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Now that many of you have cleaned out your closets, we need to address the most basic foundation garment the BRA. When I think of the bra, I think of a contraption that is binding and uncomfortable. But, that does not have to be the case. With the modern fabrics such as lycra, the comfort of bras is at an all-time high in history. Let admit, at least we don’t have to wear the whalebone corsets of the past. Okay, yea, underwire is still there but even now you are seeing bras that have “some support” and no underwire.
BUT……… They need to fit properly. And that means getting a bra fitting. When was the last time you were PROPERLY fitted for a bra? Let’s get honest, as we enter (or are coasting right along) our “sisters” aka code name for boobs, are going south. That is gravity, my friend. No need for an expensive boob job, what you need is a quality bra.
10 Signs you need a new bra
- The band rises up your back instead of horizontally because the band is too loose,
- the straps leave red marks on your shoulders – too much of the support relies on the straps,
- the breast tissue bulges above the bra cup because the cup is too small,
- the bra cup is loose and or wrinkled because the cup is too big,
- the underwire digs into your breast or your sides – cup or band size are wrong,
- you can’t wait to take your bra off,
- the underwire hurts in the front of your rib cage – the band is too small or the bra fits too low,
- the middle front rides up away from the body – cups are too small,
- the straps fall off your shoulders – the straps need to be tightened or they have lost their elasticity or your shoulders may be sloped.
- when you raise your arms over your head, the cups lift up exposing the underside of your breast – the band is too big
Signs of a Proper Fitting Bra
- The girls sit half way between your shoulder and elbow.
- when you jump up and down your bra doesn’t need to be adjusted,
- the band lies flat on the front and back,
- the center of the bra lies flat against your breastbone, separating your breasts,
- the underwires do not dig in anywhere,
- the sides don’t bind or cut in,
- the straps support comfortably – they don’t slip off or cut into your shoulders,
- your breasts fit comfortably in the cups smoothly without wrinkles or overflow,
- the band is closed at the back on the loosest hook – allowing for use of the tighter hooks as the bra ‘gives’ with wear,
- you can only fit two fingers in between you and the band.
Step 1- Go get a proper bra fitting.
Yes, this means leaving the house. Most of the upscale major department stores have a certified bra fitter in their lingerie department. These ladies will be the ones that work during the week. Now, I say that but I need to add department stores have changed and it is now harder to find a knowledgeable salesperson. The true department store experience and customer service are gone. That is why I suggest the upscale department stores such as Von Maur, Nordstrom, Saks, Neiman Marcus. I first tried my local Belk and I found one lady working but she was swamped because she was basically the only worker in 3 departments. That in my mind is a cashier.
I decided to go to my local Soma store. Again, I went in the morning on a weekday. The ladies at Soma, at the Summit in Birmingham, Al could not have been any nicer. I wore my current bra (extremely important). She took my measurements and I was not surprised to learn I was in the wrong size. Basically, the current bra I was wearing was working for me because it was stretched out, go figure. I talked to the saleswoman about what I did not like in my current bra and what I was looking for in a new one. For me, I wanted a bra that did not show lines when I wore t-shirts. I also was looking for a bra with better back support to help cover the dreaded, back bulge. I tried on multiple bras, but in the end, I walked out with a bra that I loved and made my “sisters” stand tall, no back bulge, and no front lines. WINNING!!!
Now if you shop the upscale department stores, or have just had a fitting and want to shop online. There are two brands I highly recommend, Wacoal and Natori. These two brands are tops in the “bra field”. They are not cheap, but bras are an investment piece. They ARE the WORKHORSE of your wardrobe. If you don’t have a quality fitting bra, you can’t expect anything else to look good on you.
How To Wear Your Bra
This little tidbit of info has been handy for me as I age.
Step 2- Launder you bra properly.
What??? I have been guilty of just throwing my bras in with my other clothes. But now, more than ever with the man-made fabrics, we need to take care of our bras properly.
To launder bras, they need to be washed separately and NOT put in the dryer. The heat from the dryer heats up the man-made fibers in the bra and causes them to stretch out. This shortens the life of the bra. If you must launder you bras with other items put them in a laundry bag especially for delicates and air dry. If you launder separately, this a great time to try out my favorite, Tyler’s Glamorous Wash in Diva. This laundry detergent is made for your delicates. It smells divine.
Bras are the foundation of our FABULOUS outfits. If they are worn out and not fitting properly, how can we expect anything else to look good. Now after, The Great Purge, is a perfect time to purchase a new, properly fitting bra. There are so many styles and options. Tell the salesperson what you are looking for in a bra. The bra manufacturers are constantly creating new designs to fix, enhance our figures. Don’t go cheap on a bra. Find a quality one and take good care of it.
This is the bra I purchased from Soma. The Enhancing Shape Full Coverage Bra. This bra gives me the support and coverage I need and does not leave lines. It also has a wider band in back to help with that back bulge.
Full Coverage Bra
I also liked the Vanishing Back Full Coverage Bra From Soma. Here is what vanishing back looks like
I also purchased online, this bra from Amazon, the Wacoal Perfect Primer Underwire Contour Bra
Strapless Bras are HARD!!! I had to try on several and return many before I found one I liked. My goal with strapless is that it had to give a smooth look, be comfortable (okay, I may be asking for too much here), and stay in place. I have 2 strapless bras. The first one is by Spanx. It is the Pillow Cup Signature Strapless Bra. This bra has the rubber grippers to help it stay in place. It is a “push up” style for those who need a little lift, like me.
The second strapless bra I have is the Felina Women’s Hint Of Skin Seam- Free Strapless Contour Bra.
As for sports bras, I am still trying. Because I am an avid tennis player and play multiple times a week, I need bras that fit the style of my tennis clothes first and foremost. Many of the sports bras are more geared to running or yoga. Lucky for me, most of my tennis clothes have shelf bras, but they really don’t give me support. But I can wear them, I just insert my DIMRS Silicone Nipple Covers, because I am more nipple than boob (I know.. overshare).
These are great to have in your wardrobe tool drawer. I use these, especially in the summer in outfits with built-in shelf bras that I need a little more coverage.
The one sports bra I keep coming back to but is not really a quality bra, but I like it, is the Danskin Moulded Cup Y-Back Medium Impact Bra.
I hope you will take the time to get a bra fitting and purchase the correct size bra. It is so important that we start with quality foundation garments if we want our clothes to look FABULOUS.
Do you have a favorite bra? Comment below and let me know.