Sneaky straps sliding down your shoulders? Take time to tighten your bra straps after each washing as slide adjusters may move around during the process. Here’s a 101 on bra strap basics: how to tighten, how straps should fit properly and alternative solutions if simple adjustments don’t do the trick.
The Basics: How to Tighten Bra Straps
Many of us forget about our bra straps, focusing mainly on the tightness of the bra band, until of course one pesky strap slips out of a sleeveless shirt or dress, annoying especially if it happens repeatedly. A quick adjustment follows the below method:
Lift the strap
First, take the tension out of the strap by lifting it slightly off of your skin, either at the top of the strap or closer to the slide adjuster, whichever you can more comfortably reach.
Hold the slide adjuster with one hand
Next, grab hold of the slide adjuster, the small piece that moves up and down the strap either towards the bra cup or band.
Using other hand, pull the front of strap toward top of cup
While holding the slide adjuster in one hand, use your other hand to pull the top layer of the strap upwards, towards the top of the bra cup. The bra strap will shorten and tighten the closer you move the adjuster towards the band. Adjust until it feels snug, but not so tight that it cuts into your skin.
How the Straps Should Fit
To determine if your straps are tight enough (vs too tight), remember that the role of bra straps are to keep the cups flush against your body, avoiding any gaping or spillage, rather than to do the heavy lifting (pun intended, but jokes aside, that’s the job of your bra band). For a full rundown check out our guide to How Should a Bra Fit.
It’s also worth mentioning that your straps don’t need to, and likely won’t be, exactly the same length, that is to say that the slide adjuster may be in a different place on each strap. Each is separately adjustable to account for variations in breast size, so tighten appropriately to ensure breasts sit level with one another on your chest without one strap feeling tighter than the other.
A couple of other key watchouts: if your bra band seems to be riding up, you’ve likely overtightened your bra. And since it’s completely normal for bra straps to stretch over wearing and washing, ensure you have room for adjustment when purchasing a new bra, meaning the straps shouldn’t start in the tightest position (if this is the case, try sizing down a band size).
Alternative Solutions to Loose or Slipping Straps
If you find your strap struggles aren’t easily remedied with simple adjustments, it’s worth looking at alternative bra styles that might be a better fit for your shape and size. We love a convertible, racerback or even strapless style like the True&Co favorites below:
Criss Cross Straps
Over 1500 fellow bra wearers give the True Body Triangle Convertible Strap Bra a four star rating for good reason. It’s super soft in barely there True Body microfiber, pulls over with wirefree ease and has slim straps that can be worn traditionally or criss crossed. Seamless design makes it invisible under clothes while a plunging neckline extends its versatility to almost any top or dress.
Not just for sports bras, the racerback design helps avoid strap slippage by bringing straps inward to meet across the back. The True Body Lift Mesh Racerback Bra takes your comfort level one step further by strategically incorporating mesh panels for extra airflow. With the same lift (up to one full inch) of our original racerback, this design delivers breathable support, and its full cup counterpart, True Body Lift Mesh Racerback Full Cup Bra, does the same for DD+ cups.
Fear not the strapless. After all, this style eschews straps completely, thereby reducing any potential for slipping out, or cutting in. But why we really love it is for its ability to maintain ample support while working with just about any outfit. Remember, it’s all in the band, which is why our True Body Strapless Multiway Bra has a double hook and eye closure and flexible wires for support that moves with you. And just in case, it comes with detachable straps that allow you to turn it into a traditional or criss crossed style.
Buy A New Bra
If you’re tightening your bra too many times during a wearing, it may be time to part ways with that particular bra. Our go-to’s become such for a reason, but it’s important to rotate your favorites (we always advocate buying backups or additional colors in favorite styles), or add new ones to your arsenal. Find your true fit from a variety of supportive styles in our full lineup that includes bralettes, balconettes, scoopnecks and v-necks in addition to those highlighted above.