Here's Why You Should Never Fold Your Bras (And How To Store Them The Right Way)

An increasing number of people have stopped wearing a bra and embraced the bra-less life. More and more boob owners are opting to remove those restrictive pieces of underwear to be more comfortable. And apparently, there's merit to being bra-free, including improving breast shape and better circulation in the chest area. "Women who have gone long periods without wearing a bra often report that this leads their breasts to being firmer, rounder, and perkier over time," Dr. Lucky Sekhon, a New York City-based OB/GYN and REI, told Well+Good. She added that since wearing a bra for long periods can "impede blood fall to the muscles," going without them can result in "improvements in circulation." 

But of course, not everyone can afford to go bra-free, especially those who need the support bras deliver. It's ultimately up to you whether you want to wear a bra or go commando, but if you're going with the former, you must learn how to care for them properly. Bras don't come cheap, after all, not to mention finding the perfect bra for you is like locating a needle in a haystack.

The last thing you want is for your favorite bras to deform after only a few uses. They may not be as delicate as your other undergarments and lingerie, but they still require proper care to last long. In addition to washing them properly and infrequently (more on this later), you should also be careful about storing and organizing them.

Folding your bras can result in damage

It may seem common sense to fold your bras in your drawers for organization's sake, but professionals say you're only doing more harm than good. If your bras are lined or molded, as most bras are, expert bra fitter Kimmay Caldwell advises against folding them to prevent damaging their shape.

"If they are molded, never fold one cup into the other," she shared with the Rachael Ray Show. "You can stack them directly behind each other and put them either into a really pretty container, or you can just put them in the drawer like I do." Instead of folding them, it's better to lay them flat to preserve their form. "Folding the cups within each other can ruin the center gore," Tania Garcia, the Director of Fit at CUUP, told Byrdie.

The only bras you can fold in half are those without padding or made entirely of lace or silk. And if you're bringing molded bras to trips and have no choice but to fold them, place socks underneath the cups to help prevent any shape distortion.

How to care of your bras

Bras are more fragile than you think, and given how pricey they can be, you ought to put extra effort into ensuring they last as long as possible. Aside from storing and organizing them properly in your closet, you should also wash them with care. Bra expert Frederika Zappe told Self there's no need for frequent washing, and the frequency is "really your choice and doesn't need to be every time you've worn it." Just consider the smell, the number of times you've worn a particular pair, and the last time it was in the laundry. Zappe recommends using a laundry bag and a gentle detergent when washing your underwear. "We recommend a gentle lingerie wash that's specifically designed to protect your delicates. And of course never use bleach!" she said.

If you have an extensive collection of bras, Tania Garcia also told Byrdie that it's better to switch them up often and avoid repeatedly wearing the same pieces. As convenient as wearing your favorite pieces continually, you should make it a point to rotate them to preserve their longevity. And unless you sweated in them profusely, you should also space out the frequency you wash them. There's no golden rule regarding how often you should wash your bras, but if you want them to last as long as possible, try to wash your pairs after three to four wears.