Bras are works of wonder and excellent engineering, but like all things wonderful and excellent bras are not meant to last beyond a certain point. It would be lovely if we could have three bras for our whole life but it is, unfortunately, completely unrealistic to think our wonderful feats of engineering are meant to last more than a few measly months. You may need new bras because your old ones are falling apart or simply lost/gained weight.
That being said we all have our favorite bra, the one that looks good, feels good, does amazing things to our decolletage, and we have had FOREVER. Probably longer than we should and we refuse to give it up or just don’t realize that the ‘life expectancy’ of the bra has expired. The life expectancy of a bra is the length of time a bra supports you properly and to its fullest capabilities. This of course is determined by a few factors: how you wear it, how often you wear it, how many bras you have and how often you wash it.
How you wear your bras. You should be wearing your lacy or moulded cup bras for your normal daytime activities. You shouldn’t be wearing them for activities that you will cause you to sweat profusely or for high impact activities. So make sure you have a dedicated sports bra for your trips to the gym, going for long hikes, kayaking or even work if you have a labor intensive job.
How often you wear your bras: Ideally you will wear your bra one day then let it rest for at least one day, this is assuming you have only two bras. If you have multiple bras try and let your favorites rest longer, this will allow them to last longer!
How many bras you have: If you have two bras they will last you maybe 6-8 months, so if you find a bra you love it might be a good idea to get another in the same cut. We recommend a minimum of two bras but ideally three just because it’s nice to have a good bra on laundry day too. The more bras you have in your regular rotation, the longer they will last you.
How often you wash your bras: Believe it or not this actually makes a big difference in how long your bras will last you. Never washing them means your bras will never be free of all the sweat, oils and dead skin which will make the elastic and other materials degrade faster. So washing your bras every 2-3 wears will help them last a good long time.
How you wash your bras: While washing machines are fairly quick and convenient they aren’t always the gentlest on your bras. Hooks can get caught on lace or other clothing and can cause some serious damage. Putting your bras into a lingerie bag will help prevent extra wear during washing. Hand washing will be the gentlest on your items in the long run. But the biggest thing to remember is NEVER put your bras in the dryer!
Here are a few signs your favorite bra has reached the point of giving up: you’ve reached the last set of hook and eye attachments and the band is beginning to ride up, the shoulder straps are falling of your shoulders and never used to, the underwire pokes out or is bent, the fabric is falling apart or has lost its elasticity, and it just doesn’t feel like it’s supporting you like it used to.
When you’ve reached the last set of hook and eye attachments and the band is riding up, doing the bridge or looking like a rainbow, it’s definitely time to get a new bra! You have hopefully been noticing how your bra doesn’t quite fit as well as it did when you first bought it a few months ago and have moved from the first set to the second set of hook and eye attachments. Typically this happens every few months, longer if you have more bras, and it should make the bra feel supportive again. After you’ve gone to the last set of hook and eye and the band is beginning to feel loose it’s time for a new bra!
The shoulder straps falling off is another sign that the bra is getting old. Once those straps stretch out too far they’re more likely to slide around and slip off your shoulders. If you can no longer keep them taut but comfortable it’s probably time to look for a replacement.
If the underwire is poking out at any point it is time for a new bra! Underwires do not belong outside of the bra and if you have sewn it in because you love the bra please say goodbye and find a new favorite!
When the fabric is beginning to fall apart it is definitely time for a new bra. This may happen sooner than many of the other signs, especially if you aren’t washing your bras regularly or are using them for things they aren’t meant to be used for. When the lace loses its elasticity, the foam of the cup begins to crease or dimple, the band no longer stretches and the fabrics generally look like they are dingy and fraying it’s time to look into getting a new bra.
Finally, when the bra just doesn’t feel like it’s supporting you like it used to then you should absolutely be thinking about getting a new bra!
Bras are amazing and are also a support garment because of this they cannot last forever. So even if it is your absolute most favorite bra in the whole wide world if any of these symptoms are showing on your bra come on in and see us at Bustin’ Out Boutique so we can find a you a new favorite bra!