A while back I wrote a hard-hitting blog post about the frequency (or lack thereof) of bra washing. After some extensive research, which included the daunting task of going through my drawers of underpinnings I decided to write a follow-up about the next step, tossing your bras in the garbage. Hold on, I’m not advocating a bra burning, and boobies running amuck, I’m just advocating throwing out your old bras. How do you know when it’s time to chuck your bra? Well, just check out this handy-dandy guide.

woman putting bra on

1. It’s almost as old as your child, and your child is ten. Guilty! I very recently (as in five minutes ago) just tossed a bra I bought at Victoria’s Secret about a decade ago. Throwing it out made me sad. I loved that bra; it was hot pink and black, and really I just wish I got to show it to more people, and by people I mean hot dudes. To everything there is a season (or whatever) and this bra’s season was over. I still have the matching undies, though (note to self, brainstorm “when to throw out your underwear”).

2. If asked to name its color you would answer “other” or “indeterminable.” Like anything else you wear and wash (or don’t) on the regular, bras will discolor and fade. It happens; it doesn’t make you a bad person; it’s not a big deal. However, if you actually have to pause and think about what color your bra is, it’s time to let it go.

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3. Your boobs are actually lower in the bra than when you go bra-less. Once a bra stops hoisting the girls up, it’s time to say your farewells.  And don’t tell me some crap about the bra being “comfy”; it’s comfy because it’s worn out as an old sock.

4. You can no longer wash it because you’re afraid it will disintegrate. Febreeze is great. I use it all the time, but it’s no substitute for actually washing your clothes. Febreeze may be a lifesaver in a jam, but you have to wash your bras with soap and water every now and then, duh.

5, The underwire needs realignment before every wear.  The underwire should stay put. If it’s broken, if it pokes though the fabric and punctures your boob, or if needs to be “set” you need to retire the bra. Sorry.

old bra

6. It’s a nursing bra, and you haven’t nursed in many, many moons. Are you serious, lady? Toss it! I’m sure there are multiple reasons you have for wanting to whip your ta-tas out with the greatest of ease, but give me a break.

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7. The straps are long enough to be confused with suspenders. The straps on everyone’s bras stretch. I mean, they are holding up a few pounds all day every day, it’s science. That’s why straps are adjustable, but once they double in size? They need to get gone.

8. Holes. I have no time for this! The second you notice a hole, you throw whatever item of clothing has said hole in the garbage. (Says the woman who found a hole the size of a quarter in the crotch of her sweatpants today and wore them anyway.)

9. The inside tag is so dingy you can’t read it. No amount of washing is ever going to get that tag clean. I know, I tried. Throw. It. Out.

10. It just doesn’t fit. Should be common sense, right? I guarantee if any of us (myself included) went through our bras right now we would find multiple bras that don’t fit perfectly. It has to be an epidemic; I mean Oprah has done multiple episodes about it for crying out loud! If your bra doesn’t fit, please, please, please get rid of it.

OK ladies (and dudes who wear bras, whatevs, I don’t judge) now that we have purged our bra collection, let’s treat ourselves to a proper fitting! I’ve never had a bra fitting, and I know I’m way past due. I’m secretly scared that they’ll tell me I’m smaller than the 34B I’ve been wearing since I was 16, but that’s a neurosis for another day. The cycle of grubby, ill-fitting bras ends today.

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