The Curious tale of Underwire Bra Pain
We all want that gorgeous bra that’s superbly comfortable, one we can wear all day without it pinching or poking us, a bra that we don’t feel the need to whip off as soon as we get home after a long day. Sounds impossible, right? Well it’s not and it’s high time to tackle the myths surrounding underwires being the cause of all your bra pain!
The two main culprits of underwire bra pain
There are multiple reasons why your underwire might be causing you discomfort or pain. Paramount is the need to get a proper fitting – something our team are specialists at! When wearing a well fitted everyday bra you should hardly be able to feel the underwires. Your bra should be snug but comfortable and give you all the support you need without adjusting or wanting to rip it off in the middle of the day.
The two main culprits of underwire bra pain are wearing the wrong bra size or the wrong bra style for your shape. Bras have many components that we don’t think about when putting them on, but each and every part of the bra has a real and important job to do. There are many factors to help uncover why underwires are causing you pain.
What are underwires?
Underwires are pieces of metal or durable plastic sewn into the cup of a bra to help create support and structure for the breasts. Think of a plunge style versus a full cup bra, these two types of bras have different shapes of underwire for the specific style. A plunge bra has a much shorter centre gore (the part of the bra where the two cups meet) and will be a lower cut style, whereas a full cup bra utilises a longer and generally wider underwire to achieve more coverage of the breast.
How can I banish underwire bra pain?
Wearing the wrong cup size or band size (or both) can cause common complaints about bras. When wearing a cup size that is too small, the underwires sit on top of your breast tissue instead of encapsulating it, and through my many, many years of bra fitting, I would say this is the most common cause of underwire bra pain.
TIP: Make sure you have done the trusty “scoop and swoop” method and adjust your bust properly into the cup. A bra can look like it’s fitting but once you’ve lifted all your breast tissue out from under the wires you might find you have spillage over the top of your cup. This is a sure way to know you need to go up a cup size.
Wearing a bra band that is too big can result in the trifecta where there is no anchorage for the underwires, they shift about on the body causing breasts to fall out the bottom of the cup, wires poke into breast tissue or armpits and you feel the need to adjust throughout the day. A frustrating experience. If the bra moves and has gaps between your ribs and your underwire when raising your arms, it’s time to try a size down in the back band.
My wire has betrayed me by popping out of the casing and stabbing me!
There are two reasons why this may happen. The first? You so love wearing that bra. When bras get worn out, they are no longer giving you proper support, the fabric weakens, and your wires may poke out and cause the cursed underwire bra pain. In general, a bra lasts around 12 months if you wear it regularly, but this can vary a lot. We recommend a bra check at least every 12 months or more often if your body has changed due to weight loss or gain, physical activity, babies or perhaps hormone changes. What a perfect time to check out the ranges at Brava, visit for a professional fitting, declutter and refresh your bra drawer.
Bras are delicate items and need to be cared for differently than other items of clothing or undergarments. Here at Brava we always recommend hand washing your bras with our natural lingerie wash created specifically for giving your bras the best care. It’s gentle enough not to wreak havoc on your bras but still does an amazing job at cleansing them.