Recently I wrote a list of DIY fixes for damaged bras. It covered discoloration, popped underwires, stretched-out straps and tears or holes. But there are other ways a bra can become old and ‘useless’ too.
If your bra issue wasn’t featured, perhaps you’ll find it (and a solution) on today’s list. Here are six more ways on how to fix worn-out bras. Plus a couple of signs it’s time for a replacement.
Problem: bent hooks
Solution: a pair of pliers
Every time you put on or take off your bra, the back hooks are put to use. Over time, they can get bent out of shape. It can even just happen from standing on a bra you left on the floor! I once had a bra hook bent so far inwards; it was impossible to get the eye part over to fasten the band.
The solution is straightforward though. You just need a pair of small, needle-nose pliers. Gently bend the hook back into shape, parallel to the bra band below.
Photo: TailorMadeShop Instagram
Another solution: replace this section
This option is a lengthier fix but may be preferable if the hooks also look very old or one has fallen off altogether. You can whip out your sewing kit yourself or enlist the help of a seamstress.
Unpick the stitching holding the hook and eye sections in place, slide them out, and sew in a new set. It’s easy to find hook and eye components in black, white and beige, in different widths. You may struggle to find a match for a more colorful bra.
Problem: a loose band
Solution: sew it shorter
You don’t need to lose weight for a bra band that was once firm to start feeling loose. With time, the elastic will stretch out (and which is why multiple hooks allow you to tighten them over months). Elastic can also be damaged by excessive heat, such as tumble-drying.
Remove the hook and eye components as described above. However, this time, cut away a section of the band before you replace them. Put the bra on and pinch the band beforehand, so you know how much excess needs removing.
Another solution: Rixie Clip
Elisabeth mentioned the Rixie Clip in her article on bra hacks. They’re available in 4 widths and the colors black, white and beige. Just clip one onto one side of the band and hook it to the other end. It’s a less elegant solution that will be visible, but it’s instant!
Problem: loose cups
Solution: tighten the straps
Did you know that your bra straps need readjusting periodically? They might be stretching out (see Part 1 [link to Part 1]), but the sliders can also gradually slip out of place. One sign of too-long straps can be cups that look baggy (unlined bras) or gape (lined and unlined bras). The cups are merely not being pulled up and taut against the body anymore.
Another solution: sew them smaller
Of course, this issue could also be due to a change in cup size. If adjusting the straps doesn’t fix it, you’ll need to take in the cups. Pinch them until they fit and add some safety pins. Then sew (or get a seamstress to sew) the fabric in place.
Darts may interrupt the bra’s design. Hide the seam along the inner or outer edge of the cup if possible. If the bra is molded, you may need to cut away the excess fabric to avoid uncomfortable bulk.
Unfixable bra problems
I wish I could say that repairing a broken bra is always a possibility. Sadly, sometimes a bra is just too far gone to be fixable. If you run into either of the two problems below, it’s time to buy a new bra:
The cups of a molded bra are pre-formed at the factory using heat. To keep them looking perfect, reshape while damp and store in a way that doesn’t crush the cups. If they do end up looking dented or wrinkled, it’s tough to smooth them back out.
It’s relatively easy to make larger cups smaller. It’s a more significant sewing task to make smaller cups larger. At best you’ll be adding extra fabric that doesn’t quite match what’s already there. Save yourself the hassle and accept that this bra is no longer any good for you.
When you go up a cup size, it’s time to treat yourself to a new bra. One that is adequately designed to support your now-heavier bust.
What about you? Do you have any tips of your own on how to fix bras that you can add to this list?
Featured image: TailorMadeShop Instagram