How to Repair a Broken Underwire Bra

Breathe new life into worn-out bras with this DIY fix for broken underwires.

The 5-Minute Fix That Repairs Broken Underwire Bras
Photo: Emma Darvick

It's not easy to find a perfectly snug, supportive bra—especially when said bra is the only undergarment that really gets you among a drawer littered with ill-fitting options. But with regular use comes regular wear, and it's only a matter of time before your everyday bra begins to bear the mark of a doomed undergarment—the broken underwire.

Fabric breakdown is inevitable, but that doesn't make dealing with the pain of a broken underwire bra any easier. "Fabric has a lifespan depending on your wearing and washing cycle," says Laetitia Lecigne, creative director at Jockey. Fortunately, a quick, at-home fix exists to eliminate the discomfort of an underwire poking out and digging into sensitive skin.

If the underwire is snapped and simply beyond repair, it's time to upgrade your undergarments. But if you're not yet ready to part with your tried-and-true bra, follow this step-by-step guide to repairing broken underwires for extended wear.

What You'll Need


  • 1 needle
  • 1 upholstery thread
  • 1 one-inch piece of duct tape
  • Clear nail polish


How to Fix a Broken Underwire Bra

  1. Pull Out Some of the Wire

    Begin by pulling out the protruding underwire slightly, so that 2-3 inches of the wire is visible beyond the broken seam.

  2. Duct-Tape the End

    Cover the end of the wire by wrapping a one-inch piece of duct tape around the metal tip. This will prevent the wire from tearing through the fabric once more after repair.

  3. Replace Wire

    Gently thread the wire back through the hole in the fabric until the wire is back in its original position.

  4. Stitch the Gap

    Thread the needle using a 6-8 inch length of upholstery thread ($7 for 2 spools,, which is the heavy-duty alternative to traditional string. Stitch the gap in the fabric closed. Form a knot to tie off the thread once the seam is sewn shut.

  5. Seal With Nail Polish

    Prevent the stitch from coming undone by lightly painting on a layer of clear nail polish over the seam. Allow the polish to dry before wear.

How to Prevent Underwire From Breaking Through

It's understandable that the underwire might break through the fabric of an old, worn-out bra. But if your bra is relatively new, there are two reasons why this might have happened.

The first is that your bra is the wrong size. The improper fit caused the fabric to be tugged improperly, ending in a rip. The second possible reason is that you haven't been washing your bra with enough care. Next time, skip the washing machine and try hand-washing your bra using the following steps:

  1. Dab Stains

    Blot any stains with soap and warm water, and gently rub. We recommend The Laundress Delicate Wash ($17;

  2. Soak

    Submerge the bra for a few minutes in warm water and gently press the soap into the fabric.

  3. Rinse

    Run it under the faucet stream to get all the suds out. Gently squeeze the bra against a towel to remove excess water. Lay it flat on a towel to dry. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What if the underwire is broken in half?

    If your underwire has snapped in two, you'll need an entirely new underwire to replace the broken one. You can buy replacement underwire online ($11 for 24, or at a craft store. Cut a small hole in the top of the casing, slide out the broken underwire, and slide the new one in.

  • Can I remove the underwire completely and still wear the bra?

    Yes. If an underwire bra is so uncomfortable that you aren't wearing it, there's no use in just keeping the bra in the back of your lingerie drawer. Instead, convert it into a wireless bra that you will wear.

    Use sewing scissors to cut a small hole where the end of the wire meets the casing, either in the middle of the bra or where it meets the underarm. Gently pull the wire out of the casing channel. Thread a needle, knot one end of the thread, and pull it through so that the knot is on the inside of the channel. Stitch across the hole. After your last stitch, pull it taut. Cut the thread next to the final knot.

  • Is there a no-stitch option to fix an underwire on a bra?

    Yes. Though it's not a long-term solution, you can slide the wire back in and cover the hole with a piece of adhesive moleskin ($10, Since it's meant to be used for irritations like blisters or bunions, it's created to be soft against the skin and to stay in place.

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