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Yes, Your Bra Has an Expiration Date

October 21, 2019


Erin Schrader

It’s time to get personal. I’m talking, “looking in each other’s underwear drawer” personal. Yea, we’re going there… at least virtually. When you open your drawers each day, are you looking at bras and underwear that you feel good about, or would you cringe if anyone ever saw the condition that they’re in? Or as you’re looking in the mirror each day, are you getting annoyed at being able to see your bra or panty lines through your clothes? Trust me, you’re not alone, girlfriend! Many of us hold onto these items for YEARS when in reality, we’re should be clearing them out much sooner than that.

There are a few telltale signs that some of the items you wear frequently may be getting worn a bit TOO frequently, and that it’s time to put them to rest. I’ll be the first one to say I need to do some serious replacing of a few of my well-worn pieces. So today, we’re going to take a look at a few items that are in every woman’s wardrobe, and help you understand what to look for and how often to replace these pieces.


First up, we’re giving some love to the girls. No, not your girlfriends, but your boobs. A bra that is in good shape [and also, in the right size] can make a world of difference in how your clothes fit and you feel comfort-wise. Did you know that it’s actually suggested that we have 5-7 bras in rotation [ideally, one per day of the week… apparently we go braless on the weekends ;)]. Having this many bras in rotation will make each of them last longer. However, the average bra, when being worn in this frequency, still will likely need to be replaced somewhere between 8-12 months! If you’re wearing them more frequently, you guessed it, they need replaced more frequently. Who knew bras had such a short lifespan!

Note: if you want to try to extend the life of your bra, three things are key. 1] hand wash your bras carefully. 2] Don’t do “the flip” when putting your bra on [you know, putting it on upside down and inside out, and then spinning it around and flipping it up]. 3] Store your bras carefully aligned within your drawer [no more tossing them in there for them to get jumbled.

A few signs it’s time to ditch the bra:

  • Stretched out band
  • Straps falling off your shoulders
  • Visible cup lines through shirts
  • Crinkles & permanent crease lines in padding

If you’re looking for a few suggestions of replacement bras, take a look at this little widget full of options!


Swimsuits come in all shapes, styles, colors, and price points, but one thing is for sure- they’re going to fail at some point [we just hope it’s not right before that big vacay!]. Whether you’re buying your suits from Target, Nordstrom, or a swimwear specialty shop like Summersalt, no suit lasts forever. Chlorine, salt, and sun exposure eat away at swimsuits, so swimsuits that are exposed to it frequently are going to need replaced quicker! It’s suggested to rinse out your swimsuits immediately after getting out of the pool or ocean to get some of the chlorine or salt out of the suit, so it doesn’t continue to eat away at the fibers!

Also, really consider the material of the suit you’re buying. While crochet or terry suits may be trending at the time, those are probably not going to hold up like a suit made primarily of Spandex would.

A few signs it’s time to for new swimwear:

  • Color is fading or changing
  • Elastic is overstretched or turning stiff
  • Snags
  • Straps won’t stay up
  • The bottoms are turning loose and sagging
  • Warped padding
  • You just don’t wear it because you don’t feel good in it [or it’s a past trend]

If you’re looking for a few suggestions of replacement swimsuits, take a look at this little widget full of options!

Athletic Shoes

I’ve been hitting the gym more recently, I’ve started thinking about the shoes I’m wearing. How comfortable are they? Are they the right shoes for what I’m doing? When will I know it’s time to get a new pair? Well, let’s get to that last question. The “simple” answer is every 300-500 miles or 45-60 hours of aerobic or cardio exercise. And for a consistent gym-goer, it ends up being about 6 months. But it’s a bit more complicated than that. Runners might be keeping track, but if you’re like me and not keeping tabs on those miles [or not actually running most times], it gets a bit harder. It also depends on what surface your shoes are seeing- asphalt, treadmill, padded floor, sand, trails? So we need to look at the shoes themselves since many of us can’t just go off of mileage.

A few signs that you might need some new athletic shoes:

  • Starting to get holes in them
  • Uneven wear when placed on flat surface
  • Outer-sole has worn down to the mid-sole
  • Crease marks on the areas that take the most load [ball and heel]
  • Blisters are forming [and they aren’t brand new shoes anymore]
  • The heel counter [the solid piece in the back of the shoe] is no longer solid. If it gives, it’s not giving you support.

**These things to look for seemed to be tougher for us to get a grasp on than the bras, or underwear, for example. What we took from this: new shoes every 6 months for the active gym goer. You don’t have to tell us twice 😉

If you’re looking for a few suggestions of replacement running shoes, take a look at this little widget full of options!


Next let’s talk underwear. Whether you call them panties, undies, skivvies, knickers, underoos, drawers, or who knows- maybe you choose to go commando most of the time, we probably all have underwear in our dresser drawers. Just like with our bras, underwear has a short shelf life, although we probably hold onto it much longer. It’s recommended to replace your underwear every 6-12 months, depending on wear and tear.

A few signs it’s time for new underwear:

  • Stretched Out
  • Too tight [cutting off circulation or giving you muffin top is not what you want from your underwear]
  • Holes.
  • Stained [Stains happen. Holding onto stained underwear shouldn’t.]
  • Visible panty lines [Some styles hide panty lines better than others- try a few styles to see what shows the least for jeans, leggings, dresses, etc!]
  • Uncomfortable. [There are too many types of underwear out there to be wearing something that’s not comfortable for you.]
  • Becoming [unintentionally] sheer.
  • The elastic is falling apart… or they’re too stiff.
  • Just not wearing them. [If you can’t remember the last time you wore them, why are you holding onto them?]

If you’re looking for a few suggestions of replacement underwear, take a look at this little widget full of options!


Last but not least, socks. From what we understand, with socks it really comes down to a “you get what you pay for” sort of mentality. If you’re paying top dollar for good socks, you should expect them to last years! Even a lifetime [some brands, such as Darn Tough and Smartwool offer lifetime guarantees on their socks!]. But for many of us, we’re not splurging on our everyday socks, so the keys to look for with replacement are a] holes and b] elastic is gone. Don’t be embarrassed when you take off your booties this Fall and have a hole in your toe- replace them as soon as you notice the hole starting.

If you’re looking for a few suggestions of replacement socks, take a look at this little widget full of options!

Hopefully this post has helped you to evaluate some of your basics, and under if it’s time to replace a few things!

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