As a woman with a larger chest, shopping for the right bra pretty much feels like competing in the hunger games. It doesn’t matter how many times you get yourself measured, you somehow always end up with the wrong size or being poked incessantly by your haunted underwire.
Because bras come in so many shapes, sizes, cuts and colors, zoning in on one that is just perfect for you is ridiculously intimidating not to mention stressful. So, instead of throwing yourself into the major struggle that comes with online lingerie shopping, you backtrack and pull out that same old bra that you’ve been wearing since high school.
Even though you know that your favorite bra has become worn down from overuse, you can’t help hanging onto it like a lifeline. But let’s be honest: deep down, you know that buying a new one — preferably one that isn’t practically see through and so threadbare that it feels like it’s just there — is the only option you have. Knowing that though doesn’t make it any easier to admit.
So if you need a push in the right direction, these signs that you should break up with your bra will show you why you need to drop it like a bad habit.
1. It’s not giving you the support you need
It doesn’t matter what your situation in the chest department is. If you notice that your bra is failing big time when it comes to both accentuating and supporting your girls, it has to go. Sometimes, we tend to forget that choosing one that hugs all of our angles without being uncomfortable can change our entire mood one strap at a time.
Consultant Osteopath Richard Moore states that ill-fitting lingerie affects you for more than just cosmetic reasons. He stresses that “overly tight straps not only cause skin irritations but reduce blood flow, affecting the nerves and contribute to tension headaches.” Getting yourself measured correctly is important not only for your self-esteem, but for your overall health as well.
2. You’re turning to other bras for extra support behind its back
I have firsthand experience with the challenges that come with having a bigger chest and few lingerie options. As a result, I started turning to sports bra to avoid having to adjust my straps awkwardly at every turn. However, you can only double up on sports bras so many times before it starts to feel like you’re suffocating.
Don’t be fooled though: Having a smaller chest doesn’t make you any less susceptible to wearing the wrong type of bra. So, if your chest isn’t getting the right support, that’s more than enough reason to kick a bra to the curb.
3. Staying with it is too painful
Underwire pain is no joke. A study conducted by Wacoal America found that 80 percent of women have purchased bras in the wrong size. While just 18.3 percent of women wore one that was in an incorrect bra band size, a staggering 39.9 percent of participants bought bras that were both the wrong cup and band size. Those numbers are scary to think about as comfort should always come first, above all else.
Seriously, there is no worse feeling than having to grin and bear it as your band starts cutting into your skin and your underwire introduces itself to your ribs.
4. It’s stretched out, which in turn leaves you stressed out
When the going gets tough, your bra band should not leave you hanging—literally. The biggest misconception we have is that our straps carry all of the weight. Sorry, ladies. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
The reality is that the band is possibly the most important part of the sew. It’s the backbone, the foundation, the main attraction—whatever other way you want spin it—for how well your bra will support your chest.
5. It doesn’t care about making you feel good
Girls, you deserve so much better than a flimsy piece of fabric that just doesn’t do it for you physically and emotionally. Your body confidence is a crucial part of who you are, so why wear something that only ends up giving you bulges in places you didn’t even know existed?
6. It rubs you the wrong way
There is absolutely nothing sexy about chafing. Period. While you may be tempted to jump up a size to bypass underwire central, going the “too big” route isn’t any better. Trust me, you’ll regret all of that extra space once you hit the gym and start feeling like your girls are trying to swim to shore.
We all have that one bra that we can’t seem to let go of, no matter how worn down (and non-existent) its elasticity is. But, holding onto it won’t do you any favors, especially if the look you’re going for doesn’t involve random holes that are more awkward than chic.
Choosing the right size that compliments your curves without messing with your body will make that killer dress you’ve been dying to rock that much more worth it. Breaking up is hard to do, but in the case of the bra-files, it’s not even a question.