If you wear bras regularly, you’ve probably heard a lot of old wives tales about them. Unlike other stories you hear that are quickly dispelled through trial and error or even simple common sense, women tend to believe myths about wearing bras simply because they’ve heard them over and over again.
Keep reading to find out the top five myths about wearing bras, and why you should stop believing them.
As long as your bra fits, you can still wear it
Let’s face it, bras are expensive to replace, so we tend to hold on to them as long as possible. However, even if you remain the same size, keeping the same bra for several years just leads to a lack of necessary support and sometimes back pain.
Bras stretch out, sometimes imperceptibly, over time. If your straps keep falling down, there is fraying along the edges, or you’ve had to use the tightest hooks, it’s probably time to toss that bra. You probably can’t tell, but it isn’t supporting you the way you need any more.
Wearing a bra will make your breasts droop or sag
The theory behind this myth is that wearing a bra prevents your muscles from strengthening themselves. The truth? As Women’s Health Mag points out; our breasts don’t have muscle. They’re a combination of fat and ligaments covered in skin. Wearing a bra has little to no effect on how perky or not breasts remain.
There’s no real way to prevent the passage of time (and thus, the sagging of breasts), but toning the muscles in your back and chest can help lift your breasts if it’s something you worry about.
Sleeping in a bra does…anything
Many girls are told that sleeping in a bra will keep their breasts upright and combat sagginess. The truth is, all it really does is make for a slightly more uncomfortable night.
There are even more serious repercussions. A recent article on Positivemed pointed out that sleeping in your bra can interfere with circulation, cause skin irritation and restlessness, and even lead to breast fungus, among other things.
You shouldn’t wash your bra often
While this makes some sense, as washing your bra too frequently can lead to it stretching out and the fabric breaking down, it’s also not good for you or your hygiene. Your bra is next to your skin, pretty much all day. You sweat and secrete oils all day, these get soaked up by your bra. This not only leads to dirty skin but also breaks down the elasticity of your bra.
Washing your bra every day may seem like a lot of work, but it’s the best way to ensure it stays in good condition and that you aren’t going about your day wrapped in the previous day’s bacteria. You may want to invest in a variety of bras and keep them in high rotation. The Huffington Post reports that you should wash your bras as often as possible, leaving it at the most to after every three wearings.
Buy a bra that fits on the loosest hook
This also makes sense when you first think about it. As your bra stretches out, you can move it to the tighter hooks. However, our bodies don’t stay the same throughout the month (or even the week, sometimes). When you’re experiencing bloating or water retention, you’ll want to move it to the loosest hook. If you’ve lost some weight or your bra is getting old and stretched out, you can start wearing it on the tightest hooks.
When buying a new bra, look for one that fits absolutely perfectly on the middle hooks. This will ensure that you have some leeway on the days your body decides to gain or lose an inch or two. As we all know, bodies are weird and unpredictable.