You may have heard the saying ‘a sports bra should never have a birthday’. It is a phrase thrown around a lot by those in the sport bra know. Essentially, for your sports bra to continue to support you fully it should not be used for more than a year.
Why you ask? Quite simply materials stretch over time and after 12 months even the best sports bras fail to give you the support you deserve. That said it is only a rule of thumb and it depends on the sports bra and how you treat it.
We all know that a good sports bra is not cheap. With many styles sitting around the $100 mark we often want to eek every week out of our beloved sports bras.
If this, is you? Then I am here to help. I have put together a list of my 9 tips to extend the life of your sports bra.
1. Buy the Correct Size to Start With.
I know this sounds like an odd one. But you would be surprised how many women wear the wrong size sports bra. Surveys show that up to 80% of us are wearing the wrong bra size!
Now if you start your sports bras journey a little on the big side. Then as your sports bra ages and stretches it will not support you for long at all.
Ideally you want the band to fit well on the loosest clasp. This will allow you to ‘tighten up’ as the band stretches over time. Also, buy a sports bra with adjustable shoulder straps. This will allow you to adjust them as wear and tear dictates.
2. Make a Few Adjustments.
Following on from the point above. Regularly check and adjust your sports bra, as necessary. You would be amazed how many women wear their sports bra time after time without checking its fit. A sports bras job is to support you and it will not do that well if it does not fit well.
Do the two-finger test. With your sports bra on and adjusted snugly you should be able to comfortably slide two fingers under the band and straps. If not, then adjust to suit.
3. Take Your Sports Bra Off Following Your Workout.
This sounds easy. But how many times have you gone for a brisk morning walk, then went about your day sports bra in tow? In our fast-paced lives it is often the easiest option. But not the best for our sports bras.
Ideally you want to take the pressure off your sports bra as soon as it is not needed. Wearing it longer then necessary will keep it under pressure (sports bras are designed to fit tighter than everyday bras) possibly causing it to stretch prematurely.
If you can, take your sports bra off immediately after use and give it a quick rinse. If this is not possible then consider loosening it up a little to relieve the tension on you and your sports bra.
4. Double Up.
I cannot believe I am saying this. I am a firm believer (pardon the pun!) that one good sports bra is all you should need. That said desperate times can call for desperate measures.
If your sports bras are beginning to give up the ghost. Then consider doubling them up to prolong their life whilst giving you the support you need. Put the more worn sports bra on first with the better condition one over the top.
If you do not have two sports bras, then consider a sports bra over a comfy regular bra. It is not the best solution but one that will get you through until you are able to go shopping.
5. Treat With TLC.
It seems obvious but how many times have you chucked you sports bra in your gym bag, in the wash or in your undie’s drawer. Treat your sports bra with a little TLC and it will reward you by lasting longer.
Close the clasps and place it in a bra bag to protect it when not in use. Look after it with care and it will look after you.
6. Wash After Every Workout.
This one especially applies to any workout that makes you sweat. You might be able to get away with missing a wash when doing a yoga class or going for a cool morning walk. But not when you go for a run!
Sweat is the foe of your sports bra. It contains bacteria that can break down the stitching and fabric of your sports bra.
Washing your sports bra as soon as possible after your workout will help maintain your bras fabric over time. If your sports bra isn’t likely to hit the wash for a few days. Then at the very least give it a quick rinse to wash the worst of the sweat away.
7. Hand Wash or Wash Wisely.
Most sports bra styles recommend hand washing. But in this time poor world in which we live, who has time? It is easier than you think.
Simply keep a bucket handy in your laundry. Give your sports bras a quick wash and rinse when you do your regular wash. Then lay flat to dry.
If you must put them in the washing machine, then wash wisely. Don’t just toss them in the machine. Clip the bands together and place in a wash bag. Use a quality detergent free from fabric softeners and wash on a delicate cycle in cold water.
8. Bypass the Dryer.
If sweat is the foe of your sports bra, then the dryer is its worst enemy. Let me say this clearly ‘do not tumble dry your sports bra!’
The heat can affect your bras performance fabrics causing them to stretch and break down. Nothing will kill a sports bra quicker.
Instead lay your sports bra flat to air dry. Or at the very least hang them evenly over your line. Try to avoid using pegs.
9. One on, One in the Wash, One in the drawer.
In an ideal world when you go sports bra shopping you buy two sports bras. This allows you to wear one whilst one is in the wash. Thus, reducing the need to cut care corners.
In an even more ideal world, you own three. This will allow you to wear one, have one in the wash and one in your drawer as a back up in case an unexpected workout pops up. This will keep you from being tempted by the convenience of the dryer!
Consider buying different colours to avoid confusion and the over-wearing of a particular sports bra. It might sound a little OTT but wearing your sports bras on rotation is best for your sports bras and ultimately for you.
My Final Thoughts
Extending the life of your sports bra is not that hard. All it takes is a little time, thought and care. Action my tips and enjoy for longer the comfort and support you deserve from your sports bra.
Eventually these 9 tips will not be enough to save your sports bras. And you will need to splash out on a new sports bra or three! When that day arrives sportsbrasdirect.com.au is the best place to find the perfect new sports bra for you.
Yours in support.