Underwire bras are a popular bra style for everyday wear. If you’ve ever gone shopping for wired bras before, you know that it can be a daunting task as there are many different styles, sizes, and fits to take into account. We’ll go through everything you need to know about shopping for underwire bras. Keep reading below for our ultimate guide to buying wired bras and how to find the right style for you.

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What do wired bras do?

By definition, a wired bra has thin, semi-circle plastic or metal underwires sewn into the cups. The purpose of an underwire is to comfortably lift and contour breast tissue to accentuate your natural breast shape. Underwired bras are a popular bra style amongst women of all bust sizes because they provide comfortable, everyday support and create a natural shape. Some women prefer wired bras over wireless bras because they provide more support.

When should you wear an underwire bra?

You can wear an underwired bra everyday. There are many different styles of wired bras to choose from that are appropriate for all occasions. There are front-closure, back-closure, T-back, and even sports bra styles of underwired bras. It simply comes down to personal preference on when you choose to wear either wired or wireless bras. That being said, many women prefer an underwire bra because they offer optimum support.

Are wired bras harmful?

No, wired bras are not harmful to your body or health. An underwired bra might only cause you pain if it doesn’t fit properly. When it comes to bra shopping, it’s important to measure your bra size correctly to ensure you have the proper bra fit. Wearing the wrong bra size can cause the wires to poke you, which is never comfortable. You should make sure your band is sized correctly and that your breast tissue fits into the cups to ensure a comfortable fit.

What causes an underwire to break?

Wearing the wrong cup size can cause the underwires in your wired bra to break. Wearing an underwired bra in a cup size that’s too small can make the wire too tight, while too big can cause the wire to move around. Both lead to uncomfortable poking or prodding, or even cause the wire to break, none of which are comfortable. Ensuring that you're wearing the right bra size is crucial to making sure your underwires don't bend or break.

Why does my underwire bra hurt?

Your underwired bra might hurt you if you’re wearing the wrong bra size. If the wire pokes your underarms or breast tissue, this is likely a sign that you’re wearing the wrong cup size, which can cause some pain if the wire pokes or pinches your chest or underarms. If your bra cups fit properly, your bra should not cause any pain or irritation.

If your bra band leaves painful red marks when you take off your bra, this is likely a sign that you're wearing the wrong band size. You should be able to fit two fingers underneath the band, no more and no less. On the other hand, if you need to fasten the band on the tightest hook for a secure fit, then it's too loose and you need a smaller band size. If you can't fit any fingers between your body and the bra band, you need a larger band size.

Where should your underwire sit?

The underwires in your bra should comfortably support each individual breast. The wires should lay flat and meet in the center of your chest and reach up to your underarms, but not pinch them. The underwires should also not ride up under your breasts but lie flat against your chest in line with the rest of your bra band.

Who needs an underwire bra?

Any woman who wants a bra that provides ample support and lift might be interested in wired bras. An underwire bra highlights your natural breast shape and is a great addition to anyone's lingerie drawer. That being said, a non wired bra can provide enough support for anyone who prefers the comfort of wire free cups. It simply comes down to personal preference and what fits your body best. Also read how wired and wireless bras compare.

Can you wear a wired bra when you’re pregnant?

There’s no reason why you can’t continue to wear a wired bra while pregnant. As long as your bra size is correct, the bra isn’t too tight, or you don’t feel uncomfortable, you can continue wearing a wired bra as long as it suits you. Though as your body changes, you might prefer the comfort of a non wired bras as opposed to those with rigid underwires. Comfort always comes first!

Can underwires cause back pain?

Wearing an ill-fitting bra can cause some discomfort and pain, but underwires themselves aren’t to blame for causing back pain. If you’re wearing a wired bra or even a non wired bra that’s the wrong size, this can cause some discomfort and even back pain. As any woman who wears a large bra size knows, having a bra that fits well and provides the support you need is crucial for avoiding the back and shoulder strain that can come with having large breasts.

Can wired bras be washed in the machine?

No, it’s always best to wash wired bras by hand. Washing your underwired bras by hand retains the elasticity of the fabrics and the shape and structure of the underwires themselves. Machine washing your bras can damage your bras. You should also always lie your underwired bras flat to dry or hang them. The heat of the dryer can cause the fabrics on your bra to wear out faster and can compromise the shape of the wires, too.

Are there any good alternatives to a wired bra?

Yes, there are many alternatives to wired bras. Wireless bras offer the same support and comfort of a wired bra without the underwires. Many women prefer the comfort of bras with wire free cups.

Are there any disadvantages to an underwire bra?

No, there are no disadvantages to wearing an underwire bra. As long as you have the proper bra sizing and the bra properly fits and isn't too tight or too loose, an underwire bra is a great option for everyday wear.

Do all underwire bras have padding?

No, not all underwire bras have padding. Glamorise underwire bras are all unlined and unpadded.

Are all underwires made of metal?

No, not all underwires are made of metal, but most are. Underwires can also be made of a molded plastic, though the majority of underwires are made of metal as it provides greater rigidity and durability over time.

Should I wear a wired or a wireless bra?

There is no right or wrong bra style, it simply comes down to personal preference on what style you prefer to wear. Underwire bras provide a greater degree of support, but many women prefer the comfort of wireless bras. Also check out our guide to wired vs wireless bras to learn more and find the right style for you.

What are the best wired bras?

Check out our best underwires bras article to find our wired bra buying guide and which wired bras we recommend. 

Concluding Thoughts

When it comes to bra shopping for underwired bras, there are a few things to take into account. One of the most important factors to consider is knowing your correct bra size. Having an underwired bra that fits properly is crucial to having the support and comfort you need while also avoiding any other painful issues that can come with having the wrong fit.


If you need help finding your perfect fit, check out our measuring guide and Bra Size Calculator. If you’re unsure which style is the right bra for you, we recommend taking our Bra Finder Quiz to get personalized recommendations based on your preferences. Shopping for wired bras is easy once you know your correct bra size and what style and fit you’re looking for. Glamorise carries a wide selection of underwire bras in a range of band and cup sizes for full busts.

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