Is there any garment more confusing than the humble brassiere? Short of maybe my computer and cell phone, there’s no object lying around my house that I understand less. This is despite the fact that I have over fifteen years of experience growing, housing, and caring for, breasts. Once in a while, a piece of bra lore will flit across my consciousness, but I have no way to tell if it is proven fact, or just an old wive’s tale. Case in point: a recent article on The Huffington Post titled “10 Bra Mistakes You’re Probably Making (And How To Fix Them)” contains many bra-velations that are totally new to me. And they are…
1. “Don’t choose a bra by cup size”
Apparently, cup size and band size are not two separate measurements, but a complex, ever-shifting, lingerie dialectic. Like, a 32D is a smaller cup size than a 34D, and there are people wearing 36Cs who should be wearing 32Es. My identity as a D-cup is shattered!
2. “Always fasten your bra on the loosest hook”
This makes total sense, as you want to have more hooks to go to when your bra gets stretched out, but I’d never had it laid out like that for me before.
3. “Never wear a bra two days in a row”
“Letting a bra rest at least one day in between wear will help the elastic regain its strength,” [bra expert] Bobbie [Smith] tell us. “When you’re wearing it two days in a row, it’s like pulling on a muscle — it’s going to strain it and it won’t be able to snap back.” One thing that helps keep that elastic fresh? “Washing it in cold water helps it, because the cold water shocks it.
Okay, this is never going to happen, as I only ever have one or two bras at a time. Actually, right now I have three: black bra, minimizer bra, and ill-fitting purple bra. But minimizer is all stretched out and ill-fitting purple is…well, ill-fitting. Do you know how much good bras cost??? If I could afford to buy two at once, it would probably save me money in the long run. This problem seems analogous to credit card debt. Maybe I’ll make it a priority.
4. “Don’t wash your bras with Woolite.”
Huh? But I thought Woolite was the gentlest thing to use?! “It was actually designed to soften wool, so you shouldn’t use that on elastic, because you want the elastic to stay firm,” says Bobbie. Oh.
5. “Bras have an eight-month lifespan”
Why, it’s almost like we live in a world where things are designed not for optimal human use value, but max circulation of capital. Let’s stick it to the man by making all our bras out of seashells and coconuts from now on. No elastic, lasts forever!