How long have you had your oldest bra? Whether the answer is one year or six years, it’s important that you know when it’s time to let a bra go and move on to something new. We understand that sometimes it’s hard to find the perfect bra – and once you do, it’s even harder to let it go.
Although bras are one of the most important elements of a woman’s wardrobe (after all, most of us wear one nearly every day), many women still treat their bras like an afterthought. It’s common for women to think wearing an old bra over and over again is fine as long as it’s not literally falling apart. But the painful truth is, you’re probably wearing your bra way past its expiration date.
Read on learn more about how to know when it’s time to replace an old bra.
How Long is Too Long to Keep a Bra?
The bottom line is this: All bras have expiration dates.
It is recommended that you replace your bra every six to eight months. Depending on the number of bras you have and how frequently you wear each particular bra, this average bra lifespan can become shorter or longer.
For example, if you only have one or two bras that you wear regularly, they’ll need to be replaced much sooner. That’s why we recommend that you have at least three to five bras in your regular weekly rotation so you can alternate and give each bra sufficient time to rest between wears. This will help keep your bras from wearing out too quickly, buying you more time before having to buy new bras.
How Can I Tell When It’s Time to Replace a Bra?
We’re all familiar with the obvious signs that it’s time to throw a bra out, like rips, loose threads, and damaged cups. But there are also more subtle signs that indicate a bra is no longer in its prime.
The following are signs that you need to buy a new bra:
You’ve gained or lost weight
Whenever your body goes through a change, you need to be fitted for a new bra. Whether you’ve been dieting, put on a few pounds over the holidays, had a baby, or are experiencing menopause, the shape and size of your breasts is likely to be impacted. That means your current bras may not fit you the way they used to.
You don’t have to go to a lingerie store to get fitted for a bra. You can do it in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Just follow our easy instructions for DIY Bra Sizing.
Your bra is stretched out
Over time, bras lose their structure and elasticity. To see if your bra has stretched, look at the band and straps. If the band rides up in the back or you keep having to tighten your straps a little more every time you wear it, it’s time for a new bra.
Your bra is worn out
Signs that your bra is worn out and it’s time to replace it include: the foam on the insides of the cups is wrinkling, the seams are splitting, or the elastic is showing.
Your straps are bothering you
It’s important that your straps are the right length. They should be loose enough so they’re not causing discomfort or pressing so hard into your skin that they leave marks. They should be tight enough that they stay in place and don’t slip off your shoulders. Your straps also shouldn’t need to be on the tightest or the loosest possible setting. Because straps have elasticity, they will stretch over time.
You’re not fully covered
Although different styles of bras have different levels of coverage (or lack thereof), your breasts should still fit properly in the cups. If your breasts are spilling out of the sides of the cups or near your underarms, your bra doesn’t fit properly – and should be replaced.
Your bra doesn’t sit right
The center of your bra should rest directly on the center of your chest. If your band is being pulled away from your skin, drooping, or sliding around, your band is probably stretched. (Note: Minimizer bras are an exception to this rule. Some minimizer bras will have a center panel that doesn’t lie flat against your skin).
Your bra is uncomfortable
When a bra has outlived its usefulness, that often means it’s no longer comfortable. If your bra doesn’t feel good on your body while you’re wearing it, try adjusting the straps or moving to a different row of back closures. If a little adjustment isn’t doing the trick, your bra is probably ready to retire.
One way to extend the life of your bras is to take good care of them. Make sure you’re always storing your bras correctly, giving them time to rest between wears, and washing them properly. Although these methods won’t make your bras last forever, they will give them a longer shelf life so you can enjoy them for longer. For tips on how to wash your bras, read our blog post, Lingerie Care 101: How to Wash Your Bras.
To learn more about lingerie care, visit our Lingerie Care page in The Fitting Room™.
Is it time for a new bra? Shop the vast selection of bras available at HerRoom!
Find a better fit,