Extenders! (pun somewhat intended)
They are great for making bras with too-tight bands wearable, but we don’t normally put them on the list with things like hand-washing/drip drying, bra rotation (lets elastic rest), and proper storage (something I really don’t have space for). But beyond adding length to a too-tight band, they can also be used to reduce strain on hooks… and not just by making the band looser.
Heavy breasts can strain at the hooks/eyes of even loose bands- it’s a lot of weight for 2 or 3 hooks to bear. While I’d love to have 4-6 hooks on each bra, that just isn’t how most brands make them. So the hooks/eyes of even best-fitting and most well sewn of bras will take a beating. Lately, I’ve been alternating between wearing my bras with no extender and using extenders connecting the tightest and middle set of eyes to the hooks. This allows me to wear my bra on a different set of eyes each time I wear it, which takes a load off the loosest eyes.
Here’s how I wear my extender on the tightest set of eyes without adding band length:
If I use the full length of the extender while still on the tightest set of eyes of the bra, I add about a centimeter of length to the band:
In the 2 months that I’ve owned it, I’ve worn this bra quite a bit… and thanks to my alternating which eyes I hook it on, the eyes are still in pretty good shape. You can see some minor pulling, but it’s a lot less than I’d expect for how often I wear this bra:
And for those with flared ribcages, you can use an extender to add bit length to the bottom bit of an otherwise well-fitting bra band:
Anyway, at $2-5 each (I bought a set of 3 3-hook extenders on eBay for $4.45 shipped!), extenders are a pretty smart way to both make too-tight bands wearable and preserve the life of your bras.