Bra retailers typically recommend replacing your bra every 6 months. But this timeline can vary depending on how many bras you have in your rotation, how often you wear them, the way you take care of them, and the way your body changes. Instead of a rigid timeline, we recommend watching out for signs that your bra isn’t doing its job anymore, and replacing your bra whenever these signs show up.
1. The bra band is stretched out
Most of the support in a bra comes from the band. If the bra band is stretched out even when you wear the bra on the tightest hook, the bra can’t do its job. It’s natural for the elastic in the fabric to break down over time. Washing your bras on a gentle cycle and air drying can delay the breakdown of elastic threads.
2. The bra straps are too loose
Like the bra band, bra straps also contain elastane, the component that gives things stretch. When your bra straps keep falling off your shoulder, even though you can’t make them any tighter, it’s time to replace your bra.
3. The underwire is painful
Underwires are supposed to support and lift your breast tissue, not squeeze or cut into your body. Underwires can lose their shape over time. If the underwire becomes misshapen, crooked, or even pops out of the wire casing, it’s time to look for a new bra. Washing your bras in a lingerie bag can prevent the underwires from bending.
4. Your body has changed
To do its job, your bra needs to be the right size and shape. When your size or shape changes, you need a new bra. In addition to obvious reasons (puberty, pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight gain/loss, surgeries), size and shape changes can happen with birth control, menopause, or sometimes for no reason at all. Don’t put off buying a new well-fitting bra – your body deserves comfort at any stage.
5. Your bra makes you feel bad
If your bra is dingy, washed out, tired looking, and just makes you feel bad about yourself every time you have to put it on, throw it out. Bras are one of the most important items in your wardrobe – it’s the foundation for everything you wear. You deserve to open your top drawer every morning and feel excited by the options. We often hear people apologize for their breasts no matter the shape or size, and we can’t say this enough – it’s not your body’s fault, it’s the bra’s fault. Put away that dead bra, and get something that makes you feel comfortable and confident.