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  • Writer's pictureJane Leder

Bra Extenders: Who Knew?

I didn't get the memo. Nope, no one ever told me that If your bra is too tight--if it prevents you from breathing--or if your underwire stabs you in the ribs in never-ending rounds of torture--you don't have to stick your bra in the back of a dresser drawer or donate it to the Salvation Army. No, for a mere $6.59 on Amazon you can order four bra extenders in a variety of hook combinations (two, three, four) and in any of five colors, maybe more.

What is a bra extender, anyway? My question exactly. After extensive research over countless hours, I can now identify the parts of a bra and explain in plain English the design and function of a bra extender. As you can see from the illustration below, the bra can be a complicated design with many moving parts and in my case, the boobs themselves.



Here is an example of a bra extender all hooked up and ready to go. This one probably adds a good two inches or more of expanded space. Voila: A 32C becomes a 34C. What annoys me about this ad is that this young thing doesn't have a blob of fat around her mid-drift and has probably never had an issue with a tight bra. I bet her boobs are small and perky. Truth be told: I don't think she needs to wear a bra. Period. Okay, I'm jealous. I'll cop to that.


Bra extenders are way cheaper than buying a new bra.

Ain't that the truth! Bra extenders provide a quick (and cheap!) fix that you can remove at any time. The best part? You can find extenders compatible with just about any bra type—and most of 'em are less than $10. Such a deal! I wish I'd known.

The two fancy-schmancy bras I mentioned earlier were the wrong size from the get-go. I don't wear and have never worn a 32 anything. But when the bra lady fastened the bra she was sure was the "right" one for me, I was flattered. "I'm a 32! That Noom diet I've been on really does work."

Alas, my enthusiasm was short-lived. I really don't wear a size 32 bra. Just getting the damn thing on was a trial in itself. And wearing the 32? Well, let's just say that I have a renewed sense of connection to my Victorian sisters.

The two new 32s took their place among all the other bras that I'd discarded over the years.

And there they sat for months.

Until one day--just like in my favorite fairy tales--I heard the words bra extenders. My life has never been the same since.

Full disclosure: Cup sizes remain a challenge. The bra size charts never seem to work for me. I mean,It's hard enough to find a cloth measuring tape. And to make this even more confusing, the bra goddesses keep changing the size charts. For those of us who try to follow this thing, we learn on the fly; for example, size E is now being used instead of DD. F is being used instead of DDD, G instead of DDDD. (Maybe bra focus groups have swayed the industry to change the sizes because women feel more comfortable with one letter instead of multiples.)

I'll close with a quote from the poet Maya Angelou. While she isn't talking about bra extenders, she is talking about how women's feelings about their breasts change as they age. I love the quote and thought you might as well.

. . . the breasts are very interesting because they are in an incredible race to see which one will touch my waist first!


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