How Often Should You Replace Your Bra?

AJANTHI VASANTHAROOPAN / STYLE WELLNESS

How old is your favourite pair of underwear? Or socks? And what about your bra? No matter what your answer, you may wonder what’s normal and what’s recommended about how frequently you replace your bra.

The fabrics we wear closest to our skin and most often tend to need replacement sooner than, say sweaters or winter coats. But just how often? 

Rule of Thumb: Replace Your Bra Every 6-12 Months

The rule of thumb is that bras need to be replaced every six months, but sometimes this can be stretched to twelve months. This is a pretty wide range... so, what gives? Well, it depends on a few different factors...

  • Number of bras you own: The more bras you own the fewer wears each bra gets over the same time span. So if you alternate between 2 or 3 bras, you’ll wear them out faster than if you’ve got 10+ bras to pick from. Just like shoes… they’ll last longer if you wear them less often.
  • Frequency of rotation: Of course, connected with this is how frequently you rotate. If you’re like me, you have many pairs of shoes, but mostly wear the same one or two pairs constantly. Bras can be the same. Basically, that “favourite” that you wear more often will wear out faster than a bra you bought at the same time but wear just for special occasions.
  • Length of wear: How long do you wear them before you wash and change bras? Some experts say you should change bras every day. Sweat and oil from our skin breaks down the delicate fabrics of our underwear, so the longer you wear underwear without washing, the more likely it is to degrade faster...
  • How you clean it: How often should you wash your bra? Many say after each wear. When you wash underwear, you’ll want to be careful. Some brands (like Knix wireless bras) can handle a machine wash. Some need the gentlest hand wash with specialty detergent. No matter what the washing instructions, if you wash and machine dry your bras roughly you can risk shortening their lifespan. But regular gentle cleaning and air drying will help your bras last longer.
  • Your bust size: Bras for larger cup sizes have to do more work in terms of offering support; after all the bigger the breasts the more support required. Unfortunately, this means that women with larger breasts may find their bras have a shorter lifespan.

Signs It’s Time to Replace!

The good news is you don’t have to rely too much on guesswork to know it’s time to move on… Your bra will have some clear tell-tale signs that it’s up for replacement. These include:

Loose Band and/or Straps

You get most of the support from the band of your bra and if you’re already clasping it on the innermost clasp and it’s still loose, it’s a good sign it has lost its elasticity.

Similarly, the shoulder straps can also lose elasticity over time, and you’ll probably find they fall down no matter how many times you adjust them.

Underwires Popping Out

If you wear an underwire bra, it needs some extra tender loving care. Machine washing can bend the wires and they can start to push out of their stitching. Of course, you can push them back in and stitch up the hole. But this seems to be a short-term fix; once the wires start popping, your bra is usually on its last legs.

Cups Losing Their Shape

If your bra has molded cups and they get bashed about over time and start to lose their shape, your bra will be less likely to give you the silhouette you want. Again, washing and drying methods can be a difference maker in prolonging your bras. Another factor is how you store your bras when you’re not wearing them. Shove them in drawers or leave them dangling off door knobs and you can expect damage, wear and tear to happen faster.

Fabric Is Breaking Down

Frayed fabrics, little pieces of elastic breaking apart, holes, faded fabric or stubborn stains are all signs of fabric degrading. You probably won’t need a magnifying glass to see this happen; your bra will just start to seem a little tatty. Now, we all love our favorite well-worn, well-loved pair of jeans or band t-shirt from back in the day. But even if “distressed” is your look, you probably don’t want it showing up on your underwear. Take the hint: It’s time for something new.

Other Reasons to Change

Sometimes, it’s not the bra… it’s you. Let’s face it: Our bodies aren’t frozen in time. We change too, whether it’s our body, our style or just growing tired of things...

Your Body Has Changed...

Weight change can have a really big impact on how your bra is fitting. That’s because our breasts contain adipose fat and so when our weight fluctuates, so does our bra size. No matter what the reason (body changes, hormones, pregnancy, weight loss or gain or a new workout regime), when your body changes, odds are your bra needs to too.

It’s Just Not Comfortable

Ever realize you’ve been tolerating something that just isn’t comfortable? So many women just carry on despite the fact they detest their bra. A good sign of this is how quickly it comes off once you get home. If you’re one of these women, you deserve better: Replace your bra.

But clothing can also become uncomfortable because it no longer feels like “you”. Maybe you went through a phase of wearing a certain kind of lingerie or clothing and now you’ve embraced a whole new style. Or maybe you were coaxed into a purchase you now regret. No matter what the reason, give yourself permission to update to something more comfortable.

Ready for a Change?

If you’re ready for a change, we really recommend a wireless bra from Knix. And we recommend getting fitted. After all, if you go out and buy the wrong size bra, you risk finding yourself back in the same uncomfortable place. And trust us, it’s not easy to figure out the right size bra all by yourself.

Plus, you may discover a whole new style to explore — underwear fabrics and technology are constantly evolving. 

Now, at Knix, we understand many women put off replacing their bra for precisely this reason: They dread the bra fitting. That’s why we developed our virtual fit program. Learn more about it today and book your appointment!

What to Expect from a Knix Virtual Fitting:

  • Book your virtual fitting here
  • We’ll connect you with one of our expert Knix team members for a 1-on-1 fitting session over video chat. 
  • For your bra fitting, we recommend you wear a bra with little or no padding and a fitted t-shirt to make sure we get an accurate measurement. You’ll also need either a) a soft measuring tape or b) a piece of string or cord and a tape measure or ruler.
  • With different styles and sizes for 30A to 42G in the world’s most comfortable and supportive wireless bras, our fit experts can help you get into something that you will love to wear every single day.