Congratulations you’ve gotten some new bras! You’re wearing them on that loosest set of hooks and they feel comfortably snug, supportive and all around awesome. But how do you know when it’s time to readjust and move onto the middle or even tightest set of hooks? As the elastics in the band stretch out the tension that helps keep everything in place start to make a few things shift around, so we’ve put together a short guide on what to look for when it’s time to move those bras in a notch.
The gore (where the wires meet in the center) starts to dig into your chest wall: Everything is going well with your bras, but one day you notice that the wires are starting to put pressure on your sternum. Think of the bra band like a belt, when it has just the right amount tension, everything will stay in place, but if it starts to stretch out that belt buckle is going to shift around throughout the day, digging into your stomach or pelvis.
The wires start to rub or chafe under your armpits, or dig into your rib-cage under your breast tissue: As the band loses elasticity the tension on the wires is no longer staying level with your underbust, when this happens your bra isn’t defying gravity as well and it has a bit of a teeter-totter effect, the band slides up a bit and the wires shift down causing pressure on the breast tissue or on your rib-cages (sometimes both)
The band doesn’t feel as secure: Sometimes the band will just loosen up over time and you won’t feel the shifting of the wires when you’re wearing your bra but over all the bra just doesn’t feel as supportive.
You feel like you’re adjusting your bra more frequently during the day: When your bras fit well and are brand new they tend to stay in place for most of the day, if you start noticing yourself pulling the band down more, or feel like you have to readjust your bra on your lunch break it might be time to tighten up the band a bit.
Sometimes these changes are gradual, other times your bra starts bugging you right in the middle of the day! If you’re on your last set of hooks and you notice these irritations, then it’s probably time for a new bra!
– Written by Hollis Kitchin, Co-Owner of Bustin’ Out Boutique and Bra Enthusiast (ok we admit it, she’s obsessed with bras)
So you have some great bras that fit really well! But when is it time to replace our faithful and supportive bosom buddies?
The hooks are damaged: Hooks are what keep your bra together and keep your band clasped! If they’ve become bent out of shape or have torn out of your bra they can’t do their job!
The wire is popping out: Now sometimes this can just be a faulty bra and if it happens within the first month or two of wear usually it’s a manufacturing error (if that happens to a bra you purchased from us let us know ASAP and bring it in). But if you’ve had that bra for over 6 months or year it’s time to toss it aside.
The band is no longer snug: Bras contain elastic and it’s only a matter of time before it gets stretched out beyond the point of being supportive. Starting your bra on the loosest set of hooks means you should be bringing it in a notch about once every 2-3 months or sooner if you have fewer bras.
Significant weight gain or weight loss: Our bodies change and your bra doesn’t always shrink or grow the way we need it to if it’s too tight or too loose it’s time to get a new one.
Obvious signs of damage: Torn seams, stains, broken wires, holes, rips or tears, or the cups are becoming misshapen.
When your bust is drooping and your bra no longer does its job: Bras are designed to lift and support and if your bra isn’t doing that it’s time to replace it.
Did you know a bra is designed to last 6 -12 months? There are various factors that will affect how long your bras last you!
Number of bras you regularly wear: if you only have 3 bras that you regularly rotate between you’re wearing each bra for 121 days! Just adding 2 more bras to your rotation means you’ll be wearing each bra for a total of 73 days a year! That adds almost 2 months of life to each bra!
Cup size: If you have more breast tissue to support your bras are doing a lot more work and will have more everyday strain.
Nursing: Not only can your breast size increase with nursing, but the breast tissue is also holding milk, adding more weight for your bras to support in addition to the daily adjusting and readjusting that can occur with unfastening and refastening clasps.
Washing: How you wash and dry your bras will drastically affect how long they last! Ever pull a pair of tights or underwear out of the dryer and have the elastic snap or poke out of the fabric the next time you try to wear them? Heat from dryers will make the elastic more brittle causing them to lose their firmness. Washing Machines can cause hooks to get caught and torn.