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How To Fix The Most Painful Bra Problem In Seconds

Fix an Underwire Bra

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about bra hacks, and that post ended up receiving a lot of great feedback! It’s really neat that something as simple as wearing a bra every day can give us so many shared experiences to bond over (though not all of them are positive of course!) ;-)

Related: This Brand Makes The Most Comfortable Bras Ever

One of the less fun bra-related experiences that many women have shared is dealing with exposed underwire. You know, when the underwire rips through the fabric and starts stabbing you in the ribs or armpit? And today we’ll be exploring this issue in depth, and I’ll tell you exactly how to fix a broken underwire bra!

Check out this life-saving bra hack in action in my video at the end of the post!

Fix an Underwire Bra

What Causes Exposed Underwire?

The purpose of underwire is to lift and support. Its purpose is not to scratch you or threaten your internal organs, but it sometimes ends up that way. So how is our underwire going so awry?

An exposed underwire is usually caused by one of two problems. First, it could be that the bra doesn’t fit you the way it should. (If you’re not sure if you know your correct bra size, don’t hesitate to have a fitting done by an experienced professional!)

Another potential problem is improper care. Bras should be washed gently with a mild detergent. Aggressive washing and concentrated detergents can weaken the fabric, exacerbating those unfortunate underwire issues!

Fix an Underwire Bra

Fixing The Problem

While understanding the potential causes of exposed underwire may help you avoid the problem in the future, it doesn’t do you much good in terms of fixing the problem now!

That’s why I’m sharing a quick and easy solution that you can use to fix that broken underwire bra so you can keep wearing it! Because in real life, we don’t always get things exactly right. So instead we find a fix, learn something, and move on! :-)

Fix an Underwire Bra

Tools & Supplies

For this fix, you’ll need the following supplies:

How To Fix A Broken Underwire Bra

Fix an Underwire Bra

Step 1 – Reposition The Wire

Start by pushing the exposed underwire back into its original position.

Fix an Underwire Bra

Step 2 – Cut The Moleskin

Inspect the hole that the underwire left behind in the fabric to determine how big your patch should be. You’ll want your patch to be big enough to cover both the hole itself and the area around it to make sure there’s enough adhesive to keep it securely in place.

Once you know what size it should be, use a sharp pair of scissors to cut out the moleskin patch.

Fix an Underwire Bra

Step 3 – Apply The Patch

Remove the adhesive backing and apply the patch over the hole. Press the patch down firmly for several seconds to make sure it stays put.

And just like that, you’re done! Your underwire woes are no more, and you can once again wear your bra without fear of bodily harm.

Fix an Underwire Bra

How Long Will This Fix Last?

In my experience, this is one of those rare fixes that actually seems to get stronger over time. It seems as though body heat helps the moleskin adhesive to fuse with the fabric of the bra!

I’ve put a moleskin-patched bra through the washer and dryer many times with no issue. I can’t promise this fix will last indefinitely, but it should last you a good, long time!

Do you have a favorite quick fix for a bra-related issue?

YouTube video
When the underwire from your bra is actively trying to stab you – you need a real fix NOW!

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Bright Ideas

  • I’ve also had the wires start poking me on the sides. I’ve used the moleskin for wires too. I’d love to experiment with taking out the wires. Just not sure if I would still get good support.

  • Love this. I know you need to replace bras every so often. I’ve gotten more mileage out of my bras using this hack. It’s great if your like me and are on a tight budget. My main bra issue besides the wires is those darn straps. I have to adjust them every so often.

  • This reminds me of a funny story. Many years ago, my husband and I were snowbirds living in a condo in Florida. The association bought new top-load washers and dryers. The first day after installation, I washed a load of undies and bras. At the time, I wasn’t using lingerie bags for the bras. While waiting for the next load (towels) to finish, I noticed the washer wasn’t spinning. Repairmen were called and couldn’t fix the brand new washer so a new one was ordered. Meanwhile, as I was putting the bras on a drying rack, I noticed the wire from one of my underwires was missing. OOOPPS!! This is the moment I decided a lingerie bag is a good thing.

    • I feel your pain! We bought a new washer and after a couple of weeks we noticed a sound we hadn’t heard before. We called for the repairman, it was under warranty, of course, so he came on out. The night before the he was due I noticed one of my new bras was missing it’s wire. I told my husband about it and he relayed it to the repairman. Sure enough, that’s what it was. The guy just laughed and said, “That’s a first!” I’m so glad I was at work when he was there!

  • Great idea Jillee, but one should never put bras in the dryer, it ruins any elastic in them. I wash in cold water and hang to air dry, they last a lot longer.

  • I HATE bras, period! I also, almost as much as I hate bras, I hate underwires. First thing I do when I get home with new bras is cut off the tags and cut out the wire. Where you are repairing it, I cut a little slit and push that booger out! No loss, no pain! Who invented bras anyways!

  • I HATE underwire bras! I don’t know who invented those torture devices, but I am not a fan. When I did wear them and the wires broke or poked through, I just pulled the stupid thing out of it’s dark tunnel and threw the stupid device away. I discovered boulder holders were SO much more comfortable! I started buying wireless! Yes they do make them! I haven’t worn an underwire (shaped or padded or whatever) in years!

  • My issue isn’t the wire it’s near the clasp. The seams are really itchy. I have taken an emery board to them slot of times to get them to smooth out. This usually only lasts until the next washing. Anyone have any other ideas? I wear Chantelle bras and they are not cheap. I’m not going to throw it away.

  • This is a great fix in an emergency, one can also use a fabric Bandaid, which we should all carry in our handbags.
    I too find it strange that so many readers simply throw away their bras when this happens, instead of simply sewing up the hole or sewing the Moleskin (after the emergency fix) over the hole! What a waste…

    • LOL You just have to remember that some people do NOT even know how to thread a needle. I guess Home Ec. is not offered in school any more, or else girls don’t think they need it. I had 4 years of it when I was in school, back whenever. HAHA More need to take the course if offered, they might learn to cook besides learn to sew, even sew a button on, some can’t even do that. Just my opinion.

  • I’m not usually one to prefer adhesive bras, but I’ve tried out Meadow Lift’s Adhesive Lifting Bra, and it honestly works wonders. I can finally wear all my cute strapless dresses without ruining the outfit with my bra being visible. It’s comfortable, reusable, leaves no irritation or redness, stays put, and it has an easy lifting design. Most importantly, though, it lifts my girls to where I want, and they stay there all day.

    Link to bra: meadowlift.com/adhesivebra

  • Gotta poke my comment in here, ha ha! Newbie to your posts Jillee. You make my day with your creativity, style, and simple solutions. Just not a fan a underwired bras in general- metal on our bodies
    acts like an antenna for EMF’s. There are wireless bras that are pretty sturdy and more comfy too! Just saying. Keep the ideas flowing!

  • Thanks for the tip. I have a rather expensive bathing suit; after only one season of use, a hole formed in the side and a plastic thingy began jabbing me. I took it out because it was unbearable. I thought I might have t cut the one out of the other side too. Now I can just fix it and keep the support!!

  • Thanks for having such a wide variety of ” fixes” on your site! I may be late in reading them, but eventually I catch up
    Love the wire bra fix!!! Love it! I had recently bought moleskin to cover a stiff spot in a pair of sandals, wondered what I would do with the rest!! Perfect timing!
    Maggie said that underwire bras “may be causing cancer…”
    I never heard that before. Has anyone else heard that?
    reading all your “fixes and tips”

  • Had this happen to me on vacation in Disneyland! Poked right through to my arm pit – ouch!!! I kept shoving it back into place since I had nothing to fix it with and if I had removed it, I would have had issues with the old high/low!! Fixed the problem permanently by having a breast reduction 10 years ago and I haven’t purchased an underwire bra since! When you get to a certain size of cup, you cannot find a bra without an underwire, so you have no alternative. They aren’t made to give proper support without the underwires, so just removing them really isn’t a great solution. I will pass this post on to my daughters as they are all “well endowed”!!

    • Pull the pieces out, put in a new underwire (or an unbroken one rescued from a discarded bra) and fix with the moleskin. This is another problem I’ve had, but I’ve saved a bunch of those bras because they were (sigh) perfect and of course are no longer made.

      • The most painful thing is throwing out an underwire bra with a old stretched-out band when the underwires are still good! If the moleskin works for me, I will be salvaging them from now on!

  • Some of us guys are also married and see our wife deal with this problem so having said that I will share this remedy with her, reason being that she refuses to adapt to technology. So she doesnt read these blogs but i do and enjoy sharing any ideas i see as useful for us. Thank you

  • I have worn underwire bras for almost forty years. When I’ve had this problem, I just sewed up the hole…easy, peasy! I have to believe that there are still people out there that have a needle and thread and know how to use them.

  • Moleskin is a great idea. I’ve been mending my bras with either a double layer of tshirt fabric or flannel just over the hole and sewn on both sides of the wire. My problem is usually a worn spot where the ends are, not in the channel of the wire. I make sure to have a bit of extra padding on those stress point. Moleskin…whoda thought!

  • This is great. I actually tried this after I saw it. It works. This definetly helps to save money so you can wear your bras longer. I agree that when the wires start poking thru it’s very painful.

  • Oh. My. Word. This is going to change my life! I hated it so much I seriously considered never wearing one again! Here’s to looking pretty in our underclothes!

  • This sounds good, but what do you when the wire pokes though the top of the seam? Actually though the seams and into my armpit or in front and pokes into my breastplate. I finally went to a local Kohls store, told a woman in the intimates dept., told her my complaints and she happened to be a rep for Bali/Playtex. She took upon herself to measure me and make sure I started with the proper size. I am not shy, and asked her to look to make sure it fit well (my patient husband waited outside the fitting room). She kept bringing bras to me to try on and we found a Bali wire free in 2 styles, the colors are limited, but they are great! I will try the moleskin fix on the ones I gave up on.

  • I will only wear underwire bras. The last time an end popped through, I talked my husband into sewing it back in for me! Ok, I was in a hurry and he had a spare 5 minutes! Think I’ll keep some moleskin on hand for next time and repair it myself! Thanks for the tip.

    • Thanks for the tip but I just push the wire back in the sew a few stitches over the opening where it popped through. It’s permanent and never comes through again…

      • Well, I wish that was true for me. I have had to repair them multiple times. And while there are those who say it is because I am wearing the wrong size, etc. I actually went to a foundation store and had them size me and I purchased the super expensive bras that quickly had the underwires poke me at the most inconvenient times!! After repeated repairs with needle and thread, I think I will try this method. Thanks for posting it.

  • Funny.. when I bought underwire bras… I would cut a slit like the one in your picture & REMOVE the wires… Those wires are a horrible thing… There are plenty of bras out there that lift Y separate without wires.. Do your health a favor.. get rid of underwires.

      • Depending on the size it can be basically impossible to get one without wires. I wear a G cup and have yet to find one without wires.

      • My grandaughter is 15 yrs. old. She’s already wearing a DDD cup. She got sized at a Victory Secrets store. They will measure you for free. Her bra now is starting to get little. It’s pushing her wires up in the air. Where is the best place to get G bras at. I live next to Knoxville, Tn.

      • Try larger department stores, like Belk, Dillard’s, etc. I live in a small town. The local Belk here doesn’t carry large sizes, but I can find them in larger stores. You might even be able to find a specialty bra shop in Knoxville. Once you know the correct size, you can order online. Amazon Prime even has a new program. I was able to order several sizes of sports bras, and return the ones that didn’t work. I only paid for the one I kept and shipping was free.

      • My daughter in law is 25 and is a M cup. When she was 15 she was a DDD. I recommend finding a specialty bra shop, most cities have one. Once she knows her proper size, she can order online. Please don’t take Victoria Secret word on bra size for larger cup women, they only carry up to DDD, so that’s what they will tell you what size you are.

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