The Weird and Wonderful World of Bras

Ever since we’ve been young we’ve had to deal with the weird and wonderful world of bras. Since we were bought our first ever bra we’ve had to navigate around the different shapes, sizes, materials, cuts and patterns of lingerie, often never really knowing what we actually needed!

We think the world of bras is a fascinating one (okay, we may be a bit bias), but even more fascinating is our shared habits when it comes to our underwear drawer. We’ve spoken to thousands of different women across the UK to find out the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to our underwear habits.

So, how often do you wash your bra? How old is your oldest bra? Don’t be embarrassed if your answers are “not enough” or “too old”, read on and see that we’ve all got some crazy bra habits.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU WASH YOUR BRA?

This is a question that divides many of us. We’ve spoken to those who go months without washing one, and others who throw it in the wash after every wear. Our survey of 7214 women shows that 35% of us have admitted that we don’t wash our bra very often, leaving it longer than a month before popping it into the washing machine! Now you feel normal, right?

Depending on our type of lifestyle, we should really be washing our bras after two or three wears. 65% of us are already doing this, but we might not be washing them in the right way. Make sure you always read the label and follow the washing instructions on your bra. Hand wash them if you can, but if you must machine wash, do it at a low temperature. And never tumble dry your lingerie! Find out a bit more about washing your bras here.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU SWITCH BRAS?

So, we all have a favourite bra that’s comfier than all the others – but how often do we actually switch between our bras? Well, a huge 32% of us switch up our bras rarely – meaning we wear the same bra for longer than a week at a time!

Now, we totally get that comfort wins above all else, and nothing beats your favourite bra. But, wouldn’t it be great if you had more than one comfy bra to go to?

WHEN DID YOU LAST GET YOUR BRA SIZE MEASURED?

Now, this one surprised us. A massive 72% of 7716 women who took our survey last got their bra sized measured longer than a year ago. In a separate poll we did, 22% of women admitted to never having their sized checked!

Now, everyone’s boobs are different, but all of us should try to get ourselves measured at least twice a year.

There are a variety of different things that can change your boobs size, such as weight fluctuation or hormonal changes. Wearing the wrong size bra can lead to a number of issues, such as:

  • Inadequate support
  • Bad posture
  • Feeling uncomfortable
  • Skin complaints, especially in the underbust area
  • Back or boob pain

HOW OLD IS YOUR OLDEST BRA?

One woman told us that her absolute favourite sports bra was inherited from her mum. She still wears it to this day, and when she checked the label, she found out it was from a collection that was brought out in 1995…

Now, we’re sure your oldest bra is not quite old enough to drink yet, but a huge 33% of us have a  favourite bra that’s over 5 years old. Unfortunately, the lifespan of your bra is much shorter than this.

Realistically, we should be replacing our bras every six to eight months. A number of factors, including loss of shape, elastic losing its support and the changing shapes of our boobs mean to keep fully supported, half a year is the optimum amount of time to replace your everyday bra.

Of course, special occasion lingerie (that you mainly wear in the bedroom) can last a lot longer, as it’s not worn every day.

HOW DO YOU FASTEN YOUR BRA?

Stop the press! Over half of us have been fastening our bra wrong for years! The “front and swivel” technique was the most popular method among the 7752 women we asked. However, the “fasten behind your back” is actually the recommended method, as it contains the least amount of pulling on your bra. So, if you want it to last longer, try practising fastening your bra at the back.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU MATCH YOUR BRA TO YOUR KNICKERS?

Nothing makes us feel quite as sexy as when we’re wearing a matching lingerie set. But our survey results are pretty much split down the middle when it comes to how often we match our bra and knickers. 49% of us never get round to matching our underwear sets, some choose to save our matching pairs for special occasions, and the rest of us match them every day!

We think the confidence we feel in a matching lingerie set (with added stockings and suspender belt on very special occasions) is amazing, but we also love mixing and matching our favourites. So whatever you love, go for it!

DO YOU SLEEP IN YOUR BRA?

12% of us sleep in our bra at night – which isn’t the best thing for your boobs. Sleeping in your bra won’t make them perkier or stop your skin from losing elasticity as you get older. Wearing a bra in bed is redundant, as your breasts are pushed back towards your chest when you lie down anyway.

Wearing your bra to bed can lead to indents in your skin, and your blood flow may be restricted. You may also sleep worse, thanks to the extra padding on your chest. So, slip it off at nighttime and let your boobs swing free.

So, there we have it – we all have our own quirky habits when it comes to our bras.

But they are wonderful things and we’d be lost without our favourite bra – take a look at our piece on the history of underwear to see how they’ve evolved into our best friends.