While there are no guarantees as to how long your bra will last, there are however specific tips you can apply to prolong the life of your bra. It will depend of course on the quality of the fabrication, how much you perspire, your breast weight, lifestyle, how you store it and how you wash your bra.
Firstly, you need to alternate at least two, if not three of your bras throughout the week. If possible try not to wear the same one several days in a row before changing it over to another one. Body heat, sweat and your natural body salts are what erode the elasticity in your bra, therefore it should be washed after every three to four wears. A bra really needs 24 to 48 hours to rest before wearing it again because constant exposure to the salts in our sweat can cause ageing to the bra. If you happen to sweat a lot, especially during sport, your bra needs to be washed after one or two wears to protect the fabric.
Traditionally, hand washing is always recommended as this places less stress on the fabrication. But if you do intend to machine wash, by all means utilise a good lingerie bag for your bras. It’s a personal preference, however, I have noticed that there is less detergent left within the fabric of the garment when the bra is rinsed and spun thoroughly in the machine. I personally like to place mine in a lingerie bag in my front loader on the cold gentle hand wash cycle on a low spin. Lying your bra flat is one of the best methods of drying. According to my research, tumble drying kills elastic due to the heat. Alternatively, you can hang your bra to dry by the centre gore (the part of the bra that rest over the sternum) as this will avoid over-stretching the straps and compromising the fit. This is also a great way to hang them in your wardrobe rather than in a draw.
Putting your bra on correctly could also increase it’s longevity by several months. Hooking your bra in the front and then twisting it around your body places the elastic in the band under huge strain. The best way to put your bra on is to get hold of the two ends in front of you – try doing them up as a trial run, then unhook again, but don’t move the position of your hands. Then pass your arms around your body and do up the hooks. Once you’ve done that you can lean forward to place your breast tissue into the cups and lift the straps onto your shoulders. ‘Practice will make perfect’!
If you’re looking for a practical storage idea for your bras check out these cool boxes from Bel Angelle – The Bra Storage Solution