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Imagine the perfect bra drawer: floral lace, rich, vibrant hues, plush padding, a satin feel. The best part of this dreamy bra wardrobe? It can totally be yours. Your bra treasury is an important foundation for your wardrobe, and as you start investing in these undergarments, you’ll run into a key question: exactly how many bras should I own? 

People keep a wide range of bras in their drawer, from as few as four to as many as twenty. If you’re just beginning to stock your reserves, having five to ten bras at your disposal is a solid first step. But in reality, there’s no easy answer. 

Keep reading for the factors determining your perfect number of bras. If you’re also wondering, “how long do bras last?” we can help you figure out how to get the right amount of bras in your everyday rotation to increase the lifespan of your bras. We’ll also provide a breakdown for different types of bras to follow, so you’ll have all the extra support you need. 

The Winning Number

When it comes to the number of bras to own, it’s at least partially a personal choice. Consider the following ownership patterns:

  • You have a thriving lingerie collection that you’re constantly expanding, with over ten high-end, lace-filled pieces for nights between the sheets, luxury vacations, and everything in-between. For everyday wear, you switch between your four go-to bras. 
  • You’ve embraced the minimalist lifestyle, which means keeping a strict rotation of three bras, although you might treat yourself to a trendy undergarment for a special occasion once in a blue moon. 
  • You stick with the classic functional bras, and you’re a creature of habit, meaning your collection consists exclusively of your favorite demi-cup design in black and neutral hues.

No one of these is more correct or preferable than the rest. Instead, it’s important to consider whether one of these examples suits your style and fits in with your lingerie wardrobe—and what you would do differently if it doesn’t. 

Next, let’s dive into some factors that matter in finding the right number of bras, regardless of style. 

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Variety Is the Spice of Life 

While there is no upper limit on the number of bras to own—the more, the better!—there is a minimum number of bras most women need to have a functioning bra drawer. Even if your bra is with you through thick and thin, the truth is that it can’t be around you all the time.

Sometimes, you need to wash it! Yet there’s nothing worse than missing your bra in a pinch.

Take the following practical considerations into account:

  • Building a rotation – You may have your go-to bra, but be sure to give it time to rest between wears. Otherwise, overuse of your bra can strain the elastic on the shoulder strap or band and wear it down over time.1 A recommended practice for women is to rotate between your bras—your trusty triangle today and your perfect plunge tomorrow. 
  • Proper washing – While you don’t have to wash your bra as soon as you take it off, experts suggest cleaning every two or three full wears to maintain its shape.2 This means that if you’re switching between two or three bras on a regular basis, you should give them a wash at the end of each week. 

The key takeaway is that you want to have a large enough number of bras in your lingerie drawer that you can create a consistent rotation schedule and have a bra to wear when you need to wash the rest. As such, three or four is a comfortable minimum number to have. 

Assess Your Wardrobe 

A dainty, delicate bra is a delight for the eyes, but it also serves the important purpose of providing support for the outfits layered over it. This means that when determining the number of bras to own and the different styles, you should begin with the variety and types of clothing you have. Consider these example scenarios for inspiration for the right bra style for you: 

  • Your wardrobe is full of easy-breezy strapless summer dresses, which leads you to invest in a couple of strapless bras. 
  • You have a laid-back style, sticking mostly to well-fitted t-shirts and jeans, so you throw in a push up bra to give it that special bit of glam. 
  • You can’t live without low necklines—hello, collarbones—which means you’re stocking up on those demi-cup bras. 

You might also be someone who wants a bra for sleeping, or you may also be wondering, “is it bad to sleep with a bra on?”. For these reasons, you may find you simply need more than four bras.

A Delicate Balancing Act

Once you’ve settled on that magic number of bras to own, it’s time to determine how to split up the total. When thinking about the perfect distribution, remember that diversifying your bra collection is key in keeping up with any changes to your wardrobe or any unexpected circumstances. 

After all, you don’t want to be spending precious time searching for a well-fitting backless bra during your dream island getaway. 

Be prepared at the outset by incorporating these must-haves into your regular bra collection. 

Everyday Favorites

These bras are always there for you, in the best of times and the worst of times. Make sure you keep around four or five bras for regular use, whether that’s preparing for a long day at the office, a lively brunch reunion with the girls, or a beachy day outing on the weekend. When it comes to choosing the perfect everyday bra, prioritize the following: 

  • Comfort, since no one wants to spend quality time with a bra band that digs into the ribs
  • Support, so look out for red flags such as back pain, slipping straps and gaping cups3
  • Durability, because a trusty bra is one that lasts

Examples of bra types that are perfect for weekly use include: 

  • Triangle bras – With lightweight, minimalistic construction, a well-fitting triangle bra won’t have excess fabric that bunches up under a tight shirt. These bras are also perfect for warmer months, allowing you to channel those bikini vibes, whether you’re on the beach or not. 
  • T-shirt bras –The quintessential t-shirt bra may not be the most eye-catching, but it is an endlessly versatile closet staple that can be worn smoothly and seamlessly under a wide range of outfits, from blouses to sweaters to your favorite tight-fitting dress.4
  • Basic lace bras – Keep it simple when it comes to an everyday lace bra. These undergarments are perfect for those occasions when you want that extra bit of glam, such as a chic lunch or casual first date.  

Can you buy the same style and color for your everyday bras? If you’re a creature of habit and you’ve found an effortlessly elegant triangle bra that fits like a dream, it’s perfectly understandable to stick with what works. Just make sure you can keep track of which bras have been worn when washing! 

Statement Collectibles

What’s a bra collection without some flair? The best bras move beyond the functional and allow you to express your unique personality. They even add that something extra, whether it’s a bit of sexiness, sass, or verve. 

That’s why it’s important to invest in at least one or two high-end bras. Since you’ll likely wear these less frequently than their everyday counterparts, these fancier bras will last longer, too. But what are some aspects to consider when looking for that unforgettable, one-of-a-kind bra? Start with these tips and tricks: 

  • Look for unique fabrics – When searching for a truly striking bra, find a fabric that speaks to your style. Do you like delicate fabrics such as tulle or lace, an irresistible mix of bold and dainty, or are you drawn to the play between various fabrics, such as the eye-catching contrast between see-through and opaque sections of the bra? 
  • Pay attention to intricate detailing – There is no limit to the number of design variations bras can feature, from double strap detailing to scallop trimmed borders to keyhole cutouts, tasteful polka dots, romantic bows, or dangling charms. Detailing is subtle, so make sure to pay attention to the quality and delicacy of the stitching when deciding.
  • Fall in love with matching sets – There is nothing that looks more put together than a top and bottom that match. A well-crafted lingerie set is a must-have if you’re looking to bring your bra collection to the next level. 

Specialty Bras

The number of specialty bras to own ultimately depends on the need of your wardrobe. At a minimum, it’s helpful to have one of each that you’re sure you’ll wear. Get started with the following styles: 

  • A plunge bra, which has a deeper V and angled cups, perfect for low cut, sexy dresses to your next beachy cocktail party5  
  • A strapless bra, leaving you free to wear that floor length spaghetti strap dress to the destination wedding of the year 
  • A backless bra crisscrossing lower around the waist, made for those daring black-tie outfits promising a night to remember 

Gooseberry: Lacy Perfection and Dainty Delicates Just around the Corner

On the lookout for the lingerie of your dreams? Start with one of our sixteen premium collections featuring diverse aesthetics, from the timeless romantic Blush collection to the sassy, striking Frou Frou

Need that extra special pop of color? Our Dainty collection features matching sets in irresistible hues. Whether you fall in love with a soulful red, a chic burgundy, or a deep rich emerald, you’ll be sure to receive the same high quality of craftsmanship that all our intimates share. 

Our carefully designed, high-end lingerie is the perfect way to show off your style. Shop Gooseberry for an intimates collection to remember. 


Sources: 

  1. The List. Why You Shouldn't Wear The Same Bra Two Days In A Row. https://www.thelist.com/279889/why-you-shouldnt-wear-the-same-bra-two-days-in-a-row/ 
  2. Cleveland Health Clinic. How Often Do You Really Need to Wash Your Bras? https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-often-do-you-really-need-to-wash-your-bras/ 
  3. Insider. 7 simple clues that your bra doesn't fit right. https://www.insider.com/does-my-bra-fit-me-2017-11 
  4. Real Simple. 5 Types of Bras Every Woman Should Have, According to a Bra Expert. https://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/shoes-accessories/lingerie-hosiery/every-type-of-bra-you-need 
  5. The Better Fit. What is a Plunge Bra (And Why Do You Need One)? https://thebetterfit.com/what-is-plunge-bra/