Time for me to get on to the tips part of this blog. I'm currently washing my bras, so why don't I give you some tips on bra care in a nice, orderly list.
- Wear - Don't wear your bra 2 days in a row. This is why we have multiple bras, so we don't have to wear the same one over and over again! Our body oils naturally soak into the bra materials. This is fine for one day, but if you don't give the bras some time to air and dry out, the minerals and such in our bodies will start to break down the elasticity of the bra materials. Basically, our sweat and oils will stretch out the elastic faster. So you rotate - this bra today, that bra tomorrow, then this bra can be worn again the day after that. I even have 2 sports bras so I don't have to wear one 2 days in a row.
- Store - Molded cup bras shouldn't be smooshed if you can avoid it. This means having plenty of drawer space, or hanging them up. In my new house, we have a huge closet and I have less drawer space, so I took a couple hangers with the strappy holders (you know, the notches), and hung 2 bras to a hanger. For my soft-cup bras, I did 3 to a hanger (especially since there's only 3 of them).
-Wash - Pretty much everyone recommends washing your bras by hand. I admit that I cheat on this. I use a large, mesh lingerie bag and put them in my washing machine on the "handwash" cycle. Also, the detergent you use for all your other clothes could be speeding up the decay of your bras. I use a special detergent called Forever New. I believe Dillards started selling a different kind of special bra detergent, that is pretty much the same thing. I just don't remember the name. One bottle of this stuff lasts a long time. The point is, this detergent is even gentler than Woolite, less harsh chemicals, and rinses clean so there is no residue left to wear out the elastic of your bras. Forever New leaves a nice, fresh scent, too.
- Dry - You should never put your bras in the dryer, especially underwires. Think about it, the dryer gets really hot and heats up the metal wires in an underwire bra. When metal gets hot, it's more pliable, bends easily. This is how underwires get all bent out of shape. We have a simple drying rack that I hang my bras on to dry. I let mine sit overnight and they are always dry by morning.
Of course, even with the best care, bras will wear out. Especially our favorite ones that we wear the most. Eventually, they must be replaced. There's also the possibility that you will lose weight (like I am trying to do) and your bras will get too big, or put on weight and they will get too small. If they are too big, or even just stretched out, you might be able to find a seamstress or alterations store that can take them in for you. The best way is to actually remove the little pieces that hold the hooks and eyes, trim off some of the back fabric, and sew those pieces back on.
I have seen women try to do tucks in the sides, but this is tricky to get just right, and can rub against your skin. Of course, some bras just reach the point of no return, and you have to give up and replace them.
The only part of bra care that I haven't figured out yet is travel. How in the world do you pack a molded cup bra without smooshing it? If you know, please share!