Bra Problem #8: “This is going to sounds really stupid but it’s like… I can’t find the right tightness in my straps. Either they’re falling down or pulling my bra up and over my breasts. I can’t find a happy medium in tightness or looseness. It’s aggravating.”
I know it sounds counterintuitive, but the origin of many bra strap problems is in the bra band. That may or may not be the case here, but it’s worth looking into regardless. The function of bra straps is to keep the front of the bra from falling forward. Your band is the anchor for the bra structure and base of support. If the band isn’t doing its job for any reason, it puts extra strain on the straps; they can handle this up to a point, but it’s not really a job they’re well suited for.
So, start by checking the fit of your bra band. It should be snug but not uncomfortably tight. Like a pet collar, you should be able to fit a couple of fingers between the band and your body; however, you should not be able to pull it very far away from your back. Keep in mind that the elastic component of all bras has a lifespan and gradually stretches out over time. Eventually, it will lose enough tension that it can no longer provide adequate support, and it’s time to think about looking for a replacement. If your band is loose enough that it rides up your back over the course of the day, that could account for some of your issues.
Now that we’ve got the band covered, we can look at the straps themselves. There isn’t an officially “correct” way to wear bra straps as long as they’re working… and in this case, they’re not. 😅 If they are pulling the bra up over your natural bust line, they really are too tight. If they’re still falling down even after playing with the adjustment, it could be due to an anatomical quirk like narrow or sloping shoulders. It might also be that it’s the bra that’s the culprit, as some styles have the straps positioned further to the outer edges of the cups versus closer to mid-cup. The latter tend to stay in place much better. It might also benefit you to look for some combination of the following features: wider straps for better traction, straps that are positioned closer together where they attach to the back of the bra, heart-shaped hardware connecting the straps to the back of band (which changes the strap angle, like with the Sheer Mesh Plunge Bra from Curvy Couture pictured below), and a “J-hook” that gives you the option of pulling your straps into a racerback configuration. That last one is your nuclear option; a J-hook will keep your straps up 100% of the time. 😛 You can see how it works with the Roxie bra from Sculptresse in the featured image above.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.