Care, Wear and Bra Lifespan
Our best tips on increasing your bra lifespan and how to get the most out of your bras and bralettes!
What is a Bra Lifespan?
Bras, like everything else, have a lifespan. Bras work hard, supporting you all day long, and inevitably they wear out and need to be replaced. The bra lifespan is a sad truth about even the most quality undergarments. Elastics eventually loose their stretch, 36’s become 38’s, fabrics wear down, and underwires have been known to come in contact with unfortunate breast tissue all over the world!
A very general rule of thumb is that you can get 130 wears per bra. Some experts will say 6-9 months on average, however, this all depends on how you wear and care for your bra. When you consider factors such as quality, frequency of wear, proper care, and difficulty of job being done, the lifespan of a bra depends on many things!
Here are our best tips for increasing your bra lifespan:
Frequency, Rotation and more Bra Shopping!
Although the 130 wear rule is a great starting place for what you can expect out of a bra, it is important to give your bra it’s best fighting chance. Bras work hard all day and therefore need a break. If you’re like me (or the old me I should say) you’ve probably had a favorite bra that’s held you in good times and bad, and all the times in between, for days (or even weeks) on end, with no rest in sight. That bra was a good one, and probably can’t hold you like it used to. You didn’t give it what it needed most; time to rest between work days!
Don’t wear your bra more than one day in a row! You should have a good bra rotation. One bra can’t do it all and shouldn’t. Bras need at least a day to rest between wears to give the elastic time to recover. To get the most life out of your bras put them on a rotation with at least 3-5 bras.
If you find a bra that is comfortable and you like it for everyday use, buy more than one! This definitely gives you a good excuse to stock up on your favorite underpinnings! It’s better for your bras and in the long run it’s better for your wallet! Here’s a little bra math.
- 1 bra @ $120 x every single day = est. 90 days ea. = $487 per year
- 2 bras @ $120 x every other day = est. 110 days ea. = $398 per year
- 3 bras @ $120 x every third day = est. 120 days ea. = $365 per year
- 4 bras @ $120 x every fourth day = est. 130 days ea. = $337 per year
- 5 bras @ $120 x every fifth day = est. 140 days ea. = $313 per year
Now this is not the end all either. It’s simply a estimated visual and a reference point. Mostly, just remember to give your bras a break!
Heat is one of the biggest things to avoid when cleaning your intimates. The elastics in your bra cannot withstand heat – they will stretch out, dry up, and loose their elasticity. Never tumble dry your undergarments, even on low! Avoid ironing elastics and stretch material as well.
It is best to hand-wash your bras in cold water and a mild detergent. There are plenty of lingerie specific cleansers on the market that work well. Mostly, you just don’t want anything with harsh chemicals, softening agents or bleach!
Once your bra is gently cleaned and rinsed in cold water, take a towel and pat down the metal findings and clasps, as well as the channeling for the underwire. Metal oxidizes over time, especially when wet or damp (this also goes for body sweat!). Lastly lay your bra flat to dry. Some wrinkles may release with light steam, however, again be mindful of the heat!
Bras should be washed regularly. Keeping a bra clean can lengthen it’s lifespan as well. Some experts says washing a bra after every use is best but some say every 2-3 wears. Ultimately it depends on how much you sweat, what season it is, and what your personal hygiene preferences are.
Difficulty of the Job
It is important to take note of a bras lifespan in relationship to how much it is being worked. Naturally if you are larger busted your bra is working much harder to support you throughout the day and may not last as long as it’s 34B counterparts. Unfortunately, for big breasted ladies your bras may need to retire sooner.
Bra’s work harder the more active we are as well. When you jump, your bra catches you, when you fall you bra lifts you up… The more you move the more your bra moves with you, the more it stretches to accommodate you, and the more it works to keep you in place. Over time this takes a toll on the elastics and threads and overall bra lifespan. Maybe you have a bra that is comfortable enough to sleep in? DON’T! Your rolling, and tossing and turning, and flipping and flopping is all taking a toll on your bra! Your boobs and your bra need a break from each other, let’m rest and give them some space.
Putting on your bra correctly is also important to preserve your bra lifespan. It is best to stick your arms through the straps, place the cups over you breasts, and then clasp the bra. If it is too difficult for you to clasp your bra behind your back, then you can clasp it in front at the waist, then rotate it around your waist and pull the bra up. However, if you prefer the later, try not to put your bra on inside out and then flip the cups up onto your breasts. Repeating this flipping motion on a regular basis can cause the underwires to protrude prematurely! Here’s some more info on getting into your bra correctly: The Bra Fitting Guide
This is my last quick note about ensuring your bra lifespan is as long as it possibly can be! Buy for quality. This doesn’t necessarily mean buy the most expensive bra, or buy the most popular brands. It means buy a bra for the quality of fabrics, the attention to detail, the stretch of the stitches and the comfort! Click here learn about how our bras are made.