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Occasionally, I find that a bra is a bit too tight, even though it should fit. The answer? Old-fashioned bra extenders! They are strips that you hook onto the back of the bra that give you more "eyes" to fasten the bra with. I found mine at a thrift store, and because they were 4 hook ones, I just cut them in two, creating twice as many.
They usually are white cotton, but you can tint them to match your bra: tea for beige bras. I tinted my extender pink for my pink bra using a pink highlighter. I then spread out the tint by applying water. Voila! It almost matches. The extenders are available on the net for $6 or so.
Source: Me, although I think my mother had some way back when.
By Pam from Los Angeles, CA
Sometimes bras need adjustment, especially if you have an in-between size (for example, a bigger overall measurement with a smaller cup size, or perhaps you have some pricey bras that used to fit, but are a bit tight now). In any case, they used to sell bra extenders, but to make your own, cut off the hook end on one side and the eye end off the other from an old bra. Then hook the one side and the other, so you have extra room. Sew or pin the excess material between the secured ends. Voila! A bra that fits and won't cut off your circulation!
In addition, it might make a bra loose enough to slip over your head, if you have issues with your shoulders).
P.S. Also save the elastic from old bras to use again on small projects. Lace might be recycled, too.
By pamphyila from L.A., CA
These warm days bring out many backless and strapless outfits. Adhesive bras are very in right now (I know I love them), but they lose their stickiness after a wear or two. Not very thrifty! Here is a trick to get at least a dozen wears out of them.
After every use, rinse the inside sticky bra cups with warm water and a touch of soap, then let them air dry. All the oils from your body will be gone but the adhesive will come back when dry. Please don't miss out on doing this. It's a HUGE money saver.
I shudder when I see bras for $30-40 or more. That's a lot of money to me! Luckily I have worn smaller bra sizes all my life. As a young woman, I wore AAA teenage bras and I discovered that I could get perfectly good ones from dollar stores!
As I got older, I continued to look for bras there. I have gotten Hanes unstructured bras from the 99 Cent Store here in Los Angeles, as well as other no-name versions here, at the Dollar Tree and other bargain outlets.
These no-frill bras are perfectly serviceable. But you have to remember that all sizes are not available at the same time, as they are received in lots. I try the bras on over my t-shirt to check the size, as bras always vary. So when you see a nice one in your size, buy several and stock up!
There are also very good bra deals on www.hanes.com and at Justmysize for larger sizes. Look for their sales! I confess, I have bought slightly used bras at thrift shops, but only go for those that look as if there is little or no wear. For $3-6 for a $30 bra, is a good deal.
By Pamphyila from LA, CA
I recently learned how to tell when it was time to retire your bra. Bras are made with three sets of clasps/hooks. When new, you should be using the first clasp making it the widest or loosest setting.
As time goes on, bra materials stretch. When it starts getting a little looser, you should use the middle set of hooks. The last set of clasps and hooks will be the tightest setting for when your bra material has fully stretched out. After that, it's time to get a new bra!
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Bras are so expensive, and a good fit makes such a difference to posture and appearance. I sew tucks in the straps and backs of bras that have stretched, to tighten the fit again.
Does anyone have any other ideas on how to save money on bras?
I never, ever thought of that! Thanks for the suggestion! I too hate how much they cost, and any tips that help are always great.
I get all my bras at Kohl's on the reduced rack. I've never paid more than $10.00 for a name brand bra. I have a Kohl's account so I usually have a coupon which brings the price down. I will never pay full price for a bra that's retailing for $50 and some even more than that. I buy all my night gowns and pj's from the reduced rack. They reduce them at or near the end of each season.