Bra washing has been a hot topic on social media this year. Amy Dawson asks lingerie experts for the truth…
YOU SHOULD WEAR A BRA IN BED: FALSE
Many women think sleeping in a bra will help stop their boobs from going saggy. It’s neither necessary nor a good idea, says Victoria Shelton, garment technologist at Figleaves. ‘It’s not recommended to sleep in a bra as the underwire may move, damaging breast tissue and restricting lymph nodes,’ she says. ‘There are a number of sleep bras available which are soft but give a supportive feel, or hidden support nightwear is a great alternative.’
YOU SHOULDN’T WEAR THE SAME BRA TWO DAYS IN A ROW: TRUE
Just like gym bunnies, bras need rest days. ‘Most bras contain elastane, which stretches over time,’ says Shelton. ‘That’s why it’s better to have a few bras in rotation rather than wearing one bra for two or three days in a row. Giving the bra a rest will give the elastane and stretch fabrics a chance to revert back to their natural shape.’
BRAS SHOULD BE WASHED AFTER EVERY WEAR: FALSE
The recent Twitter debate proved that women are divided when it comes to how often they should wash their bras. Do bras really need to be washed after every use? Unless you are getting seriously hot and sweaty, the answer is no. ‘Where knickers need washing after each wear, bras do not,’ says Debby Duckett, buying director at Boux Avenue. ‘We recommend washing your bras every two, three or even four wears.’ Phew!
BRAS HAVE TO BE HAND-WASHED: FALSE
This is a tricky one. While most experts agree that washing bras by hand then leaving them to air dry is the ideal (to prevent them from fraying and losing their shape), machine washing isn’t quite the total no-no we’ve been led to believe. Sadly, however, it’s not as simple as sticking them in with our jeans. ‘Your bra can go in the washing machine in a lingerie care bag and on a gentle wash,’ says Shelton.
IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW YOU PUT YOUR BRA ON: FALSE
Most ladies fall into two camps when it comes to putting on their lingerie. On one side we have team ‘lean forward and reach back’, on the other we have the ‘clip it, wiggle it round and flip it’ crew. Unfortunately, the latter method can be bad for your underwear. ‘Women who put their bra on upside down, then flip the cups upwards, can damage the bra,’ says Steff McGrath, managing partner at Something Wicked. ‘It can cause the underwire to poke out of the bra as well as stretching the band.’
ALWAYS START A BRA OFF ON THE LOOSEST HOOK: TRUE
Experts agree that it’s best to start off wearing a bra on the loosest hook because they all tend to stretch and get bigger over time. ‘The underband should sit parallel around your back without riding up and it should be a snug fit,’ says Shelton. ‘Often when fitting a bra it’s recommended to fit on the loosest hook and eye because this allows you to tighten the underband as the bra gets worn.’