Ah Spring, when young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love, and the rest of us turn our thoughts to a little spring cleaning. And you know what? That young man should turn his thoughts to spring cleaning too because he probably hasn’t washed his crusty sheets in months. Spring cleaning is not only good for, well, cleanliness reasons, but it’s also good for the soul, and an excellent opportunity to weed out what you don’t need. For some of us it’s those jeans we’re never going to get into again without an assist from the Ebola virus, for some of us it’s all those sad lidless Tupperware containers, but I’m willing to bet my 401K (all forty-seven dollars of it) if you’re a woman you’ve got a bra or two you should toss.
Women have a strange relationship with their bras, I know, I’m one of them. I throw away everything, show programs, promo t-shirts, corsages, baby pictures, but for some reason when it comes to bras I’m like “why don’t I hold onto this ill-fitting, dingy old bra that makes my left tittie feel like it’s in a vice”. I know I’m not alone. I know there are millions of women out there holding onto bras they should have tossed ages ago, and for a whole range of dumb reasons. I decided to put on my thinking chapeau and come up with some guidelines for when to toss your bra, or burn if you want to satisfy your inner Gloria Steinem.
- It’s almost as old as your child, and your child is ten, or older. Guilty! I recently tossed a bra I bought at Victoria’s Secret (I know, I know) about a decade ago, if I round down. Throwing it out made me sad. I loved that bra; it was hot pink and black but somehow not super tacky, and really I just wish I got to show it to more people, and by “people” I mean “dudes”, and by “more” I mean “any”. To everything there is a season (or whatever) and this bra’s season was over when NYPD Blue went off the air.
- 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. Also “maybe gray-ish beige” is not a color.
- Your boobs are actually lower in the bra than when you go bra-less. Suspend all your notions of science and gravity for a minute and just go with it. 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.
- 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. Every now and then you need to actually wash your unmentionables like a grown ass woman.
- 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. Do you really want to live your life worrying about the possibility of your bra stabbing your boob? No, you don’t.
- It’s a nursing bra, and your kid is in second grade. Are you serious, lady? Toss it! Listen, I’m sure there are a multitude of reasons you have for wanting to whip your ta-tas out with the greatest of ease, but girl get your life.
- 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. I know they are adjustable, you can’t adjust to combat a complete lack of elasticity.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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 best way to preserve brassieres is to wash them in cold water, on the Delicate cycle in the washing machine, and let them air-dry, instead of putting them in the dryer. Here’s hoping I’ve been of some help here!