Bras are getting a lot of attention on the blogosphere lately. Timely, because I just cleaned out my bra drawer last week as part of my New Year's resolution to purge. I kept the three that I recently purchased at Nordstom after a proper fitting (of course), and trashed the rest. Then I ordered three more of the same brands.
This project was long overdue. Who knows how long some of them had been in my stash. Turns out I'm not alone. According to True&Co founder Michelle Lam, 60% of women haven't changed their bras out in three years. This raised some questions in my mind about bras, so I did some research.
Here's what I found out:
How often should I get fitted for a bra?
Most lingerie experts recommend at least once a year. Also get fitted if you've had a child (obviously) or gained or lost five-seven pounds.
How long do bras last?
According to Bobbie Smith of Freshpair (via Huffington Post), if worn and cared for correctly a good bra will last eight months. After that, the band gets stretched out and doesn't provide good support. That's why she recommends having six or seven in your wardrobe and rotate them to make them last longer. Avoid wearing a bra for two days in a row. The elastic needs to rest to regain its shape. Check out Bobbie's other bra mistakes and fixes.
How should I care for my bras?
By washing them in Woolite like Ive been doing for forever? Wrong. According to Bobbie, Woolite was designed to soften wool. You don't want to soften elastic. You want it to stay firm. Nordstom recommends hand washing with a special lingerie detergent in warm water or in the washer on the delicate cycle. Gently reshape and hang to dry. Never put them in the dryer.
How often should I wash my bras?
WhoWhatWear recently asked the bra experts at True&Co for advice. Generally, a bra can go four or five wears between washes subject to climate, sweating and odor. Over washing can lead to faster wear and tear. Bottom line: "If it smells good, it's all good," they said.
What bra styles should I have in my repertoire?
Refinery29 recently reported which styles their experts recommend and why. Don't know your breast type? Take a good long look in the mirror and check out Refinery21's informative No-Bullsh*t Guide to Bra Shopping.
How should I store my bras?
You can store your bras flat in drawers, in shoe boxes or hangers. While its okay to fold a non-molded bra (bras with no padding), never fold or invert molded cups. Why? Because they can dent and pucker. This advice comes from Linda Unhooked. Same goes for packing your bras when traveling. Check out this video on bra packing. Filling molded cups with socks -- something I never would have thought to do -- is a genius.
Hope this helpful and prompts you to investigate what's in your lingerie drawer. You may be as shocked as I was.