There are countless reasons why your body might change over time; from hormonal fluctuations, to weight loss or gain, to surgery- it can be a challenge to re-measure and go shopping all over again. When it comes to bras, sometimes, your best bet is to upgrade and find a totally new bra, but other times, a bra extender might be the perfect accessory to handle your band problems.
So, what is a bra extender?
Bra extenders are able to easily clip onto the band of a bra that hooks in the back. It provides some much-needed leeway if your breasts require a larger band size at any point (check out Common Bras Issues and Solutions to know the signs that you need to expand your band). They have the same “eyes” and hooks, so they are easily adaptable. It’s perfect for when you love your current bras, but they just need that one minor adjustment. Many sets of extenders run between $5- $10, so they are way more affordable than buying new bras, too.
When to get a bra extender
There are plenty of reasons why you should invest in one of these handy little items. For one, many women’s breasts change during both pregnancy and throughout the menstrual cycle, so that extra 1-3 inches of band length could save you a lot of discomfort. Loosening this part of your bra will help alleviate the problem of back bulge, especially if the bands you have are on the narrow side.
Other reasons could be if you gain and lose weight easily, find yourself in-between two sizes, have a broad back with breasts on the smaller side, or if your bras have shrunk in the drier (Remember, air drying is always the ideal). All you need to do is count the number of hooks on each row of your current bands and make sure to get an extender with the same amount on each row. Your bra can be made quite supportive again and you’ll be good to go!
When a bra extender might not work
Even if you think the issue is that your band is too small, sometimes, it’s not. It’s important to know how to avoid making common sizing mistakes. Though cup size and band size can be adjusted in tandem to find your sister sizes, a looser band fit won’t solve cup issues like breast spillage or gaps in the cups.
Shoulder strap replacements
Less commonly known- but just as useful- are replaceable shoulder straps. These ones are totally versatile, since they are 19” long, made of elastic, and can be used in the standard over-the-shoulder way or crisscrossed across your back. Having more flexible, comfortable straps can give new life to bras you thought didn’t work with your body. Also, having straps that can fit snuggly can resolve gaping in the cups and will stay put on your shoulders.
Above all, remember: To get the most support out of your bra, make sure that you can’t fit more than two fingers underneath the band while it’s on. Though, it can’t hurt to put extenders or extra straps in your cart just to be on the safe side!