Hands down the part I dislike most about being a Bra Fitter is dealing with irate customers that blame us retailers for the fact that their bra hooks keep bending. It’s so many different versions of awkward, because if they knew the truth they would realise how embarrassing it is that they are blaming someone else.
In this article I am going to talk you through why bra hooks bend and twist, how to prevent bra hooks bending and how to fix it if it happens.
Why do hooks bend on a bra?
Bra hooks are (generally) metal. In order for them to bend a force needs to be applied to the metal to result in a bend or twist.
Hence my frustration with people blaming retailers – we aren’t crawling in to your house and bending the hooks on your bra while you sleep 😆
How this force most likely occurs …
Why machine washing bras causes hooks to bend?
When you put a bra in the washing machine you are playing with fire (not literally, but figuratively!). A bra in the washing machine will go through serious twists, turns and spins. Hooks commonly come undone (if they were done up in the first place) and hook on to the holes in the washing machine drum. They can also get caught on other clothes, which will end up with more than just your bra damaged. With a hook caught on something combined with the garments spinning, twisting and turning motion the hooks will become bent, twisted or straightened.
It only takes one run through a washing machine to result in this sort of damage. So even if you may wash your bras perfectly according to direction 99% of the time – that one time your housemate accidentally throws it in the wash with the rest of the load is all it takes.
Why wearing 1/2 (2/3 or 3/4) hooks done up can cause hook damage
If you don’t have all the hooks done up on your bra you are going to put too much pressure on the hooks that are done up.
If you are using 1/2 hooks you are essentially adding 100% extra load to that one hook.
Or if you only use 2/3 hooks you are essentially adding 50% extra load to that one hook.
Any if you accidentally only do up 3/4 hooks you are essentially adding 33% extra load to that one hook.
It only takes one episode of this hook abuse 😉 to cause a lifetime of damage to those hooks. They will almost definitely straighten or twist, if this happens.
Why it probably ISN'T that the ribcage band is too firm
I have heard over the years from many women that they believe the fit to have been wrong which resulting in damaged hooks. This is actually *highly* unlikely, as if this was the case it would almost definitely be the eye clasp that would be pulled out of it’s socket.
How to prevent bra hooks bending
I’m glad you asked! Prevention will pretty much all come down to washing. Hand washing your bra 100% of the time will ensure the hooks don’t get caught under tension in the wash.
Hand washing your bras in cold or luke warm water with lingerie (delicate) detergent is a great way to go. Leave them to soak for 10 minutes. Gently pat them to absorb most of the water when taking them out of the sink. Then lay them flat to dry.
Here’s a full article on how to wash your bras in the washing machine if you must. But as I say in this article, if you can’t afford to replace your bra then any sort of machine washing isn’t a good idea – as the risk is always there even if instructions are followed to a tee.
How to fix a bent hook on a bra
If it’s just a simple bend or straighten of the hook then you can use a set of petite pliers to reset the shape of the hook. The hook may have lost some of it’s integrity and strength however you will continue to get decent lifespan out of the hook if further damage isn’t done to the hook.
If the hook is seriously misshapen, twisted or has lost its coating then it may just be best to take your bra to a seamstress to have the hook replaced. They will likely have hooks on hand, but I do recommend calling ahead to ensure this. Replacement hooks can be picked up for next to nothing from haberdashery stores, amazon or the likes.
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