The wear and care of your underwear
So reading to now you may have figured out that I have a thing for bras and boobs. They go together like ice cream and waffle cones. You take care of one to take care of the other. A good bra is like running shoes, worth getting properly fitted and investing in. Like running shoes take care of your feet and legs, a good bra will take care of your breasts. And like running shoes that should be replaced after so many miles, bras should be replaced as they start to wear. And they both should be taken care of properly. So that’s what we are talking about in this blog, the proper wear and care of your bras, and when to replace them.
So let’s start with wearing. A dedicated runner knows that you have shoes specifically for running and when you are not running you do not wear them. They invest in shoes for the type of running you are doing (track, trail) and you have them fit for your foot shape. A stabilizer shoe if you pronate, arch support if you have a high arch. This all goes for bras. You buy a bra that fits your breast shape, full coverage if you prefer it, wider wire for wider breasts, side support to lift in. You buy your bras for specific wardrobe needs. A strapless bra for a strapless dress. And like the shoes, you only wear a strapless bra when you need it.
So what about your daily wear bras? Like your running shoes they need time off between wears. If you wear a bra for a day you should let it have 48 hours before you wear it again. Continued back to back wear can cause the band to stretch faster and can distort the cup shape, it may even cause the underwire to bend. Like some wear blue jeans a few times before washing, you can wear a bra a few times before washing. How many times can it be worn? Well that depends on you. If you are in south Texas in hot weather you may only get one wear. Other climates with little or no sweating you may get three to five wears. If your bra band gets looser and you start wearing it on a tighter hook that is a sure sign to wash it.
So how do you wash your bras? That is going to depend on how much effort you are willing to put into it. The more effort you put into it the longer they will last. One the is 100% for sure, if you dry your bras they will not last long. The underwire can get distorted, the cup shape will get distorted, the band will loose elasticity. Washing in the washer can also cause distortion and permanently alter the breast shape. Many women use a bra ball or lingerie bag to wash their bras. That’s better than just throwing them in the wash, but you can still have those issues. The best possible way to wash your bras is hand washing with a gentle detergent. There are special lingerie detergents but I do not use them. I like a free and clear detergent because I have sensitive skin. Tide, Gain, All, and several other brands all my detergents with out dye or fragrance. You’ll want to add detergent in a sink with cool water, cool not cold or hot. You want to gently wash each bra, no wringing or squishing of the cups. You may be amazed at the water that comes out. You’ll rinse each in cool water and pat out as much as you can. Again no wringing! you’ll lay each bra flat to dry. Some women prefer to hang them, if you do that try and hang over a hanger by the center gore as it tends to be sewn more firmly then the band. Just let them be over night or so.
Are you lazy like me? Try taking a bra or two into the shower with you. Just keep a travel sized bottle filled with your detergent in the shower. Wash them in the coolest water you can stand, same as above.
Replacing your bras is important. A worn bra will not support your breasts like it should. As we wear them the bra natural defines to our shape so you may have bent wires or the band may have particular spots that are worn more than others. The three hooks in the back are there so you can move in hooks as the bra looses elasticity. That’s why a properly fitted bra should fit. On the loosest hooks. When you are wearing your bra on the tightest hook on the first wear it is time to start shopping for a new bra. The straps may be tightened as well. Even though they only provide a small amount of support, once they are not tight enough it is time to buy new. Watch for other things like frayed seams, poking wires, unbalanced padding or lining, or a distorted fit.
Treat your bras nicely so they can do their job properly. A happy well fitted bra will make for happy boobies.