How Should a Bra Fit? Bra Fitting Basics

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Wearing the correct bra size is of utmost importance. In addition to the size, you should also be aware of the shape and orientation of your breasts when bra shopping for the most comfortable fit. So, how do you know that your bra is perfect? How should a bra fit?

How Should a Bra Fit?

The bra should fit you in a way that the cups, straps, and band are correctly positioned. Ideally, the cups should follow the curve of your breasts without any gaping or overflowing. The straps should not dig in or slip off your shoulders, and the band should be parallel to the ground.

Graphic image of a woman measuring her chest that explains that there should be no gaping for a properly fitted bra

If all these conditions are met, the bra would be able to provide optimum support. Moreover, wearing the bra would not feel like a burden since it would not be too tight that you feel suffocated or too loose that it keeps moving around. Below I dive deeper into the correct fit of each part.

What Are the Signs of an Ill-Fitting Bra?

I have often heard that approximately 80% of women wear the wrong bra size. While recently there have been some concerns about the accuracy of this statistic, the percentage is still staggeringly high.

To determine if you are one of these women, go through the checklist below and ask yourself if it applies to you:

  • You cannot wait to take off your bra
  • The underwires pinch, poke or hurt you
  • The band rides up
  • The straps leave an indentation on your shoulder
  • The straps keep slipping off
  • The center gore (the piece of fabric between the two cups) rides away from your body

If even one of these issues applies to you, your bra does not fit you well. Therefore, next time you try on a bra, pay special attention to the following parts of the undergarment:

A pink seamless bra with adjustable straps and strings in the middle is worn by a woman


The bra cups play an integral part in holding your breast tissues in place and prevent too much movement while you go about your day. They need to mold your curves seamlessly to be able to do their job.

Hence, take a look at where the top edge of the cups lies. If the edges conform to your breasts’ curve, they are perfect in size. However, if the cups gape, meaning there is space between the cups and the breast tissues, they are too loose. These will also prevent you from achieving a smooth silhouette.

On the other hand, if your breast tissues spill over from the sides and tops of the cups or are pushed towards the armpits, your cup size is too small. If you have wires in the cup, they should also lie completely flat against the chest and support the entire underside of the breasts.


Straps are responsible for lifting the bust, without putting a strain on your shoulders or back. If the straps leave an indentation on your shoulder blades, after you take the bra off, they are working overtime. You need a tighter band to help the straps support your breasts.

Contrarily, if your straps keep slipping off your shoulders, you need to adjust them to make them tighter. If you still have to hoist the straps up your shoulder, the elastic may have stretched out. This means you need a new bra!


The band is responsible for a major portion of the support offered by the undergarment. Therefore, when you put on your bra, the band should wrap around your torso in a linear fashion.

A black push-up underwire bra and black leggings are worn by a woman seated in a bed

If it rides up at the back, you need to go for a tighter fit (hook your bra to a tighter eye closure) or loosen your straps, which are pulling the band up. However, if your band feels constricting on your body, you need to go up a size for a better fit.

Related Questions

Should You Go up a Cup Size or Down a Band Size?

The cup size is influenced by the band size; as the band size decreases, the cup size increases, and vice versa. Therefore, if you want to go for a tighter band by moving a size down, you should go up a cup size to ensure that your bust is well-supported and contained.

How Often Should I Have a Bra Fitting?

Every woman should have a professional bra-fitting every six months to a year. It is not enough to determine your correct bra size once in your life since your breasts undergo multiple changes due to weight fluctuation, pregnancy, menopause, illness, exercise, diet, etc.

Bra Size Measurement & Cup Size | A, B, C, D, DD Bra Sizes AND Extra Large Breasts


When looking for a bra that fits you flawlessly, you need to make sure that it feels comfortable and supportive. Moreover, pay close attention to the fit and feel of your bra cups, straps, and band. If either of these components feels awkward or painful, you need to go for different bra size.


Allena is the Founder and Editor of The Better Fit, a platform dedicated to empowering women with practical advice on bras and fitness, inspired by her own revelation of the widespread issue of incorrect bra sizing. Her expertise and tips have been recognized by major publications such as Cosmopolitan, Better Homes & Gardens, Insider, and NBC, making her a trusted voice in women's wellness and lifestyle.