The Current State of Wear

So often you hear that you should get about 6-9 months of wear out of your bra before the elastic goes bad and you stop getting support. Increase time for smaller busts and potentially shorten that time for larger busts. Obviously other factors such as the quality of the bra, how you wash it, and how often you wear the bra will certainly impact the life of your bra.

Over the last two days, I have found myself needing to step into the second row of hooks on both of my Elomi Abi and my Curvy Kate Emily bras. I honestly went through almost an ENTIRE day of work, tugging on the band of my Abi (it kept riding up) and noticing that I was getting rubbed raw under my breasts from the band sliding around BEFORE I ADJUSTED IT. What? WHY did I wait so long? As soon as I hooked tighter, the bra instantly felt better. The same goes for my Emily, today. I started the day wearing my Elomi Hermione and switched to my Emily because I changed outfits (yay going out for dinner and not wearing a t-shirt). Fortunately, it only took me about a half hour to realize that I needed to go tighter on the band of my Emily….

Then I started thinking…. how long have I had both of these bras? Am I going to get a good lifespan out of them if I am already heading into the middle ground???

The Current State of Wear:

  • Curvy Kate Emily – First worn on August 8th; Almost two months before hooking tighter Β **Projected life span: 6 months
  • Elomi Abi – First worn on August 28th; Not even one month before hooking tighter **Projected life span: 3 months

Unfortunately this means that I am probably going to have to invest in another Abi after the new year, because I really do love the bra.

Factors that Affect Wear:

  • I wear my Abi every. other. day. Because it is the most comfortable for my long days of work.
  • The Abi was probably too big in a 40 to begin with
  • My beige CK Emily gets more wear than any of my other “fancy” lace bras – even moreso than my Andorras
  • I’ve always felt as though the band in the beige Emily was pretty stretchy
  • I hand wash a batch of bras per week; I only wear each bra that I have maybe 2-3 times before it goes into the “must wash pile”
  • I have a heavy bust

So….when do you know that you need to hook in and go tighter? The following signs apply to a bra that you know was the right size when you first purchased it

Signs that your band is getting too stretchy:

  • The band used to sit level but now starts to ride up as the day goes on
  • You’re not getting the same support and uplift that you did when you first got the bra
  • You get chafed, or are uncomfortable because the wires are sliding around under your breasts and you didn’t have this problem before
  • Your shoulders are hurting because the band is not supporting the weight of your breasts well enough and the weight is being transferred to your straps

On average, you should try to have at least 3-5 bras that you rotate throughout the week. I have four (Briony, Abi, Emily and Hermione) that I rotate throughout the week, and I save my Andorras for specific outfits, or when I know I want that extra boost.

**How many bras do you have? What’s the projected lifespan of your bras?? Please respond in the comments and be sure to take part in the poll!**

12 thoughts on “The Current State of Wear

  1. I was thinking about writing about this topic as well! I’ve been curious how long most women keep their bras/how often they wash them. I’m strictly two wears before I wash them, and never two days in a row (unless I feel like I need to stretch the band a bit, but that is very rare). My Freya bras, which were a tad loose to begin with, have lasted me about 9 months, and probably have a couple more left in them. So I imagine my tighter bras will last more than a year, ideally two if I take good care of them. I think my bras may last considerably longer because 28F really isn’t too large a bust to support.

    I hope more people comment, I’d like to get more info from various sizes of women as to how long their bras last!

    • Wow! Two years life span! I guess then it leads you to the next problem: so many people suggest that you get remeasured a couple times a year, and if necessary get new bras. Our boobs don’t stay the same over two years, so even though they may last that long….can we still wear them for two years?

      I know that, for me, in the last two years, my size has changed probably 4-5 times.

      I also hope that more people comment because I am curious about this, too! I think I will try to keep track of the life of each of my bras so that when they do die, I can update my reviews of each of the bras. I think it’s important to know the lifespan because it can help you decide if you want to spend X amount of $$ on a specific bra. Are you going to get your money out of it??

      • My size has actually stayed about the same for the past year since I got properly fitted, I only got the tiniest bit smaller. My weight rarely changes in general though, so I consider myself pretty lucky because it means the chances of growing our of lingerie are slim!

  2. I voted 2/3 days, but just like Windie, I’m strictly 2 wears and now not 2 days in a row like I used to before I knew better. I think it makes more sense to say that a bra lasts say 100 wears, than x months, because some women rotate between 2 bras, when others have full drawers!
    I have to make a post about how I have two lingerie drawers: one with my bras on rotation (usually about 4 so that they last me a week) and the second one with my other bras (special occasion and/or not so well fitting). I reassess the fit (no tape measure involved!) on a regular basis and reassign bras to each drawer accordingly.

      • It’s definitely interesting to hear about other women’s experiences with their bras. As I mentioned, I really think that the Abi was too big in a 40 to begin with (I probably needed something like a 38JJ instead of the 40J) and I knew that when I bought it, but decided to get the 40 because I wanted something a little more comfortable – I know, BAD BAD BAD. In the last month, I have probably worn the Abi 20+ times, for reference.

  3. How you care for it will be the biggest factor after quality. You really do need to wash them every 2 to 3 wears. Also, machine washing is best. You need to do up e hooks, fold it together (doesnt work for many foam cups) and put it in a lingerie wash bag. Hand washing will not snap it back into shape like a machine wash will. Think of it like a pair of jeans, getting looser each wear and sitting lower on your waist/hips. If you hand washed them, they wouldn’t be near as snug as the machine wash. You need to keep the band nice and low, otherwise it will keep riding up throughout the day and stretching out. To be honest, in the 11 years I’ve been buying European styled lingerie I am yet to actually wear out a bra. My size has fluctuated anywhere from a 32F to a 38H depending in my weight. I also alter my favourites tighter if the third row of hooks just isn’t enough anymore.

    • I think I would have to, kindly, disagree about the machine washing. The parallel you draw about jeans? My jeans only snap back into place from being in the dryer… that is usually the difference between those who hand wash bras and those who machine wash, I guess I don’t understand how simply changing the “place” for washing seems to have more of an effect.

      When I hand wash, I either lay my bras flat on a towel to dry, or I hang them in the bathroom to drip dry. I’ve always found that the elastics in the band “snap back into place” and have never had experience with them stretching out from hand washing. Machine washing puts more stress on the wires than anything else and can sometimes contort them. Admittedly, I’ve never washed my bras in a lingerie wash bag (I have one, but have not used it). Do you use special lingerie wash when you put it in the washing machine??? I wonder if that makes a difference too.

      What I meant by “wear out” was not so much as though the bra is ruined – simply that is is stretched from wear and can no longer be tightened with hooks alone.

      I’m curious to hear more about your washing methods!

      • I might just have to do a YouTube video πŸ™‚
        I do not use special soap, just normal powder. They never, ever go in the dryer. Machine washing truly is best. It gets them cleaner, and I’ve never once had them warp in the machine. Biggest size I’ve worn is 38H. I worked at a boutique and it’s what we recommended. Seeing so many people and how they treat their garments, you really can machine wash if you do it properly. Cold water is important too. The bra will feel tighter on your body, longer, if you machine wash. You won’t need to tighten up the hooks as often. Seriously, you can trust me πŸ˜‰
        Will see if I can make a video. Just moved to Uni this week, will depend on the laundry facilities.

  4. Love the topic since I feel like I’m always investing in new bras. I usually have to buy bras about ever 6 months depending on the styles and brands I buy. Currently I wear Prima Donna cause they last the longest for me and I buy 4 bras every six months. I typically wear each bra one to two times before I wash them and I NEVER wear them two days in a row. I’m 38H in Prima Donna and in Elomi I wear 38G in Caitlyn and 36H in Abi (I feel like abi runs smaller in the cup and looser in the band). Last year I bought 6 Elomi bras 4 Hermione spacers and two abi’s. In three months I was on the tightest hooks and the elastic around the back was folding in half and stabbing me (I’m short waisted). So I opted to go back to Prima Donna and see how long they last me. I really loved the Elomi bras but ultimately don’t like replenishing them every 3 months. I must say that even in the Prima Donna I have trouble with the elastic in the back folding over after 5-6 months. Since the elastic is higher quality it doesn’t stab me like the Elomi or leave red marks. I tried going down to 36 bands in the Elomi but had even more problems with elastic curling. As for washing I machine wash cold in a WIRED spiral mesh bag from bed bath and beyond. I have a stackable washer/dryer and I have never had a problem with a popped or bent wire since I started using the bags (the first time I washed a bra not in a bag my wire popped out). I have very sensitive skin and I feel like when I hand wash them I can never rinse them enough so that’s why I use the washer. On a side note I really love your blog, I think it is very relevant and it’s nice to know I’m not alone with my bra frustrations.

    • Since you were having such a problem with the Elomi’s stretching out so quickly, I would definitely suggest going down a band size if you decide to try them again.

      I would agree that the Abi runs a little bit bigger in the cup. In my experience, most – if not all – Elomi bands run big, except for the Hermione, which I feel is true to size.

      The elastic in ALL of my bras curl (I’m assuming you mean around the side/back, and it folds up I guess). I’ve just kind of resigned myself to having to deal with this. Admittedly, I get less of this problem in a bigger band size BUT then I do not get the lift and fit as the band is actually too big – if bigger than a 40. Honestly, I think the bigger you are (plus-size) and hence more squishy, this curling is unavoidable. I have yet to hear of a woman NOT having this problem in a 38+ band size.

      I love PrimaDonna bras but they are so expensive.

      Thank you for your support for my blog! πŸ™‚

  5. Pingback: To Hand Wash or Not To Hand Wash? | Fussy Busty

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