We’re often asked: How long should a bra last? This is a really reasonable question considering that good bras can be pricey! It’s a difficult question to answer precisely, though, because what it comes down to is, a bra lasts for as long as the band is able to give you adequate support.
There is no expiration date on your bra. 🙂 You don’t need to throw it away (or donate it to our bra drive for the UGA vet school) six months after you buy it. *Some* wearers will need a replacement after six months, however, if they want a hard-working garment and not a fashion accessory. It depends on a number of factors, some which you can control and some that you can’t.
• Frequency of wear. Do you use the same bra every day or have several that you rotate?
• Weight of breast tissue. Heavier busts put more strain on bra materials and may cause the elastic in the band to stretch out faster.
• Activity level. Coupled with the above, a bra on a body in motion wears faster than one on a body at rest.
• Materials. Softer and stretchier components may not last as long as firmer materials.
• Bra care. In some ways, this is the most important consideration because it’s something you actually CAN control. Clean your bras gently, and you’ll get more life out of them! Hand-wash if possible, or use cold water on a delicate cycle setting if you need to put your bras in the washer. Use a mesh laundry bag, bra washer pod, or even a pillow case to prevent snagging or entangling during the wash cycle. Lastly, *always* air-dry your bras. Heat is destructive to the elastic in your bra band, deforms bra cups, and can overheat an underwire such that it weakens the casing and makes it more likely to break through.
The band anchors the structure of the bra and provides most of its support. The band also inevitably stretches and loosens with wear and age. This is one of the reasons why our fitters will often recommend a bra that is on the snug side when new, especially if you’re large-busted, and also why we recommend sizing a new bra so that it can be comfortably worn on the loosest set of hooks… it gives you more ability to adjust over time and keep that band securely anchored. We want that bra working for you as long as possible!