Tag Archives: lifespan

When is it time to throw out your Sports Bra?

Repeatedly, the worst cases of bra abuse that I come across are related to Sports Bras (followed closely by the Strapless Bra of course). This generally comes in the form of overuse and misuse.

Like the anti-microbial nature of moisture wicking material, and the memory of foam in athletic footwear, the materials in corsetry have a lifespan or as I usually say a ‘best before’ period.

Firstly, here’s an issue I think exists in the technical Sports Bra manufacturing industry… Because the products are now built with such quality materials and superior designs it takes some time for the garment to actually show signs of ‘damage’. As it is common consumer behaviour not to replace something unless it is broken it’s not unusual to see women running their Sports Bra in to the ground blissfully unaware that it’s lost all of its functional support.

So, if it’s not falling apart at the seams how could we be expected to know when to replace our Sports Bra?

1. If you start to experience chaffing or hot spots. As the materials lose their elasticity your Sports Bra will become loose fitting which can cause friction as you move. Another side effect of a loose fitting Sports Bra is a reduction in breast support.

2. Elongated straps. If the stretch material in your straps is no longer functional there will be a compromise in your overall feeling of support, this will show through elongated bra straps.

3. Straps that dig in. This is an indication that the elastic nature of the strap material is no longer functional.

4. Hook damage. Signs of damage to the hook closure can be due to washing machine trauma, but it can also be due to overuse. If your Sports Bra is having to rely on the hook and eye closure to aid in support once the materials are damaged it’s a clear sign your bra is either being misused or overused.

5. Smell. Most technical Sports Bras use antimicrobial fabrics which aid in odour control. After too many washing cycles this becomes compromised and your Sports Bra is likely to hold the odour of sweat.

To ensure that your ‘bra abuse’ doesn’t quickly turn in to ‘breast abuse’ you should calculate exactly how long each of your Sports Bras will last, this post should help you do that.

Visit us at She Science to be fitted for your best Sports Bra:

www.shescience.com.au

And follow us on facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/shescience

Our online store can be found at:

http://www.shescience.com.au/page/shop%20online.aspx

How long will a Sports Bra last? The facts & figures.

This is something I get asked often. Very often. Sadly there is no easy answer, as it does depend on so many factors. Saying that, I will do my best to ‘ball park’ this timeline for you in this post.

But firstly, there are two things I should remind you of.

Your Sports Bra plays an important role in your exercise regime. It keeps you supported which in turn will improve your comfort, confidence and performance. The more we try and beat the daylights out of our number 1 training tool, the more we are sacrificing that comfort and support.

You also need to know it’s likely your Sports Bra will suffer a silent death. That means it may slip away without you even knowing. Of course I’m not talking about a washing machine kidnapping or anything of the sort. I’m exaggerating the point that the support, fit & overall functionality will fail much before the physical appearance of the bra. Like with a good pair of running shoes, if it’s falling apart or showing excessive wear then it’s likely you have way over stepped it’s spectrum of support!

Now we should all be fairly aware that a well made everyday bra should last between 6 months and a year depending of course on how often you wear and wash it. I always say, if you wear it twice a week and wash it once a week you should lay it to rest on it’s birthday!

Given the materials of a Sports Bra are generally firmer and more resistant to wear than an everyday Bra, and the engineering of the product is completely different all together then surely we should expect to get longer out of a properly fitted Sports Bra?!? WRONG, we wish that was the case!

Yes the materials are firmer, and it is specifically designed to endure the worst but sadly it is just that torment that ends up killing it quickly.

Most technical Sports Bra companies advise that their product should last about 6 months when being used for high impact activity three times a week. I tend to agree with this.

But something to take in to account is, if you increase that wear by only 1 extra session a week you will dramatically decrease the lifespan of the Bra. The reason for this is that there are elastic fibres in nearly all Sports Bra’s (especially the all important bra band) that become stressed and stretched with wear. If you do not give your bra adequate rest (we suggest 36 hours +) between uses then this elastic never relaxes back to its original state. It will wear much quicker this way. Likewise if your three days of activity are on Tues, Wed and Thurs you would expect to get less wear out of your Sports Bra, then if you exercised on Mon, Wed and Friday. Get it?!

As mentioned in a recent post on this blog their are a number of ways to improve the lifespan of your bra – see these tips here.

Visit us at She Science to be fitted for your best Sports Bra:

www.shescience.com.au

And follow us on facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/shescience

Our online store can be found at:

http://www.shescience.com.au/page/shop%20online.aspx