Bra fitting help » Underwire rubbed underarm ribcage raw
The underwire on this bra digs in badly on my left breast, and is merely annoying on the right. There is a slight digging in of the top of the cup, but I can't fill the bottom of a bigger cup. I went with a 38 band (which is bigger than my measurements) because almost every 36 I try on is so tight my backs starts to hurt within 20 minutes of putting on the bra.
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Your band fit is always your own choice - there’s not really a “right” or “wrong” except for what matters to you, ultimately - but I will note I have always gotten much worse armpit wire jab from looser back fit. Back when I started in the bra fit community they’d have had you in a 34, believe it or not. None of this is to say you should disregard your own comfort but it may be worth considering that the back pain is from another issue than just general tightness of band. A very common issue is when folks don’t scoop their tissue in and the cup is too small, the band is trying to squish breast in under it and can make the “correct” band size feel far too tight. Based on your measurements and general bra appearance the cups are also quite a bit too small - like three or four cup sizes too small!! If you compare the 9” cup depth to your 11” breast perimeter you can see each breast has two inches of tissue that won’t fit into the cups.
Are you “swoop and scoop”ing all the way from the back while leaned forward? It looks to me like this bra is giving very little lift and letting breast tissue sneak out the sides quite easily, especially since there’s not enough room in the cup for the whole breast to fit, which leads to the wires jabbing in the most sensitive way possible. I agree with Holly also that some brands, esp. big box store lingerie brands, can build in so much stretch and instability (to make bras fit (poorly) onto all customers even in their very limited size range) that the bras will never stay into place or hold up for anyone.
If you are averse to Tater’s recommendation below because the 36 bands have been uncomfortable for you, I would encourage you to at least try something like a 38FF or 38G UK - that’s not a 38G in US sizes but rather a 38H or 38I US and is not a size our big box stores tend to carry, though you might have luck in-store at Lane Bryant (or Nordstrom, which does use the UK sizing and has properly trained fitters). I have a hard time calculating size from breast perimeter but I think Tater’s 36H UK would be big for that 11” perimeter. You can also use the “recommendations” system here on Bratabase to see what the AI thinks. If you can’t get your mitts on those sizes any time soon another trick is to try a 36 band bra on backwards, so the band is just below your boobs and not trying to get around them. This is a way to see how it fits just your underbust without small cups possibly making it cover more ground than it’s supposed to.
Updated on March 21, 2022 Flag this
How awful! You look really red around the area where the outer wire connects to the wing, not sure this is a size issue as much as a construction side effect.
Looking at Soma's listing details it states that:
"Cup shell: 89% polyester, 11% elastane;
Wing shell: 77% nylon, 23% elastane (holy cow that's a LOT),
Elastic band at lower wings: 86% nylon, 14% elastane;
Straps: 83% nylon, 17% elastane."
...which tells me that pretty much no part of this bra is stable as they all have a pretty high degree of stretch built in, and with normal human movement it WILL act up with any normal underwire in it. When one area compresses it's going to require another area to flex for compensation, and the more you move any part of your upper body, the more notable issues from this process becomes.
Your pictures show a pretty thick seam along the wing, which seems to have a lot of sore tissue at the end so if there is a plastic bit, feel free to rip that thang on out, it's not necessary for your bust's support. They're always sewn into a stupid stretchy seam which totally undermines the entire point of it to start with.
Pressure and digging also happens sometimes with very 'springy' underwires which are designed to widen more than average wires, with the band. Instead of adjusting and staying at the wider setting with a tighter band, regular movement allows the flexible wire to flail back and forth sawing merrily away at the poor soul wearing it.
While measurements count and can be pretty important, you live in your body and as the expert on it, shouldn't have to explain to strangers a choice based on your personal experiences. That said, sizing is kind of all over the place between both styles and brands, let alone national markets so it's all subjective & should be considered with material details!
The solution to this sort of trouble is to stabilize (remove stretch by adding a non-stretch duoplex, or fusible strength layer) the front of the band known as the frame where the underwire is anchored in it's plush channeling.
Or remove/ replace wires with a shorter type that is incapable of reaching that far up your side.
Updated on March 14, 2022 Flag this
This bra is too small for you. Soma bras run small. Return it. Your correct bra size is 36H uk. The fantasie expression or the freya high apex plunge bras in 36H uk. I hope this helps. Good luck! Each brand and style are different.
Updated on March 15, 2022 Flag this