Okay, let’s be honest here. None of us are perfect and we all make mistakes but when it comes to bras and boobs, it’s important to get things right! Not only is getting it right crucial for your comfort and support, but for the lifespan of your beautiful new bras too. We’ve compiled a list of the most common bra mistakes that we see here at Brastop, and we’re letting you know what you can do to fix that!
- Buying a bra that fits on the tightest hook straight away
Error number one! Whenever you buy a new bra, it should fit firm and snug around your back while fastened on the loosest hook. Why is this important? Because bras stretch. Quickly. As you wear and wash your bra, it breaks down the elastics and they lose their firmness so by starting out your new bra on the loosest hook, it means you can tighten it to the other hooks as it starts to stretch out over time. That means your bras will last longer and have a lot more support left in them at the end of their lifespan! If your new bra is too loose on the loosest hook, try going down a band size.
- Haven’t had a fitting in the last 12 months
This is such a common mistake! Ideally you should get a fitting for every bra you purchase, purely because every brand and style can fit so variedly, but we appreciate that this isn’t always possible – especially when shopping online. Because our bodies and breast shapes are constantly changing, it’s recommended to get a fitting at least every 6 months – which just so happens to be the average lifespan of a bra. A proper fitting can make a world of difference, but if you can’t get to one or just really don’t fancy it, take a look at our fitting guide to learn how to spot a good and bad fitting bra. Or, get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help you find the perfect fit!
- Your breast tissue is spilling over the top of the cup
Quadboob. Overspill. Bulging. Whatever you want to call it, let’s be honest it’s not comfortable at all! If your breast tissue is spilling out over the top of the cup, then this means you’re in the wrong size. It’s such a common mistake that we see almost daily, but it can usually be resolved by simply going up a cup size or two. Give it a go – your boobs will thank you for it.
- The back band isn’t parallel to the floor (i.e. is riding up your back)
This is probably the MOST common bra mistake we see. A riding bra band is a huge no-no and indicates that it’s too big for you, which in turn means that you’re not getting adequate support from the bra. If your band is riding up your back and isn’t sitting straight across, parallel to the floor, then you need to trade it in for a tighter one. If you’re on the loosest or middle hooks, try moving it into the tightest one and see if that helps. If it doesn’t, then it’s time to try a band size down.
- The underwire doesn’t sit flush against your ribs, or digs into your breast tissue
This is a tricky one, but a common problem nonetheless. The central gore, the bit where the wires meet in the middle of your boobs, should always sit flush and flat against your chest. Usually, the wires not ‘tacking’ to your chest indicates that the cup size is too small, so if you notice any overspill or digging in, try going up a cup size. It could also mean that the band isn’t tight enough – try pulling the band away from your back, stretching it out as far as you can and see if that helps pull the wires against your chest. If it does, then you need to go down a band size to keep it in place! Sometimes, and more confusingly, it can be simply due to the shape of your breasts not working with that particular style of bra. If your bust is very full, with a lot of volume right in the middle of your cleavage, then you may find a lot of bras stick out from your chest no matter how well they fit everywhere else. If this is the case, try looking for a style with a stretch lace top cup, or one with more ‘projection’ to the cups (a deeper shape).
- You don’t adjust the straps when you put your bra on
This might sound like an obvious one, but you’d be surprised at how much the straps can affect the fit of your bra. They’re not there to add a lot of support (in fact they should only provide around 20% of the overall support of a bra) but they do keep the cups in place and allow you to adjust the fit to suit you. Make sure you’re lifting the straps from the front of the bra and over your shoulder so you can see how it changes the fit of the cup, and tighten any slack that’s left over at the back. The ideal tension for your straps is what we call a ‘two-finger tension’ – meaning you can comfortably slip two fingers underneath. Any tighter than this then you might find they dig in and cause pain, but any looser and they’ll slip off your shoulders.
- You wear the same bra two or more days in a row
By wearing the same bra two days in a row, you’re not giving it time to rest! Bras do a lot of work, especially D+ cup ones, since they have to keep your boobs in place all day long. Imagine how you would feel if you were carrying around a couple of bags of sugar all day? You’d be tired! So to get the longest lifespan out of your bras, you should let each one rest for at least a day between wears to prevent the elastics from straining and wearing out too quickly. Try to have at least two or three bras that you rotate throughout the week - loads of women have multiple of their favourite bra for this reason!
- You put your bra in the washing machine or tumble dryer
Almost every single bra will have a care label inside that recommends handwashing only. This is the most fool proof way to ensure your bras get the longest life possible. The problem with putting your bras in the washing machine is that they’ll snag on other things in there – the straps will get twisted up, the hooks will get caught on something, and they’ll just get warped and damaged during the wash cycle. If you must put your bra in the washing machine (because let’s be honest, hand washing can be a total chore and we just don’t always have the time) then make sure you use a washbag especially made for lingerie and pop your machine onto a delicate cycle on a low temperature, and without much else in the machine. Under no circumstances should you ever tumble dry your bra! The high temperatures reached in a dryer can cause the elastics to stretch and fray, the fabric to distort and in some cases it can even heat the underwires up to the point where they scorch through the fabric. Always dry your bras flat or hanging over a wire at the centre gore. Never hang them from the band or straps, as this can cause them to stretch and warp.
- You fold the bra cups in on each other to store them
This only really applies to moulded and padded bras, but it’s an important point to be aware of. If you fold the cups of a moulded or padded bra inside each other, then you risk the padding breaking down and becoming misshapen. This can result in your once smooth t-shirt bra sporting a new set of wrinkles and not sitting quite so flat anymore, which isn’t ideal! To keep your t-shirt bras, padded bras and moulded bras in tip-top shape, we suggest stacking them up on top of each other to keep their shape. If you have any non-padded bras then this isn’t too much of an issue, but just make sure you’re keeping them as flat as possible to avoid any damage to them.
- You keep them too long
Last but not least, the 10th most common mistake we see to do with bras is people just keeping them for too long! The average lifespan of a bra, when cared for correctly with hand washing and rotational wear, is around 6 months. Many bras will outlast this but it gets to a point in the bra’s life where it just isn’t doing the job it needs to anymore. If it’s a bra you wear only for special occasions and it comes out maybe once a month or two, then of course you can take this into consideration but when it comes to your daily basics and bras that are getting regular wear, make sure you’re not keeping them longer than you absolutely need to. After 6 months the elastics will have broken down and they just may no longer provide the right amount of support. We know it can be tough saying goodbye to old faithful, but sometimes you’ve just gotta do it – for the sake of your boobs!
Well there’s our round up of the 10 most common bra mistakes we see here at Brastop! Are you guilty of any of these? Do you have a bad habit when it comes to bras? Let us know in the comments below or give us a Tweet @Brastop.