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How to Find the Best Lingerie for Your Body Type

Audree Lopez is a New York City-based fashion stylist, editor and consultant. She also writes a fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog, Simply Audree Kate, considers herself a maximalist and loves thrift shopping, iced coffee and red lipstic...

This is the key to finding lingerie that works for your body shape

Let’s face it — we have a love-hate relationship with lingerie. Once you find the piece of lingerie or bra that makes you feel invincible, life is good, if not great, but the whole shopping and trying pieces on parts are, well, less than favorable.

But we've created a guide to help you find lingerie that best suits your body shape, including a comprehensive bra-fitting guide from bra expert Kimmay Caldwell from Hurray Kimmay. Lingerie shopping can be stressful, so we’re here to take the guessing out and help you find the perfect pieces for your lingerie collection.

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Kimmay has more than 12 years of bra-fitting and lingerie-industry experience, and her mission is to “guide women to feel great on inside, outside and underneath it all.” She told us her two main pieces of advice when shopping for lingerie are:

  1. Take a deep breath and know that the size on the tag does not define who you are. You are not those numbers, and don't be surprised if you end up wearing a size you never thought you would.
  2. Start with the basics. Whether you’re expanding or reinventing your lingerie collection, take baby steps. Start with pieces that are outside your typical everyday comfort zone — like a new color or lace bra — whatever feels special to you. Then start expanding by purchasing matching pieces like a garter belt or sleepwear. These little upgrades make it easier and easier to start incorporating lingerie into your life. Don't be afraid to take it slow and explore what feels good for you.

First things first: Bras

According to Kimmay, there are five main steps to fitting the perfect bra.

  1. Focus on the band: The band provides 90 percent of the bra’s support, so it should fit snugly and be parallel to the floor.
  2. Focus on the underwire: The underwire should fit completely around your bust and you should not feel any digging or slipping.
  3. Focus on the cups: Figure out your bust shape so you can find a cup that works best for your breasts. Is the cup gapping? Try a shallower cut or smaller cup. Are you spilling out? Try a fuller coverage style or larger cup.
  4. Focus on the straps: Your straps provide the last 10 percent of your bra’s support. Straps should reach 1 inch off your shoulder with a gentle tug. With the right bra fit, you can slip your straps off your shoulders and your bra should still fit your bust and stay put.
  5. Focus on the feel: Ultimately, how do you feel in the bra? A bra fitter can tell you how your bra fits, but only you know how you feel in it.

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Let’s talk about lingerie

There really isn’t a do and don’t guide for lingerie. If you feel good in it, then rock it. But in case you’re not sure where to start or feeling like you need some ideas, we have listed out the best pieces to complement various body shapes.

Tall

It’s time to play up your long limbs — add garter belts, a corset, a teddy or a bustier. Since you have a longer torso or legs, you can wear lingerie pieces with a little more fabric without it seeming like “too much” coverage.

Kimmay’s bra tip: "​If your torso is long, make sure your bra straps can adjust to the length you need. A fully adjustable strap is best."

Athletic

Look for items to play up your sculpted body, such as cheeky or thong underwear, cutouts or sheer slips. Cutouts and push-up bras will also help create curves.

Kimmay’s bra tip: ​"Typically speaking — but not always — those who are very athletic tend to have less breast tissue since breasts are made mostly of fatty tissue. I highly suggest getting a few bras that play up your shape in different ways (think bralettes, bustiers, balconette bras)."

Petite

If you’re petite, two-pieces and sets typically work best for your small frame. Long slips, heavy fabrics and one-pieces sometimes don’t fit correctly. You can also rock a bralette and pieces with less underwire or support.

Kimmay’s bra tip: "​For those who are very short, strap length is a major issue. I highly suggest a bra that has fully adjustable straps so you can get the proper length. You can also have a seamster take out a few inches or use a handy accessory like a strap converter, or a Strap Saver."

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Curvy/plus size

Play up your curves. Look for plunging necklines to show off your chest or decorative underwear. If you’re looking for a little more coverage, baby doll dresses, rompers, corsets and waist cinchers are the perfect ways to add a little more fabric to the mix but still make you feel sexy. We also love the idea of looking for dresses or rompers with cutouts, sheer paneling and lace to spice things up.

Kimmay’s bra tip: ​​"The No. 1 tip for a any bra wearer, but especially a curvy woman, is to make sure you're wearing the right size.​ Remember that the bra alphabet goes far beyond DD, and getting a snug fit underneath the bust (where you may be very slim compared to your bust or hips) and a cup that fits your entire bust inside is key to feeling supported and comfortable (and looking your best!)"

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