Friday, October 7, 2011

When The Underwires Dig Into Your Sternum

How to fix poking underwires

I got asked this many times in comments and mails:
     Help, the ends of the underwires poke into my chest in the front. Is my ribcage weird? 

   I have this problem myself, and am guessing that the poking is because of the way the underwires bend themselves around my ribcage. I don't think my ribcage is very unusual, especially because lots of girls have the same problem. I think that underwire flexibility might play a role here too: hard but unstable underwires might bend in awkward ways.

   If you have a bra that massacres your sternum, simply bend away the ends of the underwire on the table. This simple fix always works for me. Of course you need to be careful and bend only a little. Another fix is sewing in a little dart. This works best for underwires that are far from each other.

    When buying new bras, I usually prefer underwires that are close together and short (low) in the front. Plunge models are best for this, but I go for halfcups and balconettes too and use the table top if necessary.

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  1. Hi Sita, I have this problem too! And the underwires also dig into my chest on the sides - into my ribs. Actually, I have already done a lot of bending, not only at the ends (both ends), but also to make the cups wider (the cups in 28E are usually VERY narrow). Even after the bending, the bra feels good just after I put it on and for a few hours, but after about 10-16 hours it starts to hurt. I asked about this at the Czech website about bra fitting, they said I might have put the underwires too low under my breasts und made some empty space at the bottom of the cup but I don't think so...

  2. Hey Jana, you need to look at the imprints the underwires leave to check if there is any empty space. Try pulling the underwire higher on the breast (by grabbing each end and pulling up).
    Maybe the underwires are still too narrow, even after bending them? Does all of the underwire hurt the skin, or just the tips?
    Another thing -- if you have sensitive skin, then wearing anything longer than 16 hours might feel painful.

  3. Thanks Sita, I'll try if it's still possible to put it higher (I'm still not sure where the right spot is), but I am afraid my skin is too sensitive and also my bones are too hard (that's what my self-defence teacher told me). I think I've bent the underwires so much that the bra looks very different now - I'll try to send you a picture- maybe I've bent them too much. About one third of the underwire hurts the skin (all¨along the sides... but it's a bit better now when I'm trying to put the underwires higher, just the imprints are still quite deep and red :-/

  4. Two years too late, but Jana, odds are you're an F cup. Get out a tape measure - breath out and measure around your chest just under the bust, just loose enough for one finger to comfortably slip through. Now measure your bust at their fullest point. You can use an un-padded bra to help you. If the difference between your two measurements is 6" welcome to a size F. Here's a good tutorial:,901,30.html