chest

If the wire digs into your body, it could be a sign that it’s too small for you.

“The front of the bra should sit flat against your chest, and you shouldn’t feel a wire push in the middle of your breasts,” explains Jenkinson.

3. Ensure your bust is contained fully within your cup

The best way to check if your breast is contained fully within the cup is to check the sides of the cup: if it’s falling on your breast tissue, you’re wearing the wrong size; if it’s falling on your rib cage, you’ve got it right.

“Breasts can change in size for a number of reasons, whether that’s weight loss or gain, menstrual cycles and pregnancy all being a factor,” says Jenkinson.

“If your favourite bra isn’t fitting quite right in the cup area, it’s a sign that you may need to get a new bra.”

Make sure that there is no gaping from the edges of the bra, too.

4. Your bra straps should be secure but not tight

Your bra should still be able to support you if you remove the straps. Adjust your bra straps so that they sit at a comfortable length, as the under-band acts as the main support.

5. Get yourself fitted at a store or with a bra fit specialist

There are many lingerie stores that offer bra fitting services online and in person. And if the thought of stripping off is making you uncomfortable, fear not – if you want to wear your top or bra to get measured, that’s totally fine.

If you’re looking to get fitted M&S, The Pantry Underwear and Bravissimo all do free bra fittings and make you feel very comfortable throughout the process.