Some things are better after they’re broken in (jeans, shoes, husbands). But once a sports bra has broken down, it should be tossed out. If it’s consistently air-dried (hot tumble drying ruins Lycra), a sports bra should last about 100 wearings. Not keeping a tally? Here’s how to know when it’s time to send your old jog bra the way of those ’80s leotards and headbands.

  • Perform a stretch test. Gently tug the elastic straps and band. If you don’t feel any resistance, buy a new bra.
  • Compare the old and the new. Stack a new sports bra on top of a similarly styled old one. If the old bra has a wider band and longer straps, throw it out.
  • Go with your gut. “When a sports bra loses its oomph, you risk developing motion-related sagging,” says LaJean Lawson, an exercise science researcher at Oregon State University, in Corvallis. A sports bra provides almost twice the support of a regular bra. For a quick test, jog in place wearing a normal bra, then a sports bra. If your breasts don’t feel significantly more secure, get a new one.

Sources – Softy Bra


Not Investing in a Quality Bra.

Solution: Buy from a brand that believes in fit and stands behind their bras.

There is a big difference in how a $15 bra and a $50 bra will perform, even if they don’t look very different on the hanger. A good quality bra will fit more comfortably from the minute you put it on, provide all-day support and will hold its appearance over many wearings and washings.

Going Too Long Between Bra Fittings.

Solution: Get professional bra fittings regularly.

You may need new bras whenever your body goes through a change—gaining or losing five pounds or more, pregnancy, post-pregnancy, during and after nursing, or after breast surgeries or menopause. All of these events will affect how your bra fits, the support that you need, and how comfortable it feels. Some companies provide free bra expert fittings to ensure comfort, support, and shape. We recommend a fitting every six months to a year.

Wearing the Same Bra Every Day.

Solution: Rotate your bras.

lacebraWe recommend you avoid wearing the same bra two days in a row. Why? Perspiration can cause a bra’s elastic to deteriorate. Have at least three bras in your wardrobe: one to wear, one to wash, and one to rest for a day. Rotating your bras in this way will help each last longer.

Putting Your Bra in the Dryer.

Solution: Hang or lay flat to dry.

Every bra has unique fabrics, trims, and care requirements. Read labels for washing and temperature instructions. The good news is you don’t have to hand-wash all of your delicates. Most bras can be washed in a lingerie bag on your machine’s gentlest cycle. Close the hooks and eyes on the bra before putting it in the bag, zip shut, and then wash in the washer with cool water. But never put a bra in the dryer—the heat ruins the stretch. Simply hang it on a hanger or lay flat to dry.

Storing Your Bras Incorrectly.

Solution: Stack your bras.

After your bras are completely dry, stack them in a row so the cups fit into each other in your drawer, or hang them on hangers in your closet. This is especially important for bras with a molded foam cup. Avoid folding bras in half with one cup inside the other, which could alter their shape.

Wearing a Bra With a Problematic Band.

Solution: Find the right size.

Your bra’s band is the key to good support. The bottom edge of your bra should sit level and straight all the way around your body. If the band is too loose, it will hike up in the back and the cups will fall down, causing your breasts to sag. Just as bad, if your band is too tight, it can dig into the skin and create painful, unflattering lines and bulges on your back and sides. Just because a bra’s tag says it is a certain size doesn’t mean it’s a perfect fit. Approach bra buying like shoe buying—try a variety of sizes and styles to gauge fit, look, and feel.

Wearing a White Bra Under White Clothing.

Tonya-5706X-001-Anita-care-300x400Solution: Choose a color closest to your skin tone.

The key to looking polished when wearing light summer fabrics is to ensure you’ve chosen pieces that vanish underneath. That means matching your bra to your skin tone, not your clothing. We recommend choosing a neutral shade such as light nude, soft tan, mocha, or black—any color that closely matches your skin tone will disappear under light colors or sheer fabrics.

Wearing Basic Colors Every Day.

Solution: Don’t be afraid to go for fun colors or prints.

It’s a common misconception that everyday bras should be a basic color. While having bras in neutral colors (such as black or soft tan) is essential to completing your bra wardrobe, wearing a fun printed bra (such as leopard or polka dots) or an uplifting color can feel like a special treat.

Not Completing Your Bra Wardrobe.

Solution: Know which styles work for your body and outfits.

Different cup sizes and outfits call for different bras. If you have a fuller cup size and want the most cup coverage and maximum support every day, choose a full coverage bra. For smaller cup sizes, push ups or demi bras offer enough coverage. If you’re wearing a blouse and want to avoid gapping between buttons, go with a minimizer bra. It reduces the bust from 1 to 3 inches. Wearing a T-shirt? Choose a bra that’s invisible under clothing. With open neckline tops, balconette bras work well because they offer a lower cut.

Throwing Your Gently Worn Bra Away.

Solution: Support bra donation programs.

A little-known fact: Bras are the most needed, yet least donated item of clothing for women. Support women in need by giving bras to initiatives like the Soma Bra Donation, which benefits women staying in local shelters affiliated with the National Network to End Domestic Violence.

Sources – Softy Bra


Are You Wearing the Right Size?

Here are a few telltale signs that you may not be: wrinkling in the cups, underwire poking the sides of your breasts, a band that rides up, cup spillage, slipping straps, or a bra that hikes up when you lift your arms, says Sandi Simon, a fit consultant at Bra Smyth, in New York City. (Keep in mind that certain factors can cause you to change bra size: a weight gain or loss, a new exercise regimen, pregnancy, and a change of diet, among them.) If you suffer from any of the fit issues above, head to a professional bra fitter—or bust out the measuring tape and follow the steps here.

1: Determine Your Band Size

illo-band-measurement_galWhile braless or wearing a non-padded bra, measure around the bottom of the band, directly under your bust. The measuring tape should be level and very snug. Round to the nearest whole number. If the number is even, add four inches. If it’s odd, add five. Your band size is the sum of this calculation. (So if you measured 32 inches, your band size is 36. If you measured 33 inches, your band size is 38.)

2: Take Your Bust Measurement

Wrap the measuring tape somewhat loosely around the fullest part of your chest (at nipple level). Round to the nearest whole number.

 

3: Calculate Your Cup Size

Subtract your band size from your bust measurement and refer to the chart. Example: 37 inches (bust) – 34 inches (band) = 3 inches. That’s a 34C.

So how can you tell if a particular style fits? Try these tips:

Bend forward at the waist, then slip on the bra and hook it. This ensures your breasts are completely in the cups.

2

Adjust the band. The back of the bra should be level with the front.

Make sure the bra is not too loose. You should be able to slide only one finger underneath the band.

Fix falling straps. First, tighten the band, then shorten the straps.

Put on a close-fitting shirt over the bra. If the cups pucker or your breasts bulge, you’re not wearing the correct size.

Look at yourself sideways in a mirror. Your breasts should sit midway between your shoulders and elbows. If not, you need a more supportive and better-fitting bra.

If you need to go down a cup size for fit, go up one band size, and vice versa. For example, if a 34C is too big for you, move to a 36B.

Choose a bra that fits perfectly when secured on the outermost hook. As the bra loosens over time, make the band taut by moving toward the tightest hook.

Sources – Softy Bra


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