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op shopping woman

What To Do With Your Old Bras

Bra shopping is up there with having to buy new jeans. There’s a lot of on-and-off and a lot of anxiety about what fits and what doesn’t. Exhausted by all the arm extension; hooking and unhooking, you look around at the bra battlefield on the floor, and they’ve all blended into one. For most of us, it’s not the most enjoyable experience.

Even though it can be fraught, the fact is – bras aren’t forever, and for a garment that gets such frequent workout, it’s a sure thing that you’ll have to replace them eventually. It’s easy to keep pushing your favourite bra to its limits, even though it’s lost its support and is looking sad. So to avoid total bra breakdown, here’s the lowdown about when it’s time to say goodbye and bring in a new bra.

It might surprise you to learn that the official line is, it’s best to replace your bras, wait for it… every 6-8 months. But in reality, that’s just an arbitrary number, in the real world, the truth is more dependent on individual factors.

Bra Count

The general rule of thumb is that there’s safety in numbers. The 6-8 month rule revolves around you having between 3-5 bras in your repertoire. That means, for those who have a drawer full of bountiful bras in circulation, you’re looking at a collectively longer life due to the less wear that each of them gets.  

Shape Shifters

Your boobs won’t always be the same; over your lifetime, they’ll get bigger and smaller and shift in shape as well. If you’re in your teenage years, your breasts are still growing which means you’ll have do a lot more bra-shopping. And it doesn’t stop there, women’s boobs can keep growing until they’re into their 20s – that’s a whole lot of bras you’ll burn through. There are other things which can affect the size of your breasts at any given time; from how much you’re exercising to weight fluctuations and if you’re on medication.

Bracycling

If your drawers are piling up with used bras, instead of throwing them away – pass them on to women in need. There are plenty of women and girls alike who would benefit immediately from your bras. These women might be homeless, or perhaps, for many reasons, they’re forced to depend on donated clothes. Contrary to belief, bras aren’t often found in op-shops and if they are, there’s no guarantee of finding one that fits properly and is flattering.


Here are a collection of places where your bra can go:

  • The Uplift Project which collects bras to give to women who can’t access the right fit in their country.

  • Support the Girls is an Australian initiative to empower and encourage women and girls by supplying them with not only bras, but other crucial developmental products like tampons and pads.

  • If your bra hasn’t been worn out and is still in ship shape, you can donate it to your local Vinnies or other op-shop.

  • For bras that are unwearable, consider recycling it somewhere near you.

Upcycle Away

If you’re feeling creative and are looking to turn your bra into something sensational – we’ve got a few ideas. Turn it into a bathing suit, add some bling and bedazzle it, attach some lace, make a chain and ribbon back, turn it into a bustier or sew it into a dress.

Here are our favourite upcycled bras from around the internet:

This busty and brilliant frilled burlesque beauty:
bra upcycling frilled burlesque bra

This solution to the backless dress problem:
backless dress bra upcycling
 
Or this DIY How To:
diy backless bra
 
When your favourite bra has had its day – replace it with a DeBra.


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