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how long should sports bras last

Love them or hate them – sports bras are an essential part of your lingerie wardrobe. So how do you know when it’s time to toss your sports bra? Read on for the full scoop.

How long should a sports bra last?

With proper care, a high-quality sports bra should last 6-12 months before it needs to be replaced.

When to replace sports bras

1.  The band is stretched out

Is your band letting you down? A snug band is crucial to a supportive sports bra. The band serves as the anchor for the sports bra – providing 85-90% of the bra’s support. To get the best fit, opt for a snug sports band that doesn’t move when you raise your arms. D, DD, and DDD+ cup sizes may benefit from a bra-sized sports bra instead of a S, M, or L sports bra. Also, instead of a sports bra that slides over your head, look for one that has a front closure or back hook and eye closure. This will make it easier to take the bra on and off. A back-closure bra with multiple hooks will also allow you to tighten the bra band as it stretches – meaning you’ll get more out of your purchase than a pullover style.

2.  Your bra size has changed

It’s not uncommon for your bra size to change several times throughout your life. A good rule of thumb is to get a bra fitting every six months. If it has been more than six months since your last bra fitting, we recommend visiting a local lingerie boutique for a fitting. Finding a supportive sports bra could be as simple as changing the size on a style you already love.

3.  The cups don’t fit anymore

Does your sports bra provide enough support for your bust? If your breast tissue is spilling over the cups and creating a ‘quad-boob’ effect, it’s time for a new sports bra. You should never have to worry about your boobs falling out of your bra when you’re working out. A different size or style can help with this.

Related: Are Wired Sports Bras More Supportive Than Wireless Sports Bras?

4.  Your sports bras are worn and torn

You’ve worn the same sports bra for years. Unfortunately, sports bras aren’t designed to last forever. Frequent washing and wearing can cause them to stretch out over time and decrease the amount of support they provide. Make a note of the brand, size, and style or bring it to your local lingerie store and the bra fitters there will help you find a new favorite.

5.  Your workout routine has changed

Your sports bra should match your workout. You wouldn’t wear a strappy yoga bra to a cardio session, right? Low-intensity workouts benefit from lightweight, wireless sports bras, while high-intensity workouts require supportive sports bras that keep breast tissue in place with as little movement as possible. When you’re shopping for sports bras, let the bra fitter know what kind of workouts you’re into. That way she can match you with the right sports bra for your workout routine.

6.  You’re not getting the support you need

No sports bra should hold you back from getting the most out of your workout. If you’re afraid to jump, bend, squat, or stretch because your sports bra isn’t providing the support you need, it’s time for a new sports bra.

On the other hand, maybe you wear a bra under your sports bra because you feel more supported with two bras. I’m here to tell you that you don’t need two sports bras for support – one sports bra should be enough. Set aside some time to shop for a sports bra that provides adequate support. It’s not your fault your current sports bra is letting you down!

7.  You keep putting off shopping for new sports bras

Sports bras are one of the most challenging styles to shop for, but they’re also one of the most important. A well-fitting sports bra will keep your bust supported without putting stress on your shoulders and back.

When it comes to a style that you’ll wear often, like a sports bra, always buy the best quality you can afford. If you’re on a budget, get to know the sales associates at your favorite local lingerie store – they can call you when a style you like goes on sale. If you’re an online shopper, be sure to sign up for on your favorite store’s email list so you never miss a sale.

Not sure how you’re going to fit a bra fitting in your schedule? Call the store ahead of time and make an appointment. Then give yourself 30-45 minutes minimum to shop, guilt-free. This should leave you enough time to get a bra fitting, try on bras, and shop. While you’re there, don’t forget to refresh your lingerie drawer with new everyday bras and panties too!

Related: How To Choose The Right Sports Bra

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for sports bras or new everyday bras, 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 Active Sports Bra P5541 in Infinity Blue and Black/White
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Published by

Katie Donnelly

Katie Donnelly is a full-time freelance writer, content manager, and founder of Katie Rose Creative. An experienced bra fitter, Katie has helped hundreds of people shop for lingerie. Her favorite bra is the Sandrine Plunge Longline Bra.

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