I want THREE hooks! (at least.)

Being a woman of a particular shape, I have a very hard time finding bras that fit. My needs are specific and bras that fit my shape are relatively rare, even in the big bust brands. So sometimes, I buy bras and wear them even if they aren’t perfect; sometimes, I have to settle for “close enough.”

That’s the way I feel about Cleo and Masquerade bras. Both of these brands are from Panache, Cleo being the “younger” (read: cheaper) brand and Masquerade being the high-end brand. Unlike Panache Superbra, Masquerade and Cleo sometimes offer bras with narrow wires and relatively open tops, two things I need in a bra. Unfortunately, for some reason I can’t understand, both brands choose to make bras that fasten with only two hooks in the back. And that’s all they make. No three-hook bands to be found.

I honestly can’t understand why they have made this choice. Large busts need wider bands to stabilize them. In a two-hook band, I find that my bra is more likely to slip down a little in front during the day, and I also find it much less comfortable. A narrow band concentrates force in a narrow area, which can be painful; a wider band distributes force over a wider area, making it more comfortable and less “cutting”. So WHY would a big bust brand insist on such narrow bands? I could see having narrow bands in smaller cup sizes, but in a larger one, it’s poor design.

I can even understand, a little bit, why they would make only narr0w bands in Cleo: Cleo has much lower quality in general than other Panache brands. But Masquerade? This is supposed to be a high-end lingerie line and they can’t spring for a wider band?

Some of my Fantasie bras also have only two hooks: the Savannah and the Simone. I honestly don’t understand why Fantasie chose to put only two hooks on these bras, but bras like Sylvie and Lynsey have three (which makes them much more comfortable and supportive.)  With Fantasie, the decision seems to be very arbitrary. I would much, much rather that the Savannah and Simone (both of which are gorgeous bras) had wider bands with three hooks.

My Effuniak (Ewa Michalak) unpadded half-cup has only two hooks in the back, in addition to having the narrowest band I’ve ever seen two hooks on. (Seriously, it is super-narrow. I’ve seen wider bra straps.) It cuts in terribly as a result and is not very supportive.

Back when I was wearing the wrong size and used to buy bras at Cacique, one thing I loved was that their bras had very wide bands. It made them very comfortable and supportive, even without underwires.  If an inexpensive  mass-market brand who sells bras for $20 can afford to put wider bands on their bras, the higher-end brands should do it too.

I still buy bras with only two hooks because, well, I don’t have a lot of choices! Every bra is a trade-off, I guess.

Do you prefer wide or narrow bands? What trade-offs do you make in bra-shopping?

12 thoughts on “I want THREE hooks! (at least.)

  1. I’m still looking for an unpadded midline or longline that comes in a 30 or 32 back, above a D cup. I do like a wider band, but I’ve worn some narrower bands that are still quite supportive. My new fave brand (don’t know how I’ll ever wear anything again – not that it’s even vaguely affordable) is Empreinte. The backs are SPECTACULARLY engineered. Absolutely no slip or movement. Very comfortable. The architecture on these bras is amazing and they work well on close set breasts.

    The 2 Empreinte bras I own both have 3 hooks, but the backs are not notably wide looking.

    • Empreinte were my first high-end bras, and I loved them. They fit like they were made for me! But not only did I grow out of their size range, but the elastic on the bands stretched and stretched and stretched very quickly. I had each one altered several times, and each time the bands would stretch back out within a month or less. I think a $200 bra should be more durable. But I do miss the quality of the seams and etc, and the great fit.

  2. I think the 2-hook thing isn’t so much about the feel as the look. A lot of women just think nanna bra if the bra has a broad band, straps and full coverage. Like shoes, the sensible/comfortable option doesn’t always appeal

  3. All my bras have 3 hooks, except for the one that has 4! I can’t even remember the last time I had a bra with 2 hooks, but that must have been a long time ago. It seems that all bras in my size come with 3 hooks, which is also my preference.

  4. I sooo support you on this subject and I know I’m not the only one 🙂
    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/cleo-bras/signatures

    And if you take a look at Asian brands that cater to very small chested women and have 4-6 hook backs (!!!) one has to wonder is our western civilization really that vain? And why aren’t there options out there for those of us that are not? At 30J I want all my bras looking like longlines, with 5 hooks to say the least. Please and thank you.

    P.s. Love the blog, big fan ^^

  5. Yeah, I think the idea that 2 hooks is somehow more “cute” or “average” looking is kind of odd. Even before I got into my right size, the bras I wore had three hooks. I think of 2 hooks as more appropriate for small cup sizes.
    I agree that I wish Cleo would use 3 hooks. Even more, I wish they would angle their bands lower so they wouldn’t create unflattering bulges.
    More hooks = fewer back bulges! Maybe people should think of it like that.

    • I’m agreed with you on all counts! Smaller cups sizes might be comfortable with two hooks, but big boobs are HEAVY. That extra cm or two in band width is important for support. Much less cutting in, fewer bulges, less having to adjust my bra.

      I hope you’ll sign and publicize the petition 🙂

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