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bra band size

One of the best features a bra can have is an adjustable band. This allows for subtle loosening of the band when need be (such as around your period) and tightening of the band as well (as the bra stretches out). But when you’re buying a bra, how do you know if the band fits properly? Where are you supposed to hook it to ensure it’s the right size? Should you wear it on the tightest hook, loosest hook, or one in between?

Without a doubt, this is one of the most perplexing bra questions. Luckily, we’re uncovering all the info you’ll need to know in this handy guide.

Learn to let loose

When you’re trying a bra on for the first time, always start with the loosest hook. This is because bras gradually stretch out due to wearing them and washing them, so you’ll surely have to tighten the hooks over time. Consider this: If you buy a bra that only fits well on the tightest hook, you have no way to tighten it as it loses some elasticity.

Fastening a bra on the tightest hooks first can help you to accurately assess the fit. If it’s still too loose on that setting, you know you’ll need to go down a band size. Conversely, if it feels uncomfortably tight on that hook, you’ll want to size up.

Related: 3 Important Factors That Determine Your Bra Band Size

Pro tips

Keep in mind that the more sets of hook-and-eye closures there are in the back, the more use you’ll get out of your bra. Seek out bras that have at least three rows of hooks so that you can tighten the band as needed more than once.

Particularly if you engage in high impact exercise (like running, dancing and other forms of cardio where your feet are pounding the ground), you’ll definitely want to opt for sports bras that have an adjustable band with multiple hook-and-eye closures in the back. As with your regular bras, you’ll also want to be certain that it fits on the loosest closure from the get-go. It’s absolutely crucial that you get adequate support during an intense workout in order to prevent any breast discomfort, pain, or damage. And the only way you can ensure you’re getting enough support is to wear a bra with a band that fits snugly.


Investing in bras that fit on the loosest hook means getting maximum longevity (as well as support) from them. By starting on a looser setting, you’ll be able to wear the bra for much longer because you can continue to gradually tighten the band as needed.

Related: Bra Shopping Guide: Tips For Buying New Bras

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!

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Published by

Rebecca Strong

Rebecca is a Boston-based freelance writer who focuses on style, fitness, food, and travel. She has contributed to such publications as HuffPost, Elite Daily and U.S. News & World Report. When she's not writing, she can be found at home or in the studio working on the songs for her upcoming album. Her favorite bra is a black demi-cup style with all-over-lace — timeless and feminine.

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