I realized that I keep hovering around some fit issues that I haven’t properly explained yet. So I’m gonna take just a minute here to talk about a couple of those. They have to do with elasticity.
I’ve mentioned briefly that you should be checking band fit on the first (loosest) set of hooks. This is because bands have a lot of elastic and over time that elastic will stretch. Permanently. Such is the nature of elastic, unfortunately. By making sure a new bra fits snuggly on the first hook you give yourself (usually) two more hooks to move down to when that stretching happens. Sounds obvious to me now, but when I first read that it was like a lightbulb went off in my head.
Another part of the bra that’s affected by wearing-out elastic is the straps. It’s important to make sure that there is room for the straps to be tightened. This is why I really like bras with fully adjustable straps.
So is there any way to slow down these stretching issues? Yep! One of those things is making sure you give each bra at least one day of rest between wearings. Body heat can warm up the elastic and cause it to loosen up, so it’s important to give the bra a break from that heat.
The second and most important thing? Proper washing! Bras should be hand washed, though it’s also alright to machine wash them in a lingerie bag on the gentlest cycle possible. And never, ever, ever, ever put them in the dryer! Ever! I know, that’s kind of a pain in the ass, but it’s worth it. Lay them flat and let them air dry. Laying flat protects the elastic and keeps the wire from warping out of shape.
Washing by hand isn’t too difficult or time-consuming. Fill a clean sink (or container, whatever) with cool water, add some detergent, and put some bras in there. Let them soak for a little while and agitate them some. Which basically means move them around. I usually kind of push them up and down in the water and rub any particularly soiled areas with my hand. Then rinse with cool water, very gently squeeze out excess water, and lay flat to dry. I put a towel on my kitchen counter and lay them on that.
What kind of detergent to use? Here’s a list! By the way, the first item on that list looks pretty awesome. It’s Soak Lingerie Wash, available from the Butterfly Collection ($9 for 6 packets), and it looks awesome because there’s no rinsing required. I need to pick some of that up soon…
I’m going to be honest, here. I haven’t bought any special lingerie wash…though I’m ordering some Soak as soon as I find my credit card. I currently wash my delicates with a little squeeze of baby shampoo and/or a bit of borax. Works just fine, although the borax doesn’t like to dissolve and it requires more rinsing. So this doesn’t have to be expensive at all!