When trying on a bra which hooks should I use?
A common question from the ladies in the fitting room, some people have told them this others that, and from the point of view of buying lingerie you need to know the correct way to avoid wasting money on bras that you won't be able to wear in a month.
The answer can depend on your age or whether you are pregnant.
A teenager is still growing and their chest size and ribcage is likely to expand, in some cases at tremendous rates. This means that a young woman up until she has stopped growing should be fitted with bras on the tightest hooks. Then as she grows the hooks can be loosened. This is important so as not to restrict a growing body or apply unnecessary pressure which can cause long term marks or bruising.
By your state, I am referring to whether you are pregnant and expecting, this is the only time in a woman's life after adolescence that you should also try on a bra to the tightest hooks. This is to ensure that as your bump expands the pressure can be relieved by loosening the hooks.
The most common fitting, therefore, should always be done on the loosest of hooks. Most bras have three sets, although some larger cups may have four to give extra room for adjustment. When trying a bra you start with the loosest, then as you wash and wear your bra, elastic weakens. To secure the same fit from when the bra was new you will need to use tighter hooks, giving you an inch and a half to pull the bra in during aging.
So there you have it, simply to get the most life out of a bra purchase when you have the perfect fit on the loosest hooks and use the tighter hooks as the bra ages.
Of course there are always exceptions and anomalies, two exceptions mentioned here (pregnancy and teenage years), there are two other exceptional circumstances where you may be advised to fit to the middle or tightest hooks. Some ladies maybe between bra sizes, this means if it is too tight on the bra size below (causing excessive discomfort and marks) you may purchase the next size up wearing the bra on the middle hooks will give you an extra inch, meanwhile the tightest hooks will give you an extra half an inch from the size below. Where possible it is always advisable to go for the tightest band size comfortable, as this is where the support is provided, as your breasts weight are balanced in your core. After wearing a loose, old or larger sized bra for sometime the correct size will naturally feel firm at first, you are likely to adjust to this and always remember with washing and wearing the bra will loosen.
The only other situation where a woman may need to purchase on the tightest hooks is where you are petite size where availability is scarce, 26 backs for example. Unfortunately brands tend to go where the largest market rests, that being if you are lucky enough to be petite then you are likely to struggle to find high quality lingerie. This means that you may be forced to buy bras measured to the tightest hooks.