Band Rolling and Back Fat - Bra Myths and Tips
With over 10 years of fitting bras for women of all shapes and sizes, we see many of the same issues come up again and again. Here are a few of the most common ones;
“My band should not roll if my bra fits properly.”
Not true! While having your band roll can be frustrating, it is completely normal. The band rolls, not due to the size being too small, but due to a combination of our shape and build. This means that it happens to women of all shapes and sizes because a woman’s body typically has a “softer” area around her rib cage and when we move, the body can push against areas of the bra, causing it to “roll”.
“My band is too snug because it leaves marks.”
Have you ever worn hair elastics around your wrist for a few hours? When you take it off, there is a mark left behind, right? When you wear that elastic in your hair to make a ponytail for the day, there is a dent in your hair after you remove it, no?
This image helps to emphasize that the band of our bra is made of elastic and a firm one. It needs to be firm in order to keep the band down on your back, therefore supporting the lift in the front. Think of it like breaking in a pair of shoes. Within a few wears, it will become more comfortable and feel like a second skin, but in the beginning, a few marks are normal. Having said that, it is important to note that there is a difference between a comfortably firm band and a constrictive one. Constrictive is not the goal and should be avoided no matter what. At the end of the day, we can tell you how a bra looks, but we have no idea how it feels to you and since you are the one that has to wear it, you need to feel great in it!
“Back fat and body softness.”
85 to 90% of a bra support comes from the firmness in your band, so it really does need to be firm and that can often create some of our excess skin to come out over the bra, thus creating the thing we struggle with the most: back fat! This is totally normal and it happens to women of all ages, shapes and sizes. The goal is to find a bra that minimizes the look of back fat but still delivers support. Women will often opt for a larger band size to avoid having any visible back fat. The problem with wearing a 36 band when you should be wearing a 34 is that it can lead to tightening your straps too much trying to lift your breasts, but that results in pressure and stress on your shoulders, neck and back. It will also comprise the lift and shape of your breasts.
“There is gaping in my bra so it must be too big.”
There are some key components that go into a well-fitted bra. The gore (center wires) should lay flat against your sternum and the wires should come just behind the breast tissue under the arms. This ensures that both breasts are being individually supported. Bras must be fit to the fullest part of the larger breast (that’s right ladies; we ALL have one that is bigger than the other). This can sometimes mean that there is some wrinkling or gaping in the fabric on the smaller side. Typically, if this is happening, but the bra is perfect on the fuller side, than it may just not be the right bra for your body.
In the case of t-shirt bras, instead of wrinkling, there is often times gaping in the less full areas because the foam does not conform to the shape of the breast. This creates both a pro and a con. The t-shirt bras are designed to make us look identical and symmetrical on both sides. This gives a very sleek and smooth look under t-shirts. However, since we are not completely symmetrical on both sides, the air helps to balance out the shape and is completely normal…so long as it hugs the fuller breast perfectly with movement. If we were to drop the cup size to accommodate the areas with “air”, the fuller part of the larger breast would then start to pillow out over the top!