Intimate Wisdom Women's Lingerie

Why Your Underwires Pop Out

Underwires working their way out of a bra is not an uncommon occurrance.  My Customer Service team receives emails and phone calls about this very issue quite frequently.  Though this phenomenon is usually blamed on the manufacturer, you will be surprised to learn that in most cases, it is the owner of the bra who is to blame.

The number one reason underwires come out is because you’re wearing a bra with too large a band size.  That’s right. A bra should fit snuggly around a woman’s torso and not move even when the wearer is moving.  When a band size is too large, it will shift and move around a woman’s body.  The metal of the underwire is now moving and rubbing against the casing covering the underwire.  Eventually, the underwire will wear its way through the casing and pop out.  In this scenario, it is not uncommon for a woman in a too-large band size to see her underwire poke out after about an hour of wear in severe cases, and about a month or two in more mild cases.

Another cause for a popped underwire is improper laundering.  A bra should always be laundered in a laundry bag with its hooks and eyes attached, and never put in a dryer.  The underwire can catch in the holes of the washing machine drum or get twisted around other clothing.  This type of strain can not only change the shape of your underwires, but can push the underwire to one end and force it out of its casing.  The dryer is always a no-no with bras.  Many times the casing used inside a bra to protect you from your underwires is made in a different fabric than the rest of the bra.  If put in the dryer, this fabric, usually made with cotton, will shrink.  The channel holding your underwire has now shrunk, so your underwire has nowhere to go but out.

Of course, bras are not meant to last a lifetime.  So, older bras with a fair amount of wear might eventually see a wire poke out.  When this happens, it’s a sign that you need a new bra.  Bras with larger cup sizes have more strain on them and will wear out sooner than say a B or C cup size.  This is why it’s always recommended to have 4 bras rotating through the week.  Allowing a bra at least 24 hours between wearings gives the fabric time to bounce back to its original shape, helping it last longer.

Now, there are some errors that can be made by the manufacturer as well.  For one, the channel fabric covering the underwire inside the bra can be sewn too tight.  The underwire then won’t have enough play and can force itself out one end or the other.  Or the underwire selected could be the wrong size. The seamstress might pick up an underwire that is too long for the channel.  Again, the wire will force itself out.  Of course in this scenario, the wearer would probably notice the wire fitting strangely anyway.

Finally, I want to point out that you really do get what you pay for with bras.  The cheaper bras simply do not use the best materials. They will pick a thin fabric for the wire channel that does not hold up but is less expensive.  Obviously, the wire will eventually wear through.  There are also different qualities of underwires.  The good ones have polished rounded edges with covered tips.  Less expensive underwires tend to have sharp edges and ends without a cover.  Their edges act as a saw cutting through the fabric of your bra.

So, there you have it.  Make sure you have the correct band size, launder your bras correctly and wear quality bras from well-known lingerie manufacturers.  All of this should help keep your underwires where they belong.



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  • Reply
    Clint David
    January 14, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    I always wondered why this happened to me! Hey, great picture and story in D CEO. Congratulations on selling t.tail and this new little venture. Great to see you are doing well. It has been a while hope all else is well. Best regards, Clint

  • Reply
    July 20, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Ahh, that makes sense! My band size is a little loose, I agree.
    My problem is that I was a 34B but then my bust size increased so I went up to a 36B, but now my bust is fine but my band is a little loose. I’m between sizes. Help!?

    • Reply
      July 22, 2014 at 5:43 am

      When you moved from a 34B to a 36B you went up both a band and cup size. You see, when you go up a band size, you need to go down a cup size if you want to maintain your same cup volume. So, it sounds like you should simply move to a 34C and you’ll have the cup and band size that fits you best.

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