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Email Archives: Avoid Bra Abuse -- 5 Tips for Extending the Life of your Bras

Bras are feats of delicate engineering. A few ounces of fabric, some elastic and a little ribbon and lace have to hold our breasts in place all day. Our bras have to prevent bouncing, give us the silhouette we want and do this without chaffing or pinching. That's a lot to ask of something not made of steel and concrete.

Bras are made of the soft materials that feel good against our skin and this means they will eventually wear out. It's sad when we have to say goodbye to one of our favorite bras and most of us would like to postpone that day as long as possible. So the question is ...

Are you a bra abuser?

Do you wear the same bra two days in a row? Modern bras are made of specially designed elastics that hold their shape and resist over-stretching. The heat of our bodies cause the elastic to elongate a little with each wearing. It can take up to 24 hours for this effect to disappear and for the elastic to return to its original condition. Wearing the same bra two days in a row prevents the elastic from returning to its original state and shortens the life of the bra.

Do you hook your bra in front and twist the hooks around to your back? Putting your bra on this way puts extra strain on the elastic in the band and hastens the day when the elastic will no longer provide the needed support. The best way to put on a bra is to bend over and let your breasts fall into the cups, lift the straps over your shoulders and connect the hook and eyes in the back.

Drawer filled with brasDo you fold your bras in half, cup inside of cup, when you store them in your lingerie drawer? Storing your bras this way causes two problems: (1) one cup is inverted and misshapen as it rests inside of the other cup and (2) it puts extra strain on the gore, the part of the band that it between the cups. The best way to store your bras is flat with the band folded under the cups.

Do you wash your bras in the washing machine? The heat and agitation of the washing machine can cause additional wear on your bras. If you must wash them in the washing machine, connect the hook and eyes, put the bras in a lingerie bag and use cold or warm water. The best way to wash your bras is by hand in the sink, use cool water and a special soap designed for lingerie. Baby shampoo is a good substitute for lingerie soap.

DryerDo you dry your bras in the dryer? This may be the biggest source of bra abuse. Dryers kill bras. The heat in dryers cause the elastic to stretch so much that it doesn't fully return to its original position. As the elastic gives way, the bra no longer provides good support. Air dry your bras either flat on a towel, or hanging from the straps on a hanger.

If you answered yes to any of these telltale signs of bra abuse, there is more you can do to extend the life of your favorite bras.

All bras can benefit from these care tips, but if you've treated yourself to a great designer bra you definitely want to keep it around as long as possible. Three of our favorites that you should definitely consider are the Prima Donna Deauville Underwire Bra 0161811 and 0161810, the Chantelle Rive Gauche Three-Part Cup 3281 and the Conturelle Provence Underwire Bra 80505.

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