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when to buy new bras

We know, your bras can be tough to part with. After all, they’ve been there for you. They offered you support where you needed it most, and they made all your favorite ensembles look flawless. While they may not come with an expiration date, there comes a time when a bra has got to go. Maybe the underwire is poking out (yikes, to say the least), or maybe your bra is otherwise causing you discomfort all of a sudden. While these are more obvious signs that it’s time to toss a particular bra, some indicators are slightly subtler.

This handy checklist should help you determine if it’s time to buy new bras: 

1.  The cups aren’t cutting it.

If your boobs are spilling out the cups or there are any gaps between your skin and the fabric, that’s a solid sign that your bra doesn’t fit anymore. The cups should lay flat against your skin. The fact of the matter is that our bra size may fluctuate (without you even realizing it!) due to a range of different factors, including weight loss or gain, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. That’s why we advise getting a professional bra fitting every six months.

2.  The straps are sliding.

It goes without saying that the straps play a key part in lending support. So if they’re not staying up when they’re tightened as far as possible, that’s another sign you should ditch your bra. Straps simply lose some elasticity over time, and no matter how well the rest of the bra fits, you don’t want to be stressing about constantly pulling up your straps.

3.  The band is too loose.

Did you know that the band provides even more support than the straps? So, if you’re wearing your bra fastened on the tightest hook-and-eye closure, and the band still doesn’t feel snug, then it’s time to say goodbye. This is why you never want to buy a bra that fits on the tightest closure to begin with — instead, opt for one that you can tighten as it stretches over time.


Related: This Is Why Your Bra Band Rides Up Your Back


4.  It has lost its shape.

If the cups on a molded bra are looking like they’ve lost their structure, or the cups on a padded bra have any dents or bulges, then you’ll definitely want to part ways with that one in the name of smooth lines. Misshapen cups are bound to show through your clothing, making your top or dress look less than flattering.

5.  You’ve had it for years.

Real talk: No matter how well-made they are, most bras only last between six and 18 months, depending on how often you wear them (hence why rotation is key!). So if you bought that bra three years ago, there’s a very good chance it’s past its prime. Whether the fabric is fraying, the elastic has lost its luster or the color has faded, a bra that’s been hanging around too long will start to look — and feel — less than fabulous. And let’s face it: You deserve nothing short of fabulous when it comes to your unmentionables.

6.  It’s not being worn.

If you’re debating whether or not to keep a particular bra, ask yourself one question (and be honest): When was the last time you put it on? There may be a variety of reasons why you’re not reaching for a particular bra anymore — perhaps it simply doesn’t work with much of your wardrobe, it doesn’t lend quite as much coverage as you’d like, or you’ve made the switch from wire-free to underwire bras. Regardless, feel free to part with a bra if it’s been sitting in your drawer for a while.

As the saying goes, out with the old and in with the new. You don’t have to feel guilty about getting rid of bras for any of the previously detailed reasons — especially when there are so many options for recycling them, including a number of charitable organizations to donate them to (talk about a win-win: doing good while purging your collection!). Besides, we all love an excuse to shop, and saying goodbye to bras that aren’t up to par gives you a reason to pick up some new ones.

Parfait Lingerie Destiny Unlined Wire Bra Hipster Cassis Purple

Parfait Destiny Unlined Wire Bra P5102 | Parfait Destiny Hipster P5105 in Cassis Purple

Related: The Best Places To Donate Your Old Bras


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

Published by

Rebecca Strong

Rebecca is a Boston-based freelance writer who focuses on style, fitness, food, and travel. She has contributed to such publications as HuffPost, Elite Daily and U.S. News & World Report. When she's not writing, she can be found at home or in the studio working on the songs for her upcoming album. Her favorite bra is a black demi-cup style with all-over-lace — timeless and feminine.

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