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How to Increase the Shelf Life

Proper bra care means your bra will keep its pristine shape about one year, says Susan Nethero, chief fit stylist of Intimacy. Here, her tips on keeping your delicate underthings in good stretching order.


Have a wardrobe of bras—at least five to seven.
“Women overwear bras—that’s the single biggest reason they wear out.”

Switch them up.
“You shouldn’t wear one bra two days in a row. A day of wear and then a day of rest is best. After two wears, wash it.”

Woolite is for wool.
“Use a sensitive soap, without bleach or materials that damage elastic. We sell Forever New ($6 for eight ounces). Or you can use baby-clothes soaps like Ivory Snow or Dreft.”

Hand wash? Hah.
“Keep a net bag in your closet. When you take off a bra, fasten it [so it doesn’t get hooked on others] and throw it in there.” The bag goes into the washing machine on the cold, gentle cycle (mesh laundry bag, $5.99 at Duane Reade, 250 Broadway, nr. Park Pl.; 212-571-4511).

Do not cook your bra.
As John Cameron Mitchell says in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, “You don’t put a bra in the dryer. It warps.” Use cool water and hang dry, says Nethero. “You will double the life of your bra.”


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