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When Is It Time to Replace Your Bra?

Posted on July 18 2016

When was the last time you bought a bra? If you have to think about it, chances are it’s been too long. While a good bra is a wardrobe investment, that doesn’t mean it will last forever. Over time, the day-to-day wear and tear on your bras leave them ill-fitting at best and painful at worst.

So what’s a girl to do?

The first step is a realistic evaluation of your lingerie drawer. To help get you started, we’ve pulled together a list of the most common signs that it’s time for an upgrade, along with some tips to help your bras last longer.

You’re wearing your bra on the tightest hook

When you start wearing your bra on the tightest hook, it’s time to start shopping. Over time, the elastic on your bra begins to loosen and stretch out. Once you’re on the tightest hook, your bra is no longer supporting you as well as it could be. The band should fit snugly, with only room for two fingers to fit inside the band.

What once was white is now gray…and it’s causing chaffing

You wouldn’t wear a faded, tattered shirt that leaves your skin red and sore, so why do that to your boobs? If your bra is a completely different color than when you purchased it, it’s safe to assume that it is past its prime. And lace, well it should still look like lace – not like an unraveling mummy. Beyond just the aesthetics though, thread-bare fabric can irritate the sensitive areas covered by a bra, resulting in uncomfortable chaffing.

You’ve lost/gained weight

Even losing or gaining a few pounds here and there can change the shape, size and density of your breasts. It’s a given that buying new jeans after a weight change is a necessity, and the same goes for your bra. You bought your pre-weight change bra to specifically fit your pre-weight change breasts. A bra that is too large or small isn’t going to support your breasts the way it used to and needs to.

Your underwire makes surprise appearances

Under wires can be sneaky, showing up when you least expect them - like when you look down and see one peeking out of your top. Not only is it embarrassing to suddenly find your underwire on full display, but it can also be painful. No one wants to be poked in the breast, side or underarm!

Your bra is a real backstabber

Keep an eye on those hooks on the back of your bra. If they’re bending, they could stab you in the back and lead to a less secure closure. Let’s try to avoid this painful wardrobe malfunction.

Tips to help make your bra last longer

  • Buy a bra that fits on the first or second hook. As your bra stretches with wear, you will gradually make your way to the tightest hook. Never buy a bra that you start out wearing on the tightest hook. While it may be comfortable, it is most likely already too big and will have you heading back to the store sooner than expected.
  • Hand wash your intimates, ladies! And do it often! We know it’s tempting to just toss them in the washer and dryer, but take the time to hand wash your bras in a gentle detergent. This will increase the life of the elastic and help keep the lace and fabric looking newer, longer. And bonus – hand washing your bras will help protect your other clothes as well. Say bye-bye to the days of snagged sweaters.
  • Having several bras in rotation will prevent you from wearing the same one every day, thus extending the life of all of your bras.
  • Neatly store your bras. Don’t just fold and stuff them into a drawer.

Just a reminder: Even if your bras are still looking and feeling great, it never hurts to have a professional bra fitting every six months.

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