So this is a question that I usually get asked on a daily basis during my private bra fitting appointments! It might look like a very simple question, but there is actually is an educated answer - with enough to write a blog about it! So, do you know which hook & eye to wear your bra on?
When I fit a brand new bra, I always ensure that the underband is fitting nice and firm around the middle. This is for a reason, as the band of a bra should give 80% of your uplift and support and if the band is too loose, then the uplift will be compromised. On a brand new bra, it is the loosest hook & eye that should be fastened. Many ladies assume it is the tightest hook and eye to start with - but unless you plan on letting the bra out over time, this is not what you should be doing (unless you are pregnant - and that's a totally different way of fitting!)
I fit it on the loosest hook & eye so that the bra will last as long as possible for you. Here's how:
A new bra might feel quite tight to start with, but I always reassure that the firmer the better. Why do I say this? The bra is only going to get looser as time goes on. Once you wash & wear a bra, it will start to loosen up relatively quickly. If you want some handy tips about washing your bras correctly - read here!
Of couse, this depends on how often you wear (and wash!) the bra but generally the it will start to feel noticeably looser after a few months. After about 3 or 4 months you will start to notice that the bra may start to move around a little bit on the body and just not feel as secure as usual. This is a good indicator to now move on to the next hook and eye (usually the middle one if there's 3). After another 3/4 months, you may then need to move it on to the tightest hook & eye to ensure it is still nice and firm on your body.
By tightening up your bra three times every 4 months, this actually means that a bra's lifespan is about a year. Yes - only a year! Again, it depends on how often you wear it. If you own a strapless bra that only gets dusted off once or twice a year for a wedding, then you won't need to replace this as frequently as your good ole' faithful everyday bra that puts a shift in day in day out!
So to summarise, a new bra should be fitted on the LOOSEST hook and eye to begin with, and then moved up/tightened every 3 to 4 months (dependent on wash and wear). This will ensure that your bra will last as long as possible for you.
When I do a maternity bra fitting, I will do the opposite to a 'normal' fitting. I will fasten the bra on the tightest hook and eye to start with, which then means she can loosen the bra and let it out as her ribcage expands over time during the remainder of her pregnancy - again, this means the bra will last longer for her. During pregnancy, it is advised to also have a fitting ever trimester, as your breasts and ribcage can change a lot - usually the band and the cup size will increase quite a bit.
When I fit for a nursing/feeding bra (these are different to maternity bras) I will then go back to the normal way of fitting and fit this on the loosest hook and eye as the ribcage has contracted and things have settled back down to normal again.
I hope you have found this blog useful and now you know which hook & eye to fasten your bra on!