Sunday, June 19, 2011

Most important support in your life: your bra

Bra. Brassiere. Over the shoulder boulder holder. Hemispheres of Paradise

Whatever name you give it, bras are the staple for most, women who live in the western world.  We  feel so adult when we go shopping for our first bra, and when our girlfriends get one first we do ridiculous exercises to increase our bust.  I actually don't remember my first bra, it just seems like I always had to wear one.

The bra was invented by an engineer of German extraction called Onto Titzling in 1912. He was living in a New York boarding house, and one of his neighbours, a voluptuous opera singer called Swanhilda Olafson, complained that she needed a garment to hoist her vast bosom aloft every evening – so Titzling obliged, using some cotton, elastic and metal struts. Unfortunately, he failed to patent the device and, in the early 1930s, a Frenchman named Philippe de Brassière began making a suspiciously similar object. Titzling took him to court, but the unscrupulous Frenchman won the day. And that's why the garment all the ladies are wearing is called a brassiere, not a titzling. 

I can't stand bra shopping.  I love great lingerie and have plenty of sexy bras, but I can't stand trying them on.  Most women are like me, they don't like bra shopping.  Finding a bra that offers the best coverage, no double breast a.k.a. spillage, prevents fat back rolls, offers the best's frustrating.  So when I find a brand that fits I buy almost every bra they have in my size.  I love Wimsey bras by the way.  Fit perfectly, are sexy and come in a huge variety of sizes! 

I do believe that I think it's so important for women to wear the right bra, it can make or break your outfit ladies.  You have probably seen images of women from the 1950's whose boobs look perfect, granted they were wearing a lot of undergarments, but the boobs were perky and the outfit fabulous.  Check out the support these bras offer. 

Statistics show that over 80% of women wear incorrectly fitted bras!  Did you know that wearing the wrong size bra can contribute to saggy breasts?  Gravity will take care of that enough for me, I don't need my bra speeding things up. 
When I first moved to NYC, I was 18 and needed a new bra.  I was shopping on the lower east side and went into a lingerie shop that looked like it had been there for at least 80 years.  There was an older women who started to help me, did a fitting  the dressing room then gave me a bra to try on.  I waited a minute for her to leave the dressing room so I could try this bra on, but she just stayed there.  I asked her to leave and she said, "No honey, I am going to make sure you put this bra on right."    

What? Put it on right?! 

I assured her I had been wearing a bra since about 5th grade and I knew how to put one on right.  As I uncomfortably got undressed in front of this woman and started to put her bra on I thought she would have a heart attack.  "Oy Vey! You are doing it wrong!", she shouted.  

Apparently I had been putting bras on wrong for 10 years.  I did the hook the bra in front then twist it around, put my arms through, then adjust the cups.   As this woman instructed me, I needed to put my arms through the straps, boobs in cups, then hook it in the back. Adjusting again as needed.  This she said prevented the band from stretching out.   It makes so much sense now.

So here are some  tips for finding a good bra.  

 1.  Get a good bra fitting to find your size.  Please visit a department store to get a fitting, (most Victoria Secrets sales associates do not know what they are doing). Head over to Saks, Von Maur, Dillards, Nordstrom, or a specialty lingerie store.  You want to get a new fitting every year.  Your breast size will change as your body changes.  If you want to get an idea of where you might be in bra size this is how you do a fitting. 
    • Band Size – is (by rule) displayed in even numbers. Grab a tape measure and place it at a level that’s just underneath your breast fold. Run it around your ribcage and make sure it’s horizontal and fits snugly. If the measurement that you obtain is an odd number, it should be rounded up to the next even one. If the measurement is even, your band size will likely be that number but it may need to be rounded up to the next even number (so as not to be too tight).
    • Cup Size - you will need your new band size and one of your current bra sizes to come up with this measurement. As mentioned earlier, cups are sized relative to the band size. Compare your new band size with your old one; if the new one is lower, you’ll actually need to increase your cup size! Every size (that’s 2 inches) that your band size decreases will require a corresponding increase in cup size. Sizes are: AA, A, B, C, D, DD, E, F, FF, G and so on.
2. Invest in good bras.  You will wear  this bra several times a week, even if you pay $40 for it, you will get your money's worth. The more expensive bras will hold up better and look better after a couple of wears.
3. Buy a band that is a tad to tight over a tad too loose.  Bra bands stretch out, this is why there are usually three hooks.  Your bra should fit (without causing fat back), on the first hook. So the hook  closest to the end of the band.  As the bra stretches you can tighten it by using the inner hooks. 
4. For women with bigger busts, try on a bra and lift up your arms – if your breasts spill out the bottom of the cup, you’ll need a bigger one. 
5. You’ll know when the band is too big on you if it rides up your back, which will cause your cups to sag.  Most women solve this by tightening the straps which can cause back & should pain & poor posture.  
3. Unless you are wearing a cocktail dress with a low neckline  or wearing the lingerie for your sweetheart, opt for full coverage bras.  Demi bras are sexy, but they do not look good under a t-shirt.  You will need different bras for different tops.  
4. Bras with lace and bows are adorable, but think about what you will  wear the bra with.  Most bras with lace can't be worn under t-shirts, or button downs, because you can see the lace through the shirt. That look is not too sexy for most every day wear. 
5. Get a good strapless bra! The right fitting strapless bra will hold the girls up. You do not need clear plastic straps, besides they look tacky when worn with a strapless dress or shirt.  
6. Don't wear the same bra every day.  The oils from your skin will break down the lycra in the band faster.  
7. Hand wash your bras. Washing machine agitation and the dryer will ruin the lyrca quicker.  
Now that you have some tips on hand, go out and get a better fitting bra! 

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