So you just paid $$$ for your bra, and you're FINALLY happy to find something that fits. That's great news, and we always love hearing those "transformation" stories. The one thing that women often forget, is actually the most important: you must take care of your bra. It doesn't matter how much it cost, if you don't care for your bra, it won't last.
In this post, we will talk about basics of proper bra care, a step-by-step guide on how to hand wash a bra, and information on how to choose a good lingerie soap.
Signs of improper care:
At most bra boutiques, your bra lady will go over care instructions with you (and if they don't, ask!) There is a reason they emphasize bra care - boutiques want happy customers! Not to mention, returns are VERY expensive for small businesses, so it benefits the store to teach you about proper bra care. At many bra stores, signs of improper care may void any return policy or warranty.
Basics of proper bra care
When bra fitters try to sell you lingerie wash, it isn't a scam...
While they may make a few extra bucks selling you lingerie soap, bra shops make far more money on your purchase of bras. If you don't properly care for your bra, it won't last you as long - that is the honest truth. If you would rather put them in the washer and dryer, bust the underwire and ruin the fabric, I'm sure your local bra lady would happily sell you a bra in every 4-6 weeks. However, most store owners care more about your bras lasting because that instills your trust in them. Buy the damn bra soap! You'll save yourself the discomfort and time shopping for new bras.
Things we DON'T recommend for washing your bra:
There are several different types of laundry soap to choose from, but "normal" detergent is too harsh for delicate fabric, and it will break down much faster...
Top product recommendation: SOAK WASH
This might be super annoying, but I only have one thing to recommend. That's because I have tried SO MANY other products and they just don't get the dirt out as well as this one does (especially for the price!) Retails for around $16-17 per bottle (lasts me about 3-4 months per bottle, but I wash a LOT of stuff with it).
SOAK is by far the best lingerie wash on the market today, and here's why:
If you don't opt for Soak, you can choose any lingerie wash. When choosing a soap, here are some ingredients to avoid: bleach, sodium lauryl sulfate, synthetic fragrances, phthalates, phenols, brighteners, petroleum distillates, and 1,4-dioxane.
How to hand wash your bra
This may seem obvious, but we get a lot of questions about how to hand wash a bra. Follow the quick steps below - it only takes 20 minutes from start to finish!
Large cup bras are hard enough to find - add a wedding or formal event into the mix, and it can be nearly impossible to find the perfect fit for The Big Day. We have been getting a lot of questions about this lately, so we are breaking it down into two categories:
While we will be referring to weddings in this blog post, our recommendations apply to any formal event, fun night out, or night at home with your special someone :)
Our recommendations are based on fitting a variety of customers. We are listing our favorites for band size 28-48, cup size D-J. Keep reading for our best recommendations, and as always, please shop at your local bra boutique!!
BONUS: Everything we list is under $100! Please note that different boutiques price based on location, sale items, etc. Price also depends on the color, because some past season colors are discounted at a later time - you might get lucky and find something on sale!
Recommendations for under your dress
It's hard enough trying to find a dress, but then your seamstress tells you to get a better bra to wear underneath. Where to start?
First things first - let's start with a few tips:
Onto the bra recommendations.....
--- Luxe by Curvy Kate ---
This one comes in two strapless options - the longline basque comes out this month (August 2019). The basque will be available in black and ivory. For the strapless, this has been our recommendation for YEARS. It is amazing, so I'm sure the basque will live up to the same standard. We have been hard-pressed to find a better option - we have seen women do cartwheels in a 36H strapless bra, and Luxe stays put! Straps are removable and convertible, so you can wear this one in multiple ways.
One thing to note about strapless for women with wider-spread breasts - sometimes this one can gape out at the sides if you are REALLY full and have more side tissue. We still recommend giving this one a try!
Comes in black, biscotti (nude), and ivory (off-white) - see photos below
Recommended for: women of all shapes and sizes, especially those with less side tissue. Warning on the basque - if you have a fuller tummy, it may be hard to clasp - go for the strapless bra if this is the case.
Retail Price: $75 for strapless, and around $95 for the basque.
--- Smoothing by Elomi ---
We love this style because it works really well for women with a wider-set bust, or for those who have larger band size. Smoothing comes in black and nude, and both are beautiful. This one is a multi-way bra with removable straps, but our favorite part is that there are TWO strap positions available (one set closer in, and one set wider out) to accommodate different necklines.
Comes in black and nude.
Recommended for: Band sizes 36+, especially women with wider-set breast tissue (this one is AWESOME for those Hawaii ladies who need a hula option)
Retail Price: $69
--- Adelaide by Goddess ---
We love Adelaide because she is available in one of the widest ranges of sizing available for a bridal basque. As an added bonus, this one is sexy enough to be worn on the wedding night :) One thing to remember about basque styles is that they can be difficult for women with a larger tummy - you may need a little help getting this one on. This particular style, while flattering, has fabric that is a little less soft than some of the other options listed. BUT, we've heard it's comfortable enough to be worth it! We love that this one has removable garter straps and shoulder straps, so you can customize it for your desired look.
Comes white and black.
Recommended for: Nearly all common band sizes, but especially those with 36+ who need tummy control.
Retail Price: $79
Recommendations for the wedding night and/or boudoir photo shoots
This one is really tricky because all women have different ideas and preferences for what they consider "sexy." This will be a quick glance with general ideas, but we won't be as thorough with these because there are so many of them!
Sarah Rice is a former bra store owner who still has a passion for bra fitting. All recommendations are based on her personal experience with fitting customers.