Bra underwire. Those two words have the power to make grown women cringe. They can be downright painful, as anyone who has been poked in the chest by one can tell you.

Are annoying underwires really a necessary evil? Is it just something that we’re supposed to put up with?

No! Finding a bra that will give you your desired shape and support doesn’t have to be a painful experience.

Read on to learn how you can make pokey underwire a thing of the past.

What’s the purpose of underwires anyway?

It may seem like bra underwires were created only to be one more feminine burden, but there really is an important purpose. Properly fitting underwires help to distribute the weight of your breast. This allows the bra to give more lift, separation, and support.

Even weight distribution is important when it comes to shape, and of course comfort. The average weight per breast for a woman who wears a 40D is almost two pounds per breast.

It’s no wonder that ill-fitting bras can lead to back pain! When an underwire bra fits properly it helps to relieve some of the stress on your back and shoulders and can help with your posture.

Is Your Bra Underwire Digging into Your Armpit?

Where should the underwire of a bra sit? 

Ideally, the underwire should contour all of your breast tissue. It should start under the arms at the inframammary crease and circle underneath to your cleavage.

The inframammary crease is where your breast tissue meets your chest wall. Stand in front of a mirror and lift up one arm to see where your crease is.

The end of the underwire should lie flat against your sternum in the center. Make sure that it doesn’t sit too far underneath your breasts or on top of them.

Why does my underwire bra hurt me?

There are a few reasons as to why your underwire may be poking you. The biggest cause of painful underwire is fit. When your bra fits properly, you shouldn’t really know that the underwire is even there.

If your underwire is too small it will be digging into your breast tissue. If it’s too large the underwire will sit too far outside of the breast tissue or there may be a gap underneath the breasts.

Check out our guide on finding your perfect fit and make sure that you’re wearing the correct size. If either your cup size or band size is off even a little it can cause your underwire to seem like it has a mind of its own.

It’s also possible that you’re wearing the wrong bra style. Your bra style should complement your body type, not try and force it into something that it’s not.

There are so many different shapes of breasts and it’s important to make sure that your bra complements the shape that you have, not the shape that you want.


 Of course, bras are great tools for creating a more flattering shape, but that’s another topic.

Other reasons that your underwire is hurting:

  • Your bra is starting to wear out. This can cause the underwire to poke through the material. If your underwire has broken through, it’s time to get a new bra!  
  • You’re not wearing a quality bra. Low-quality bras can wear more quickly and the underwire may bend or break.
  • You’re putting your bra on wrong. If you tend to hook your bra in the front and then spin it around to the back you’re causing the elastic in the band to wear and can be bending the underwire.

Last but not least, make sure that you’re taking care of your bras. Washing or drying them improperly can cause the shape to warp or even cause the underwire to break. Hand wash them every 1-3 times of usage and don’t put them in the dryer! 

If you’re not washing enough the oils from your skin and dirt can cause the material to wear faster. Washing too much also causes faster wear. Heat and tumbling from the dryer can also ruin the delicate material. 

How do you adjust the underwire? 

If your underwire is digging in or is too big you need to either try a new size or try a new style. Not every style works for every breast type.

If you find that the underwire is digging into either your side or the front and your cup size is correct, try a smaller or larger cup size. Make sure that your band fits properly as well. This will ensure that your bra stays where it is supposed to.

How do you adjust the underwire

How can I make my underwire more comfortable?

Once again, it’s all about the fit and bra quality! Make sure that you’ve taken your measurements and are wearing the right bra size and style. Don’t forget to try on another bra style in your size and see what works best for your shape!

Also, make sure that the underwire is cushioned for extra comfort. Hand wash your bras and hang them to dry. Take care of your bras and they’ll help to take care of you!

A proper fitting, good quality underwire bra can be your best asset when it comes to support and shape. If you desire a look that’s smooth and lifted, then look no further.  

Make sure that you have the correct size and don’t be afraid to try a few different styles. Finding your perfect bra is an endeavor that’s worth the extra bit of effort. 

Also check out these five common bra mistakes to avoid. 

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Lift, Shape, and Support With Comfort and Style