Did you know that you’re supposed to replace your sports bra every six to 12 months…and even more often if you’re doing intense workouts like training for a marathon or triathlon? Did you also know there are specific ways to care for your sports bra to make it last longer?
Many women aren’t aware of how often their bras should be replaced or even how to care for it – so they’re wearing a worn-out, stretched-out version that doesn’t give them the support they need.
There are so many choices in buying a bra, but these tips should help for those looking for a Sports Bra.
Here are some things to keep in mind that will increase the life of your bra:
- Follow the care instructions – You can just toss your sports bra into the laundry with everything else, right? Wrong. Experts recommend hand washing with powder detergent and avoiding fabric software, especially on those that are sought after because of their quick-drying material. In this case, fabric softeners can actually cling to the fabric and prevent it from wicking away sweat.
- Always let your bras “drip dry” – Another way to prolong its life is to hang dry sports bras. The material usually dries quickly so you won’t have to worry about not having room for all of your hanging clothes. If you absolutely need to use the dryer, make sure it’s on a low-heat setting.
- Take off your bra right after exercising – Even if you’ve only sweated a little bit, take it off right after you’re finished with your workout. Why? If you don’t, your bra is much more likely to collect bacteria that will break down the fibers.
- Rinse after exercising – Even better than just taking off your bra is rinsing it after you’re finished working out. This will help you get one or two more “wears” out of it and allow it to breathe. Whatever you do, don’t leave it in a pile in your gym bag.
8 Indications Your Bra Should Be Thrown Away
Even the best bras that are perfectly cared for should be replaced frequently. You’ll know it’s time to say goodbye to your sports bra and hello to something new IF:
- You bought it more than a year ago – You should never own a sports bra for more than a year. Even if it still feels good, the fibers are likely stretched out, which means you’re not getting proper support.
- You begin to notice it’s too loose or too tight
- The straps are stretched out – Straps should fit snugly (but not too tight) over your shoulders. They shouldn’t give much – and if they do, it probably means they’re too stretched out.
- The care tag is so worn you can’t read it
- The fabric is rubbed or has begun pilling
- You’ve lost more than 10 pounds – While the specific amount of weight loss can vary from person to person, 10 pounds is a good place to start. Why? Because most women lose weight from their chest first, meaning their sports bra will fit loosely and not give them adequate support.
- You’re pregnant – Similar to the above, being pregnant may increase your cup size significantly, so instead of squeezing into a bra that’s too small, head out in search of a new one.
- The band’s elastic is broken – The band is the most important part of your sports bra, as it’s the source of the most support. If you find the elastic is damaged, rolling, or folding over, consider finding a new one.
Having a great-fitting sports bra can make the difference between a great workout and a terrible one. Make sure to take a look at the above tips before your next shopping excursion.
About the Author:
Cindy Prosser modeled underwear until the baby. Now she’s a part-time freelance writer and a full-time mom. When not glamorously overdressing for grocery store visits, she stays busy writing about plus-size sports bras from Bare Necessities.