7 Signs It’s Time to Replace (and Rethink) the Contents of Your Bra Drawer

7 Signs It’s Time to Replace (and Rethink) the Contents of Your Bra Drawer

It’s normal to hold onto your favorite bras as long as you can. But eventually, you must replace them due to lost elasticity, exposed underwire, or general wear and tear. Learn how long a bra usually lasts and when it might be time to throw yours out. 

How long does a bra last?

A bra’s lifespan is usually from six to nine months. However, with proper care, bras can last a year or longer. 

Consider these ideas to help your bra last longer:

  • Only wash on the gentle cycle with cool water and like colors
  • Own multiple bras so you never wear one too often (this weakens the elastic)
  • Wear bras that fit you well, as this will keep the bra in better shape

How many bras should a woman own?

Many frequently ask how many bras they should own. It’s recommended to have at least seven different bras. This gives you one bra for every day of the week, meaning you won’t have to wear the same one twice. 

Bras last longer when they’re given time between wears. Wearing bras on repeat weakens the bras’ elasticity, making them less supportive and comfortable. 

It’s a good idea to wait at least two to three days before wearing the same bra again.

How do I know if my bra is worn out?

Here are some signs it’s time to replace your bra

1. Weakened Elastic

If the elastic in the band has weakened, it’s time to recycle or throw it out. Strong elastic provides ample support to the breasts. When the elastic weakens, the bra cannot offer the same support. 

Look for hair-like projections on the band to determine whether your bra’s elastic has weakened. These projections indicate the elastic is broken. Also, feel whether the band feels too loose; if it does, the elastic is most likely weakened.

2. Loose Straps

A similar issue with old bras is loose straps. Over time, the straps weaken and become less elastic, causing them to slip down the shoulders. If you’ve tried tightening your bra straps and they’re still too loose, it might be time to recycle or throw it out. 

3. Exposed Underwire

Over time or with undue stress, the underwire of your bra can become exposed. This not only poses the risk of injury, but it also makes the bra less comfortable and practical. 

4. Holes or Stains

Likewise, any holes or stains can be a sign that your bra has seen better days. IfThis may be a good time to consider replacing.


5. Discoloration or Fading

Over time and with repeated washing, bras may begin to lose their original color. Or, if you have any lighter colored undergarments such as a white bra, you might find that it has yellowed. This is a common issue, and it’s a good indicator that you might want to buy new bras. That said, if discoloration and fading are the only issues your bras are facing, consider holding onto them a while longer.

6. Body Changes

If your body has recently undergone major changes in size or shape, you might need to replace your bras. Things like weight gain, pregnancy, and lifestyle changes can affect your breast size and shape. If you’ve noticed that your cups are too large or small, or if your band no longer fits right, consider getting new bras.

7. Evolving Tastes

Style preferences change over time, and that’s okay. If you’re not loving your bras as much as you used to, it might be time to replace them with bras you’re more excited about. Every woman deserves bras that make her feel good about herself and reflect who she is. 

When should you throw away bras?

So, what to do with your old bras... Throw out your old bras when they no longer fit, are worn out, or don’t match your current style preferences. Also, if your bras are still in good condition, consider donating or recycling them instead. This is more environmentally friendly, and donating helps women in need.

The next time you're visiting a ThirdLove store, consider bringing in your old bra to donate and get 15% off your new bra. And if you're in need of any new bras, explore our collection of bras on sale to get your next one at a discount!