Real Simpleanswers your questions.

By Real Simple
Updated December 17, 2009
Profile of woman putting on a shirt with a bra on.
Credit: Elinor Carucci

Q: I always look like I have back fat. Is my bra too tight?

A: No, it’s actually too loose. A properly fitting bra is the key to a smooth back. Here are three strategies to prevent bra-induced bulge:

Make sure the band fits snugly (you should be able to slide only one finger underneath it) and sits low under your shoulder blades. “When the band is too large, the bra rides up in the back, which creates a roll,” says Lauren Amerine, a co-owner of Isabella Fine Lingerie, in Chicago. (Remember: The band should fit perfectly on the loosest hook, since the bra will inevitably stretch out.)

Look for a bra with a band that is wide under the arms and across the back to help hold in soft flesh (the closure should have a row of two or three hooks, not one hook).

And seek out bump-banishing products. “Even with a bra that fits well, some women still have back fat,” says Heather Gross, a buyer for, an online lingerie shop. Here are Gross’s recommendations:

If you want to stick to your go-to style...
Try: The Original OverBra, $25,
Why it works: Wear this high-backed design over any type of bra to offer extra smoothing in the back and more oomph in the front.

If you want a new bra…
Try: Spanx Bra-llelujah bra, $62,
Why it works: Made of hosiery fabric, it streamlines your profile like a pair of tights.

If you want extra shaping…
Try: Sassybax Torso Trim Camisole with underwire, $75,
Why it works: This controlling underwire tank tackles back rolls and muffin top all at once. ―Yolanda Wikiel

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