You probably don’t think twice when it comes to buying and wearing bras. However, the truth is that many women make mistakes with their bras that can be detrimental to their health. Read on to see whether you’re making any of these mistakes and what to do to fix them.
You choose your bra by cup size
Rather than go shopping for a bra thinking, “I’m an A cup” or “I’m a D cup,” experts say that you should be more focused on your band size. Get an accurate band size measurement by measuring around the bottom of your bra band, directly under your bust. Round to the nearest whole number, and if the number is even, add four inches. If it’s odd, add five. So for example, if you measured 32 inches, your band size is 36.
You wear your bra too tight
Of course you don’t want to wear a bra that’s too loose, but too tight is not good either. When buying a bra, you should look for one that fits snugly on the outermost set of hooks, not on the innermost hooks. Most bras stretch about three inches in their lifetime, and as it stretches, you can start to use the tighter hooks.
You wear a contour or push-up bra
In many magazine ads and commercials, you might see models wearing different kinds of contour bras, which are the molded ones that keep their shape even when they’re not being worn. The problem with wearing these is that most women’s breasts are soft and do not naturally fit into a contoured shape. Seamed bras that are soft and have floppy fabric cups are usually a better option, as they better mold to the natural shape of the breast.
You wear the same bra two days in a row
As mentioned above, most bras stretch about three inches in their lifetime. Wearing the same bra too often causes the material to lose its elasticity faster than usual, which means it won’t fit properly anymore. To get the most use out of a bra, it should be washed in cold water and given at least one day of rest in between wears to allow its elastic to regain its strength.
You rarely buy new bras
Experts recommend having at least six to seven bras in your wardrobe that are in good shape. By rotating through them, and by wearing and taking care of them correctly, they should all last about eight months before the band stretches out and no longer provides adequate support. So if you rotate between only two or three, it might be time to go shopping.
Multimedia journalist with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and a master’s in Broadcast Journalism and Public Affairs