How to Fix a Broken Underwire Bra

Don’t you hate spending $50+ for a good bra, only to have the underwire poke through, stabbing you with every move you make?  Ugh.  In the past, I’ve thrown away these bras without a second thought, thinking that was the end of the bra.  Wrong!  I finally got smart and decided to fix my broken underwire bra myself this time!

Don’t throw away those $50 bras, just spend 5 minutes and $2 to fix them yourself!  I spent about 5 minutes yesterday and a bra that this recently happened to, and now it’s back in business- so much better than throwing it out!
I bought the upholstery thread at Joanns for around $2 (regular price is around $3- 40% off coupon), and you can find it with the regular thread.  I used the upholstery thread because it’s much much thicker and stronger than regular thread, and I only want to have to repair this bra once 😉
You’ll also need a teeny tiny piece of duck tape.
1.  Pull out the underwire a little bit through the hole it is poking through.  Use a teeny little piece of duck tape to cover up the sharp end of the metal underwire, so it will be more difficult for it to poke through again.  Be sure you don’t use too much tape, or it won’t fit back through the hole!  Push the underwire back down through the hole as far as you can.
2.  Thread your needle with the upholstery thread, and start stitching under the hole, and all the way up and over the hole.  I used more stitches than I probably needed to, but I’d rather do a really good job once than have to do this multiple times!  I stitched under the wire, and then up and over.  Tie a knot at the end when you are finished.
3.  Apply some fabric glue or clear nail polish over the entire stitched surface.  This will give the thin material some extra protection from the wire poking through again.
Not too bad, right?  Definitely worth saving $50 for 5 minutes of easy work, don’t you think?!  I fixed my bra yesterday and it’s working just like before- no sharp stabbing for me!
Give this a try, or pin this for when this inevitably happens to you 😉

Be sure to check out my easy tutorial for how to fix any broken powder makeup in just a few minutes with an ingredient you already have at home!

xo, Laura

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  1. Anonymous says

    UUUGH I just threw away a $50 bra because I finally had enough of the under wiring poking me after 2 months…. i sewed it together like that, but didn’t use the nail polish, so the stitches came out after a washing.

    • says

      Did you use upholstery thread or regular thread? Regular thread will break, but the upholstery thread is a lot thicker, and should hold up. Also, did you use a lingerie bag to wash your bra? That will help the underwire from poking though again! At least now you know for next time, right? 😉

    • says

      My underwires break in half, on all my bras…I go to a thrift stsore and buy cheap bras my size, take out the underwires, and replace my broken ones. I have to do that several times during the life of my bras. SSSSSooooooooooo frustrating!

  2. says

    So smart! This happened to my favorite bra several months ago, but I coldn’t bring myself to get rid of it… I figured I should be able to fix it, but duct tape? clear polish? Brilliant!

  3. Jadziaoz says

    Given that only one of the underwires generally snaps in most bras, I pull out the unbroken one form a bra I’m about to throw out and keep them (I have a small pile now) in the bottom of my bra drawer. Then, when one breaks in a newer bra, I pull out the broken one and slide in an unbroken one in its place. In saying that, however, I haven’t had a single wire break in years – not since I invested in a good quality lingerie bad and machine-wash (even the lacy ones, on a delicate cycle) all my bras. Hand washing (as suggested on most bra labels) doesn’t get all the perspiration out of the bra – and it is the perspiration that breaks don the metal wires. Also throwing them in the dryer doesn’t help either. Hang them from a skirt hanger (the one with clips) or peg it by the straps and hang from the shower rail or from the doorframe (or use a clothes rack) to allow bras to dry naturally. They’ll last so much longer.

    • says

      So many great tips, thanks Jadziaoz!! Yes, you really aren’t supposed to put your bras in the washing machine, but I just can’t help myself sometimes! Which I’m sure is why my under wire popped through, lol. Ands yes, a good lingerie bag is definitely the key to keeping your bra together in the wash. Thanks again for the great tips!!

    • says

      I am awful about tossing mine in the washer and the dryer. I have four kids and laundry is something that piles up quickly. I wash everything and never hang anything up to dry. One day I will learn to do laundry a different way (maybe). =/

    • says

      I hear you, I have four kids, too, and sometimes I just toss mine in the wash as well, which is why I had to come up with a way to fix them, haha! Maybe a good lingerie bag and washing in cold water on delicate if you can’t handwash?

    • says

      Hmmm….. what about stitching another piece of lace over the ripped section? You can find lace at any fabric store, wonder if that would work? I haven’t had that problem yet, so I haven’t had to deal with that. Good luck!

  4. says

    You used to be able to find underwire replacements at JoAnn’s which I use to repair mine that break. It has saved me a lot of $$$ and now your idea of the nail polish and duck tape will help even more!! Thanks for this tutorial!

  5. Anonymous says

    So I started doing this in grade 7. not a new trick. also I’ve sold bras panties before at VS…don’t throw your bras in the washer, even the hand wash cycle is damaging. take 10 minutes to hand wash and firmly press excess water out of your bra and you can make them last. don’t wash too often. And the right size bra helps prevent this underwire exposure. And never buy a bra from Wal-Mart……ever

    • says

      I never claimed this was a new trick. I’m sure I’m not the first person to think of resewing a bra back together, nor did I ever claim to be. I used to throw my bras away when the underwire poked through, and I know many people who throw theirs away too. My purpose was to let these people know that they don’t HAVE to throw their bra away, but that it can easily be fixed.

    • says

      Laura, We appreciate your helpful advice , Anonymous , don’t be so mean! Also, why so hateful to Walmart? I do agree with your advice to always handwash, but lighten up and please be nice.

  6. says

    Shame on you, nasty Anonymous. Laura is very nicely sharing something many didn’t about, and there’s no excuse for your disagreeable comment.

  7. Anonymous says

    Omg, thank you soooooo much! I spend hundreds on bras that break and poke through after several months and this is going to end up being a life saver! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  8. says

    I did this with one of my expensive bras but I just sewed it shut. Now I have another one that needs this. I’m gonna put nail polish on this next one. My first one is still holding up.
    I love that you used duct tape, it can fix anything. :)

  9. says

    Thanks for sharing! Last time I had a broken bra I just pulled the underwire out. Haha!! I know right, then I end up with a bra that I hate and I end up throwing it away. I will have to give the a try. I have never heard of the clear nail polish before.

  10. D.J. says

    Mine are always popping loose… they’re wild that way. haa… I know getting the wrong cup size adds to it but I hate having to spend so much more for the next cup size up. I’m going to try your trick next time. Last time it happened I glued a pencil eraser over the end of the wire and sewed a double layer of denim from an old pair of jeans over the hole and it held up quite well, though of course it didn’t match the bra…. you know how it is, desperate times!

  11. says

    When I returned a bra after this happened soon following my purchase, they told me they had “never” heard of that problem! LOL! I hear of women complaining about just that problem all the time! Thank you so much for this ingenious solution, what I had tried so far hadn’t worked as well!!!

  12. Lisa says

    Thank you for this, I have 3 bras sitting in my draw all with under wires poking out. I hate when this happens, I pay $80 a bra so am thrilled to give this a go and see if it works. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Cecilia says

    I work at victoria’s secret, and there are two common reasons why under wires are coming out of the bra. 1. the bra is the incorrect size or shape or 2. the bra is being washed in the washing machine; it is suppose to be hand washed. I washed mine in the washer one time I then learned my lesson and started hand washing them. Most of the time both of these are the case. If you notice that the under wire is coming out after only a couple months go get re-sized and try on some new styles and let the bra specialist really cater to you, even if you don’t purchase a bra at least you’ll know your correct size and you wont waste money purchasing something that doesn’t fit correctly.

    • says

      Great advice Cecilia! I know my problem is throwing it in the wash. I know you’re not supposed to, b ut sometimes I just do it anyways and cross my fingers and hope for the best… which is porbably why I had to write a tutorial for how to fix a broken underwire bra 😉 Thanks for the advice!!

  14. Anonymous says

    @ Cecelia- I was fitted at Fredericks a few short months ago, instead of VS, due to my very busty frame, and I have only haf my bra a about 3-4 months. I don’t do any strenuous activity in this bra and have not gained any weight. I do not wash my bra in that washing machine, or dry it in the dryer. Today my underwire snapped right where the side and top of my ribcage meet. I have not found many bras that fit well around the bust without making larger breasted women look like they have cones for boobs. The reason for me giving this info to you is because I would like to point out that the quality of lingerie has gone downhill quite a bit in the last ten years. I know from personal experience of going to VS when I was in high school, that bras that used to last me all 4 years of highschool, are not even lasting more than one year in college. The underwire used to be more durable, and the bras were stiched better. Simple as that.

  15. says

    HI Laura, I also published a underwire bra fix but it’s a no-sew version. on-the-go fix (moleskin fix now adapted to our product the Fix A Bra). We’ve gone to trade shows and have had tremendous response on our blog comments about underwire breakthroughs. Our info shows exactly what you and your readers state. It doesn’t matter if you are professionally fitted or hand wash your bras the breakthroughs still happen. We’ve talked to thousands of women, and have been flashed by hundreds lol and we all agree. Now I have also had defensive responses from people in the lingerie industry but on the flip side we have also had a great response from lingerie stores who carry our product to prevent returns. A bra is a garment that supports weight and as our body moves and as we sit or lay in different positions stress is put on those wires and the fabric incasing it. This of course is my theory. As I sit here in my 2 month old bra that I was fitted in and already has a breakthrough starting. I will definitely recommend your post for those that have wires that push way out of the casing and especially for a permanent fix. Lesley

  16. Anonymous says

    I recently came up with a fantastic solution for this problem – that I have a lot. I bought some iron on twill patches. Twill because it is nice and thick. I just cut a small strip and then use the iron to bond it – has worked for me so far!

  17. Anonymous says

    I’ve learned that Layne Bryant and VS use the same co. to make their bras. So if you have a bigger bust size LB is a great place to go. They can fit you and help find a style that works best for you.

  18. Anonymous says

    I hope I can use your fix-it methods. I have a theory about why these under-wires break. I think it is part of the problem of things being manufactured in China now or elsewhere. I bought bras 40 years ago, and the under-wires lasted longer than the bras. Likely things were still made in the USA. Yes, it is a travesty that the under-wires go bad before the bra. I have been just taking them out when they break and using the bra without. I don’t throw out the bra.

  19. Anonymous says

    I wrote yesterday and am clarifying. I read many comments here and agree that it is not the fit, nor how the bra is washed. The under-wires are made of cheap stuff and break easily. They used to be made of strong wire, years ago. I speak from experience, having worn under-wire bras from a young age and now am an older age. (I am *old* enough to know this! :) Young women buying bras now don’t know that the products have changed and things weren’t always this way. I don’t see any way of making manufacturers use quality under-wires. It is possible but more costly to use the strong material. This is a problem for sure. Does anyone here think they can address the problem at the manufacturer? Seems it would take some type of concerted effort to get companies to deal with this. Forgot to leave my name yesterday. ~Sarah Louise

    • Paula Angel Nielsen says

      I’ve tried sewing the popped wires back into my bras for as far back as I can remember and can honestly say without exception that it never worked. Removing the wires and wearing the bras without them was definitely not the solution since my boob would fall out if I bent over! I will try this “fix” for sure! As for the broken wires, I’ve never heard of such a thing. I am very big busted [a 36 DD (E) now, a 42 F or G when pregnant] and have never broken a wire. BTW, I wash my bras in cool water in the machine but NEVER would I put any bra in a dryer—the fabric will eventually fail [usually by stretching]. Have any of you ever tried those Genie bras? They give excellent support without wires can be washed & dried by machine. I couldn’t continue wearing them—because I’m so large they’d squoosh my boobs together and caused a rash and a larger size didn’t give as good support. TJ Max is were I now go…, perfect-fitting, high-quality, bras for 1/4 of the price. Many colors and styles to choose from unlike most places…what the heck, manufacturers think that because we’re large we shouldn’t want to feel sexy or pretty like smaller women??? Ok, that’s my schpiel.

  20. Anonymous says

    I’ve had a problem with the wires poking thru for years. I take a small piece of seam binding, fold in half and stitch it up, over and down the other side. Has saved many a fav bra.

  21. Jessi says

    Thank you so much for posting this!! :) I just had an under wire poke through on one of my favorite bras; I did not want to throw it away..! So I was searching for ways to fix it myself, and I came across your page! I can’t wait to try this! :) Once again thank you so much! ☺

    • Margaret says

      Cotton embroidery thread, used by the strand is often the best way to make small repairs or darns in clothing items that will be touching bare skin. A thing to keep in mind is that it’s best to use a soft thread to repair a soft or delicate fabric. Otherwise the thread sometimes pulls out and causes more damage. You may have to go over the area more than once but the repair will hold up well.


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