Bra experts have revealed how to choose the best fitting bra and when to dispose of your old one to avoid damaging your breasts.
Red flags of an ill-fitting bra include splaying in the sides, gaping cups and soreness during the day.
Speaking to FEMAIL, the Bendon team revealed the things most women do wrong when it comes to lingerie.
Bra experts have revealed how to choose the best fitting bra and when to dispose of your old one to avoid damaging your breasts
The Bendon team says it’s best to try on in-store, but if that’s not something you’re comfortable with, you can check some of the key things for yourself.
The first is to make sure you only use the last brackets when shopping for a new bra.
“This will allow you to get the most wear out of your bra, as the elastic will start to show overtime,” the team said.
The next thing most people forget to do is check that the cups are snug against the chest.
“There should be no gaps or spills over the cup. This can be tricky, especially since most women have two breasts of different sizes, one seems to fit perfectly while the other is crushed.”
A well-fitting bra should be tight around the straps, but not restrictive, so two fingers should be able to slide between them and the skin.
Lace bras should be avoided if you think you could work up a sweat – as this is harmful to finer materials
Top five things to keep in mind when trying on a new bra:
1 – New bras should always be fitted on the widest hook – this will allow you to get the most wear out of your bra as the elastic will start to show overtime.
2 – Check that the cups sit flat against your breasts – no gaping or spilled cups
3 – After putting on your bra, adjust the straps so they are firm – test the firmness by sliding 2 fingers around your shoulder under the bra strap and the straps should not cut into your fingers
4 – Check that there is no spillage along the outer edge of the bra cup towards your armpits
5 – Check that the bra bench over your back is straight and parallel to the floor – it should not ride up
Bonus: sister mate
Sister sizes are groups of bra size equivalents related to cup volume. Choosing your sister size allows you to make minor adjustments to how your bra fits, such as a wider band without compromising an already snug cup (and vice versa).
For example, if you’re wearing a 12C and the cups fit, but the band is small, you might be thinking, “I’m just going to go up a size and try a 14C.” If you go up a size that way, you’ll probably end up with oversized cups because a 14C’s sister size is a 12D. The next sister size to a 12C is a 14B, the new size to try instead. The cups will still be the same size, but the band will be wider.
There should also be no spillage around the bra under your arm or back, they explained.
And finally, the strap across your back should be parallel to the floor and not bend upward.
The team revealed that it’s important to choose the right bra size, but also to know when it’s no longer serving you.
This could be due to wear and tear, your body changing or even your newfound taste, they explained.
But wear and tear is a big one, which many people seem to ignore.
“Bras are made of stretchy materials to cushion and flex your breasts and move with your body. These materials will naturally stretch with wear and washing,” they explained.
Three ways you unconsciously damage your bra:
1 – Wearing finer fabrics when sweating – this is not good for bras made from more delicate materials such as lace
2 – Pack them tightly in cupboards – this can damage the cups, especially in padded bras
3 – Improper Washing – Bras should be washed every two to three wears unless you have sweated, then they should be washed after the first wear. They should also always be washed in a bag, with plenty of room.
“Elastic can lose its bounce and cups can lose their shape. When these things happen, your bra no longer supports you as it should.”
By taking proper care of your lingerie, it will stay in its original shape for longer. The better you take care of your lingerie, the longer it will serve you.
“Keep your lingerie fresh and clean — most bras should be washed every 2-3 times, but sports bras should be washed after every wear — nobody wants to wear a sweaty bra,” they said.
A good rule of thumb is that if your taste has changed, it’s probably time for a new bra too
And it seems that sweat can be the enemy, damaging bras made of finer materials.
What are the signs it’s time to throw away my old bra?
1 – The back of the bra is stretched
2 – Bra straps are loose or bother you
3 – The shackle is bent or sticking out,
4 – The bra cups are too small
5 – The fabric is starting to break
6 – Colors start to fade or look dirty
7 – Your body and breasts have changed
8 – Your taste has changed
It’s a good idea not to wear fancy lace bras on days when you know you’re going to work up a sweat — whether it’s in the middle of a heat wave or planning to walk to work.
“To be precise, it’s the bacteria that develop from perspiration that weakens and discolors the materials in a bra,” they explain.
This means it’s also important to wash them quickly, as sweat will continue to cause damage the longer your bra sits in the laundry basket.
But wearing a cute bra on a hot day — or doing light exercise — is just a mistake many women make.
Sliding bras, especially those with molded or foam cups, into a tightly packed drawer can also damage the integrity of the cup material.
‘Stack bras one after the other in your drawer, so that molded cups keep their round shape. Never fold a molded bra cup in the opposite direction to the normal shape, it will damage the molded cup,” they said.
And of course the experts continue to recommend the use of a toiletry bag.
‘They protect your lingerie during the machine wash, as the mesh holes allow water to flow freely through the bag and prevent other clothes in the cycle from rubbing against the lace and delicate fabrics often used for intimate wear. Don’t pack the toiletry bag too much so that the lingerie has room to move,” they said.
Bendon has been making bras for over 70 years and has a wide range for cup sizes A and G.