Why did underwire bras suddenly become unbearable?

Within a period of about two months I went from “perfectly happy in my underwire bras” to “can’t bear the things”. The wires poke me under the arms and the bands just hurt. Why?

I tried using a band extender, and it didn’t help. The bras in question were about four months old when they began to bug me. I had worn the same model in the same size for several years beforehand.

I’m 35. Hadn’t gained weight. Not light-boned and have always had a high-calcium diet, so osteoporosis seems unlikely. I do have mild scoliosis near the level of the bra band, but isn’t that a fixed thing after childhood?

Maybe I’m just getting uppity in middle age.

They have always been unbearable to me. Last time I tried one was years ago, I ended up carrying office scissors to the restroom and cutting little slits in the lining so I could yank the wires out. Much better.

I wonder if they changed the fabric slightly so that it’s not holding up (no pun intended) as well, and not keeping the wires where they should be. The only other thing I can think of is that perhaps your weight has shifted slightly in some way, even though your overall weight is the same. If you haven’t been fitted in awhile, might be worth going in to Nordstrom or some other store where they know what they’re doing, and get measured.

One other idea: How do you launder them? If the wires got twisted a bit, I could see how that might cause a problem.

Were they all bought at the same time? Maybe the manufacturer is using different fabric or thread or a new machine or… ?

It’s possible for your breasts to change shape & size without you gaining or losing weight. Your amount of fat and muscle can change over time so that even if your weight doesn’t change you could be bigger or smaller.

Buy one more from them, see if it feels right. If not, you’ll need to go through the painful experience of bra shopping.

Could it be just more friction than before? Maybe your skin is drier than usual or you’re sweating more? Possibly the elastic is worn out and the bras are moving around more or fitting differently.

A new detergent or fabric softener doesn’t agree with you for something as tight to your skin as your bra?

Or the fabric is worn a bit and they are less padded?

This^. I can’t wear underwire bras. Sometimes I am slipping each strap down and under my arm without taking off my shirt as I’m walking in the door when I get home. I hate them. Even normal comfortable bras. I am not big by far, but I have enough that I really don’t feel I can go without one at work or when out and about. If I had the money to have them removed almost completely, I wouldn’t hesitate for one second.

Thanks for the suggestions. I think my body must have changed shape … suddenly and for no particular reason. At this point I’m not sure I’ll go back to underwires. I have some all-elastic bras that are cheap and comfortable and my husband seems to appreciate the semi-natural look they give. I miss my Bar Wench cleavage, but if he doesn’t mind …