if the boob fits...
"If your cup is only half full, you probably need a different bra"
If you've read a few of my previous posts, you'll know that I grew up not understanding the importance of beautiful and well-fitting undergarments. I didn't think they mattered and I didn't want to pay attention or invest in something only I see. I put more thought into what to watch on Netflix and more money into high-heeled shoes (that only see the light of day a few days out of the year...) than I put into properly-sized, comfortable, confidence-boosting bras and knickers even though I wear those all day.
Every. Single. Day.
After a life-changing encounter with my first set of perfectly-fitting, gorgeous lingerie it hit me: I was treating so many areas of my life with carelessness. It was time to get my priorities straight and pay more attention to things that I engage with on a daily basis and/or are most important to me and my well-being. Underwear fits in both categories. I wear it every day and the way it makes me feel, both physically and mentally, affects me. And while matching my bra and knickers and coordinating them with my outfit makes me look put-together and sexier, the boost gained from that is undermined if I'm not wearing the proper fit for my size and shape. Because in real life uncomfortable is not sexy and unflattering is just not necessary.
Foundation is important and powerful: When you wear bras that ride up and thongs that dig in (or even the other way around), you are sending a powerful message to yourself and the world that you weren't worth the time to tend to your foundation and well-being. Without a good foundation, what do you have? If your makeup foundation isn't a good match, you look off. If a building's foundation doesn't fit the rest of the structure well it will not be as strong as it could be. Undergarments are a foundation as well. They are the first thing put on in the morning and sit against the skin all day long. The right lingerie can send you out the door looking and feeling like a snatched sexual siren, while that cheaply-made off-size thong and pinch-up bra you bought just because it was on sale will likely make you feel uncomfortable, disheveled, and - God-forbid - ratchet.
Discomfort is distracting: Having to constantly fidget to keep straps and other bits in their proper place, or being distracted by itchy fabrics or constricting cuts, makes it next to impossible to relax or be confident. How's a girl supposed to bat eyes or toss her hair with a laugh when she's got that to deal with? Being comfortable and confident lends itself to making better decisions, concentrating better, and enjoying more. I'm reminded of my wedding. I had a handful of dress fittings before the big day. The gorgeous strapless gown I had chosen fit perfectly at my final visit to the seamstress and I was of course excited to wear it. But I was so stressed and busy running around the week before the ceremony that I unintentionally lost a few pounds (almost all in my chest... sigh). I remember the sinking feeling in my stomach the morning of the wedding when I slipped into and almost out of the dress, and realized that it and the strapless bra I had on underneath no longer fit. Of course my mother, mother-in-law, and attendants did their best to cinch the bodice but I still ended up fidgeting and pulling the dress and bra up all day which meant I wasn't relaxed and able to enjoy the day as I would've liked. There is [embarrassing] footage of me hiking the dress up on our wedding video and I had to put up with being teased about it by family members for years afterwards.
Good lingerie should not only look and feel fabulous but fit to flatter. Even if you don't have to adjust fifty times a day like a crazy person but your undergarments fit poorly, you could be doing and feeling so much better. Undergarments should be employed to sculpt and support the body and accentuate the figure. The right size and cuts can lift breasts and smooth out unsmooth bits while too tight or baggy draws attention to lumps and bumps, can create bulges, and even affects posture. A poor fit in underwear is a sure way to sabotage an otherwise great outfit!
You likely don't need more convincing. We all know fit is important. So why are many women wearing ill-fitting undergarments? Like I used to be, they are...
- Unwilling to go to the effort to figure out their optimal size.
- SOLUTION: It's worth your damn time and effort. There are very few things we have complete control of in life. What sits directly on your bits and pieces is one of them.
- Discouraged by failed attempts to get a proper fitting. I actually got fitted at a major lingerie retailer several times over the years, only to be told I was a different size each time, including during the same visit. I've since heard similar stories from other women who have been fitted at the same not-so-Secret retailer...
- SOLUTION: If you too have had bad experiences with getting properly fitted I encourage you to keep trying. There are good fitters out there. Also keep in mind that And know that just because you're a particular size in one brand you won't necessarily be the same in a different brand.
- Unsure of what a proper fit looks and feels like.
- SOLUTION: This is definitely where a good fitter can help tremendously, but if you don't have access to one then know that for the right bra fit you're looking for the band to fit nice and snug around the torso and sit straight and parallel. And make sure those tatas are secure. They shouldn't be spilling over or under the cups and there should be no gaping at the top of the bra. Properly fitted knickers should fit naturally against the body in the crotch and the waistband and legs should be snug but not binding.
- Hard to find sizes.
- SOLUTION: Accept trial and error as a given and if you find a piece that fits, flatters and feels perfect then consider buying multiples. Online retailers like Bare Necessities and department stores like Nordstrom tend to have the broadest range of sizes. Luxury lingerie brand Meg at Midnight is especially designed for small busts with sizes ranging from 30B-C, 32-34AA-C. Elegant and opulent Harlow & Fox caters to the full bust with sizes ranging from 30-38 DD-G.
- Stuck thinking they are the same size they were years ago, or that they are the same size in every cut from every brand.
- SOLUTION: Size fluctuates due to changes such as hormones, weight loss or gain, pregnancy, or exercise so it's best to get fitted (or at least measure yourself) every six months or better yet every time you shop, especially since sizes vary across brands and different styles.
I've had lovely experiences with Austrian luxury designer Wolford, both online and in store. The online shop offers free returns so items can be tried on in the comfort of home and there is plenty of time to move around and see how everything (like breast tissue, for example) settles. In store I've always had superb service and the employees have been excellent help in determining my correct size, troubleshooting fit problems, and some boutiques even offering free alterations.
Whichever route and retailer you choose, do not accept underwire or boning digging into your armpits, gaping or overflowing cups, and straps that ride up or dig in. Begin investing in the best bra for your bosom and undies for your rump because the right pieces will also do wonders for your style from the inside, by boosting your confidence and comfort levels.