Bras aren’t supposed to hurt. With the right fit, those tiny pieces of fabric, slivers of metal, and delicate findings can lift many pounds of flesh without you even noticing it’s on. But when something’s off, it’s really off, and that bra won’t let you forget about it. The wrong undergarments can ruin your day. So I’ve written a troubleshooting guide to solving your painful bra problems, from the straps to the band. You’ll find simple recommendations for style options, fabric suggestions, and sizing adjustments (and do keep in mind the math behind sister sizes when trying a new size). I’m not a doctor, and this article doesn’t replace medical advice, especially if you’re struggling with overall chronic pain. If you’re dealing with fibromyalgia, you can also check out our article specifically about buying bras with fibromyalgia.
For the best support from your bra, the band should be snug against your torso. You might notice it during the day. However, it shouldn’t be painful. If the pressure from your band is too much, try a band size bigger. Additionally, it’s normal to have a few red marks around your torso after you take your bra off at the end of the day. Any item of clothing or accessory that’s snug against your skin all day will cause temporary marks.
Inner Points of Wire Hurt
If the ends of the wire against the center of the bra are poking you painfully, check to make sure the wire isn’t popping out. If it is, stop wearing the bra or have it repaired. Make sure to handwash and air dry your bras to keep this from happening. If the wire’s channel is thin and you’re being poked through the fabric, you can reinforce it with a piece of moleskin, like the kind you can buy for blisters at the drugstore. You can also have a tailor reinforce it. In the future, you can prevent this by looking for bras with thicker fabric covering the wire.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.– BILLI REUSS
If neither of those are the problem, you might have close-set breasts that would benefit from a lower gore (like on a plunge bra) or a more narrow gore. If you’re feeling pain because your breast tissue is spilling out over the top and the wire is poking into them, you might consider a larger cup size. When you’re shopping, make sure the wire sits against your ribcage, beneath all of your tissue.
Then, make sure the wire is the right width. Too narrow, and the wires will dig into your breast tissue. In this case, try a bigger cup size, or a bra with wider wires. Too wide, and you might feel too much pressure on the sides of your ribcage. Try a smaller cup size, or a bra with more narrow wires.