I'm a bra fitter…there's an easy test to see if you need a new bra which only takes seconds
A LINGERIE expert has shared a test which lets you find out if it's time to replace the old bra with a new one.
If you're someone who wears a bra on a daily basis, it's important to take care of the garments and bag new ones when needed – but how do you know when the time has come?
According to Beth Kates, the founder of underwear brand Liberty & Love, the vast majority of women aren't replacing their undergarments often enough.
The mum-of-three added it's no wonder that most will then also fall into the unhealthy habit of grabbing the 'trusty' old bra every morning until it falls apart.
But as an worn-out bra can cause more harm than good, it's important that these are replaced regularly – and the expert revealed the four signs to look out for, The Mirror wrote.
CUPS ARE STRETCHED
The fashion whizz claimed that when you begin to notice a significant gap between the bra cups and your breasts, it can mean two things – either you need to check your cup size or they've been stretched out too much over time.
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If you've noticed any change, it's time to treat yourself to a new bra.
"If you can fit two fingers or more into the cup of your bra, it is definitely too loose.
"If you feel that your bra is much bigger than it once was, that’s a bad sign as you’re not getting the support you need.
''It’s time to replace it!'' Beth insisted.
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BACK IS STRETCHED
No matter how much care you take, the back of your bra will stretch out over time – there's simply no avoiding it.
While for most it doesn't seem like much of an issue, a stretched elastic means your girls are not getting the support needed.
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"Over time, the elastic in a bra band can weaken and stretch out. The bra band may ride up your back,'' the bra guru said.
"At first, when you notice this problem, you may be able to adjust the bra and make it tighter.
''However, this is a short-term fix, and eventually, you will need to replace the bra."
Those who've had the unfortunate experience of the underwire digging into your ribcage will know how excruciating the pain is.
While you may be tempted to simply push the wire back in, it's not a permanent solution – besides, it can also cause damage.
"An underwire is notorious for causing pain, leaving marks and generally feeling uncomfortable – especially when it starts digging into your skin.
"If you don’t have a properly fitting underwire bra, you’ll certainly deal with some back pain, and even wire poke!
"When an underwire bra fits properly, it helps to relieve some of the stress on your back and shoulders and can help with your posture."
COLOUR IS FADED
A fresh, brightly coloured bra can make you feel like a million dollars – after all, have you noticed feeling less confident when you're wearing a worn-out bra that's seen better days?
"Whilst there are many tell-tale signs that may signal that you need a new bra, sometimes you might want something a bit more luxurious.
"Every bra has its day but it's important to invest in a bra that makes you feel happy and confident."
Beth wants women to purchase underwear for themselves as she advocates ‘your body, your choice, your you. Love the skin you’re in.’
HOW TO WASH YOUR BRA
If instead of replacing the bra you've made the decision to keep it, it's vital you know how to wash it correctly.
Beth said that the main things to consider when it comes to the frequency is how oily your skin is and how sweaty you get throughout the day.
She advised: "Wash after sport always, any time you sweat it should be washed, otherwise after every two or three times of wearing.
"It seems people don’t always stick to this because maybe they don’t have enough bras!”
For those who continue to go about their day with a bra that hasn't seen the washing machine in weeks, there are a few nasty truths to be revealed.
The whizz explained that your bra can become the breeding ground for bacteria, oil, dirt and even yeast and fungi.
"Deodorant is something most people use – but it can sit on your bra and create a stain from dirt and oil.
"As bras are so close to the skin, all the grimey bacteria that has built up over time can easily cause friction too.
"If you wear a dirty bra, you could end up with skin rashes and spots. So follow your instinct – if you haven’t been that active, then every couple of wears will be fine, but if your bra gets sweaty or dirty, then change it daily."
To wash, the whizz advised washing by hand – but if you're loyal to the washing machine, simply put it on a delicate cycle.
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It's also important to remember to remove pads first and do up the clasps – this will avoid them catching on other clothing.
Plus, Beth revealed, tumble drying is a big no.
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