Jan. 10, 2017
I get it — when you find a bra you love, it can be really hard to let go of it. It’s been your trusty companion for months (if not years!), after all. But over time, even the most well-made bras show signs of wear and tear, lose their elasticity and ultimately fall apart.
To extend the lifetime of every bra that you buy, I suggest rotating between at least three bras in your wardrobe, to give each bra a break every so often. (Ideally, I believe every woman should have these seven bras in her wardrobe, but three is a great start!)
I also suggest hand washing all of your bras, as the washer and dryer can do serious damage and cause your bras to fall apart and lose their elasticity long before their time. Lastly, I recommend buying new bras every six to nine months, depending on how many bras you’re rotating between.
Even if you’re doing all of these things right, you’ll eventually see signs of wear in your bras — nothing great can truly last forever! Here are some telling signs it’s time to let go of your old faithfuls and welcome the new:
1. Your cup and band edges are frayed and torn.
The first thing I look for in a worn out bra is fraying, either on the bra cups or band. When fabric begins to fray around the edges, it means your bra has done it’s job. Give it a rest and replace it before your wires begin popping out — or before your bra falls apart even more.
2. Wires are popping out.
Speaking of wires popping out, if this is happening to you, you need to toss that bra and do a little wardrobe refresh. Not only is it incredibly uncomfortable to have wires popping out, but it’s also a sign that the fabric is too worn to support you anymore. If the fabric and wires can’t do their job, your bra won’t keep you comfortable and supported, and it’s time to let go.
3. Your straps are falling.
While straps falling down when you try on a bra for the first time could be a sign of an ill-fitting bra, if it’s happening after months or years of use it means your bra straps have lost their elasticity. Elastic is a great material that’s meant to bounce back, but it can only do its job for so long before it can’t take it any longer.
4. You’re wearing your band on the tightest hook.
Bras should be worn on the loosest hook so that over time, as your band loses its elasticity, you can tighten it by choosing a tighter hook. However, if you’ve been wearing your band on the tightest hook for a while now, it means all of the elasticity is gone and your band is no longer supporting you as it should.
5. Your hooks have been ripped out.
If your hooks have been torn out through trips through the washer or dryer (or just from general wear and tear), it’s time to say goodbye. If you can’t properly strap your bra on the hooks it was designed with, your band won’t sit as tightly as it should or provide balanced support.
If any of these signs are ringing bells for you, it’s time to evaluate your “breast-friends” and get excited for new (and better!) bras.