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bra care

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Right? That statement may be true for some things, but a bra isn’t one of them. Your bra doesn’t have to be broken to need to be replaced. When a bra starts showing signs of wear and tear, it usually means it can no longer provide maximum comfort or support.

Here are six signs of bra wear and tear to watch out for:

1.  Stretched band

A stretched bra band is likely the first sign of bra wear and tear you’ll notice. In fact, a stretched band is expected, which is why bra bands are designed with multiple clasps. As the bra stretches, you can fasten the hooks on tighter clasps to give you that like-new, snug fit.

However, keep in mind that needing to use a tighter clasp is a sign that your bra is, indeed, getting worn-out. If you’re using the tightest clasp, you likely need to consider fitting a bra shopping trip into the near future.

The band of the bra provides the most support. When it’s snug, it helps to keep all other parts of the bra in place. And when it loosens, it can begin to ride up on your back, putting more pressure on your straps and shoulders.

2.  Exposed underwire

Exposed underwire may be a painful nuisance, but it’s also a sign that your bra needs to be replaced. Underwire should not pop out of the bra’s fabric because it’s designed to fit perfectly under the bra cups to provide support. Pushing the underwire back in means it may not be in the same position it was originally in.

3.  Stretched straps

Bra straps don’t provide support, but they do help keep your bra cups in place. Stretched straps can lead to the straps falling off your shoulders. You can try tightening the straps as they loosen, but if they continue to fall off your shoulders, you’ll need a new bra.

Stretched bra straps can also cause the cups to not fully hug your breasts. The cups must fit your breasts snugly to provide support, lift and a rounded shape. If you tighten the straps and still feel like your bra cups aren’t tight enough, your bra has stretched out too much to fit you well.

Related: Why Do My Bra Straps Fall Off My Shoulders?

4.  Frayed material

Frayed material may seem cosmetic, but it could be a sign that your elastic will soon become damaged. The material keeps the bra’s elastic from being exposed, protecting the elastic from water, sweat, oils, etc. These things can damage the elastic, especially if the elastic is exposed. Without the elastic in good condition, the bra won’t fit like it did when you bought it.

5.  Shapeless cups

Perhaps you’ve noticed the cups of your padded bra are no longer shaped like they once were. The cups may feel flimsy and look shapeless. The foam padding in your cups can wear out and lose its shape overtime.

6.  Broken clasps

Broken bra clasps are the most obvious signs of bra wear and tear. If you’re tempted to rig your bra back together, don’t. Go ahead and buy a new bra. You likely won’t be able to make the bra band fit the way it was intended to, and you certainly don’t want the rigged clasp to break at an inopportune time.

It’s easy to get used to the way an old, worn-out bra fits and feels. You can become so accustomed to wearing an old bra that you don’t realize it’s no longer doing its full job. In fact, you’ll be surprised how worn your bra was when you try on a brand new one. If your bra is showing signs of wear and tear, head to your local lingerie store for a bra fitting and a new bra. You’ll be glad you did!

Related: 5 Times When You Should Get A Bra Fitting

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!

Featured image lingerie:
Parfait Lynn Push-Up Strapless Bra P13112 in Black | Parfait Lynn T-Shirt Bra P13011 in Nude | Parfait Lynn Y-Back Front Closure Bra P13122 in Black
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Lauren Hamilton

Lauren Hamilton is the founder of, a lifestyle and relationship blog offering relationship advice and encouraging women to be the happiest, most confident version of themselves through positivity and self-love. She's also a freelance writer and communications strategist. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, and check out some of her accomplishments on her portfolio.

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