Lyla and the Mystery of the Poking Underwires

Okay, so maybe this isn’t as thrilling as a real mystery novel, but I’ve done my google sleuthing and have found nothing! Most sources say that it means that the cup is too small, but I have this problem even in too-large cups: my underwires are digging in painfully at my armpits. And it’s not breast tissue… it’s really poking my armpit!

This is really the only uncomfortable thing about my bras at the moment; the bands are totally comfortable, the cups are fine, and I’m getting a good amount of support. And I would be totally comfy too, if it weren’t for those meddling underwires!

I’ve wondered if it’s the band being too tight and dragging the underwires into my flesh… but a bigger band is just too big. And maybe the cup IS too small and the underwire is just being pulled in too many directions. So is the culprit the shape of the underwire? Are the only solutions to try a different style or to bend the wire out a bit? Or is it a fit problem?

(If I can get a picture, I’ll post it tonight. But it’s a little tricky to photograph, since the poking usually happens when my arms are down. Also, I’d post to Bratabase, but I need a photo in order to submit a fit help request.)

Edit: I realized that my language was fuzzy… it’s not really my armpit… it’s a few inches below my armpit.

19 thoughts on “Lyla and the Mystery of the Poking Underwires

  1. This totally happens to me with some bras! And the fit is great otherwise I spend all day pulling it up extra high to eliminate the problem, maybe it means the wire doesn’t come up high enough?

      1. I think I am similar to you on top. My breasts are also pretty high, and I have short torso. There is maybe an inch and a half between my armpit and the top of my breasts.

  2. I have this problem too and I’m 5’10”. I’m convinced that the space between my armpit and boob is non existent. I noticed that wider set straps don’t work for me either because the bra ends up in my armpit. I think if I lost about 20lbs I won’t get poked so much. Easier said than done :(

  3. Oh, this is definately not a sizing issue in my opinion. You may have a short torso and that’s why the cups are too “tall” for you in the armpits. Usually I’d say Panache bras have this problem; I cannot wear them at all because of that horrible pinching in my armpit. I’ve heard that Freya bras should be better and I do think that Curvy Kate’s are also good for this problem. They are wide cup like Panache bras, but they are a lot lower at the armpit in my experience.

    This also could be a cup wideness issue. If the cup is too wide, the wire end at the armpit. Again, Panache bras bad, Freya good. Curvy Kate something in between.

    You also might want to try Ewa Michalak bras, they are excellent at solving this issue whether it’s caused by a short torso or too wide underwires. :-)

    1. My torso is pretty long (one piece bathing suits are a nightmare and tops have always been too short), but it might be a wideness thing. What’s confusing me is that it’s just the tips of the underwires… as though they curl inward.

      1. Have you tried bending the underwires? I suggest you stay away from Panache brand bras and try other brands, like Curvy Kate, Fantasie and Ewa Michalak. No matter why you have this problem I do believe this will help. :-)

        1. I’m trying to figure out how to bend them without breaking them… :) Oddly, my other Panache bra (Tiffany) is my best bra, as far as not poking goes. It might just be the shape of the cup.

          I really want to try Ewa Michalak bras, but my size keeps changing and I’m afraid of getting the wrong size.

          1. Oh the thing with Panache Tiffany is interesting. It seems to be padded, maybe that helps? MyCurves posted a while ago that she sews some felt to the poking ends of underwires.

            You might want to ask help from other bloggers who have tried EM. I have, but I’m so far from your size I’m afraid it wouldn’t help a lot. Maybe June from Braless in Brasil could help? CurvyWordy has also tried tons of EM bras.

            I’ve also heard that it’s pretty popular to sell EM bras rather than return them. There’s propably used and unused EM bras in Bratabase’s to sell -section if you’re interested! :-)

  4. Have you seen June’s post on her blog Braless in Brasil? She talks pretty extensively about long torsos and problems with the height I the root if your breasts compared to the wire placement. I commented on her post about how you go down a bandsize for other issues, wondering if you were a long torso. You may want to check that post out. I’d link it, but I’m on my phone.

  5. I have this same problem! I’m so glad you posted because I really thought maye it was just me. I am nearly your size in every way (32G, 30G deco, 5.5, 115 pounds). I cannot wear panache at all and my favorite bra is the chantell rive gauche push up although I can’t find one close to my size around here. Something that I find helps (though I don’t know how you feel about it) is that I insert cookies on the side of my boobs, not for volume but for comfort. I have Ann summers as well and feel the wires come up high and dig into my armpit area, but with the cookies it works well. Also, try the Le mystere nauti curves plunge. I think you will love it! 32G is what I wear in it, and is lovely.

    1. Cookies would work brilliantly for a bra with cups >/= my breast volume! I had thought my issue might be due to extra flesh on my ribs, but you’re significantly lighter than I am and have the same issue… hmm. Thanks for the tips!

  6. I’m 5’9″ & get the pokey thing with too-long wires. I can’t wear Panache at all, though I prefer their shape to Freya, which however, is much lower under the arm, so I own a ton of them. I have tried the neat trick of sewing a small channel of felt onto the outer 1/4 of the wires, & it really did help a great deal. Hough it was tedious to do.

  7. I stumbled upon your blog because I am having the exact same issue. For a while I thought it was b/c my band size was too big (I was wearing a 34DD), but having shelled out a couple hundred bucks for some new 32 inch band bras, I am sadly learning this isn’t the case (and now my torso is imprinted with angry red marks and I spend all day wishing my bra wasn’t so damn tight!). My Google research from today has taught me that some women require bras with shorter underwires. These often come in the form of demi bras or bras that simply offer less coverage. Sounds like it won’t be supportive, but the online bra experts swear by this. Perhaps this will help?

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