March 12, 2014

Lengthening Bra Straps

For my first post, I thought I'd start out with something that has made a huge difference in fit for me. I am only 5'1, but with low set breasts, I often have problems with straps that do not adjust long enough for me.
The extremely short straps of an Ewa Michalak S Ptys (which also didn't fit for other reasons).

 I love me some Cleo bras, but off the rack the straps are way too tight, making a perfectly fitting bra completely unwearable. I figured it would be worth it to try to extend the straps, and I was happy with the results.

What you need:

  • Some ribbon about the same width of your straps. I got mine from Walmart for about $1 per spool. Go with something stronger, the ribbed kind not the shiny kind.
  • Scissors. You are going to need to cut your straps, but don't worry it's okay!
  • A needle and thread.

The goal. This is my Cleo Bella.
First grab your scissors. The goal here is to cut at the end of the fabric that makes your strap and to add the ribbon, following the same pattern as the original strap, only longer. Use the other strap for reference. I would not recommend doing them at the same time if you are a beginner.
Snip Snip.
From there, remove the little piece still in the adjuster, and thread your ribbon through the same way. Double over the end of the ribbon and sew it to match the opposite strap.
Just like this.
Cut the ribbon a little longer than you think you will need, the thread it through the loop in the back of the bra. Try the bra on, and measure how long you want the straps to be. I usually make them a little longer so that I can adjust them shorter if need be. It may help to safety pin the ribbon where you want it before taking the bra off. Then trim the ribbon to where you need it, double over the end, and sew the ribbon on the inside of the strap, as shown below.
Sew it together and then you're done.
A shorter piece of ribbon will be more discrete (hidden almost completely behind the real strap) but will be more difficult to adjust due to the stitched part. The ribbon showing doesn't bother me, so I cut a little more from the original strap and allow more ribbon to show. Do the other side to match, and that is all there is to it! I had no problems when I did it the first time, so I did it on 3 more bras, my Cleo Bella, Ellis, Lily, and Zia.
It looks great on my Zia with black on black.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for my blog, please let me know!

 - The Lingerie Architect      


  1. That turned our really nice, I'll ha e to emeber to do this if I ever get a bra that doesn't have straps that are long enough .

  2. I am 5'10" and I guess I have high set breasts because I had to shorten the straps on my S Ptys. I thought that was pretty funny.

    1. Really? It could be a case of inconsistency with EM. But I do think I have pretty low set breasts which doesn't help the situation.

  3. this is weird I was looking for a solution on the opposite problem, I'm 5'2, I have a high set of breasts, so I end up with a lot of extra space on my straps. about an inch or two. I truthfully hate that metal loop at the middle of the straps. I always wonder why?! why in the world would they cut the adjustment like that.
    I end up with too much straps I guess my best chance is to shorten the superior part of the strap attached to that loop

  4. I've been trying to think of how to do this myself - got some new bras that are all too short in the shoulder and make me feel all squished up all day. Thanks for your inspiration!

  5. I love this and I'm going to try it. My straps are always too short. Thank you so much!

  6. I love you so much! You've saved me a small fortune. I've never had this problem before but when treating myself to some new bras after finishing breastfeeding, I've found that every bra really digs in on the shoulders! I've just used your trick on 6 bras and it's worked on every single one. I now have more than enough good fitting bras. Thank you so much!

  7. Hi guys,
    Thank you so much for this wonderful article really!
    If someone want to know more about bra straps I think this is the right place for you!

  8. Fantastic! Just bought a nice body shaper from M&S but the straps are way too short and I couldn't think of a good way of extending them. Thanks for this, am off to find my needle & thread!

  9. Thank you, this has helped me a great deal.

  10. You have saved my LIFE!! I was so uncomfortable before because my straps were digging a trench into my shoulders. Now I have comfort! You are an angel!!

  11. I cut some of my old bra straps off and have inserted them into the new bras.