Bras are investment pieces in our wardrobe, and as such, it’s natural to want to know how long to expect a quality bra to last you. Some experts suggest a bra should last between 6 and 9 months or roughly 130 wears, which I feel is a good starting point. However, there are a number of factors that can either shorten or lengthen the life of your bra:
- Larger Cup Sizes: Women who have heavier breast tissue and wear larger cup sizes may find their bras do no last as long because let’s be fair: A bra for an H cup woman has to work harder to keep your breasts supported and contained throughout the day than bra for a C cup woman.
- Activity Level: If you work at a desk job where your bra has little more to do than stay in place and keep the girls lifted, then the bra will have less wear and tear put on it than, say, the woman who waits tables at a busy restaurant. The more you stretch the elastic of the bra throughout the day, the faster it will wear out and stop giving you support.
- Quality: Not all bras are created equally, and even at higher price points, you will find bras whose quality doesn’t warrant a prolonged life. At A Sophisticated Pair, we do our best to only stock bras that we know will last the test of time, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t styles out there that wear out faster.
Nevertheless, at the end of the day, the life of a bra comes down to:
- How Often You Wear It: If you wear a bra everyday for several weeks, the bra’s lifespan will be seriously shortened because you are not giving the elastic time to snap back. Even if you only have two bras in rotation, you will notice those bras tend to wear out around the six month mark simply because of how much wear they receive. My recommendation is have three to four different bras you can rotate if you want to prolong the wear of your bras.
- How you Care for It: Sorry ladies, but throwing the bra in the washer and especially the dryer is one surefire way to destroy the bra and require it to be replaced faster. Some women have assured me that the washing machine works well on delicate wash, but I’m skeptical. My bras routinely cost over $65, which is a lot of money to waste if something goes wrong with the lingerie bag. Personally, I follow my own advice, and I hand wash my bras and let them hang dry. The result? I have bras that are still acceptable for around the house or for country picnics that are over two years old.
When I buy a new bra, I aim to have the cost-per-wear (CPW) under $0.75 before I retire it to the “in home only” drawer. Usually, this requires about 90 wears; however, most of my bras have a CPW of under $0.50 from instituting a rotation and carefully washing them.
Hope that helps!