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bra myths

For a seemingly straightforward undergarment, bras are shrouded in quite a bit of mystery. While we know essentially how they function, there’s a shocking amount of misinformation floating around surrounding how they should fit, how we need to care for them, which styles work for certain sizes, and more. That’s why we decided to dispel some of the most common bra myths that seem to be circulating.

So, without further ado, let’s set the record straight on these trusty unmentionables!

1.  Bras can be tossed in the washing machine.

We know, we know: there’s a cycle on your machine specifically for delicates, so it must be fine to throw your bras in there — right? Not necessarily. Even a gentle cycle can be too harsh on a bra’s delicate fabric, padding, and underwire. That’s why it’s best to hand wash your bras whenever possible. Or, if you absolutely must toss them in the machine, always opt for cool/cold water and place them in a small mesh garment bag to prevent the hooks from causing snags on other garments and the straps from getting tangled. Believe us, a little extra effort will go a long way in regards to extending the life of your bras.

2.  The support comes from the straps.

Contrary to popular belief, the straps only lend a very small portion of the support. While they may provide some lift when you tighten them, it’s the band that carries the majority of the weight. This is why it’s imperative to know your correct band size, as it needs to fit snugly enough to offer adequate support without riding up.

3.  Push-up bras and bralettes are only for small breasts.

Large busted gals often avoid soft cup bras as well as push-up bras, but there’s no reason to. Bralettes and other wire-free bras can work for full busts as long as they have supportive features such as adjustable straps and hook-and-eye closures in the back, as well as a sturdy band that can withstand some weight. Note that longline bralettes are a spectacular option as the additional fabric underneath the cups lends a little extra coverage and support. As for push-up bras, they’re not just for making your boobs look bigger. Those with a fuller bust can certainly appreciate them for providing lots of lift as well as lending a nicely rounded shape.

Related: Bralette vs Bra: What’s The Difference Between A Bra and A Bralette?

bralettes for big boobs

Adriana Lace Bralette P5482 | Adriana Lace Bikini P5483 in Black

4.  Wearing bras raises your risk of breast cancer.

This is a big one that’s been making the rounds for years, but bra-lovers rejoice: A study of over 1,500 women published in the medical journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention revealed that there’s no link between wearing a bra and developing breast cancer. In fact, the risk was essentially the same regardless of what age the women started wearing bras, whether they wore bras with underwire or not, or how many hours per day they wore a bra.

5.  You have one bra size, and it’s the same for every brand.

So you got a professional fitting (props to you!) and you figured out your size — now you can buy bras from any brand in that size and they’ll fit, right? Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple. Every brand uses their own “fit model,” meaning there isn’t real consistency size-wise across different companies. That’s why it’s obviously ideal to try bras on before you buy them unless it’s a brand you know well. (By the way, we all have multiple bra sizes: They’re called sister sizes, and they can really come in handy).

6.  A white shirt calls for a white bra.

The assumption is that a white bra is your best bet under a white top, and while it makes sense in theory, this is another myth. If you’re looking for a bra that’s going to be invisible under your shirt, opt for one that’s as close as possible to your skin tone, whether that means a light beige or deep brown.

Relieved to hear the truth? We thought so. Now that we’ve busted some common bra myths, remember: Don’t believe everything you hear about your favorite undergarments, ladies.

Related: What Color Bra Do You Wear With A White Shirt?

white shirt black bra

Parfait Panty So Lovely Hipster PP501 in Silver Blue | Parfait Panty So Glam Thong PP402 in Black | Parfait Panty So Glam Hipster PP502 in Mediterranean Blue

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 lingerie:
Charlotte Padded Bra 6901 | Charlotte Bikini 6905 in Red/Black
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Published by

Rebecca Strong

Rebecca is a Boston-based freelance writer who focuses on style, fitness, food, and travel. She has contributed to such publications as HuffPost, Elite Daily and U.S. News & World Report. When she's not writing, she can be found at home or in the studio working on the songs for her upcoming album. Her favorite bra is a black demi-cup style with all-over-lace — timeless and feminine.

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