What better time than the start of the New Year to revamp your lingerie drawer? Undergarments are the perfect place to start with your resolution to look your best. As you know, a bra that fits you well can make you look slimmer and more proportional, all you have to do it put it on to get the magic effect!
I know every woman owns bras that are beyond their useful life of service either sitting in their drawer or more likely being worn, not doing their body justice. Of course most women are simply unaware that bras wear out long before they rip or tear. So how do you know when a bra should be replaced? Let’s take a look.
In my studio I keep a bin of bras for illustrative purposes, design details, different trim and strap treatments, etc. I keep this particular bra to show clients what a bra looks like when it needs to be replaced.
The biggest sign a bra has passed its prime is that the elastic is no longer elastic. It is hard to see this in a static pictures but I tried to capture this by focusing on the ripples in the band in the picture below. Its like the elastic is too big for the fabric in the band causing the fabric to flare out.
Inelastic elastic is a normal sign of bra aging. Bras have multiple hook positions in the back of the band and adjusters on the straps anticipating the gradual loss of elasticity over time. These adjustments allow you to keep the bra snug around the body as the elasticity loses its spring. As time goes on though, regardless of the care of the bra, skin cells and body oils simply wear down the elastic.
Once you have the band of the bra adjusted as small as it will go and it feels loose on the body or moves around, the bra can no longer do its job providing support and needs to be replaced. This concept applies to the straps as well. When you start the day with the straps adjusted to fit and over the course of the day, they seem to magically lengthen and fall over your shoulder, the elastic is done and the bra is dead.
The second major sign of aging, which applies to foam bras, is that the foam no longer holds its shape. This is visible as both a general collapse of the cups and folds in the cup as seen below.
As foam ages it can also start to break down. This is visible via the ripples in the foam under the fabric covering (admittedly hard to see from this photo).
Another tell tale sign of aging, though impossible to see from these pictures, is that there is a grayish cast over the original pink/beige color. Just another normal sign of aging resulting from the cumulative effect of exposure to body oils and skin cells which as time goes on can not be entirely removed from the fabric via cleaning.
If you have bras exhibiting signs of age, replace them! By continuing to hang onto old worn bras you are cheating yourself out of the great support and figure flattery that comes from a properly fitting bra. If you simply love a particular bra and cannot find the style anymore, contact me to see if I can make a copy of it for you!