Author Topic: Ladies -- Bra Maintenance Question!  (Read 1810 times)

Botany Bae

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Ladies -- Bra Maintenance Question!
« on: September 23, 2019, 04:44:00 PM »
I'm cursed with a larger cup size. About a year ago, I took the plunge, got properly sized, and purchased several medium quality department store bras that fit well. I've carefully handwashed and air dried them, but now I have a problem...

The edges of the cups are curling outward. Not flaring, like one sometimes sees when the cups don't fit well and gape. More like the very thin "smooth lines" pad inside the silky fabric has stretched somehow so it's curling within the fabric casing. Has anyone encountered this? Is there a fix? Is there something else I should be doing to avoid this problem? Why do boobs have to be so high maintenance? It costs me more to clothe this relatively small percentage of my body than to purchase the entire rest of my wardrobe!

KBCB

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Re: Ladies -- Bra Maintenance Question!
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2019, 04:50:06 PM »
Ah yes I have had this happen before. It depends on the bra and material. I think it has something to do with the material shrinking at different rates when drying (which I could possibly be wrong). Trying to shape the cup before it dries by pulling the material together if that makes sense sometimes worked if it wasn't too bad.
Not all bras are made the same. I find Victoria Secret Bras always did this, Maiden form does not. Maiden form doesn't last as long but i like them better than more expensive brands.

Villanelle

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Re: Ladies -- Bra Maintenance Question!
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2019, 05:04:08 PM »
I don't know that it can be fixed, but are you hand washing in cool water? 

Blue Skies

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Re: Ladies -- Bra Maintenance Question!
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2019, 05:10:50 PM »
As long as I air dry them, I have never had problems just throwing them in a lingerie bag in the washer with the rest of my stuff.  Mine fail either from the elastic wearing out or the underwires poking through the fabric casing.

It sounds like stretching.  How gently are you washing them?  Are they the right shape when you lay them out to dry, or do they look "off" even then?

Frankies Girl

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Re: Ladies -- Bra Maintenance Question!
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2019, 05:13:06 PM »
Are you laying them flat to dry? That can sometimes hurt the shape if you have larger cups. If laying totally flat, may want to try stuffing a rolled up tee or hand towel in each cup to provide form and raise them up and gently pull the cups over to reshape them.

I've had success with air drying over a rounded form so the fabric maintains its basic shape. As my cup size can fit over a wig head form, I've used those, and really any larger globe type shapes (rounded lampshade for instance).

Light heat may also help snap fibers back into place. If you have a dryer rack (the kind that doesn't rotate for things like tennis shoes they used to make for certain dryers?) you can try putting them in for a few minutes to see if that helps or even hair dryer about halfway through dry time when still slightly damp, but only very occasionally expose them to heated situations. But may work on the principle that causes all freshly washed and dried clothing that "tightens up" after washing. ;) (do not try this with really expensive bras. maybe experiment with cheaper bras you already feel are "ruined" !)

Also make sure you're rotating through your bras to allow them at minimum 24 hours between wearings so the fabric/elastic has a chance to recover well.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2019, 05:14:47 PM by Frankies Girl »

pk_aeryn

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Re: Ladies -- Bra Maintenance Question!
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2019, 05:14:23 PM »
I wear a 30GG so I really sympathesize about the ridiculous cost we have to bear for properly fitting bras.  I only buy European brands from online stores and go through lots of steps and hoops to be able to find ways to not get killed on shipping returns.  Amazonís recent wardrobe trial period where you can get a few items delivered and not pay unless youíre keeping it is life changing.

So that being said, my advice would be to find bras that donít have this lining you talk about inside. All of mine are really thin fabric but because the band is supporting and cups are the correct size, thereís no padding or anything needed.  A trick I learned is to align your nipples under the seam that goes along the middle of the cup- that will hide a lot of any pointing that linings or pads try to cover.

I would also check how often you are washing them? Unless they got sweaty you can wear them 2 maybe 3 times before washing - rotate them all as much as you can so thereís days even a week in between - it allows the elastic to settle back and will take longer before it gets stretched out.

Really good bra care they might last 5 years - but not forever. Hard for my frugal self to accept but I do have to spend many hundreds of dollars every few years to look good in my work clothes. I canít wait to be retired and live in less expensive sports bras the rest of my life after that.

MayDay

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Re: Ladies -- Bra Maintenance Question!
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2019, 04:30:12 AM »
I always air dry mine and yes, sound do this. It seems to be random change, as some do and some don't.

I attribute it to more material selection- if one fabric is shrinking due to thermal cycling, etc, there isn't much you can do.

I luckily found a Warner's bra at Kohl's that comes in my weird size, does not do this, and is fairly cheap- depending on how odd your size is (I'm a 32DD) you may have options ordering online from mid range stores for less.

Malcat

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Re: Ladies -- Bra Maintenance Question!
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2019, 05:04:24 AM »
Really good bra care they might last 5 years - but not forever. Hard for my frugal self to accept but I do have to spend many hundreds of dollars every few years to look good in my work clothes. I canít wait to be retired and live in less expensive sports bras the rest of my life after that.

I'm a similar size and I already switched to comfortable sports bras 99% of the time. Sure, my breasts don't look nearly as attractive, but that's really not a priority for me, especially at work. The sports bra provides enough support to be able to look professional in most of my clothes. I'll sometimes pop on an underwire bra for certain shirts, but I hate it so much that I just wear those shirts a lot less.

I've virtually lost my tolerance for underwire.

Sun Hat

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Re: Ladies -- Bra Maintenance Question!
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2019, 07:13:35 AM »
Sorry to derail the topic, but what are these comfortable sports bras that you speak of? I'm a 34 F and can only tolerate sports bras while exercising, because my back or traps always seem to ache after wearing them.

Malcat

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Re: Ladies -- Bra Maintenance Question!
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2019, 09:48:45 AM »
Sorry to derail the topic, but what are these comfortable sports bras that you speak of? I'm a 34 F and can only tolerate sports bras while exercising, because my back or traps always seem to ache after wearing them.

I wear very light support, very soft and stretchy sports bras. Not the kind you would run in.

Adge

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Re: Ladies -- Bra Maintenance Question!
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2019, 11:12:38 AM »
Sorry to derail the topic, but what are these comfortable sports bras that you speak of? I'm a 34 F and can only tolerate sports bras while exercising, because my back or traps always seem to ache after wearing them.

Wacoal makes fabulous underwire sports bras that feel nothing like a normal underwire bra. The wire goes wayyy up and somehow that makes it less noticeable. Iím a 32G and I pretty much only buy shirts with a neckline that I can wear these with so I donít have to wear a ďrealĒ bra as much.

Botany Bae

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Re: Ladies -- Bra Maintenance Question!
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2019, 12:18:23 PM »
Lots of awesome tips, thanks so much for speaking up, ladies!! :)

I've been trying to shape/lay flat when drying, I'll look for something that fits in the cups to shape them better (cereal bowls, maybe?) I wash in cool water and rotate through, so I'm good there. I probably need to bite the bullet and just order higher quality expensive bras and just accept the titty tax of being top heavy.  My size isn't that hard to find (36 DDD/F or E in the UK, I believe),  so in the interim I will check out the Warners at Kohls. Currently I believe these are the mid-range Maidenforms from Kohls.

I'm following the side convo on sports bras with rabid interest! Underwire in sports bras tends to give me a heat rash. I've resorted to wearing cheap but comfy no-wire sports bras and then having my partner wrap an ACE bandage around me to strap them flat if I'm going to be so active I want no bounce at all.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Ladies -- Bra Maintenance Question!
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2019, 01:46:30 PM »
I'm a 30 G, and I found cheap, comfy, no wire sports bras that I could jog in... that promptly were discontinued. They listed them at like $15-$20 online a few years ago and I freaked out because BRAS UNDER $20 that are good? So I bought as many as I could and now treat them like they're spun gold. :(

Old school C9 "compression" zipper front Target bras (Power Shapeô MAX High Support Front-Close Sports Bra). The new ones are crap. I nearly cried when I realized they'd "improved" them to be more stylish but also uncomfortable and terrible. They're STILL working well for me. I have like 6 of them, I rotate them, wash in gentle in the washer and hang dry (shaped over a lampshade that fits the cups). Elastic is still great, shaping and support is still decent. I don't know what I'm going to do when they give out. They're made for Target by Champion so I should go check them out more.

I tend to get that heat rash too, but I just get really good about changing/showering ASAP if I got super sweaty, powder (gold bond medicated) or even use my antiperspirant in under boob area when I know I'm working out. Weird, but works.

The struggle is real, and it sucks.

Rosy

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Re: Ladies -- Bra Maintenance Question!
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2019, 09:31:54 AM »
It is a question of trial and error until you find a good quality bra that doesn't do what you describe. Depending on the fabric and how often you have to wash your bras (all the time in Florida) a decent bra should last about three years then they start to give too much etc.....

I'm always happy to go bra shopping when I'm in Europe - I love all the designs, selection and of course price. I usually get ten bras, some super good ones from the local lingerie boutique that fit me perfectly and a couple just for fun from the discount store that I don't expect to last but a year - although sometimes they hold up surprisingly well.

If you got big boobs, own them, enjoy them and support them properly so your back and your body does not suffer the consequences. I consider that a medical expense and taking proper care of your body. Your grandmother was right - no slouching:).

My girls like lace and it is so fun to get more than the generic, blech, must have - one white, one beige and one black basic bra wardrobe I find myself restricted to when I know I'm stuck with spending $100 for only three bras, because that's what it will be at Macy's on sale. Heck, I feel lucky when I can find a nice black lace bra - boobs are not meant to be stuck in utilitarian garb(age).

Every sports bra I ever tried has been torture akin to the medieval iron maiden.
 

Malcat

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Re: Ladies -- Bra Maintenance Question!
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2019, 10:59:09 AM »
It is a question of trial and error until you find a good quality bra that doesn't do what you describe. Depending on the fabric and how often you have to wash your bras (all the time in Florida) a decent bra should last about three years then they start to give too much etc.....

I'm always happy to go bra shopping when I'm in Europe - I love all the designs, selection and of course price. I usually get ten bras, some super good ones from the local lingerie boutique that fit me perfectly and a couple just for fun from the discount store that I don't expect to last but a year - although sometimes they hold up surprisingly well.

If you got big boobs, own them, enjoy them and support them properly so your back and your body does not suffer the consequences. I consider that a medical expense and taking proper care of your body. Your grandmother was right - no slouching:).

My girls like lace and it is so fun to get more than the generic, blech, must have - one white, one beige and one black basic bra wardrobe I find myself restricted to when I know I'm stuck with spending $100 for only three bras, because that's what it will be at Macy's on sale. Heck, I feel lucky when I can find a nice black lace bra - boobs are not meant to be stuck in utilitarian garb(age).

Every sports bra I ever tried has been torture akin to the medieval iron maiden.

I'm glad you enjoy your bras, but this really is a personal preference thing.

I have large breasts and I have never needed to wear an underwire bra not to slouch, even when I had an H cup. I actually find that "proper" bras put way too much force on my traps, which is where I hold tension as it is, whereas less restrictive bras with thick straps that cross at the back create much more favourable force vectors for my particular body.
My utilitarian bras don't feel like "garbage", they feel like comfort, mobility, and function. Lacy bras hold absolutely no interest for me whatsoever. I used to care about fancy bras, and have spent thousands on them in my time, but now I couldn't care less.

Again, I'm happy that you enjoy your bras, and I'm not at all judging your preferences, but the way you posted sure suggested a judgement of mine.


Botany Bae

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Re: Ladies -- Bra Maintenance Question!
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2019, 02:57:11 PM »
I've been carrying these puppies around for about 30 years, and much like Malkynn,  lace and looking pretty isn't on my radar anymore at all. I want utilitarian garbage that works so the girls don't bounce and give me a black eye, not bits of pretty fabric to peacock around in. I just opt for dark colors so stains don't show (this rule applies to all clothing). I need something that wears like iron. My life is such that sometimes I can't/don't take off a bra for several days simply because I am out in the field/backcountry and none of my clothing gets changed other than socks ;) I have a specific bra set aside for this type of wear in an attempt to extend the lives of the rest.

In fact, I think that is my biggest pet peeve when looking up bra reviews online. Everything focus on "style, fashion, color." I wear clothing over my bras, I could give a shit less what they look like. I need to know how they feel, how well they hold the boobs in place, and how long they last. I don't need to know whether they can "go from the gym to a hot date."

I'll never enjoy them, they serve no purpose at this size beyond attracting a mate, which I've already done. They even made feeding my child without suffocating him difficult back in the day. I've thought about a reduction, which would likely save me money in the longrun, but I don't have the back problems necessary for my insurance to consider it medically necessary. C'est la vie. Lesson learned, regardless of reviews, skip the silly "support pads." They were comfortable and kept everything in place while they lasted!

DaMa

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Re: Ladies -- Bra Maintenance Question!
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2019, 09:54:31 AM »
I have a lot of trouble with rashes.  It took a while but I finally found a 100% cotton bra that actually worked for me. The support is actually very good.   And it's cheap. (link below).   No problem with bounce when walking, but there is bounce when I go over 3.0 on the elliptical.  I wear these for everyday and have a bunch of older Lane Bryant underwire bras for dressing up.  I machine wash in a bag and hang to dry.  Due to the rash issue, I use hot water and only wear one day before washing. 

https://www.womanwithin.com/products/cotton-wireless-bra-by-comfort-choice/1003377.html?search_term=cotton%20bra

Botany Bae

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Re: Ladies -- Bra Maintenance Question!
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2019, 02:41:30 PM »
@DaMa Thanks for the link, I may try one of those!