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Thread: Hooking the bra - solo (invisible minions?)




  1. #1
    Established BHUZzer yaalini's Avatar
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    Hooking the bra - solo (invisible minions?)

    I have been pondering this for years, but since it seems like a rude question I've been afraid to ask it. I've tried to use the search feature to avoid asking this question, but either I'm not phrasing it right or it's just not asked...

    So I apologize in advance for rudeness or sounding stupid, but I am genuinely curious:

    For those of you who regularly change into costume by yourselves, how the heck do you get in and out of your bedlah bra?

    I need assistance to put mine on and take it off - usually my straps are such that there is no way to do the "hook and jerk around" method (which puts pressure on the fabric and seams anyway, doesn't it? Especially when it's supposed to be tight - if I can move it around it's not tight enough, at least on my body).

    I've shared dressing rooms with other dancers for haflas, but I'm usually focused on my own prep work (usually most of my solo hafla wear has been non-bedlah costuming so I can dress myself), and I certainly don't want to be staring at someone while they're getting dressed, that's creepy!

    I swear, it's like a magic trick.

    So...soloists (professional or not), how do you DO that?


  2. #2
    Ultimate BHUZzer shahla's Avatar
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    Re: Hooking the bra - solo (invisible minions?)

    I do the hook and jerk. I hold the bra so that the cups are behind me and the hooks in front of me at about waist level. I connect the bra band hooks, then I spin the cups to the front, slide it up my ribcage until it's in place, then hook the halter straps behind my neck.
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  3. #3
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: Hooking the bra - solo (invisible minions?)

    I just reach behind and hook it. (same way I put on my bra every day)

    Usually I sew a large trouser hook plus a giant snap back there to secure it. I've had one or two bras that sat VERY high on my back and were more of a challenge than others, but I've never had one I can't reach at all.

    I know some people are unable to reach the bra-hook part of the back, between the shoulder blades. I have students who've told me they hook their everyday bra in front, turn it around and then put their arms through the straps.

    The thing is, if your shoulder mobility is restricted in that way, the front of your shoulders, chest & collarbone area might be very tight and the muscles across your upper back could be weak. (I'm using the 'generic you' not 'you yaalini' -- this i a generalization and I've never met you so I can't be sure it applies to you personally).

    My students who have this issue are the same ones who aren't able to hold the arms up strongly during a performance, achieve that effortless 'floating' look with the arms, or even hold them up in the air without the arms drifting forward of the ears. (and often their shoulders raise when they put their arms up and their necks disappear).

    YMMV of course, just reporting my dressing-room observations.


  4. #4
    Established BHUZzer yaalini's Avatar
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    Re: Hooking the bra - solo (invisible minions?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren_ View Post
    I just reach behind and hook it. (same way I put on my bra every day)

    Usually I sew a large trouser hook plus a giant snap back there to secure it. I've had one or two bras that sat VERY high on my back and were more of a challenge than others, but I've never had one I can't reach at all.

    I know some people are unable to reach the bra-hook part of the back, between the shoulder blades. I have students who've told me they hook their everyday bra in front, turn it around and then put their arms through the straps.

    The thing is, if your shoulder mobility is restricted in that way, the front of your shoulders, chest & collarbone area might be very tight and the muscles across your upper back could be weak. (I'm using the 'generic you' not 'you yaalini' -- this i a generalization and I've never met you so I can't be sure it applies to you personally).

    My students who have this issue are the same ones who aren't able to hold the arms up strongly during a performance, achieve that effortless 'floating' look with the arms, or even hold them up in the air without the arms drifting forward of the ears. (and often their shoulders raise when they put their arms up and their necks disappear).

    YMMV of course, just reporting my dressing-room observations.
    I always assume a general you in these types of answers, no worries there.

    My regular everyday bras I can hook in the back upside-down then flip up, because of the elasticity of the band to twist the hooks and eyes (I was surprised when I learned a lot of women do the hook and jerk method; I thought that was odd. Now I am amused by my initial reaction).

    I can't hook a dance bra that way though:

    My dance bras have two hooks - one on each strap (so if one misbehaves the band still stays put!), and criss-cross straps (no way to put over head after band is hooked). While I can reach behind, I don't have quiiiiiiiite enough maneuverability to get both hooks in (I suspect a snap would have the same issue - I could find it but probably not apply enough pressure at that angle to snap it).

    My forearms are a bit longer than my upper arms, that makes it easier to reach my band line from behind and down, as opposed to the stretch where you try to reach band line from up and behind. Not sure if that's really a physical limitation or a flexibility issue though.


    Shahla, I don't think that would work with my body type (lumpy apple), but thanks for sharing your magic trick!

    (Man, I feel like such a freak of nature sometimes trying to describe how something doesn't work for me. I swear, I don't appear as ...different... as I attempt to describe myself)


  5. #5
    I could get used to this! Shunnareh's Avatar
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    Re: Hooking the bra - solo (invisible minions?)

    Quote: My dance bras have two hooks - one on each strap (so if one misbehaves the band still stays put!), and criss-cross straps (no way to put over head after band is hooked). While I can reach behind, I don't have quiiiiiiiite enough maneuverability to get both hooks in (I suspect a snap would have the same issue - I could find it but probably not apply enough pressure at that angle to snap it).



    I've achieved success with sewing the two cross bands on securely at the back and then fastening them with corset hooks and eyes at the front. That way you can put your bra on (any way you like!) and simply pull the straps over your shoulders and fasten. The weight of your boobs/costume bra will keep them in place (well, with me anyway! )
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  6. #6
    Advanced BHUZzer showtime's Avatar
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    Re: Hooking the bra - solo (invisible minions?)

    Quote Originally Posted by yaalini View Post
    I always assume a general you in these types of answers, no worries there.

    My regular everyday bras I can hook in the back upside-down then flip up, because of the elasticity of the band to twist the hooks and eyes (I was surprised when I learned a lot of women do the hook and jerk method; I thought that was odd. Now I am amused by my initial reaction).

    I can't hook a dance bra that way though:

    My dance bras have two hooks - one on each strap (so if one misbehaves the band still stays put!), and criss-cross straps (no way to put over head after band is hooked). While I can reach behind, I don't have quiiiiiiiite enough maneuverability to get both hooks in (I suspect a snap would have the same issue - I could find it but probably not apply enough pressure at that angle to snap it).

    My forearms are a bit longer than my upper arms, that makes it easier to reach my band line from behind and down, as opposed to the stretch where you try to reach band line from up and behind. Not sure if that's really a physical limitation or a flexibility issue though.


    Shahla, I don't think that would work with my body type (lumpy apple), but thanks for sharing your magic trick!

    (Man, I feel like such a freak of nature sometimes trying to describe how something doesn't work for me. I swear, I don't appear as ...different... as I attempt to describe myself)
    I cannot express how much I have enjoyed your phrasing. I needed a laugh today, thank you for providing it. My strange wit made me start thinking of strange phrases for describing my body - baked apple, mashed potatoes, smashed potatoes, tater tots, spaghetti-o's, melted ice cream . . . oh the list could continue.

    I usually hook my bras in front then swivel and slid. I have my neck straps hook to my bra so it is easier for me. T-back bras or criss-cross - it simplifies my life. Of course I tend to be a bit round, older and lack the flexibility I had years ago.

    Oh, and I found all your descriptions very clear. Your humor was a total bonus.


  7. #7
    Master BHUZzer amarasdance's Avatar
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    Re: Hooking the bra - solo (invisible minions?)

    All I have to add is that I really, really want invisible minions!
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  8. #8
    Advanced BHUZzer Nisima's Avatar
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    Re: Hooking the bra - solo (invisible minions?)

    Quote Originally Posted by shahla View Post
    I do the hook and jerk. I hold the bra so that the cups are behind me and the hooks in front of me at about waist level. I connect the bra band hooks, then I spin the cups to the front, slide it up my ribcage until it's in place, then hook the halter straps behind my neck.
    Yup, that's how I've put on costume bras myself for past 25 years of solo performing; just want to add that I grasp BOTH sides of bra before pulling it around to minimize damage to seams. Even when other dancers were present at my club/restaurant gigs, it was considered an imposition to have to ask other dancers to assist. And in the troupes I danced with over the years, I notice that directors expected each dancer to be generally very self-sufficient in dressing room with costuming, of course, if there was a costume emergency, then troupemates would help.


  9. #9
    Official BHUZzer Teophania's Avatar
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    Re: Hooking the bra - solo (invisible minions?)

    Ok, didn't know this was such a loaded question. Should have guessed when last year, my mother found out that I put my regular bras on by fastening in front and then turning around, and she said something suggesting I wasn't "woman enough" to put my bra on properly. Um, thanks, maybe if you'd taught me, mum...

    Anyway. I have the flexibility to reach my upper back and I have no problems using my arms while dancing, or holding them to the sides, etc., thank you very much. (Sorry, Lauren! I do agree about the flexibility thing being a problem related to arm use in the dance, but I wanted to provide another perspective on why one might choose the heathen practice of front closure). I still choose to fasten my regular bras in the front because it irks me to get the hooks offset or to over-stretch the fabric while fastening (I feel like I'm not caring for the fabric, then, and I'm all about caring for things so they last longer).

    I have the same feeling for costume bras. Plus, there's usually sequins involved. Often, a certain angle has to be reached to get the hook through the eye without jamming in sequins, and the thought of fishing around blind with a metal hook around sewn decorations makes me squirmy.

    The thought of hooking crossed straps in the front is great, and I might have to do that for my one bedla bra that has been causing problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by amarasdance View Post
    All I have to add is that I really, really want invisible minions!
    YES. They're good for safety pins through the back of the belt/skirt too, yeah?


  10. #10
    Advanced BHUZzer phillyraqs's Avatar
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    Re: Hooking the bra - solo (invisible minions?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shunnareh View Post
    Quote:
    I've achieved success with sewing the two cross bands on securely at the back and then fastening them with corset hooks and eyes at the front. That way you can put your bra on (any way you like!) and simply pull the straps over your shoulders and fasten. The weight of your boobs/costume bra will keep them in place (well, with me anyway! )
    That is how I fasten my crisscross straps as well (usually on bellas, the rest I prefer as a halter. I am a D cup and cue the chorus of I shouldn't wear halters. La la la la la la, I can't hear you.)

    Also, I also fasten my bras by hooking them in front and then sliding them around. I had no idea anyone put their bras on by reaching around the back until, like, 6 months ago? And all I can say is, you're weird. The hook and slide is where it's at.

    (I don't think that those of us who do the hook and slide have issues with shoulder mobility. It's just how we learned to dress ourselves. And really, you others are doing it wrong. )
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  11. #11
    Established BHUZzer yaalini's Avatar
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    Re: Hooking the bra - solo (invisible minions?)

    Y'all are awesome. Except phillyraqs. You're weird.

    I criss-crossed the straps myself to make them stay better. This was my first bedlah; I didn't think about how modifications affect fit...I also tilted the cups without opening the sides...so the back was REALLY HIGH, sheesh. Now that I've gained weight I undid that particular mod so that the band fits again, at a more normal level. I also had to remove the straps (again...first bedlah, I didn't think to fold them so I cut them and now they are too short...oops).


    Anyway, I hadn't thought to make the straps attach in the front - I'm not that good at sewing and was terrified of messing up my new (to me) bedlah (okay, other than cutting the straps). Or making it super obvious (plain silver with some fringe on the cups, not near the straps). However, I am keeping this in mind for future bedlahs.

    Being a lumpy apple means the front and jerk method doesn't work, especially if you have wider bands - because the front lumps don't match the back lumps, so even if you can hook in the front you'd need to adjust the back anyways (I can sort of do it with boned foundation garments, but not with bras!).

    Minions would be awesome - I don't like asking for help either!


  12. #12
    Ultimate BHUZzer tahiradancer's Avatar
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    Re: Hooking the bra - solo (invisible minions?)

    As most of my bras are halter (or halter with shoulder straps. And I am with Philly, Lalalalala) I have had to learn to hook most of my bras in the back. The hook and spin never worked for me with either regular bras of costume bras. I do recognize that sometimes I need to ask for help. Many of the events I go to have a helper in the dressing room, which is a Goddess send! Either that, or I know enough people there to be able to grab one and ask for the help!

    Sometimes it is a very good lesson to be able to let go of the need for independence and learn to ask for help! It was a big one for me!

    {{{HUGS}}}


  13. #13
    Advanced BHUZzer gisela's Avatar
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    Re: Hooking the bra - solo (invisible minions?)

    My bras, both normal and costume bras, are often quite snug (I have a large ribcage) and I can't hook it in the high back. I usually hook it (and safetypin it) at waistlevel, but still with the cups in front and hook behind back. Then I slide it up to booblevel. I don't like to swivel it around because 1 I usually wera dresses and that is a lot of fabric to swivel, and 2, if it's a 2-piece it can scratch me and leave red marks on my skin.
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  14. #14
    Advanced BHUZzer Kathiya's Avatar
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    Re: Hooking the bra - solo (invisible minions?)

    if you're like me and have mini-boobs, you can pull the bra on over your head (hooked and all) like you would a Tshirt or tank top. i usually like having the straps criss-cross in the back; takes a bit of figuring out what hole to put what in (lol ^^) at first, but once you get used to it... then 'fix' your boobs so they sit properly :D and voila!
    (but this method doesn't work well for the boobiliscious gals, i'm told)


  15. #15
    Ultimate BHUZzer dunyah's Avatar
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    Re: Hooking the bra - solo (invisible minions?)

    Quote Originally Posted by tahiradancer View Post
    As most of my bras are halter (or halter with shoulder straps. And I am with Philly, Lalalalala) I have had to learn to hook most of my bras in the back. The hook and spin never worked for me with either regular bras of costume bras. I do recognize that sometimes I need to ask for help. Many of the events I go to have a helper in the dressing room, which is a Goddess send! Either that, or I know enough people there to be able to grab one and ask for the help!

    Sometimes it is a very good lesson to be able to let go of the need for independence and learn to ask for help! It was a big one for me!

    {{{HUGS}}}
    I am eternally grateful to all my dance friends at different events who have graciously helped me with my costumes. I find it nearly impossible to put on my costume bras by myself, I usually have my husband do the hooks if I am getting ready at home.
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  16. #16
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: Hooking the bra - solo (invisible minions?)

    Ahhh, the criss-cross straps, that explains the problem. I've had a few like that & they were the especially problematic ones. I'm not sure what the best solution for that is!

    I do realize that some people choose to hook & twist for convenience rather than lack of mobility. Didn't mean to insult hook & twisters... I've done it myself with a few bra models.

    A lot of my costume bras are halters (not my preference, but that's how they're made). I like to sew the halter straps together, so I don't have to worry about the neck strap coming undone while dancing!!!! So hooking & twisting isn't an option.

    A chest strap that rides really high in the back can often be corrected by tightening the chest band and lengthening the shoulder straps.


  17. #17
    Advanced BHUZzer Karnak's Avatar
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    Re: Hooking the bra - solo (invisible minions?)

    When I'm making a costume, even ones with crisscross straps, I position the straps so I can put the costume on by myself. It's usually a trial-and-error process, but at least I can get dressed solo! I usually use trouser hooks and those giant snaps for closures. They're pretty easy to do because of the large size and it doesn't cause too much stress on the costume. For an extra precaution, all of my beads and sequins get their own knots in the back incase I break a thread so it won't take long to repair.


  18. #18
    Mega BHUZzer Doozer's Avatar
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    Re: Hooking the bra - solo (invisible minions?)

    Quote Originally Posted by amarasdance View Post
    All I have to add is that I really, really want invisible minions!
    OOOOOOH! I do too!

    MOST of the time anyway.....some things require utter privacy.

    Incidentally I'm in the hook from the front/spin around/hook the neck club.
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  19. #19
    EzmaSiddiqah
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    Re: Hooking the bra - solo (invisible minions?)

    Costumer Hallah has her hooks on the side of the bra, genius!
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  20. #20
    Ultimate BHUZzer Suzana's Avatar
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    Re: Hooking the bra - solo (invisible minions?)

    Hook and slide here, too. It's not a flexibility issue for me--it's a boobage issue.

    Seconding (thirding?) the recommendation to arrange cross-back straps that hook inside the cups. Also, Kina once posted pics of a bra with over-the-shoulder straps that hooked together between the shoulder blades for a racer-back effect. That would make the bra easy to put on and comfortable to wear but still give the halter-like boost in the front.

    If your bra band is too tight to turn the bra around at your waist, you might benefit from loosening the hooks a smidge and adding strong elastic at the sides and/or back to take up any slack. This makes it easier to dress yourself and move a bit more freely, and it also takes some of the stress off your hooks.


  21. #21
    Advanced BHUZzer Callistaangel's Avatar
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    Re: Hooking the bra - solo (invisible minions?)

    i didnt read through all the answers so sorry if im repeating. im pretty heavily chested and almost all my bras are in the X back style so it is near impossible to get it on yerself because if your big u cant hook and turn w the x back. i finally after much struggling found two ways to get it on sans help. tho i still pull an arm muscle time to time.


    besides a lot of practice and struggling around like a dying fish in my own home

    method one: leaving the X straps longer then i normally would to hook and then after hooking taking a pin and tighting the x together near the top and pinning it after. sometime i leave the pin in and it makes it easier to get the bottom part hooked.
    this method i usually hook the bottom across part and then the x

    method two. i get on my knees (tho ive only done this at home) and lean my chest in the bra where it would be wearing it against a chair or bed. and then lean into it so it holds the bra in place as i struggle to get everything hooked. this method i usually hook the x first and then the across part. (for me that hooking method gives me better support dont ask...idk)

    but if im out w other dancers i always just ask for help everyones usually pretty nice about helping eachother.
    Last edited by Callistaangel; 02-07-2012 at 11:16 AM.


  22. #22
    Master BHUZzer amarasdance's Avatar
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    Re: Hooking the bra - solo (invisible minions?)

    I know that as a 36D, I supposed to love X-back and hate halters. I'm the opposite. I hate Bella's X-back, although I still have 1 that has that configuration (the other one, along with bras that have gone on to find new homes)- I have changed into a halter.

    Anyway... with a halter, I'm with the many who hook it in front, turn it around, and hook the halter- sometimes. If I'm in a hurry, I pin the halter strap before I put it on, slip it over my head, and hook it in back like a regular bra. (I'm not good at pinning behind my head.)

    With an X-back, I hook the X's first, then slip the bra over my head (it takes maneuvering, which I'm sure is NOT graceful) and then hook the back like a regular bra.


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