Bra Problem #3: “The top part of the bra cup starts to ‘roll’ and shows under shirts.”
One of the ways that bras are different from most other garments is that they have a real function to perform. In order to properly support heavy breast tissue, the bra must have *structure*, and from a design perspective, there are different approaches to achieving this. Many bra styles utilize a foam-molded cup construction. These are your seamless “T-shirt” bras, sometimes also called “padded” bras (although I feel that this terminology is misleading, as most do not employ any extra padding beyond the ordinary thickness of the foam material.) This category of bras tends to be popular because they provide superior smoothness under clothing and nipple coverage. However, foam-molded bras also have drawbacks, in particular the fact that their shapes are not very malleable, and they aren’t able to adapt to your body shape as well as a more flexible material. You’ll often see this at the neckline, as even an appropriately-sized cup may not lay smoothly where it meets the skin if there isn’t a good shape match between bra and body.
This can be exacerbated, or new fit problems can emerge, as the material ages and degrades. Foam-molding, like other material bra components, is somewhat delicate and can experience deformation, especially due to heat exposure. It’s one of many reasons why bras and clothes dryers are a bad combination. Makes sure that you’re always washing your bras in cold water, as delicately as possible, and either hanging them up or laying them out flat to dry. This should definitely help the cups to keep their shape over time.
If you’re still having trouble with cups rolling at the top, consider a style that has an elastic neckline. This feature really helps the top of the cups hug your body and will keep doing so even as the bra ages. For example, the styles pictured are Avail lightly lined bra from Natori on the left, and the Illusion side support bra from Fantasie on the right.
Note: “Bra Problems” was originally a series of Facebooks posts written in response to follower queries during the Covid shutdown of spring 2020. Our inboxes are still open, though! If you have a Bra Problem you’d like us to troubleshoot here, email your issue to email@example.com.