From finding a bra that fits just right to making sure that the bra is also one that suits your style, discovering the perfect bra can feel a little like falling in love. But, unlike a soulmate, bras aren’t for keeps, and the end of your relationship with your bra might need to come sooner than you think.
As much as you might want to hold on to a beloved bra forever, bras, like any article of clothing, wear out. As a general rule, notes Bustle, a good bra should last you from six months to a year, assuming you wear it daily. However, ideally, you want to have several bras in your arsenal, never wearing the same one two days in a row.
If you’ve had a bra for a while, examine it for signs that it has lost its shape or elasticity, or has otherwise worn out. If it has, then it’s time for you to go bra shopping.
Holding on to a bra you should have gotten rid of isn't good for your health
Changes in your body weight and shape may also mean that a bra that fit perfectly when you bought it is no longer doing its job. Bustle says to get rid of your bra if it’s too small, gapes, or if it simply doesn’t feel comfortable.
While you might be willing to sacrifice a little comfort or a perfect fit for a bra you love, there’s a good reason to replace a bra meeting these criteria beyond a wardrobe refresh. “Wearing an ill-fitting bra can cause poor posture, back and neck pain, shoulder grooves leading to numbness in the fingers, and a lack of self-confidence,” Amy Sanchez of the University of Portsmouth’s Research Group in Breast Health told Patient.
Aside from physical ailments, a bad bra can also impact your mental health. Tracey-Jane Hughes, founder of the bra-fitting service Bra Lady, said, “I see a lot of women who don’t like their breasts because they find them uncomfortable — all because they are not wearing a well-fitting bra.”
While having to replace a bra that was once your go-to might be frustrating — not to mention expensive — the benefits of replacing a bra that no longer works for you are worth it.
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