An Improperly fitting bra can be annoying or even downright unbearable. At Suelto, we are dedicated to helping you find the best bra for your needs. But even the best bra has an expiration date.
A well-constructed bra should last one year of daily wear with two bras in rotation. Not all bras are created equal, of course. Fabric strength, band kickback and seaming are engineering properties that will provide exceptional support, extending the life of a bra. How do you know if it is time for a new bra?
1. Your band is too loose.
Most of the support of the bra comes from the band. Bras function to lift from the bottom up while the shoulder straps help to keep the bra in place. A properly fit bra should have a tight enough band that wears parallel around the rib cage at the level of where the wires sit, if not lower. An indication of a loose or tired band is when you resort to tightening your shoulder straps to provide lift in the cups and find your band creeping up your back and straps digging into your shoulders as the day wears on.
A new bra should wear tightly enough to stay in place with the clasps on the loosest setting. If you can raise your arms and the wires move or the band slips, it is too loose. A properly fit band should allow for 2 fingers to slip under the clasp with little to no pull back.
As you wear your bra, the band will stretch. Slowly work your way in on the hook and eyes, tightening the band as needed and to prevent slippage. This helps increase the lifespan of your bra. At some point, you won't be able to tighten the band anymore. If your bra slides over your breast tissue as you move throughout the day, it is time for a new bra!
2. The cups are the wrong size.
The gore of your bra, where the wires meet in the center of your bra, should lay flat against your sternum. You have two breasts, the gore functions to separate them. If these wires cross over each other, your cups are too big. If they don't lay flat, your cups are too small.
Additionally, the wires on the side of your breast should lay flat against your body and wrap just behind your breast. Your breast tissue should rest inside your bra. Your cups are too small if your wires lie on top of your breast tissue. Your cups are too large if the wires wrap way back behind your breast tissue.
A test to ensure you have the correct cup size is to lean forward and shimmy. If your breast tissue starts to work its way out of your bra, it is an indication that you either need to go up a cup size or choose a bra with a higher gore and less plunging style.
3. Your bra is uncomfortable.
Do you constantly feel your underwire stabbing you in the armpit? Are you continually having to adjust your bra or breast tissue? Do you anxiously await a time in the day when you can take off your bra? If you said yes to any of these questions, you need a new bra. A properly fitting bra shouldn't poke or pinch you. It should move with your body throughout the day, keeping your breast tissue contained, so you don't feel the constant need to readjust. A new bra should be snug with a 'locked & loaded feeling' but not painful. It is perfectly normal for your bra to leave marks on your skin. You should, however, feel like you can comfortably move and breathe in your bra.
You can extend the life of your bras by properly caring for them.
1. Sweat breaks down elastane. Wash your daily driver's regularly, ever 3-5 wears. Wash your sports bras after every wear.
2. Rotate your bras. Give your daily driver's a 2-3 day break in-between wears.
3. Hand wash your bras. Use a delicate detergent, free of dyes and harsh chemicals. We recommend Soak, a rinse free detergent for your delicates. Simply soak your bras for 20 minutes then hang to dry.
Our bodies shift throughout our lives, size ebbs and flows. It is important to reassess the fit of your bra every year or two. You can do this on your own or by enlisting a professional bra fitter. Determining the correct fit of a bra can be tricky. Each brand varies in sizing and collections within each brand may fit differently. In addition to sizing, it's helpful to know your shape. Getting an expert opinion can make an often painful process enjoyable. Stop into Suelto for a complimentary professional bra fitting, or click here to schedule one online. We keep fit notes for all our customers, so we can easily re-order your favorite bra when it comes time for a new one!