Best Actress in a Supporting Role….

 

Shape

And the award goes to that magical mystery marriage of fabric and engineering – the brassiere!  The coveted hourglass silhouette is simply not achievable without one.  As a very curvy girl, I am a big believer in the transformative power of a truly great bra.  It can push things up, smooth things out, reshape things, create what isn’t really there, reduce what is …and they can even manage to look pretty great doing it!  But the need for excellent underpinnings is not restricted to the more generously graced among us – every woman, petite to voluptuous, needs to always wear a good bra. 

What *is* a good bra? Well, that’s a fairly complicated question to answer.  Every woman is going to have a different answer depending on their needs, body, budget and preferences.   I do have two criteria that apply no matter what your needs are – quality and fit. 

I find it interesting that most women have many tops in their wardrobe but probably only five or six bras at most, sometimes less.  And we wear that handful of bras hard – every day, for many hours – and usually well past their prime.  We rely on them to provide us our foundational shape, enduring frequent wearing and washings yet we spend less on them then on the tops they are under and replace them less frequently!  Now, as a big girl I don’t get to do this, the feats of engineering I require do not come cheap, not even a little bit.  But I also believe I more than get my money’s worth and I suggest you could do the same.  This is not an area where a girl should scrimp – buy good quality and replace regularly so that your bras never let you…ahem…down. 

Just as important as overall quality is fit; every bra you wear should be a garment that is well constructed and most importantly FITS YOU PERFECTLY.   This means you need to be fitted by a professional bra fitter.  No exceptions, no excuses, and not just once either!  Our bodies change – we lose weight, we gain it, we age, even a change in your workout routines will change your body and things move.  Whenever they do we need to make sure the bras we are selecting are right for our bodies as they are NOW, not five years ago.

Bra fitters are available at department stores, at chains like Victoria’s Secrets and at smaller lingerie stores.  I have also had excellent experiences with the fitters at Nordstrom, clearly they get some training and are knowledgeable about their products.  I am fortunate enough to live relatively close to several terrific lingerie stores that specialize in bras and in fitting everyone – all sizes and special needs too.  I personally think these shops are the very best place to go as these folks study all of the brands, understand what will work for different body types and needs, and will give you the best possible advice and fitting.  Wherever you live, I highly recommend taking the time to find a store that has trained fitters for a truly great fitting.   

Getting fitted is going to be a little uncomfortable – nothing like standing essentially topless in a small dressing room with a woman you may have only just met – but get over the shyness, it will be worth it.  Many women discover they are wearing totally the wrong size or type of bra for their figure.  Not all shapes are the same so trying several (or many) different manufacturers and styles will let you compare options so that you find the garments that will be comfortable and still do the most for you.  Just trying on  bras all from the same manufacturer may not give you a good baseline of what will work best.  I had stayed with one brand for many years but the last time I was fitted got to try a new line and WOW!- it was way more comfortable, narrowed my torso a bit and was really pretty too.

Once you do get the fit correct and you get used to how that fit should feel, you will find that you feel better and look MUCH better.  No more binding, slipping straps, odd bagginess in the cups, etc.  The right bra is going to provide you with shape – your “girls” are going to get uplift, proportion, position.  I always suggest wearing or brining along a fitted white t-shirt when you go bra shopping, so you can try it on over new bras and see how they look under clothes.  While you would never wear a racy red bra under white, you will get a sense of what that red bra will work with and what shape it makes you and yours.   

A girl is going to have many bra needs and there are soooo many types of bras, colors, styles, etc, far too many to delve into today.  But getting the fit down is the best and most important step, so do yourself and your girls a favor and get fitted!

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