Updated: Oct 29, 2019
Time to SUPPORT the girls - lol YES, we're talking bras!
As a woman that has changed bra sizes from teen, pre-mom, pregnant, nursing and the oh so lovely after-children-breasts, we need to be aware of good support, coverage and most of all feeling comfortable!
Girls, let me just tell you I GET IT!
Here are some tips and tricks (and a few extra from our friends at ASophisticatedPair.com )
Bras are investment pieces in our wardrobe, and as such, it’s natural to want to know how long to expect a quality bra to last you. Some experts suggest a bra should last between 6 and 9 months or roughly 130 wears, which I feel is a good starting point.
However, there are several factors that can either shorten or lengthen the life of your bra:
* Cup Size: People with heavier breast tissue who wear larger cup sizes may find their bras do no last as long. A bra for a 34H cup person must work harder to keep breasts supported and contained throughout the day than a bra for a 34C cup individual.
* Activity Level: If you work at a desk job where your bra has little more to do than stay in place and keep tissue lifted, then the bra will have less wear and tear put on it than, say, the person who waits tables at a busy restaurant. The more you stretch the elastic of the bra throughout the day, the faster it will wear out and stop giving you support.
* Quality: Not all bras are created equally, and even at higher price points, you will find bras whose quality doesn’t warrant a prolonged life.
Nevertheless, at the end of the day, the life of a bra comes down to:
* How Often You Wear It: If you wear a bra every day for several weeks, the bra’s lifespan will be seriously shortened because you are not giving the elastic time to snap back. If you only have two bras in rotation, you will notice those bras tend to wear out around the six-month mark simply because of how much wear they receive. My recommendation is have three to four different bras you can rotate if you want to prolong their lifespan.
* How you Care for It: Sorry ladies and gents, but throwing the bra in the dryer is one surefire way to destroy the bra and require it to be replaced faster. Wash on delicate wash cycle and in a lingerie bag, the bra can still be damaged by the agitation. Molded cup bras need to have their shape preserved for them to fit properly.
Most people we fit are wearing a bra with a band size that is too big and a cup size that is too small. Thus, if the average person buys a 36DD bra, he/she most likely wears 34G.
Here are a few common bra problems accompanied by an explanation of how to solve them:
* Problem: Your breasts pop out the bottom of the bra, especially when you raise your arms.
Solution: Try the next cup size up and scoop breast tissue up into the cup so that it is completely encased and does not fall out the bottom. The band may also too big. Check that it feels snug on the loosest set of hooks.
* Problem: Your breasts overflow from the cups of the bra causing lumps.
Solution: Size up in the cup until all your breast tissue is covered. Also, the style of the bra may not be right for you. Some cups are designed to be shallower near the top or they have reduced stretch, which can cut into breast tissue.
* Problem: The straps of your bra give you deep shoulder indentations.
Solution: Loosen the straps and examine the band. At least 80% of the support from your breasts comes from the band, and if it is too loose, you may be tightening your straps to compensate for the loss of support
* Problem: The band rides up in the back.
Solution: Size down in the band, but remember you also need to size up in the cup, e.g., a 34C becomes a 32D.
* Problem: Your breasts are smashed together at the center of the bra or compressed by the underwire on the sides.
Solution: Size up in the cup. The underwire should not lay on any of your breast tissue. The center should lay flat against your breastplate, and the underwire should encase the tissue on the sides not compress it. However, if you have full, center-set tissue, the underwire may not sit flat in fuller-coverage styles, especially if the center is wide and shallow. If possible, look for bras with a lower height at the center gore where the underwires meet. If you wear bras in the upper end of the cup size spectrum, true tacking may not be possible.
* Problem: The underwire digs into your breasts or sides.
Solution: You may need to size up in the cup to ensure the underwire sits behind the breast tissue, but the style of bra may not be right for your body. Some bras have a higher wing or cup near the side, which can dig into the skin or chafe. Look for a style with a lower wing if the cup size fits.
* Problem: You have extra space between where the cup ends and where your breast tissue starts on the side.
Solution: The shape of the cup is too wide for you. If the cup size fits otherwise, consider looking for styles with narrower cup shapes, possibly with added center projection.
* Problem: You have frequent infections, rashes, or breakouts underneath the breasts.
· Solution: Size up in the cup and evaluate your band. Infections or rashes under the breasts are usually a result of breast tissue being trapped against your skin for long hours, which could mean your breasts are falling out the bottom of your bra.
Here are a few bra buying tips and a few re-capped: * Straps should not dig in your shoulders * 80% of the weight should be held by the BAND that goes around you * When you first purchase a bra you should be able to wear it on the loosest hook and as the material stretches move the hook inward. * If you are having gaping or spillage your cup size is either too big or too small * If you go up or down a band size, move your cup size up too :: example a 34B can fit similar to a 32C * most women buy their bras with too large of a band size * have at least 2 'nude' aka skin color bras, you will wear them the most * nude will not show under white shirts but white bras WILL, so wear nude * your breasts should fall exactly halfway between your shoulder and your elbow . . . so do you need to pull them up or let them down?
Thirdlove.com have my personal favorite bras but Hanes and Target also have a great selection with fabulous quality (all depends on your size!).
Washing and care tips: * You can wear bras 2-3 times before washing but don't wear them 2 days in a row - they need time to breathe and go back to shape * wash bras in a delicate laundry bag with warm water on delicate/ light washing cycle * lay flat to dry, Do NOT put in the dryer EVER! * store bras flat, on top of another in a drawer. Do NOT fold
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