Elisabeth Dale is an internationally renowned breast expert and author, and the founder of TheBreastLife.com. She encourages women to learn more about their bodies and the changes they make from puberty, to motherhood to menopause. She has also written The Bra Zone, a book all about finding the ideal size, style and support for you!
We invited you to ask your bra and boob questions on social media. Elisabeth Dale, breast & bra expert, has the answers to your questions…
“Do bras cause breast cancer? ???”
“How often should you wash or replace bras?”
The answer all depends on your bra wearing habits. Washing a bra too often or not often enough will accelerate the breakdown of delicate fibers. You need to find a happy medium. (Also if you live in a super warm climate that makes your bras sticky and sweaty.) I recommend washing your bra after every three wears, and hand wash with a no-rinse solution like Soak Wash–which makes it quick and easy. The more you wear one bra all the time, the sooner it will wear out. Since not all bra are created equally and of same high quality parts, that means a well-loved foundation could get worn out in a few months or longer than a year. It’s pretty easy to tell when your bra has worn out — you don’t like the way it makes you look in your clothes! Bras are a lot like shoes. You need to take care of them, and can count on those made of quality materials to last a much longer time.
“I was a 32C before pregnancy and know my breasts have changed from breastfeeding (Thandie Newton@thandieandkay very accurately described her boobs as pita breads). What changes do you usually observe and how would you go about purchasing new bras? I think my chest has expanded a little (from pregnancy) but the overall cup isn’t smaller, however my boobs are no longer cupped and fall out the top when I bend over ?”
Some women find they lose upper breast volume after pregnancy. (Btw, it’s not so much breastfeeding, but pregnancy that changes your boob shape and placement.) You might not need a different size as much as a different style of bra. If you live near one, you might try going to a department store or specialty lingerie boutique to be re-fitted. If not, try shopping for balconnet, demi-cups, or plunge bras to see how different shapes make your boobs look. For more on bra styles, check out my post here.
“How do you know you correct bra size?”
You don’t have “one” size in all bras. That’s why I called my book, The Bra Zone, to bring attention to the differences and how to figure out your zone of styles and sizes. All bra brands have their own fit standards, so it’s best to check on their website to see how to size yourself. You should be familiar with your sister sizes, too. It also helps to know some bra vocabulary to better understand how a bra is supposed to fit. You can start by finding your underbust (rib cage) and your overbust (across your boobs) measurements. Then you can plug those two different numbers into any lingerie brand’s online bra calculator to get a starting point. And remember, you probably also wear two different sizes, depending on the time of month!
“What’s the best way to wash a bra without it losing it’s shape?”
There’s a great deal of resistance to hand washing bras, but it is the best way to protect them from any damage. I use a no-soak wash (i.e., Soak Wash, and no, they aren’t paying me to say that). I then gentle squeeze out excess water by wrapping them in a fluffy towel. I then fold the center over the base of a plastic hanger, to air dry. You can also lay them flat. Many other people protect their bras by putting them inside a mesh laundry bag, using cool water, gentle soap, on delicate cycle of the washing machine. Whatever you do, don’t put them in the dryer. That will definitely kill their shape as high heat destroys delicate fabric.
We’d like to thank Elisabeth Dale for answering your boob & bra questions! You can keep up with the latest by following her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and her books The Bra Zone and bOObs: A Guide to Your Girls are both available to buy on Amazon!
Do you have any more questions relating to boos or bras? Do let us know! xx