I hate having to throw away old bras. I'm not even sure why it's so hard. I know they don't last forever.
Yet many feel like good friends, and it's tough to let go of these formerly supportive relationships. Sometimes I remember where I bought a particular bra, in what city or store, who I was with, and if I wore it on a special occasion. I've got some great personal memories stashed in some of my old bras.
But there's no way to make room for new lingerie friendships without clearing out some of the tired and messy bra clutter in my life.
If you are reluctant to throw away old bras, these five signs may make the job a little less difficult or painful:
1) You find the bloom has faded. Size and style information are either printed on the inside of the band or on tags sewn into the band. If the lettering is gone or illegible, it’s time to throw it out. Take a look at straps, backs, and wires. Are they wearing through or is fabric faded and fraying? This bra can't be making you look very good if it doesn't look good either.
2) You can’t remember the last time you wore the bra. It’s been stuffed into the way, way, back of your drawer or closet and you completely forgot about it. If it's a strapless or other specialty bra, you might think you'll wear it again. But chances are that if you haven't put it on in over a year, it doesn't fit anymore. And there's no dishonor in trying it on just one more time to double-check, before tossing it out.
3) You’re not the same person you used to be. You bought the bra when you were 10 pounds heavier (or lighter), or before you started working out with weights, or while you were pregnant or nursing. You’ve changed. The bra doesn’t fit, pinches or is uncomfortable, and is too small/big. It's time to give up the dream that it will miraculously fit or be worn again.
4) You never really liked this bra on your body in the first place. It’s gorgeous, was expensive, and you love, love, love how it looks--except when strapped to your chest. Maybe it's not that old, but there's something about the color, style, or fabric that doesn't work for you. Time to cut your losses and make room for something that's meets your needs.
5) You’re not feeling the support and comfort you once did in this bra. Every time you put it on, the bra lets you down. Literally. Boob flesh is spilling out over the top or from underneath, the band is way too loose or rides up in back, underwires dig into flesh, and the center of the bra is pulling away instead of laying flat against the center of your chest. You deserve better, and more, from a bra.
What to do if some are gently or hardly worn, and you don't want to throw away your bras? You can recycle or send them to non-profits that make sure they find a new and useful home. At least in this way, your old bra friends can support others.
What about you? How often do you throw away old bras? Is it easy or hard for you to do? Please share any recycling or donation resources you might recommend.