Monday, April 21, 2014

5 Tips to Make Your Bra Last Longer

Bras for large breasts work extremely hard to keep your breasts in place and secure. The constant strain on the fabric and elastic in your bra gradually stretches the bra over time until it no longer has enough elasticity to support your breasts. All bras wear out eventually but there are things you can do to make your investment in your bras go further. Here are my top 5 tips for longer lasting bra fit:

Buy Bras That Fit
I know this might seem obvious but a bra that doesn't fit you in the band and cup will die faster than one that does. This is because you pull at bras that don't fit you which stretches out the material and if your cups are too small or your band is too big the whole bra is under excess strain that deteriorates it faster. Here's a reminder of the 5 fit checks of a well-fitting bra:

1. All your breast tissue sits inside your cups (even the tissue at your armpit).
2. The band lies parallel with the floor all the way around your body.
3. The gore sits flush with your body and is comfortable.
4. Your straps don't slip and aren't digging into your shoulders.
5. The wing is supportive and comfortable without digging into your armpit or with breast tissue spilling over the top of the wing.

How You Put On Your Bra
Lots of women don't realize that the way they put on their bra is causing it to die faster. If you hook your bra in the front then twist it around your body it puts the band elastic under huge strain. It also means you're unlikely to be wearing your best fit from the outset as you probably can't twist the correct band size around your body. These two things combined could be shaving 3 to 6 months off the life of your bra. Get hold of the two ends in front of you (do them up as a trial run then unhook again and don't move the position of your hands) pass your arms around your body and do up the hooks. Once you've got this bit done you can lean forward and place your breasts into the cups then lift the straps onto your shoulders. This takes some practice but could save you hundreds of dollars.

Washing and Drying
I've written a lot about how to wash and dry your bras to make them last longer. Here is a recap of the main points:

1. Hand washing is best but if you need to machine wash use a cool cycle and a laundry bag.
2. Never put your bras in the tumble dryer. Heat kills elastic.
3. Hang dry your bras from the center gore, don't hang them from the straps because this stretches out the straps and compromises the fit.

Buy Quality Over Quantity
Not all bras are created equal. Lots of the mall lingerie retailers offer buy 2 get 1 free specials on bras up to a DD or DDD. While this might look like a great way to pad out your lingerie draw you need to think about the quality. These deals usually appear on molded cups (a single piece of shaped fabric) where the straps are attached by one or two rows of stitching. These styles tend not to have reinforced wire tracks (the tubes the wires sit in inside your bra) which is why it's so common for the wires to pop out. You really are better investing in two or three bras of good quality (that fit you well) than having lots of cheaper bras of lesser quality. 

Cycling Your Bras
Your body heat, sweat and salts are what erode the elasticity in your bra. You need to let a bra rest for at least 24 hours and preferably 48 before wearing it again and this means you need at least 3 basic bras to cycle through the week.
The salt build up in your bra (from your sweat) needs to be washed out after every three to four wears unless you sweat a lot in which case you need to wash after every one to two wears.

While there's no guarantee as to how long a bra will last (it depends on your lifestyle, breast weight, torso shape and perspiration) by using some or all of these tips you can prolong the life of your bra investment. xx


  1. I never thought about fastening it in the front as being hard on the elastic. You are probably right about not being able to do it if the band is correct though--which would mean I've yet to purchase a bra in the right band size, because that's how I have always put mine on. I'm not flexible enough to do them up the other way...

    1. Finding an easier way to put on your bra without compromising your fit is something we're always trying to work out - we'll let you know if we figure it out! xx

  2. I use the twist method and I'm definitely in the right band size. My underbust measures 28 inches and I've been wearing a 28 band IN PANACHE/CLEO*** even when it measured 29 inches (I like my bands tight and I don't use extenders). I have no problems twisting it around... maybe I'm not getting it?

    I'm not arguing that it probably isn't good for the wires, but I can barely find my bra in the morning, much lest perform some gymnastic feat to put it on lol.

    ***Nearly every other brand feels too loose now.

    1. It's totally possible to have the right band size and still be able to twist around your body. It depends on the shape and size of your torso. If you have extra weight around your torso and therefore need a smaller band size than your raw underbust measurement, to improve the grip around your ribcage, then trying to twist that band around your body is nearly impossible without severe chafing. Masquerade 28s can be super tight too if you get a chance to try that brand xx

  3. The only problem with hooking together in the back is the possibility of shoulder strain. I do hook mine together in the back, but on mornings when I'm stiff it's a bit painful.

    1. There is a great need for front fastening bras over a D cup because many women with shoulder, neck or back pain find it difficult or impossible to fasten their bras at the back. For others they've simply never been shown how to fasten at the back so it feel unnatural. Fastening your bra at the front and twisting it is definitely harder on the life of your bra but your bras (and putting them on) has to fit your life so the front and twist is a compromise for mobility and ease xx

  4. Those are some good points, and I am definitely wearing the right bra size with a 30 inch band, same as my underbust measurement. I take care of my bras, but I can't hook at the back and I have a tremor in my hands which makes it that much I use the twist and turn method! Carefully, of course...:)

    1. That's fantastic, and amazing, that you're able to wear your best band size and fasten at the front. If you take your time twisting then you can preserve your elastic, just as you're doing! xx