Why Does My Bra Ride Up in the Back?

April 30, 2023

Why Does My Bra Ride Up in the Back?

Ever notice that your bra constantly creeps up your back during the day? You're pretty sure you have the right bra size, so what gives?

If your bra rides up in the back, the most likely culprit is the band size being too loose, but it could also be down to the straps or cup size too.

Finding that perfect bra can be a real pain in the backside. We all have different breast shapes, and you gotta think of what style, size, lining, material, etc., will suit your body.

So when you find your dream bra and discover that the band likes to ride up, you end up feeling like you're back to square one, right?

Luckily, there are some ways you can still have your dream bra without having a band running up your back every day.

But before getting into it, it's worth double-checking you're actually in the right size.

What Does a Well-fitting Bra Look and Feel Like?

There are many things you need to watch for when bra shopping or judging if your old reliable is still cutting it.

Anywhere from 70-100% of women wear either the wrong bra size or bras with a poor fit. That's a shocking amount of women tugging at their bra bands, dislodging underwire from their red and irritated busts!

Many women think bras aren't meant to be comfortable. Growing up and seeing discomfort in our moms and aunts was just a given, so why would we have it any different?

But bras are meant to be comfortable and easily forgotten about while wearing them. And rightly so, when you wear them for most of the day.

So, what does a good-fitting bra look and feel like?

A good bra should support your bust fully. The dream is not to notice your bra during the day.

How Tight Should Your Bra Band Be?

Getting the band size right is the first crucial step. Its job is to support your chest. The bra band should feel snug against your body but not so tight it feels like the band is embedding itself into your rib cage.

photo showing the back of a properly-fitting bra

A well-fitting bra band sits parallel to the floor in the back.

How Can You Tell If The Cups Fit Well?

The cups of a good bra should follow the curve of your breasts. It should be streamlined to your breast tissue, giving a smooth profile look. Your breasts need to be contained and not spill out.

And if you have an underwire bra, the wire shouldn't rest on the breast tissue or stab you in the armpits.

photo of a bra on a barbed wire

If your bra causes any sort of irritation or discomfort - including any wire poking - this is a sign of poor fit and a good reason to try a new style or different size.


How Can You Tell If The Straps Sit Right?

Despite being a common belief, the straps aren't responsible for lifting your bust. Instead, they're more to do with molding the cups to your breasts.

The bra straps should fit snugly without feeling uncomfortable. Sliding one finger (or two) under the strap will help you figure out the tightness needed.

photo of a woman tugging on a bra strap


Reasons Why Your Bra is Riding Up in The Back

Now that you're familiar with how a great bra should feel, let's get into why your bra likes to ride up.

Most Likely Culprit: The Bra Band is Too Loose

The most common reason for bra riding is an ill-fitting band.

An easy way to check your bra band size is to put your bra on upside down, with the band under your bust.

You want it to feel snug on the loosest hook so you can go to a tighter setting as the fabric stretches over time. You want a secure fit but be able to forget you're wearing a bra.

Fun Fact: Polish bras are known for their snug and supportive bands!

photo of a woman measuring her underbust

Measuring your "tight" underbust by exhaling the air out of your lungs and pulling the tape measure very snugly around your ribcage just below your breasts is key to finding your best band fit. Remember that the bra's support comes primarily from the band, and that bands will loosen over time.


The Cups are Too Small

The perfect size contains the girls without causing them to spill out the sides and tops. So, if your breasts overflow from the top, you need to go up a cup size.

If they tend to slip out the sides, it also could help going for a bra with side support to help wrangle your bust into place. But, you probably need to go up a size anyway.

The Straps are Too Tight

Tight straps are easy to notice. They dig into your shoulders and leave red marks behind after taking off your bra.

When they feel tight, they're taking on too much weight from your breasts. Unfortunately, women often think that all they need to do to fix an uncomfortable bra is to tighten the straps.

But that's not the case.

Your bra straps should feel snug against your skin, but you should be able to slide one finger underneath on both sides. Otherwise, they're too tight.

When your straps are too tight, you most likely need to drop down a band size so the support of your bust goes back to the band.

Solutions: How to Fix the Issue

You can try a few things to find the correct bra size and prevent your bra band from riding up.

Finding the most comfortable bra for your shape can take a little time, but it's well worth the wait. What time is spent searching for the perfect bra against a lifetime of comfy bras?

photo of a bra being looked at in a store

Try a Different Size or Styles

After finding the bra you want, you might find that your size isn't available or doesn't quite fit compared to other bra brands. This is where sister sizes come into play.

Sister sizes give you the freedom to have your cake and eat it too. Say if you're a 36F, your sister sizes are either 34G or 38E. You go down a band size for every cup you go up.

Another wiggle room would be in the styles you choose.

Full coverage might be your best bet if you have the perfect band, but the cups seem too tight. Or if there's too much gaping, why not try half-cup or balconette styles (sometimes called "balcony bras")?

Or, if you're not a fan of dealing with the hassle of cup padding, unpadded bras are ideal for giving your ladies the space and air they need to fill your bra however they want!

And lastly, how about trying wireless bras? Long gone are the days of thinking these bras give you less support than underwire ones. Because of ingenious stitching and using high-quality fabric, you still get the support you need without digging underwire.

Replace your Worn-Out Bra

Unfortunately, even if you have the perfect bra, the fabric gets stretched over time after wearing it for long enough.

If your bra is at the point where the band is still loose on the tightest setting, then the only thing you can do is replace it.

Luckily, there are ways to extend the life of your bras. And it simply comes down to how you wash and care for it. So, to prolong your bra's life, make sure to wash and air dry it.

Go To A Bra Fitting Expert

Another option you can do is to get a professional fitting. Many women find searching for the dream bra overwhelming, especially when so many styles and sister sizes exist.

Going to someone who knows their stuff helps cut that stress out. These experts typically measure you visually or by using a measuring tape. And then find bras that they think will be the right fit for you.

photo of person selecting a bra from a store 


When your bras ride up the back, the most common problem is to do with the bra band. Even though the band is responsible for supporting your bust, it needs the right cup size and snugly fitting straps to help.

Discovering your bra likes to ride up is a pain. Especially if you've just found the perfect bra. Luckily, there are some ways to sort out why the bra band rides up and how to stop it from being an issue again!

photo of a group of women wearing underwear



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