Bra Care 101
So bras. Booby cups. Over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders. Sweater kennels. Brassieres. Flopper stoppers. Double-barreled slingshots. Whatever you call them, you probably use them. Which means knowing how to take care of your bras is pretty important information. Here are the basics.
The ideal, of course, is to hand wash your bras with a specially-made detergent that you can probably only buy at fancy stores that sell underpinnings. That, however, is wholly impractical. Instead of going through all that trouble, invest in a lingerie-washing bag. It’s a netted, flexible, wire-framed contraption that will protects your bras from most washing machine abuse. Hook the bras closed and nestle them together before placing them in the bag. Then toss the bag in the wash with similarly delicate items, including your t-shirts, knitwear, and frilly dresses. Run the machine with cold water on the delicate cycle. This will keep the elastic from breaking down and the cups from coming unmolded.
Avoid putting bras in the dryer. The heat and tumbling will cause their structure to deteriorate. Instead, immediately pull bras from the finished wash and reshape the cups, allow them to air dry. The best way to do this is to lay the bras flat on a towel. If you lack the space to do this, hang bras to dry by draping their bodies over a hanger. Don't hang them by their straps, as this will stress them, leading to sagging and loss of support.
Store bras flat, stacking them on top of each other and nesting the cups like you would do with those little Russian dolls. Never invert the cups or twist them, because this ruins them. They become creased, lumpy, and uncomfortable.
Depending on how many bras you own and actually wear, a good bra can last anywhere from 6 months to two years. If you rotate through three bras, they’ll wear out a lot faster than if you rotate through seven. The rules of bra replacement aren’t hard and fast, but a general rule of thumb is to buy a new bra when you get measured. If your breasts are still growing you should measure yourself every six months. If they’ve finished growing you should get measured once a year.
Is now a good time to confess that we've never gotten measured? Have you? And do you have any bra care tips to share?