how often do you need to replace bras

Found your perfect bra? It goes without saying that you want your purchase to last as long as possible, and here some tips to help make that happen. However, even with the very best care, no bra lasts forever.

Bras come under a lot of strain when worn, particularly in the larger cup sizes. Underwires get pulled out of shape around the curve of your ribcage, and spend the day pushing against their casing as they try to spring back to their resting position. The elastic of the band and straps gets stretched, and even the fabric of the cups comes under some pressure from supporting the weight of your bust.

Do you always need to throw out (or donate) your bra at the first sign of deterioration though? The answer is: it depends. Some types of damage can be repaired, giving your bra a new lease on life and letting you wear that everyday favourite a little while longer. Other types of damage are harder to fix, and may signify that the bra is no longer able to offer the support it’s supposed to.

Having trouble parting with your old bras? We’ve got you covered.

Check out our helpful guide for when to fix an old bra, and when to replace it:

Easy bra fixes

These bra hacks and repairs are so simple to do, and can add months to your bra’s lifespan in a matter of minutes!

Discolouration

Bra looking a bit old and grey? Or yellow? Often, stains on a bra can be attributed to deodorant, sweat or a general build-up of dirt. A good scrub will get most out, or at least fade them. For tougher marks, try using baking soda or a soak in a well-diluted 3% hydrogen peroxide solution.

Slipping straps

If your straps no longer used to slip off your shoulders but now they won’t stop, the solution could be as simple as adjusting them. The elastic may have lost some of its stretch, or the sliders may just have moved out of place. And if they’re already at their shortest, small clips are available to convert regular straps into a tighter racerback – you can even do it using only a paperclip!

Tougher bra fixes

These bra fixes require a little sewing know-how – or paying for the services of a local seamstress – but are a wallet-friendly alternative to buying a whole new bra.

A popped underwire

When an underwire breaks through the end of its casing, it can be quite painful. But it can be fixed! You’ll find a number of no-sew solutions online, but for the most secure and long-lasting repair you’ll want to get your sewing kit out. Push the wire back inside the casing and stitch it closed. If the wire is still threating to pop back out, or the stitched area starts to rub, sew a strip of thick, soft fabric such as moleskin on top.

A loose band

Over time, the elastic in your bra’s band will deteriorate and it will get longer. That’s why you should buy a bra that fits on the loosest hook, so that you can gradually tighten it over time. What to do, besides replacing it of course, when you just can’t get it tight enough though? Either remove the hook and eye sections, cut some band length away and sew them back on, or simply fold the band and keep it that way with a few stitches.


Related: How Long Should Bras Last?


how often to replace bras

Parfait Sandrine Plunge Longline Bra P5351 | Parfait Sandrine Brazilian Thong P5354 in Cameo Rose

Signs your bra is not worth fixing

Crushed molded cups

If your molded bra cups have become lumpy or dented, sadly they’re going to stay that way. To avoid this happening in the first place, always reshape the cups whilst damp and store the bra in such a way that the cups aren’t being crushed.

Holes

If your bra is so damaged it actually has holes, it’s definitely a sign that it’s time to move on! The biggest culprit here is a harsh washing routine; minimise the risk of holes developing in your other bras by hand-washing or using mesh lingerie bags in the washing machine, and avoid the tumble dryer altogether.

Visible elastic threads

Over time, the elastic fibres in certain materials (particularly stretch lace) will become brittle and break. Speaking of tumble-dryers, this will happen rather fast if you use one for your bras, since heat is particularly good at destroying elastic! You’ll see it as tiny strands of elastic poking out of the straps or fabric. As well as being unsightly, it’s a sign the support is being compromised, and there’s unfortunately just no way to undo it.

It no longer fits

Just because a bra once fit you perfectly, doesn’t mean it always will. The band can stretch out (see above), or you can change size. Here are 10 signs your bra is no longer a good fit. At best a poorly-fitting bra won’t be supporting your bust the way it should be, at worst it will be causing substantial discomfort. So if your bra’s no longer a great fit, it’s time to replace it with one that is.

To repair or replace?

As you can see, many types of bra damage can be repaired. You’ll need to invest a little time, and perhaps a little money, but are all worth considering if you really love the bra and are keen to keep hold of it.

If your bra is suffering from multiple signs of damage listed above though, it’s time for a replacement. Patching up a small fault is one thing, but when the bra is practically falling apart, there’s no way it will be doing its job properly anymore. No one likes getting rid of a bra that was once a firm favourite, but just think of it as a chance to treat yourself to something lovely and new. A new bra perhaps?


Related: The Best Places To Donate Your Old Bras


how often should bras be replaced

Parfait Elissa Strapless Contour Bra P5011 in Pearl White

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


Featured image lingerie:
Parfait Elissa Strapless Contour Bra P5011 in Black

Do you ever repair your bras? Or do you get rid of them as soon as they start to look a bit old?

Published by

Estelle Puleston

Estelle Puleston is the founder of www.estylingerie.com, a blog dedicated to her love of lingerie. She works full-time as a copywriter and digital marketer for the lingerie and swimwear industry, and when she’s not doing that, she’s probably sewing or enjoying a good cup of tea.

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