When I talked about breast/bra shapes, I mentioned that wider underwires can be used to create an hourglass shape from the front that looks more minimized from the side. Not everyone seeks this shape, but for those who do, wider underwires are a pretty easy way to achieve it. They’re also good to wear if some of your breast tissue has gotten squashed into your armpit through years of wearing poorly-fitted bras. What's more, if you wear a very high cup size, you may find that ALL bras have wide underwires whether you want them or not.
But you may be left disappointed because wide underwires can be SO PAINFUL! When you buy a bra, the underwires are flat—you may have read articles expressing frustration with the fact that women aren’t shaped like this:
The thing is, although women are not triangular, they also aren’t flat across the front:
The flat shape of underwires is all wrong for the curved shape of a human torso. If you find your underwires cut into your sides or the front of your ribs, there’s a miracle fix—just bend your underwires into the shape of your body. You’ll probably experience amazing relief in the way your bra feels around your body. You also may become enraged that bra manufacturers never thought of doing this simple favor for their customers.
How do to it:
Put on your bra and find the point on the bottom of the underwire where your torso begins to curve back around.
Take off the bra, and bend the wire at that point. You do have to use a bit of force to bend it so the metal will keep the shape, but be slow and gentle—you don’t want to bend too much at one point. Keep moving along the wire and bending, so the curve will be gentle. You don't actually have to curve the underwire very much to make a difference. Only about this much:
Now, try on the bra again. If the front section now feels unnaturally flat, you can add a slight curve to that by gently bending it. If the underwires now cut in between your boobs or on your sides, you can also very slightly bend out the last inch or two, so it will no longer poke you.
Now your bra is shaped like a person!
A few words of caution: I do this to all my bras and I have never had any problems with underwires breaking or slipping out. But it is definitely an alteration that you do at your own risk; make sure you are totally set on keeping the bra before bending the underwires, since you may not be able to bend them back if you change your mind and want to return it. Also, there may be some bras out there that have underwires that wouldn’t bend, but would break. According to my experience, you should be fine doing this with any Curvy Kate, Panache, and Freya bras, at least. Finally, although I think it MIGHT be possible to bend the underwires on a molded bra (I’ve never tried it), this fix is best suited to non-padded styles.