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Why Does My Bra Ride Up?

An annoying issue we've all probably experienced so let's find a solution!

Belle-Lingerie30 January 2023

Image alt text: View of the back of a woman about to fasten a black bra to check the fit

Why Does My Bra Ride Up?
An ill-fitting bra can be seriously uncomfortable. So, let’s get to the bottom of why your bra rides up, and get it sorted.
If, try as you might, you can’t get your bra to stay where it should - we’re here to help. We’ll run through a few of the most common issues which cause bras to ride up.

Why Does My Bra Ride Up At The Back?

Bras can ride up both at the front and the back, but the latter is the most common. You’ll get dressed in the morning and go about your day, but soon feel your bra starting to ride up at the back. This can be uncomfortable as well as irritating. It could also mean that you’re not getting the support you need. 
Ideally, your bra band should fit comfortably around your torso, sitting just under your shoulder blades. It should be parallel to the floor, in a straight line across your back. 

If you’re constantly having to pull the back of your bra down (a difficult task in itself, unless you’re really flexible), then it’s time to take action.

There are a few potential culprits which could be causing this problem, including:

  • wearing the wrong band size - if the band is too large, the weight of your breasts can potentially pull the straps and eventually the back band up
  • straps that have been adjusted too tightly
  • an old bra, where the elastic has been overly stretched out.

This last issue crops up a lot. When you find a bra you love, that fits you perfectly and is comfortable to wear, you’ll naturally want to wear it all the time. But unfortunately, bras do eventually lose a little of their elasticity and shape. 

This means you’ll need to replace them, ideally after 6-9 months of regular use. If you have several bras in your regular rotation, you may be able to wait longer before replacing each bra.  

Alternatively, it could be time to go bra shopping when you notice signs of wear, such as an overstretched band or loose straps. 

Why Does My Bra Ride Up At The Front 

Another common problem is bras that ride up at the front. This problem is particularly noticeable when you put your arms up, such as to reach for something on a high shelf. 

The main reason this happens is a poorly fitting bra. If the band size is too big, it could be sitting loosely against your ribcage. When you lift your arms up, the cups move upwards over your breasts. This is a clear sign that you need a slightly snugger fit. 

How To Stop Your Bra Riding Up

To prevent your bra from riding up in the future, the first thing to do is figure out why it’s happening in the first place. There’s a quick checklist you can work through, starting with adjusting the bra you have. But it’s most likely that you’ll need to replace your bra with a different size or style. We’ll cover everything you need to know next. 

Adjust Your Bra Straps

The quickest fix for a bra that rides up is to adjust the bra straps. 

If they’re too short, they’ll fit you more tightly. This may make you feel more secure at first (as there’s nothing more annoying than bra straps falling down) but it won’t last. At the back, the shortened straps are likely to be pulling your bra band up. And unfortunately, this means you’ll be uncomfortable in the long run.

So, the first thing to try is to adjust your bra straps, to see if it makes a difference. Do this in front of a mirror if possible, so you can see when the bra band is lying straight across your back. 

Wear The Right Cup Size

If the step above didn’t work, the likely cause of your bra riding up is that you’re wearing the wrong size. The first thing to look at is your cup size. It’s no good adjusting the band size if the cup size is all wrong. 

If there’s space in the cup, you may need to go down a size. Alternatively, if you’re spilling out of the top, this could be a sign that you need to go bigger. 

Take a look at our handy bra fitting guide for info on how to accurately measure your bust and get the perfect cup size. 

Check The Band Size Is Right

Wearing the wrong band size is the most likely reason your bra is riding up. If it’s too loose, the bra can move around. It can ride up at the back or the front, both of which can be very uncomfortable. 

To find your accurate band size, you’ll need a soft tape measure to hand. Measure around your rib cage, just under your bust where the underwire of your bra would normally sit. Do this in front of a mirror if possible, or get a friend to help. It’s important that you can see when the tape measure is sitting straight across your back, just like you want your bra band to be. 

The number on the tape measure will be your band size (although you might need to round it down). You can find more info on measuring your band size in our handy guide

Try A Different Bra Style

The final thing to consider is the style of bra you’re wearing. Bras with thinner straps may be more likely to ride up because they lack shoulder support.

You may need to experiment with a few different styles, to see what works best for you. It could be the case that you need more support in front, or that a particular style fits you better than another.  

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