When Goldilocks said, “This one’s too big, this one’s too small, and this one’s just right,” she wasn’t talking about bra cups, but she may as well have been. For anyone on either side of “average” (and, quite honestly, even those who fall dead-middle on the sliding scale of bra sizes), finding the perfect fit can be harder than you think.
If your current bra fit is closer to Papa Bear’s chair than Baby Bear’s, it might be time to make a change.
From simple modifications to more complex customizations, we’ll walk you through exactly how to fix a bra cup that’s too big—if all else fails, you can always follow Goldilocks’ lead and just switch chairs (and bras)!
#1 Tighten Your Bra Straps
This is more of an it’ll-work-in-a-pinch suggestion than an actual long-term solution, but it’ll get you through some of the discomfort and potential mishaps while you’re en route to a permanent fix. By tightening the adjustable straps on your bra, you’ll prevent a major wardrobe malfunction—of course, this does nothing to address the problem: the size of the cups.
The reason this doesn’t cut it as a genuine resolution is because of the newfound problems that arise:
- Too-tight bra straps will dig into your shoulders, creating painful red lines across your skin. This is only manageable for a short time, and the tighter the straps, the more painful the marks they leave behind.
- The majority of breast support from a well-fitting bra should come from the band itself, not the straps. If your cups are too big, the band isn’t properly fitted either and can’t give you the support you need. By over-tightening your straps, you’re shifting the entire bra out of alignment, pulling the band up in the back when it should create a straight horizontal line.
Naturally, if this is your only option, tighten away! But if you’re able to enact a more permanent solution, there are better ways to reduce cup gaping and potential slippage.
#2 Use the Tightest-Fitting Hook and Eye Closure
If this quick fix is available to you, it might be all you need to instantly address the problem. However, if you already wear your bra on the tightest hook or if your bra only has one size setting, there’s not much you can do here.
Some crafty individuals might opt for a little DIY magic, adding an additional hook and eye beyond the tightest existing option or taking in the bra band slightly. For some, this could be enough of a solution. In other cases though, this will tighten the band without solving the cup problem, creating strangely distorted and odd-looking bra cups instead.
#3 Fill Out the Cups With Padding
“Stuffing your bra” gets a bad reputation, but this isn’t quite the same as filling your pre-teen training bra with toilet paper in the middle school locker room. This is more of a tactical necessity and an adult solution to a very adult problem.
Forgo the TP and try one of these as padding options instead:
- Foam breast enlargement pads
- Silicone bra inserts
- The removable padding from a sports bra or swimsuit
- An adhesive backless bra, a strapless bra, or the cups from a now-retired bra
Depending on the quality of your make-shift creation, this might not be a comfortable long-term solution. If the padding doesn’t sit nicely, it could bunch up and create strange lumps or ongoing discomfort for you.
#4 Perform DIY Alterations to Reduce the Cup Size
Sometimes, the only way to achieve the perfect fit is to do it yourself—in this case, that involves performing minor surgery on your ill-fitting bra cups.
Grab your bra and the necessary supplies, then follow these simple steps:
- Lay your bra out on a table or hard surface, with the outside of the cups facing up.
- Use a fabric pen or chalk to create a dot in the middle of the bra cup, approximately where your nipple would sit inside the cup. This is your “mid-point.”
- Draw a vertical line from the mid-point directly upwards to the edge of the bra. The end of this line is your “edge point.” Create an identical line on the other cup.
- Draw a pie shape or upside-down triangle using this vertical line as the center. To do so, draw a line starting from the mid-point and angling outward slightly to one side of the edge point. Repeat to the other side of the edge point, equally distanced on both sides. Create a small pie to begin, as you can always increase the size afterward.
- Cut out the pie shapes from each bra cup. Put the bra on and hold the two edges closed to check the fit. If it still seems too big, cut additional slivers of fabric from each side of the existing cutout.
- Once the fit looks and feels good, sew the two edges together, effectively reducing the bra cup size.
#5 Upgrade To a Bra That Actually Fits
Unless you’re a whiz kid with a sewing machine and a spool of thread, this might just be the only real solution to oversized cups.
The quick and easy fix would be to purchase a bra one size down in the cups—from a 34B to a 34A, let’s say. However, if you’d rather avoid another unfortunate sizing mishap the next time around, use a bra fit quiz or go into a nearby retail location to get professionally measured.
Lulalu: Shop Bras That Fit You
Oversized bra cups are a problem for anyone shopping around in the wrong size, and that’s an easy correction. For petite women, however, sometimes even the smallest size on the rack is still too big.
And while you’ve probably heard the statistic that 80% of women (or something to that effect) are wearing the wrong size bra, you may not have heard that only 10% were wearing bras that were too big. The undergarment industry isn’t paying all that much attention to solving the problem of those that fall into that 10%.
Enter Lulalu, with not just A cups, but AA and even AAA.
That means you can skip the way-too-tight bra straps, the pre-teen-esque stuffing phase, and the do-it-yourself YouTube tutorials. Instead, you can slip into a comfortable, high-quality bra that was made for people just like you—because small breasts deserve love and support, too.
Sewing Is Cool. Can You Alter a Bra? (How to Alter a Bra Cup, Band, Straps). https://sewingiscool.com/how-to-alter-a-bra-cup/
HuffPost. You’ve Probably Been Wearing The Wrong Bra Size For Years.
Image credit: @konstant-nataliyakhan