How to find the right bra
If you're wearing a bra this very second, chances are it's riding up your back, the underwire is poking your rib cage, or the straps are digging into your shoulders, making it feel as if you're wearing a Victorian contraption instead of a sexy undergarment. It turns out that you, along with thousands of women, are wearing the wrong bra size. Danae Shell once suffered this same dilemma and was even shocked to hear during a bra fitting that she wasn't a 38D like she always believed, but instead a 36G. Today, Shell, along with friend Alison Bryant, are the lingerie experts behind Knickersblog.com, where they've become widely celebrated in the UK for showing how the proper bra can make any woman look thinner, sexier, and free of all those unwanted aches. Shell took time to share tips on how any woman can find the perfect bra and boost their self-confidence.
Finding the Right Size
"There's two ways to discover what bra size you are and the obvious one is going to a reputable lingerie store that carries cup sizes bigger than Ds,"" she explains. "This means they'll be able to size you correctly and provide a variety of options that look good on you." Shops worth taking note of include major department stores and local lingerie shops that''ll spend more time showing you how a proper cup can benefit your breasts, not just sell you a product. For those who are timid, Shell explains that a true lingerie expert has seen it all and is willing to cater to your needs. "I also recommend purchasing several bras from a shop with a good return policy and trying them on at home when you're most comfortable," she says. ""Notice how a bra makes you look and feel." For those unable to figure out what works, Shell and her partner created a free Do-It-Yourself Sizing here: http://www.knickersblog.com/bra_fitting_guide. "No two bras are alike, so you could be bigger or smaller in certain brands," she states.
Beware Major No-Nos
"Many women assume that tightening up your straps is supposed to make your bra fit better. However, the support of your bra should be coming from the band,"" says Shell. "Even without the straps on your shoulders, the bra should be able to still hold your breasts properly. A strap shouldn't be able to be pulled back or fit too snugly." The right cup should also cover the entire breast, without causing unexpected spilling. If a strap fits so tight it leaves indentions or bruises, you're pushing against nerves that could cause migraines. An underwire pressing against your breast for long periods of time can eventually lead to tissue tears, lumps, and cysts. "There''s still a lot of research that needs to be conducted on these findings,"" she says. "But think about having a sharp metal object piercing you 12 hours a day for ten years, something is bound to happen. If the cup is the right size, the underwire will sit directly below your armpit." Any discomfort means you're wearing the wrong size!
Always Get Bra-Fitted
With so many bra shapes and sizes, how can one determine the best fit for any woman? This is why, according to Shell, measuring tapes are to be forgotten. "Although a measuring tape give a fitter a glimpse of what size you can be, it''s impossible to just rely on them. Two bra bands can fit completely different on the same person," Shell explains. She advises that a good fitter would be able to look at the bra you're wearing, point out why it's the wrong look for you, and then find different bras that eliminate those problems. An experienced fitter should also be able to immediately figure out what size you are and which manufacturer is best for you. "A fitter can show you what styles work best for your shape, without limiting you to one lingerie company. Any fitter that relies on a tape or calculator to discover your size should be avoided!"
Bigger is Often Better
Any sign of discomfort you experience with lingering backaches that even your honey can''t get rid of is a sure indication that you aren't receiving the proper support. According to Shell, this is due to women fearing that they can actually be a bigger size. "In America, there's this concept that a DD means huge breasts. It's actually a really small size!" she exclaims. "There are tons of women needing F, G, or H cups and don''t know it. They think it makes them fat or a store won't sell those sizes." It turns out that many lingerie manufacturers, including The Lake & Stars and New York City's Kiki De Montparnasse provide super sexy picks in large shapes. If you're ready to see how a bigger cup can make you beautiful, be wary of outrageous sizes sold in major retailers. "A DDD is not a real size," Shell warns.
Get Lipo in Minutes
"When I first wore the right bra size, I realized I had a waist!" she exclaims. "The right bra can make you look as if you lost ten pounds. It gives a major lift to your posture." To find out which bras give the most flattering figure, try on different sizes wearing a t-shirt. You'll then be able to notice the way the bra carries your breasts and how it can accentuate a smaller mid-section. Bras that are loose and leave breasts saggy can create more weight. Although minimizers can make breasts look smaller, Shell believes women should embrace their natural shapes. "A minimizer flattens your chest, like a sports bra. However, if you're wearing a proper bra that suits your shape, why would you hide a flattering figure?" If you're smaller and yearn a bigger size, skip the plastic surgery and pick up some gel-ins or a push-up bra, which boosts your size, fills in clothing, and is a sure fire way to stop traffic.
Invest in Europe
The difference between a Parisian bra and one from Walmart isn't only price and location. European bra companies are known for using the finest fabrics and offering a larger array of sizes than those found in the States. Besides, who wouldn''t mind wearing silky-smooth lingerie from France or London? However, if you think a standard bra from a cheaper retailer means saving money, think again. An average American bra made with weak cotton can last up to six months. A European bra can survive up to an entire year. "The fabric is what supports your breasts, a cheaper bra looses its elasticity quickly and it'll need to be thrown away, so purchasing European labels could actually save you money in the end," she says. Some labels from overseas that Shell recommends are Wacoal, Le Mystere, Freya, Fantasie, as well as Rigby & Peller, which can all be found on the web.
If you don't feel like going out on a rainy day, the Internet has thousands of retailers from around the world that provide a large collection of sizes. When you do find a manufacturer that sells lingerie which complements your body type, wait until they have sales and stock up. "Finding shops, whether online or in your area, that sell wonderfully-fitting lingerie can save you a lot of time and grief from searching all over the place for just one bra," she says. Once you do purchase your new undergarments, make sure you properly take care of them. Either hand wash or put your lingerie in a mesh bag before they go into the washing machine. They'll last longer and you can spend your cash on other must-haves, like jewelry or shoes.
Scope Current Trends
Lingerie isn't only about providing support, it's also about looking and feeling like the vixen you are. A way to make bra shopping exciting is checking out the current trends. Retro-inspired looks have been popular for a long time and make you look like a glamorous pinup girl with little effort. Some lingerie designers are even replicating the sensuous patterns of golden-era Hollywood and applying them to modern styles. "Bullet bras are becoming a hit again," Shell advises. "It's sexy without it being only for the bedroom. Thanks to Spanx, girdles are coming back and better than ever. It instantly slims you and can be secretly hidden under anything you wear." With a black bra, stocking, and heels, you'll leave your lover panting day or night.
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