Monthly Archives: February 2014
A bra is, in many ways, an investment. A good quality bra is a wonder of design and engineering, not to mention, in many cases, an object of beauty. And a good quality bra can be expensive – very expensive. As such, your bras deserve to be handled with care – to keep them doing their job and looking their best. Throwing them in with the regular wash is not the best way to look after these essential women’s garments!
- Hand washing is the preferred method of laundering your bras. Soak in lukewarm water with a gentle detergent for up to an hour; gently rub fabric to remove any dirt. Rinse thoroughly in cool water; use towels to gently remove excess water. Never wring them out or stretch them. Never use bleach. Hang to dry.
- NEVER put bras in the clothes dryer! The heat breaks down spandex and shape and elasticity will be lost.
- If you must machine wash your bras, place with like colours in a lingerie bag, with hooks done up, and using a cool or cold delicate cycle with gentle detergent. Reshape moulded cups with your hands.
- It’s important to wash them after every two to three wears in summer; four to six in winter at a pinch. The more you sweat, the more your bras will need to be laundered. Sweat decomposes fibres, rusts wires, and leaves a sour odour which does not wash away. Wash sports bras after each wear (if wearing them for actual exercise!).
- Use an alcohol free laundry detergent.
- Have a selection of bras to rotate – more to wear and less washing to bother with. Don’t wear the same bra more than one day in a row: bras need to be aired out and also to regain their shape.
- Bra storage is important too. Store moulded cup bras in a drawer; never invert on cup into the other. Stack bras one atop the other, cups supporting cups.
- Replace your bras every six to nine months – and no less than once per year. Elastic disintegrates over time and the straps and band will not offer adequate support.
With some TLC, your bras should stand the test of time well.
- When is it time for a bra? If your daughter’s nipples are visible through her t-shirts and tops, it’s time for some extra coverage – a bra, or at the very least, a crop top.
- Make a special day of it. Some girls are excited about this rite of passage; others are apprehensive. Make it a fun experience – have a milkshake and cake, or lunch after the purchase; alternatively, shop for something else fun for her as well, or see a movie together.
- If your daughter is very ambivalent, allow her to start by wearing a crop top. Smaller breast sizes don’t need a bra, and a crop top provides basic support and modesty.
- Get professionally fitted for the first bra. Up to 80% of us wear the wrong size – most commonly a cup too small and a band too large. Cups are not universal either – a B-cup for a 32 inch band is very different in size than a B-cup for a 36 inch band. So get fitted by a professional.
- Contrary to common belief, a girl or woman need not be naked from the waist up to be measured for a bra – have your girl wear a crop top for the fitting. Explain to her that the bra fitter is a professional and does this all day every day. The wrong bra size can be uncomfortable.
- Keep it simple. Lace, embellishments, padding, etc are all very nice – but there is time for that later on. A basic bra will be more wearable and less obvious – and many girls don’t feel confident initially with others knowing they are wearing a bra.
- Many brands have “first bra” lines which are specifically made for young girls starting out. They are comfortable, soft, and easy to wear. Sports bras can also be a good option as first bras, as they tend to be more comfortable. Underwire bras are not necessary for smaller breast sizes, and should be avoided until later.
- Assure your daughter that while it may feel strange initially, wearing a bra is something she will get used to quickly and soon it will be second nature.
- Make sure you start with at least two bras – one to wash and one to wear. How often should a bra be washed? This is a controversial question – but basically, it depends on how much one sweats. Sweat not only smells, it can decompose fibres and rust under wires. Weekly is a good guide – based on wearing the bra three to four times.