Saturday, January 15, 2011

How to make your bras last...

I love, love love your emails! Keep 'em coming....

Here's one about bras...and it's always good to start the year off with a new and more supportive bra!

Dear Leslie,

Thank you for helping me improve my style. I never knew what style was. I grew up missing a fashion gene or something, lol!
With your website I am now learning how to dress my shape and it makes such a difference! Not only do I get compliments at work, someone asked my opinion about a purse. I could not believe it! My life is changed for the better!
I have a question about bras as I am still learning these girl things. Last week on your BTR show you mentioned how wearing the proper size bra can make you look better in your clothes. I need to replace my bras, mine really are pitiful looking and I have put this off long enough.
Can you tell me how long bras last and how many bras should I have in the first place?
Thanks for this wonderful service! Donna
Dear Donna,
Your bras should last a full 12 months IF you do the following:
  • Purchase quality bras
  • Rotate at least four(4) bras so that each of them gets equal wear
  • Never wear a bra two days in a row. Let the elastic “rest” a day
  • Hand wash (w/ baby shampoo or lingerie wash) OR machine wash gentle. NO Woolite (this oil-based product ruins elastic) If your machine has an agitator (put bras in a laundry bag)
  • NEVER put your bras in the dryer!
  • Don’t use them for working out; wear sports bras
  • Store them neatly to preserve the molded shape of the cups
Purchasing quality bras can get expensive, so make your investment last. One of the best ways to do that is by washing your bras in lingerie bag on a gentle cycle. This bag keeps them from twisting up in the wash. 

Your silhouette will look a lot slimmer when you are wearing the correct size (8 out of 10 women are not wearing the right size) so if it has been awhile since you have purchased a new bra ask the sales associate for professional fitting--don’t guess on your size!
Love, Leslie MSP


  1. I need to find a strapless to wear in a wedding in early March. After having baby #4 sixteen months ago and nursing her for this long (we're weaning now - phew!) I knew I needed to get measured. I was a 34B before getting pregnant. Today's measurement? 32C! Well no wonder my pre-baby bras that got tucked away didn't feel as good as I remember them! I would've been searching for a 34B and getting annoyed and wondering why it didn't fit if I hadn't gotten measured today. Age and babies impact the girls!

  2. Feisty,

    I'm glad you got the "girls" fitted! It is a perfect time in your life to do so. You sure are a different size!

    After being fitted did you find the strapless bra you need for the wedding?

    Did you know the average woman changes bra sizes from 6 to 10 times in a life time? Kind of makes sense when you think about puberty, young adulthood, pregnancies, nursing babies multiple times, weight gain, weight loss (possibly repeating the process), aging and menopause! Whew!

    More importantly a majority of women don't ever get fitted professionally! They think it's a waste of time. They just keep buying the same size year after year and COMPLAIN when they aren't comfortable...

  3. Dear Leslie MSP,

    Thank you SO MUCH for your information about bras. I had to go without buying new clothes for a few years, and that included bras. When I finally got the funds to purchase clothes, the FIRST thing I did was get fitted for a bra. I tried on a variety of styles, found one that fit very well, and purchased 4 of them. I have since bought a few more, so now I have a decent bra wardrobe. Also, I have decided to start exercising, and I've been on a search for sports bras. Your last article on MSP about exercise clothes and sports bras led me to a site that has the kind of sports bras I am looking for. I ordered two. Now I just have to get baby shampoo to wash my bras, and I'll be set. Thanks so much for your help. It is truly invaluable.

  4. Thank you for such a helpful and informative post, Leslie!

    Thankfully, I take pretty good care of my bras. Except I have been handwashing them with Woolite! I never heard about Woolite breaking down the elastic - I will be buying lingerie wash. Stat!

    Also, I have four bras - two nude color and two black. They are the exact same brand and style, so I'm sure I often wear the same bra two days in a row. I must figure out a way to rotate them to make sure they get a good rest.


  5. I wondered if you knew how true bra sizes were across brands/styles. My concern about being "sized" for a bra is that it won't be correct when I try on a specific bra. After I am sized, how do I know when trying on a bra that it actually fits properly?

  6. @ Serendipity you are quite welcome!

    @ Alex just like clothes bra sizes and styles vary. What works for one woman might not work for the next.

    Being "sized" is not really a correct way of saying it. It's more about being "fitted". Certain styles work for women that are curvy or full figured and so on because breast tissue can vary in shape as well as the woman's frame.

    So, when you are fitted the fitter checks that the bra is horizontal and 2 finger snug, they check that it sits flat against your breast bone and that all of the breast tissue is enclosed in the cup and that the cup is not puckering or over-flowing either.

    A fitting can tell you what style is best for you as well as size for that brand. So as you can see nothing is set in stone because our bodies change as well as the styles from year to year.

  7. Ok I've read all the comments and the answers to those questions which really helped me out but... I'm a rather shy person when it comes to stuff like this. My question is how do they go about a bra fitting? I mean is this something where I'll be measured without a bra on? I'm not trying to be ignorant sounding but I've always avoided bra fittings for this reason, I didn't know what to expect. Help!

  8. Becky,

    Thanks for asking your question. I can understand any woman feeling a little uneasy about this sort of thing...but I assure it's not bad at all! I've only had fittings at Nordstrom's and these women are kind and very professional.

    They will measure in your in bra. This will give the fitter an idea of your size. From there it is trail and error to see what STYLE of bra is best for your frame.

    Once sized, they will grab bras they feel based on their experience (and your particular needs) that are your best options. They will ask you to try on each bra and they will come back and check the fit once you have each one on.

    Overall, you will find this a rewarding experience because you are properly fitted and your silhouette will look its best!

    Let me know if you go and get professionally fitted. I'd love to hear your follow up!

    Love, Leslie

  9. Hi Leslie! Great article and great reminder that I need to go spruce up my undies drawer! :D

    I always used to find it difficult to find well fitting bras (34A or AA!) but have learned to ignore the brand and now my first stop is H+M. (A lot of their underwear is designed for 'teenage' figures.) And as the prices are so low I can choose a few different styles and colours! LOL

    Did @FeistyIrishWench find a good strapless bra? I bought a 'stick on' one recently. There is a silicone gel on the sides of the bra - looks very strange. Was very sceptical but I have to say it worked perfectly (i.e. didn't fall off during the evening!). Have used it several times since.

    Thanks for another good article! :)

  10. Leslie, I did it! I went for my first fitting and it went very well! I found out that I wasn't getting the most use out of my bra's because I had been buying them too big! I'm aparently a hard to find size 32B but after doing a little searching at a couple different stores I finally found my size and a very comfortable fit. I definatly feel more confident in a well fitting bra. Thank you for the tips on taking care of my latest confidence booster.
    Love Bex


Thanks for leaving your comment. I hope you enjoy my blog and stop by often!

Love, Leslie

4 Steps to Chic

1. Start with a feminine top 2. Pair with classy slacks 3. Ground with bold shoes 4. Finish with statement earrings ...