Forms of clothing to support the breasts date back to Ancient Greece; however, the modern bra has only been with us little more than a century. In this guide, Liberty & Love founder and lingerie expert, Beth Kates discusses cup stretching, how often you should wash your bra, correct sizing, and more.
There’s seems to be nominated days for just about everything; one that I must admit I wasn’t aware of is National Lingerie Day which falls on the 25th of April. It has provided us with an opportunity to publish a first, a piece dedicated to one of the most important items of women’s clothing, the bra.
Finding a bra that is both comfortable and supportive can be difficult, so it’s no surprise that many women repeatedly get into the habit of wearing one’ trusty’ bra until it falls apart. Beth Kates, the founder of the underwear brand Liberty & Love, wants women to feel their best every day, and one way to do this is by wearing a comfortable bra. In this guide, Beth explains everything from when it’s time to wash your bra, correct sizing, the tell-tell signs your bra needs replacing, and more.
Washing your Bra
Lingerie expert Beth revealed that you probably aren’t washing it enough if you’ve had to ask yourself how often you need to wash your bra.
The biggest thing to consider when it comes to how often to wash your bras is how sweaty you get and how oily your skin is day-to-day.
Beth says, “Always wash after any sporting activity; it should be washed any time you sweat. Otherwise, after every two or three times of wearing. It seems people don’t always stick to this because maybe they don’t have enough bras!”
What happens when you don’t?
If you’re the type of person who wears the same bra for weeks at a time, you need to be aware of some nasty truths: Bacteria, oil, dirt, lotions, yeast and fungi can assemble in your bras if you refrain from washing them.
Beth says, “As bras are so close to the skin, all the grimy bacteria that has built up over time can cause friction. So follow your instinct – if you haven’t been that active, then every couple of wears will be fine, but if your bra gets sweaty or dirty, then change it daily.”
Wearing the wrong Bra size
From breast and back pain to premature sagging, Beth admitted it’s surprising that so many women are wearing the wrong size bra – and it’s often due to fear of getting measured.
Beth says, “There are many ways the wrong size bra can contribute to breast pain. If your bra is too small, it can dig into your breasts and contract vessels in the breast tissue. Or, if it’s too big, your breasts can bounce, which could lead to tenderness. You won’t have the required support, and the breast tissue can stretch, leading to lack of shape.”
Stretching in the cups
When you start noticing a significant gap between the bra cups and your breast, either the cups are stretched out or you need a different cup size. If you notice any changes such as this, it’s time to get a new bra.
The back of the bra has become stretched
Over time, the back of the bra naturally stretches. If you start to notice a ripple effect, it means the elastic has stretched out, and your breasts won’t be getting the support they need.
The expert explained that when the back band is loose and not supporting your back or chest properly, it’s a telltale sign to replace your bra.
The underwire appears
We all know there’s nothing quite like the pain of your bra’s underwire poking out and digging into your skin.
Beth says, “While you may be tempted to poke the wire back in, it’s a huge sign of wear and tear. If you’re wondering when to buy a new bra, this is definitely the time to do so! There are many telltale signs that may signal you need a new bra, sometimes you might want something more luxurious. Every bra has its day, but it’s important to invest in a bra that makes you feel happy and confident.”
Beth wants women to buy underwear for themselves as she advocates ‘your body, your choice, your you. Love the skin you’re in.’ Her mission is to change lingerie marketing for women across the board, and through Liberty & Love, she will make it happen.
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