How to tighten straps
How To Tighten Bra Straps The Right Way

How To Tighten Bra Straps The Right Way

Dana Donofree
5 min read

How To Tighten Bra Straps The Right Way

When you put your bra on each morning, does it feel more like you’re weighed down than uplifted? Does your bra strap fall off your shoulders multiple times a day for no real reason? If this sounds like you, it may be time to adjust your bra straps. Read on for a step-by-step guide on how to tighten your bra straps and ways to fix your ill-fitting bra. 

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A Step By Step Guide To Tightening Your Bra Straps

You may think of the cups or the band as the most important aspects of your bra, but your straps do a ton of heavy lifting (pun intended) as well. Too loose, and you’ll be doing the “strap dance” what feels like a million times a day; too tight, and your body will bulge around them, and it may be painful, too. If you’re experiencing that too-loose “slippage” that many of us experience, here’s a four-step guide on how to properly tighten your straps. 

  1. Find the adjuster on each strap.  Slide your hands along each strap until you find a little plastic or metal piece. This is the adjustment clip. The strap runs through this piece, and moving it up and down the strap loosens or tightens it accordingly. Typically, on a brand-new bra, the adjuster will be located on the bottom, close to the bra band.
  2. Loosen the straps before putting on your bra.  If the adjustment clips aren’t already near the bra band, take this time to loosen your bra straps all the way so it's easier to adjust. Once loose, put on your bra and close the clasp on the hook you would normally wear.
  3. Slide the adjuster on one strap to get the right fit.  To tighten your bra straps, hold the adjuster in one hand and use your other hand to hold your bra steady. This makes it easier to move the adjustment piece. Begin sliding the adjuster away from the bra band and up toward your shoulders. The closer the bra adjuster is to your bra cup, the tighter the strap will be.
  4. Repeat this step on the second strap.  Perform the exact same steps above, but on your other strap. If you notice that your breasts feel supported but the adjustment pieces aren’t aligned, that’s completely normal -- and why it’s a good idea to tighten your bra straps while wearing your bra.

Reasons Why Your Bra Straps May Be Too Loose

If you’ve followed the steps above for tightening your straps, but still find that your bra straps are too loose, it may be time to find a new bra or a better way to make your straps fit. Here are a few reasons why your bra straps may not fit you properly. 

  • Your shoulders may be a different shape.  If you have narrow or sloping shoulders, your bra straps may not fit, even if they’re on the tightest, yet still comfortable, setting. If this sounds like you, you may want to opt for a different bra. A racerback bra, a bra with criss-cross straps, or a halter bra may be a better option for your body type.
  • The straps lost their elasticity.  As you continue to wear the same bra throughout the year, the bra straps will slowly lose their elasticity. If you notice that your bra strap is on the tightest setting and still is too loose, it’s time to purchase a new bra.
  • Your bra may be too big.  You may think you’re a certain size because you were measured at a big-name bra shop a decade ago, but bodies change over time, and you simply may need to wear a different size for the right fit. To know if you have the right size bra, your cups should fit snugly against your breasts without any pinching or gaps. Additionally, your straps should be snug against your back without digging into your shoulder blades or falling off your shoulders. If your bra still feels ill-fitting after this check, it’s time to get re-measured by a professional.
Tighter bras is not better than looser bras

Is It Really “The Tighter, The Better?”

You guessed it: It’s true that the tighter your bra straps are, the more uncomfortable you’ll be day in and day out. Tighter is not better when it comes to wearing a bra. Instead, you want to find a bra that fits comfortably all around -- closely without being too snug, and secure without squeezing the air out of you!

You’ll know your straps are too tight if you feel them digging into your shoulder blades, if they leave indentations on your skin after normal wear, and you observe no gaps in your cups. The key is to find a happy medium before too-tight and not secure enough. Keep adjusting until your straps no longer slip off your shoulders, but they shouldn’t dig in for dear life, either.

How To Remedy Ill-Fitting Bra Straps

You may have tried tightening and loosening your straps a zillion times, but still find that they can’t seem to fit quite right. Even if you have the correct bra size, ill fitting straps still can stand in the way between you and the perfect-fitting bra. Here are a few tips and tricks to see if you can get your bra straps fitting snug and comfortably again. 

  • Check your bra band settings.  If your straps aren’t fitting quite right, your band may need to be tightened or loosened. To adjust your band, unhook your bra and move it to the next setting, whether up or down, to see if your straps fit better.
  • Make sure the cup size is correct.  If you’re unsure if you’re wearing the right cup size, you can try to quickly measure yourself at home before you head to a professional to get measured. To find out your bra size on your own, here’s a quick  guide on how to measure yourself.
  • Wear a bra with wider straps.  Maybe the same style bra you’ve been wearing for years isn’t feeling right anymore – and that’s OK! Bodies change, and our clothing should change to adapt alongside us. It could very well be that your straps fall down because they’re too thin. Try opting for a bra with wide straps, which are less likely to slip down and slide around.
  • Buy a cushion to wear under your straps.  Many online retailers offer cushions that fit snugly into your bra straps. They slip right on and hold the bra strap in place so you won’t have to worry about your bra strap digging or sliding off. It offers a little padding, too, so your straps will lay comfortably on your body.
Model wearing bra with back turned to camera with arms up

Find Your New Favorite Bra At AnaOno

Admit it: You read through this and thought, “Yikes, when was the last time I bought a new bra?” If this sounds about right, you’re not alone -- and it’s time to shop.

At AnaOno, each of our bras are designed to fit your body, no matter what life has taken you. Whether you need a mastectomy bra with pockets for breast forms, a post-surgical bra that’s also great for working out, or you’re au naturel and you simply want something comfortable for once, we’re your new best friend. Every bra we offer is built on the same core principles: Quality craftsmanship, soft and stretchy fabric, no underwire ever, total adjustability (including straps!) and touches of sexiness that look beautiful on every body. Find the perfect bra in just a few clicks!

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Dana Donofree
Dana Donofree

Founder and CEO of AnaOno. After a diagnosis of breast cancer in her late 20’s, Dana took her own lived experience and fashion design background and (re)designed intimates for those that have undergone breast surgery. Dana’s story has been published around the world in outlets like New York Times, BBC, Huffington Post, The Today Show, and more.