Lingerie: The Bra

This will be a three part series; bras, panties and shapewear. These are three powerful parts of a woman’s wardrobe, no mater her shape or size. Everybody needs them! Everybody wears them! And amazingly enough, thinner women DO wear shapewear too. Shocking right? Haha. But that just shows how important they are for women.

Today we’ll be focusing on bras. Now I have a lot of experience with bras; beyond just being a big busted woman I also worked in a lingerie store sizing and selling bras. But I’m not going to just give you all these facts according to me, I’ll be pulling a lot of content from one of my new fashion books: “Style On A Shoestring” by Andy Paige. 

Hailey bra, everyday bra by Aerie.

Size:

Size has to be the biggest issue most of us have when finding the perfect bra.I can not tell you how many times I fitted women and girls who had on the absolute wrong size bra; wrong cup size and wrong band size. And then they were so shocked when they discovered they were actually a size bigger, and even more shocked when they found out the new size FIT BETTER. We all have been there. My best advice is to get professionally fitted a couple times a year, Andy suggests getting fitted every 6 months since our bodies can change so quickly.

Polka Dot French balconette bra, Lane Bryant.

How to measure:

I find it difficult to measure yourself personally but I will pass on Andy Paige’s knowledge on how to measure yourself.

– measure just under your breast, making sure the tape measure is level all the way around your body. If the measurement is EVEN add 2 inches, if it is ODD add 3 inches. This is your band size.

– measure around your bust at nipple level, the fullest part. The difference in both measurements determines your cup size… 1 inch larger = A, 2 inches large = B, 3 inches larger = C and so on.

Panache Masquerade D-H Rossetti Balconette Bra, ASOS.

The basics:

Andy Paige says you only need 3 bras for everyday wear: 2 nude and 1 black. While I agree this is “basic” wear her book normally does not expand on the “fashion” of bras now. Every woman should have some basic color bras for those situations when you need them, but remember to have some fun with color, textures and paterns – even with your bras!

The rule of three though is spot on: 1 to wear, 1 to wash and 1 to rest. This means, ROTATION. I know it’s hard, but if you want to keep your bras in the best shape possible and not have to constantly buy new bras, rotate!

Ella bra, Aerie.

Styles:

t-shirt bras – these are the ones that you wear on a regular basis and should be the style you have more of in your closet. My personal favorite is the Ella Bra from Aerie because it has molded cups to help shape you better but adds no lift and is incredibly comfortable. I prefer molded cups than the old-school jersey/fabric/no support-in-the-cup style bras, not really sure what they are called but I remember in high school ONLY be able to find my size in this style where your breasts just fall into the cup but doesn’t shape or hide anything.

push up bras – these are wonderful and give your shape that added oopmh! The market has so many different levels of push up now to choose from. We’ve all seen the VS and Aerie bras that add 2 cup sizes, 1 cup sizes, adjustable cleavage. Choose one that works for you and is comfortable

lace bras – while Andy Paige says lace is best left to the bedroom, I say FASHION STATEMENT. Lace is so popular in undergarments right now that you can’t turn your head without seeing lace. Lace is a fun and sexy statement that one can make with their lingerie.

Back smoothing bra, Lane Bryant.

The thing is, undergarments are not so much about being HIDDEN anymore (not sure what that says about society, but) sorry Andy Paige. This was the one statement I was shaking my head to most in the Undergarment chapter of her book. She discuses how to have the BASICS but forgets to talk about fashion and sometimes minimizes the fact that style is about having choices.

If you want a red bra, wear a red bra! If you find this fabulous lace bra, let it peak out from that blouse you are wearing for a date (NEVER in a professional setting though). If leopard is your thing, well girl, work your fierceness!

Drew Push Up “adds 2 sizes”, Aerie.

I would love to hear from you dolls about what you think about bras, your bra questions, where you shop for bras, how you view bras. Are bras fashion or just hidden support? 

Want to learn more from the fabulous Andy Paige? Check out her site Cents of Style.

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