Here at Beija, we often drive home the importance of comfort when it comes to shopping, buying and owning lingerie – particularly when it comes to bras. In fact, as bra sizing is so important to us, we just did a blog recently explaining how the sizing system works.
However, bras can actually be quite complicated in terms of design: unlike with the sizing system, it’s not just about the bands and the cups. There are many different tiny pieces of metal, fabric and other delicate components that go into making up the finished product.Therefore, when it comes to bra pain, it’s important to identify why and where it’s coming from, so that it can be addressed. This blog will take you through some of the reasons why you may be experiencing bra pain, along with some possible solutions to each of them, so that you can get back to being comfortable!
Discomfort: How much is normal?
First of all, let’s clear up what sort of discomfort is normal. There can be a bit of confusion around this sometimes, with some women believing that some bra pain is normal, or they just simply put up with it! The truth is, bras are not supposed to hurt – with the right fit, you will barely be able to tell that you have it on.
On the contrary, when your bra doesn’t quite fit correctly – you will certainly know; when something goes wrong, it can feel really wrong. An ill-fitting bra can ruin your day with discomfort, which may be why many of us are so relieved to take it off at the end of the day. However, there is no reason to simply tolerate this, as a proper fit will eliminate these issues.
Finally, do not make the mistake of thinking that having red marks on your skin after you take it off means that it’s too tight. This is a common misconception – a well-fitting bra should sit snugly and is likely to leave an impression on your skin, much like jeans, socks or knickers do. Without further ado, let’s troubleshoot some common bra pain issues!
While on the topic of tight bands, let’s start with any pain coming from the band. As mentioned, the band should be fairly snug against your torso so that it can provide the best support. You may notice that you feel it slightly during the day, but it certainly should not be painful. If this pressure is too much to where it hurts, the simple solution is to try a larger band size.
Although a few marks after taking your bra off are normal, they should not be painful or cause bruising. Additionally, these marks should typically disappear pretty quickly. If you find they last longer than 15 to 30 minutes, or they are painful/cause bruising, it’s likely time to try a size up.Straps
Many women believe that most of the support for their breasts comes from the straps. However, this is another common misconception. In fact, almost all of your bra’s support should come from the band (about 80%).
Therefore, if your straps are doing too much work, you may experience pain from the weight of your boobs pulling them down at the front. If this sounds like you, it may be time to try a thicker, stronger band. This should help alleviate the pressure as the band does the majority of the work to support your breasts.
Next, let’s talk about wires! If the ends of the wires at the inner points of your bra (against the centre) are poking into you, first check if the wire has popped out. If it has, then you should stop wearing the bra, have it repaired, or replace it entirely. To prevent this from happening, we recommend that you hand wash your bras and never throw them in a tumble dryer: air dry them instead!
Alternatively, it’s possible that rather than popping out, the inner wire could be poking you through the fabric. If this is the case, it might be worth looking for a bra with thicker fabric over the wire. If either of these aren’t the problem, perhaps you have boobs that are closer together in the middle. If that’s the case, you may benefit from bras that have a lower centre gore, such as the plunge style bra.Outer Wire
Aside from having the inner wires towards the centre digging into your chest, sometimes you may also find your bra wires poking into your sides. Again, the first thing to do in this instance is to ensure that the wires haven’t popped out, and check the thickness of the material.
Sometimes, the width of the wires can also play a role. Too wide, and you may find that there is too much pressure on your ribcage. On the other hand, if the wires are too narrow, you may feel them poking into your breast tissue. If too wide, try a smaller cup size or narrower wires and vice versa.
The centre gore is the space in a bra that sits between your breasts, where the underwire forms a little bridge. The centre gore is a crucial component that will affect the overall fit. Ideally, it will provide the most support when it sits snugly against your sternum, but if it’s too tall it can cause pain in between your boobs. If this is the case, try a bra with a shorter centre gore, such as that of a plunge bra.Chafing
Finally, as with various other items of clothing, some women can experience chafing when it comes to their brassiere. If your bra is chafing, then it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s too tight. In reality, it might actually be too loose, which can cause it to irritate your skin as it moves around during the day.
If chafing is experienced under your breasts, ensure that the wire encloses the entirety of your breast tissue. It should sit right in the corner between the tissue of your boobs and the corner of your ribcage. Additionally, your band should be tight enough to keep it in place during the day. Make sure to double check your fit, or try a smaller band and see if that resolves the looseness.
Occasionally, chafing can be caused in particular spots due to sensitivity to certain materials. It’s worth being aware of this as some materials such as metals and latex can make your skin more sensitive, leading to a higher likelihood of chafing (or even blistering!). When shopping, try to avoid any materials that may irritate your skin.
Our ethos at Beija is ‘buy less but buy better’, we encourage the purchasing of quality items that last and perform well, less frequently. Our design process is sensitive, it's guided by data as well as a passionate team with over 100 years of expertise combined. We always use superior quality materials in our bras, from the liners, the outer fabric, the slings, foam padding, and elastic, to the metal hardware.
When you buy from Beija, you can be confident that not only will your bra feel great against the skin, offer great support but also (if cared for correctly), really last!
We’re proud of the work we’re doing for the planet, too. From using circular materials for our production, offsetting our carbon footprint with Ecologi, and sending your order in fully recyclable and reusable packaging. You can find out more here: https://beija.london/pages/lingerie-and-the-planet
Let us help youStill unsure how or why you are experiencing bra pain? Why not book a fitting with one of our experts at our flagship location in Kings Cross St Pancras? We can walk you through each step of the process, ensuring that you know your correct fit whilst identifying which styles would work best for you. We can even recommend which items from our beautiful Beija ranges would work best for your body, so that you can have a pain-free tailored fit!