While women have an ability to sort the truth from the rubbish, it seems when it comes to bras many are convinced about everything that they’ve ever been told. However, bra experts got together to dispel these myths in the hope many women will finally let go.
1. There’s only one way to put on your bra
You might be familiar with 1. placing bra upside down and inside out, 2. hooking brad in front of torso and 3. twisting your bra around slipping the straps onto your shoulders, but that’s not the only way.
Yes, those three steps describe the most common method of putting on your bra, but Jené Luciani, author of The Bra Book, says there is another method that allows your breasts to sit more comfortably in their cups.
“You’re leaning forward, hooking it in the back, and fixing the straps over your shoulders. Then you stick your hands into the cups, and scoop your breasts into the centre,” she says. That’s great if you have arms long enough!
2. A new bra should fit at the last hook
For your bra to fit perfectly, it isn’t necessary best for it to fit at the largest band size. Luciani recommends fitting it at the middle hook, which will give you flexibility if you are feeling a bit ‘bigger’ on some days or if it gets stretched out.
3. You can keep a bra forever
Just because it fits, doesn’t mean you should be wearing it. In fact, even if there has been no change to your breast size you shouldn’t hold on to a bra because it’s your favourite. Luciani says most bras have a shelf life of one year, but “if it’s a bra you don’t wear very often, you could have it for three years,” she says. A lot depends on how often you wear it and how well you look after it.
You should definitely ditch the bra if it’s got frayed edges, there’s too much movement in your cups, the underwire is bent, broken or missing, the straps no longer stay up, or you’re using the tightest setting.
4. You shouldn’t put your bra in the washing machine
The element of truth here is that bras do tend to undergo a bit more wear and tear when you run them through the washing machine, with straps and hooks likely to get caught on the drum or other items. The recommendation to ensure your bra has a long life (well, at least three years’ worth) is to hand wash your bra in cold water with a gentle detergent.
However, if you replace your bras regularly, there is absolutely no harm chucking them in the machine on a gentle wash. Even better, put them in one of those lingerie bags to stop them getting snagged on stuff.
5. You shouldn’t wash your bras too frequently
Okay, let’s get real. Would you seriously wear the same pair of undies without washing them? If the answer was ‘no’ then the same rule should apply to your bra. “The fabric breaks down when it’s constantly rubbing against the dirt and oils from our skin,” Luciani says. In order to prolong your bra’s life washing it regularly.
6. Your bra will always be the same size, for every brand
If you’ve been a 14DD with your Bendon bra, don’t expect the size will be the same when you go and buy a bra from Target. Most brands — the good ones especially — will use a real woman, determining her size and then the size of the bra. What tends to happen then is that there is no consistency, and it’s okay to have five bras in five different sizes from five different makers. The tip here: be sure to try your bra on before buying.
7. Bras cause breast cancer
This rumour started circulating in 1995 when a couple of medical anthropologists claimed wearing a tight bra restricted the lymph nodes around your breasts, which trapped toxins causing cancer in the body. The research didn’t meet the American Cancer Society’s standard practice guidelines, and it also didn’t take into consideration other known risk factors for breast cancer.
Over the years — and despite celebrities still spreading the rumour — the theory has been proven to be phony.
8. Sleeping in your bra will keep your boobs perky
Another bogus claim. Most breast drooping and dropping happens when you have children — pregnancy, childbirth and breast feeding. Then there is that thing scientists like to call ‘gravity’. The reality is, over time, your boobs will lose their perkiness because gravity is pulling the ligaments in your breasts downwards.