Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Strapped for Solutions: Bra Straps

Have you ever decided not to buy a bra because of the wide straps? Nothing screams sexy like a bra strap that is wider than your belt.

Often times there IS a reason for a wide strap: if the band supports 80% of your bust, then your straps have to hold up the other 20! That means that each strap gets to support 10% of your bust weight (I'm sure you never thought you'd use physics with regards to bras)! If you're particularly busty, the weight can add up and thin straps just won't cut it.

And if you are not super muscular or don't have firm skin, those bra straps can cut in to your shoulder. If the band size is correct and the weight of your breasts pulls the straps, then that can be OK. Bra companies have added wide straps to bras to disperse all of the weight to a wider surface area (so much physics today!). And some have even added cushioned straps to really help make the experience less miserable.

So what about if your straps keep falling off? Or what if they just slide around a lot and chafe a bit? Or what if they are cutting in a LOT!

Here are the steps you need to do before making a drastic change:
Cacique's cotton molded no-wire bra

  1. Tighten the straps but not enough to drag up your bra band. If the band pulls up while you're tightening your straps, then go down in your band size. You'll be in a never ending loop if you tighten your straps to pull up your band that pulls on the straps which pulls on the band, etc.
  2. Consider shortening the straps. If your band is sitting parallel to the floor, your breasts fit the cups, and the gore sits flat then maybe you have a short torso. It might be time to get crafty by following Crafting a Green World's tutorial on How to Shorten Bra Straps. If you bought your bra at Nordstrom they may also be able to provide an alteration service as might other tailoring services. A bra strap that is even a little bit too long can chafe and cause red marks.
  3. If neither of those methods work, then consider buying cushions OR buy a bra with a wider strap. Don't be afraid to try some of those wider strapped bras. Cacique carries a wide range of wide-strapped bras. Or Lululemon carries a cute long-lined, wide-strapped number at a reasonable price.
The Takeaway
Bra straps should be wide enough to support the weight of your breasts and only long enough to lift up slightly away from the shoulders (two fingers should fit under the strap). If they are too long they can chafe or fall off OR they could indicate your bra size is incorrect.

**If you have a particularly long torso and the straps are at their longest, then I will have to come up with a different solution for you! I'll have to investigate.

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