Bras are a bit like shoes–some women don’t mind the agony of them if they look good. Others prefer comfort and reliability over appearance. Purchasing the correct chest and cup size can provide the proper support for your body and still lend you a shapelier appearance. Those who are hard to fit should consult a fitting specialist at a specialty bra and lingerie store. These professionals take measurements and recommend the perfect bra style for your shape.

Things You'll Need

Loosen the straps on your brassiere by pulling the strap clip up while firmly grasping the back of the strap in the other hand. Strap clips are circular or rectangular pieces of metal or plastic.

Put the brassiere on by clipping only the bra band in the front or back in a comfortable position. Leave the straps hanging loosely on your shoulders. Stand in front of a mirror that allows you to view the entire upper portion of your body.

Pull up on the bra cups to adjust them firmly over each breast, centering them in the cups. Your bra cups provide 90 percent of the breast support. Strapless brassiere bands offer the only means of adjustment for bra cups, leaving less room for error in sizing.

Jump in front of the mirror two or three times, watching to note if the band slips or your breasts fall out of the cups. Adjust the bra band more tightly if you notice either event occurring. Repeat the jumping to ensure that the band is in the proper position. Slippage of the band even in the tightest position indicates you have an improperly-sized chest band. If the band stays in place but the breasts fall out, purchase a bra with the proper cup size for your frame.

Find the clip adjustments on your bra straps, located on the front of the strap when loosened.

Tighten each strap by grasping the strap material in front of the clip in one hand and holding the clip firmly with the other. Pull up and outward on the material to shorten it, moving the clip downward on the strap. This will pull up on the bra cups to tighten the fit. Adjust each strap so that it fits tautly against the tops of your shoulders.

Note the position of the bra straps—they should fit flatly against your chest. The top of the strap should not have more than 1/3- to 1/5-inch of leeway when pulling directly up on the strap from the shoulder.


  • Brassiere straps that cut into the skin usually indicate an oversized bra band. Loose bands ride up on the back, causing additional pressure on the bra straps to compensate.