Intimate Wisdom Women's Lingerie

Why Are Bra Strap Adjusters in the Back Instead of the Front?

Mary from Boston wrote in to HerRoom this week with a question:  Why are strap adjusters on the back of the bra strap instead of in the front?  We actually hear this question on a regular basis, so what better to do than blog about it.  Here I go…

It makes perfect sense that the strap adjuster should be in front on bras.  Think about it.  It would make putting on a bra easier because the straps could quickly be let out to get them on your shoulders.  Once your bra is on, you could easily adjust the straps yourself until you had adequate breast support.  So, why aren’t they in front?  Well there are 4 reasons.

1. Strap design.  More and more bras now incorporate the front of the bra straps into the overall design of the bra.  If there is lace, you will see it also crawling up the bra strap  If there is a design element on the cup, many times it will continue up the strap.  Designers also like to shape the bra straps differently.  For example, start them wide where they attach to the bra cup and then taper them up to your shoulder area.   These design options would never work with a strap adjuster.  In these cases, the strap adjustment needs to be in the back.

2. Wide Strap Designs.  In the last 5 years, the concept of “comfort straps” has really taken off.  This is where the top of the strap that rests on your shoulder will be wide and possibly have padding.  Such a design necessitates any strap adjusting being handled in the back.

3. Aesthetics. It is the common opinion of the industry that when looking a a bra, it is more attractive if all the hooks and adjusters are in the back.  It’s a rather old concept, but one that seems to stick around.

4. Show-through.  In this age of t-shirt bras, when no one wants seams from a bra to show through their form-fitting clothing, the strap adjuster gets the same scrutiny.  If it’s in front, you would have a bump that would be visible under clothing.

Another interesting piece of information on this came from our friends at Wacoal.  Years ago, the strap adjustment was always on the front of a bra. But, unlike today’s adjusters, it was a slide and pull-through strap adjuster that was rather bulky.  Women complained about it showing under tops so the industry moved them to the back.  When the new adjusters became popular, the industry never moved them from back to front.

bra backsSo, for all these reasons, we are left taking off our bras and then guessing as to the right adjustment, or depending on someone else to do it for us.  Now, there are some bras out there with front adjusters.  You’ll just need to look closely at our images, or use our nifty feature to have all the back shots pop up in your search.  And, you can purchase a convertible bra and switch the straps to your liking.

With all these explanations, it’s now understandable why the adjustments are in back.  But, it sure would be great if someone could figure out how a girl could get to them once she’s put on her bra.






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  • Reply
    July 13, 2009 at 3:08 am

    Actually the design need to apply comfort. I haven’t see any pants that don’t have front zipper because isn’t good for the design. Industry will always find a way.

  • Reply
    August 3, 2009 at 9:13 am

    I would use a **** to adjust my bra.

    Shame on you, Lily, for posting such a blatant plug for your product on my blog! Your product has nothing to do with my post.


  • Reply
    April 22, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    either way it is sexy so needn’t to worry

  • Reply
    Linda Haines
    January 24, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    I really don’t thing all women care where the strap adjuster is, much better in front for people or make in come off and change to front. The WOMEN only care how high and how deep the cleavage goes. As long as the girls are perky up and a lot of cleavage shows is all they care about/ Wait till you girls become older osteoperous bodies will you understand. It’s hard to ajust without it being in front.

  • Reply
    October 23, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    The adjuster is in the back because MEN are more important than WOMEN – and the bras are designed by MEN.
    Same reason the OUTSIDE is softer than the INSIDE of the bra – because men’s HANDS are more important than women’s BREASTS.
    It’s a RIDICULOUS state of affairs, and they can just as easily put the SMALL adjuster on the FRONT – as it would be if a WOMAN designed it!!!!

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