If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Right? That statement may be true for some things, but a bra isn’t one of them. Your bra doesn’t have to be broken to need to be replaced. When a bra starts showing signs of wear and tear, it usually means it can no longer provide maximum comfort or support.
Here are six signs of bra wear and tear to watch out for:
1. Stretched band
A stretched bra band is likely the first sign of bra wear and tear you’ll notice. In fact, a stretched band is expected, which is why bra bands are designed with multiple clasps. As the bra stretches, you can fasten the hooks on tighter clasps to give you that like-new, snug fit.
However, keep in mind that needing to use a tighter clasp is a sign that your bra is, indeed, getting worn-out. If you’re using the tightest clasp, you likely need to consider fitting a bra shopping trip into the near future.
The band of the bra provides the most support. When it’s snug, it helps to keep all other parts of the bra in place. And when it loosens, it can begin to ride up on your back, putting more pressure on your straps and shoulders.
2. Exposed underwire
Exposed underwire may be a painful nuisance, but it’s also a sign that your bra needs to be replaced. Underwire should not pop out of the bra’s fabric because it’s designed to fit perfectly under the bra cups to provide support. Pushing the underwire back in means it may not be in the same position it was originally in.
3. Stretched straps
Bra straps don’t provide support, but they do help keep your bra cups in place. Stretched straps can lead to the straps falling off your shoulders. You can try tightening the straps as they loosen, but if they continue to fall off your shoulders, you’ll need a new bra.
Stretched bra straps can also cause the cups to not fully hug your breasts. The cups must fit your breasts snugly to provide support, lift and a rounded shape. If you tighten the straps and still feel like your bra cups aren’t tight enough, your bra has stretched out too much to fit you well.
4. Frayed material
Frayed material may seem cosmetic, but it could be a sign that your elastic will soon become damaged. The material keeps the bra’s elastic from being exposed, protecting the elastic from water, sweat, oils, etc. These things can damage the elastic, especially if the elastic is exposed. Without the elastic in good condition, the bra won’t fit like it did when you bought it.
5. Shapeless cups
Perhaps you’ve noticed the cups of your padded bra are no longer shaped like they once were. The cups may feel flimsy and look shapeless. The foam padding in your cups can wear out and lose its shape overtime.
6. Broken clasps
Broken bra clasps are the most obvious signs of bra wear and tear. If you’re tempted to rig your bra back together, don’t. Go ahead and buy a new bra. You likely won’t be able to make the bra band fit the way it was intended to, and you certainly don’t want the rigged clasp to break at an inopportune time.
It’s easy to get used to the way an old, worn-out bra fits and feels. You can become so accustomed to wearing an old bra that you don’t realize it’s no longer doing its full job. In fact, you’ll be surprised how worn your bra was when you try on a brand new one. If your bra is showing signs of wear and tear, head to your local lingerie store for a bra fitting and a new bra. You’ll be glad you did!