DIY Tapering Wide Bra Strap to Reduce Shoulder Gouging

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

I just replaced the bra straps on a bra to make it wide on the top of the shoulders, where thin straps can gouge into the shoulders. The wider straps distributes the bust weight load over a wider surface area to ease the pressure, but tapers to the same points of connection as the thinner original straps so the wearer wouldn’t feel like they’re wearing big suspender straps that aren’t exactly feminine. The straps are double layered and serged for strength, turned inside out, but thin enough still that a regular non-white blouse or thicker top should cover it just as well as a regular strap. The taper is also asymmetric so the edge towards the neck runs further off centre, allowing for a slightly longer edge that may be needed for a rising shoulder to neck.

So here’s my question. Why don’t bra makers do this?

I’m sure some do, but good luck finding these designs easily! I haven’t been able to.

Women have told me reasons like the straps slip off, wouldn’t spread the load evenly, too thick, don’t feel feminine, etc. I’m NOT convinced! Whatever truth there is to those answers, and I believe there may be some in each, I don’t think it’d be enough to stop a lot of women from either doing this to their bras, or buying these designs for wearing some or most of the times in their lives. I definitely think there’d be enough of a market to produce these things, or that women who can do this and have a need for it, will do it.

The average bra cup size these days, from obesity epidemic and aging demographics mostly, is D. Lots of women are carrying around a lot more bust than they used to a few generations ago when that average was B, for which they’re still making most of your sewing patterns for. Trust me when I tell you there are a lot of women who would do this “bra engineering” if they either could, or believed it would work.

This is a prototype so I didn’t change my serger threads to hide the serged seam more. I sewed on the straps, and even adjusted the band to be stronger than the original was in learning how to do these things. I will try this adjusted bra on my model, for whom it was custom fitted, next week. I can’t see anything dissuading me from this being a practical solution to bra strap shoulder gouging. I’m putting this up between now and then cause I want to hear feedback otherwise in the meanwhile.

What do you think?

p.s. The serger construction I used is purely optional. I just like everything I do to be really strong cause I don’t want wardrobe malfunctions on my stuff. I always terribly underestimate the power of a thread to hold things together cause I see garments I’ve had that last which were sewn in such frail ways I wouldn’t even think of trying for fear it’d rip so fast! This can be an even easier process to sew than what I have shown. The tricky part is the fitting, which I have ways to simplify as well.

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