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How to Tighten Bra Straps in 5 Simple Steps

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Your bra likely fits perfectly for the first few times you put it on, but after a couple of washes things just don’t feel right anymore. You put your bra on and feel like the girls have started to make a downward decent. The new location of your breasts isn’t because they’ve changed.

It’s because your bra straps have changed. Don’t panic. You’re going to learn what you need to know and how to tighten bra straps.

How to Tighten Bra Straps

If you’ve had to wrestle your bra straps to get them where they need to be, you may have decided it’s not worth it. Why go to all that trouble? You’re wearing a bra, and that’s better than not wearing one.

Unfortunately, if your bra straps are too loose, you might as well not be wearing one. We’ll walk you through how to secure your straps from falling down.

Why Tighten Bra Straps?

The main reason to wear a bra is for the support. You want a bra that’s going to be comfortable, and to keep your breasts properly supported. If you’re wearing a bra with straps that are too loose,  even if it’s the best push up bra for sagging breasts you’re not giving the girls the desired support they so desperately need.

Dark blue bra laid on a white background

How to Adjust Bra Straps

​Adjusting your bra straps is as easy as sliding the little plastic or metal clip up and down the straps. What you need to keep in mind, however, is that your strap clips aren’t going to necessarily be in the same place on both straps.

It’s very possible that you have one boob that’s bigger than the other. If that’s the case, you may find you need to alter the straps separately in order to get the best fit.

Once you’ve tightened your bra straps, make sure you check the fit of each breast. Are they both in the same place on your chest? Does one strap feel tighter than the other? If so, move the clip that needs to be adjusted. Make sure you hold onto the strap to take pressure off of the clip and avoiding any damage to the clip.

​How to Tighten a Bra

If your boobs are feeling a little loose, it may not be just the bra straps that need to be adjusted. Many women believe that when they buy a bra, it should fit on the tightest hook. That’s actually a myth, and a good fitting bra should fit comfortably on the middle or outer hook. 

By starting on the outer or middle hook, you’re giving yourself a chance to later tighten it if your bra becomes loose. If your bra is feeling a little loose, try moving to the next hook. If your bra is already on the innermost hook, then it may be time to find a new bra.

First things first, make sure you’re wearing your bra. It might also be helpful to stand in front of a mirror, so you can see the changes that are being made as you adjust the straps. 

  1. Lift the strap: While standing in front of the mirror, gently lift the top layer of the strap that connects to the cup of the bra. Lift up on the strap to give yourself an idea of where you want the straps to tighten to.
  2. Take off the tension: Before moving the metal or plastic adjustment clip, hold onto the strap before the clip to take off the tension from your breasts.
  3. Slide the clip: With your other hand, move the clip towards the back of your bra.
  4. Let go of the strap: Loosen up your grip on the bra strap and see how it feels. Then do the same for the other side.
  5. Make adjustments:Make any adjustments you need to make by repeating the steps until your breasts are back to where they’re supposed to be.
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​How to Check for a Good Fit

​Once you’ve adjusted the bra straps and band, you need to check you have adjusted enough or too much. Once you’ve tightened the straps, if you notice the back of your bra is rising up towards your shoulder blades, you’ve possibly over tightened.

Try releasing the clips a little until the band fits comfortably around the middle of the back. A good way to know is when you’re fitting your clothes and the bra straps don’t show from being too loose.

Additional Method to Tighten a Bra (If You Can’t Do it the First Way)

Sometimes, the adjustment clips on your bra aren’t reachable while you’re wearing your bra without dislocating your shoulder. It requires a little more work, but here’s an additional method on how to adjust your bra if you can’t reach the clips with the first method shared.

  1. ​Lift the strap​​​: ​This step is the same as before.​​​​​​​​​
  2. Pay attention: Make sure you pay attention to where your breasts are during the lift in the last step. You will also need to pay attention to the amount of strap you pulled to get your breasts where they need to be.
  3. Twist and turn: Take the straps off your shoulders and turn your bra around so you have access to your straps.
  4. Slide the clip: Using the strap, make an adjustment to the clip moving the clip towards the back of the bra increasing the amount of strap that is now doubled. Repeat for both sides.
  5. Try, try again: Put your bra back on and make sure your bra now fits like it did in step 2. If you need to adjust again, repeat steps 2-4.
Black and white photo of a woman wearing a bra and some jean shorts white standing infront of a wall

​How to Keep Bra Straps Up

​Do you have problems keeping your bra straps on your shoulders? It’s no surprise that strap slips come from the straps not being tight enough. Often, tightening the straps will help with keeping the straps where they’re supposed to be.

However, if you’ve tightened your straps, and your boobs are still taking a journey to your knees, check the band strap. If your bra is too tight around the band, it can also cause your band to rise up your back which then causes your straps to wander.

You’ll know the band is too tight when you start to notice your back fat accumulating around the band. Try loosening your bra down a hook around the band, along with tightening the bra straps, to help keep them in place.

​How to Tighten Bra Straps Even More

​After you’ve washed your bra a couple dozen times, you may find the straps start to seem a little more stretched out. You try tightening them as far as you can, but you find they’re still a little loose. It’s time to think about getting a new bra.

​Unfortunately, you can’t exactly stop for a new bra on your way to work or when you’re about to go out for the night. There are a few hacks, however, that can help shorten your bra straps until you can get a new bra.

  1. ​Use a safety pin​​: Start out by gathering the strap in the back, where the strap meets the band. Making a small “s” shape at the base of the straps, place a safety pin through the s to hold it in place. If you try this method, be careful there’s not too much tension on the pin. If it’s too tight, it could pop open and turn you into a pin cushion.​​​​​​
  2. Break out the needle and thread: If you have a sewing needle and some thread handy, follow the same instructions as using a safety pin. Hold the “s” in place by adding a few stitches through the s onto the strap. Make sure you make the stitches thick enough to hold the strap in place.
  3. Tie the straps together: If you have a clip or a hair tie, you can try tying the straps together in the back. You’re basically making a home-made racer back. Make sure you don’t over tighten them, or you could end up with your boobs hitting you in the chin. Tying the straps together will help tighten the straps and can also help with keeping the straps in place.

​How to Get Rid of Bra Strap Indentations

​So, you’ve tightened your bra straps and the girls are now firmly secured on your chest. You’ve also eliminated the slipping strap problem. Now, there’s another situation you’ve later discovered.

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You take your bra off and see the straps have been branded onto your shoulders. Now you’ve got to figure out how to get rid of those pesky bra indentations. 

Making sure you haven’t tightened your bra straps too tight is the first step in eliminating the deep, uncomfortable indentations. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how perfectly the straps fit, you still might have some markings.

Woman with her back turned to the camera wearing a white bra

Many bras now offer straps with padded ​shoulder straps, just like the bra itself. The padding in the shoulder straps can often take care of the indentation problem.

Consistently wearing bras that leave deep indentations can actually lead to marks that are much harder to remove, which is why it’s so important to check those straps! Otherwise, just go strapless!

​Other Bra Problems Caused by the Straps

​Saggy breasts are not the only bra problems that can be solved with tightening the bra straps. There are also some other common bra problems that can be fixed with a simple adjustment to the bra clips:

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  1. The cups feel too big: If you notice that your cups aren’t firmly holding your breasts against your chest, tightening the straps may help. There’s a possibility that you may need a bra with smaller cups. Try the straps to see if that fixes the issue, first. ​
  2. The underwire is poking you: If you feel your underwires digging into your sides whenever you bend over or move at the waist, it may be a strap issue. If there’s too much slack in the bra, it can cause the wires to move around. This can be extremely uncomfortable. It also wears the fabric away to the point the wires will break through.
  3. The cups are gaping at the top: Just like loose straps can make the cups feel too big, loose straps can also cause cup gaping. Cup gaping happens when just the top part of the cup sticks out from your body. Tightening the straps could help make your bra look less like a corset, and more streamlined under your clothing.
  4. You’re suffering from boob spillage: If your breasts are starting to squeeze out the top of your bra, causing boob spillage, you may have over-tightened your straps. Try loosening the straps off a bit and stop cutting off the circulation to the ladies.
Pink lacey bra laid out on a white background


​Making sure your bra fits correctly is a lot more in-depth than 5 steps to tightening a bra strap. Bra straps loosen up a lot more frequently than you think.

However, it’s good to remember that sometimes there could be other causes for your bra feeling looser than usual. Your breasts need good support and wearing a bra that fits correctly is how it’s done.

Hi there, I’m Allena, Founder and Editor of The Better Fit. I’ve always had a passion for finding ways to help women improve various areas of their lives. I have researched and worked to create this website so women would have a place to come and be informed about an article of clothing they literally wear every day.