Early in the year feels like the perfect time to refresh your lingerie wardrobe. But before you hit the shops, take a look at what you already own. Do your bras need replacing, or can you repair or modify them? Is it possible to fix broken bras?
Elisabeth previously wrote a list of bra hacks to solve poor fit, discomfort and other issues. But what if the bra is damaged? Is it worth mending? I say yes! Fixing your broken bras is the eco-friendly, wallet-friendly antidote to modern consumerism. Plus it avoids the heartbreak of throwing out a beloved lingerie drawer favorite.
How often you wear each bra affects how long it will last. Plus the way you wash and care for them. The build quality and materials are a factor too – sheer lace is particularly delicate. Even your bra size has an impact. The larger your bust, the more strain your bras will be under and the quicker they’ll wear out.
A little repair here or there can greatly extend a bra’s lifespan, however. It’s best to carry them out at the first sign of damage. Don’t wait for the problem to get worse! Here are a few ways revive your less-than-perfect bras.
Solution: a good clean
Sweat, deodorant and body creams can all discolor bras but can be washed out. Create a paste with baking soda and water. Spread it over the stained areas and leave for an hour or two. Rinse off and wash the bra as usual.
Another solution: dye it
If the discoloration is from fading, or the stains just won’t come out, why not dye the whole bra? Of course, this works best on single-color designs, not patterns.
Problem: popped underwire
Solution: sew a cover on
A protruding underwire can be painful, and sometimes sharp. It’s important to cover it back up before you wear the bra again. Carefully push the wire back into the casing as best you can, and dab on some superglue. Then sew a thin strip of a thick fabric such as soft felt or velvet over the top.
Another solution: remove the wires
Alternatively, how about taking the underwires out completely? Of course, this will significantly reduce the support the bra offers. However, it could work for you if you’re happy wearing bralettes, or want a soft sleep bra.
Problem: stretched-out straps
Solution: replace them
Too much heat, such as in a tumble dryer, will damage the elastic in your bra’s straps. Shoulder straps under a lot of strain from a heavy bust will stretch out with time too. Tighten them all the way, and they’re still too long? You could merely snip them off and sew a new pair in place.
Search eBay or Etsy for ‘sew in bra straps.’ Or make your own by reusing the hardware from the old ones. You just need to thread through some new elastic that’s the same width.
Another solution: The Strap Saver
Not great at sewing? The Strap Saver is a nifty little device that shortens your bra straps in seconds. It essentially folds them over, and then holds them in place.
Problem: tears or holes
Solution: cover them up
Some tears and holes are simply too big to repair. If it’s just a small one though, why not sew something on top? A pretty lace appliqué, or perhaps a kitschy patch? Repeating it symmetrically on the other side will help make it look like it’s meant to be there!
Stay tuned for Part 2 where I will be offering some more tips on how to fix broken bras. In the meantime, I would love to know if you regularly repair worn-out bras. Or is the thought of a shiny new replacement bra just too tempting?