Bra Fitting Women's Lingerie

Help! My Bra Straps Keep Slipping Off My Shoulders!


I hear this complaint all the time. "My bra straps keep falling off my shoulders!"  Most think it’s because their shoulders slope too much or they have narrow shoulders.  Both of these could contribute to the problem, but you’ll be surprised to know that there are several additional reasons your straps could be slipping off your shoulders. And most have to do with the way your bra fits.

1. Your straps are not tight enough.  This may seem obvious but many women simply don’t adjust their straps.  Straps are only supposed to support about 10% of your breast’s weight.  But they need to be providing some support or they will just fall off your shoulders.  Make sure your straps are tight enough to provide support, but not so tight that they pull up your bra back.

2. Your cup size is too big.  Many women, with age, lose their breast volume along the tops of their breasts. This loss of volume along the top of your breasts creates an empty space in the top of your cup.  Without the cup being completely filled, the straps will tend to slip.  Either go down a cup size, or make Bra Cups too bigsure you lift and place your breasts into your cups so that the cup is properly filled.

3. You’re using bra extenders.  A bra extender is an accessory that adds more length to the back of your bra.  I sell them at HerRoom, but I really don’t like them.  They can create additional problems, and shoulder straps falling off is one of them.  When you expand the length of the bra back, you move the straps farther apart and closer to the edge of your arms.  This increases the chances that your straps will fall off your shoulders.  Instead of an extender, consider going up a band size and down a cup size.  This will give you 2 more inches around your chest while keeping your cup volume the same.

4. Your bra back is not in the proper position.  I know we’re all in a hurry when we’re getting dressed in the morning.  But making sure you put your bra on correctly and getting it in the proper place is critical to your comfort the rest of the day.  The final thing you should do after putting your bra on is reach back and pull it down so that it’s under your shoulder blades and even with the front of your bra.  When you don’t do this, and your bra is left too high on your back, the front of your bra slumps, and the straps fall off.  I can’t tell you how many times suggesting this simple thing to women has solved their strap slipping problem.

5. Your bra band is too large.  Similar to the back extender problem, if your band size is too large, your straps will be further apart.  This too can cause your straps to fall off your shoulders.  A loose band also causes the back of your bra to hike up.  If you are experiencing both these symptoms, try going down a band size and up a cup size.  This will tighten your band size while keeping your cup volume the same.

6. Wrong bra style for you.  Not all bra styles are for everyone.  Women with very square shoulders can wear the popular bras with wide-set straps.  Women with slopping shoulders will have trouble.  Women with narrow shoulders need to carefully look at the strap placement to make sure they are not too far apart for her frame.  The bottom line is to know your body style and what styles do and do not work well.

Several manufacturers have worked hard to design bras to address this issue.  For example, several Olga and Olga’s Christina bras have what they call a "Comfort Back" design.  This back style brings the straps closer together in back and thus reduces shoulder slippage. 


Racerback bra styles are also an option.  However, there are a few issues with this style.  First, racerback bras tend to be front closure.  This is limiting in terms of adjusting for your best fit.  Additionally, racerback bras can cut close to the neck and provide pressure to neck tendons which can become sore after hours of wearing.  So, keep this in mind before selecting racerback bras.


Leotard back bras look like the back of a leotard, rather than a traditional t-back where the strap comes down and attach perpendicular to the garment.  This styling tends to give less slippage, but there are leotard back bras on the market that also slip.  So, you really need to look and see how close the straps come together in the back.

As you can see the bra back is very important.  Seeing how the bra back looks and fits will greatly help you in finding the right bra to solve your problem of slipping bra straps.  The good news is that HerRoom photographs every bra with a back view.  And, what’s even better is that while you are looking at a selection of bras at HerRoom, if you’ll scroll down, you will see a link underneath the collection of images called "click for back view."  When you click on this link, all the bra images on the page instantly change to a back view of the bras.  You can now swiftly shop for the bra with the desired back qualities that work for you. 

So, you don’t need to have slipping bra straps.  A simple evaluation of your needs and the selection of the correct bra will have you comfortable and content.

You can learn more about the bra strap problem in HerRoom’s Bra Fitting Problems & Solutions.



Find various strap and back styles at HerRoom in these departments:

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  • Reply
    September 28, 2008 at 7:23 am

    Can you tell me if wearing a sports bra everyday is good. My husband says the sports bra is the cause of my back hurting me by my shoulder blades. is he right? He rubs then for me and that helps. But I still like the sports bra the best. Thanks

  • Reply
    Julie Berry
    December 3, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Have you seen the new Bra Barrette? It’s bran new and the only functional solution to straps falling down and meant to be work as a fashion accessory!

    Check them out!

  • Reply
    December 4, 2008 at 7:27 am

    I have seen this item, and in fact had a sample sent to me. A clever design, but bulky. It also showed through clothing.

  • Reply
    December 9, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    With regards to the entries on the Bra Barrette, I just wanted to clarify that the original design of the Bra Barrette was to be worn on tank tops, dresses and swimsuits outside of clothing to act as a way of holding straps in place but also to act as a new type of jewelry. So it was designed a little bit more bulky since it was on the outside of clothing. However, because of the popularity of people wanting to use this product on their bra straps underneath clothing, we have started making a newer thinner version for going under clothing to keep them in place. This newer version is not visible under clothing, perhaps the version you tried was the older, I’d be happy to send a new version for you to try.

  • Reply
    Sandy Burlingame
    February 2, 2011 at 8:49 am

    I’ve had the problem for years of my bra straps slipping down. I had tried the \as seen on tv\ things that pull the straps together in the back, but it was so tight it made my bra uncomfortable. I recently found Strap Connection that I ordered from and they are wonderful!

  • Reply
    back support bra
    January 2, 2013 at 12:30 am

    Very useful post and good advice, especially regarding hand washing and lingerie bags. There’s nothing fun in finding the underwire outside of your bra after throwing it in with the rest of your clothes one too many times!

  • Reply
    Tommie Miller
    August 29, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    “place your breasts into the cups so that the cup is properly filled.”Hah!!!! this lasts for about five minutes – they go back to where they want to be.

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