Monday, May 13, 2013

3 Easy Bra Alterations That Can Improve Your Bra Fit

You can find a great fitting bra by understanding your size and knowing which styles of bra suit you. However, our bodies are so unique and different that many women find that they need to alter a new bra to get a great-fitting bra. Here are 3 of the most common bra alterations many women need to make to their bras and how you can do these alterations.

Marcie on the left has a narrower gore than Porcelain Viva on the right.
1) Narrowing The Gore
If your breasts are very close together it can be difficult to find a bra with a gore that is narrow enough to fit between your breasts. A gore that is too wide for you can sit on your breast tissue or cause the breast tissue to pillow over the gore. If a bra fits you in the cups and band but the gore is too wide then narrowing the gore can transform your fit. The gore tends to be a rigid piece of material (occasionally it's elasticated, but not often) that can be narrowed easily.

How To Fix Put on your bra then slide your fingers in behind the gore and pinch together the excess gore material. If you can't undo your bra by yourself you'll have to ask someone else to unhook you (so that you don't let go of the pinched material) then put a pin or two in place where the material pinches together.

Sew along the pinned seam. You will probably find that you don't need to remove the excess material, however, if you'd prefer to remove it then you can. Be aware that narrowing your gore can make your band feel tighter.

The wires on Lucy (left) are shorter than the wires on Tango (right) in the same cup size

2) Stopping The Wires Poking Your Armpit
Lots of women find that their bras poke them in the armpit. This can be a particularly prevalent issue for women with short torsos (or high breasts). Some bra styles and brands have longer wires than other bras and so you may find that you prefer brands and styles with shorter wires. However, if you have a very large bust (and especially if you have a short torso) you can find that the wires poke you no matter which style you try because the wires have to be long to support your bust volume.

How To Fix It sounds rather basic but you can bend your bra wires and by bending the wire under your armpit away from the body it can make a big difference to your comfort. Bra wires are very sturdy so you might have to spend a little time bending the wires. I tend to do this to my new bras whilst watching a movie - it's strangely therapeutic!

Some women always need to shorten their band so that a new bra fits them on the loosest set of hooks
3) Shortening The Band
Lots of women need shorter bands than the ones available on the market. A style that suits you in the cups may only begin as a 30 band and you need to shorten it to a 28. For other women they may want to get more life out of a bra by shortening the band. You can do this alteration by hand, however, it's easier with a sewing machine.

How To Fix This demonstration by Dressing Curves is far better than anything I can describe so I'm deferring to her wonderful post here.

There are lots of other alterations you can attempt or have a seamstress do for you. Here is a list of some other posts about bra alterations:

Dressing Curves - Moving the Strap Position
By Baby's Rules - How to lower and narrow the gore
Bratabase - List of Bra Alteration Posts
Boosaurus - Tightening a Stretchy Band
Fix a Bra - Wires poking through the material
This post from Braless in Brasil gives you 10 great guidelines for altering bras

I believe that a lot of women who currently experience problems with their bras will find they get a near-perfect fit in the correct bra size and style for them. However, I think it's important to remember that the imperfections in bra fit are more apparent than the fit imperfections in clothing and we have to bear that in mind when trying on bras. When you know the fit imperfections that are easily fixed and the ones that simply mean the size or style is totally wrong for you it can make a big difference to perfecting your fit and widening your options xx


  1. Lovely list! I can't wait to get a better fit so I can have more options.

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