Featured Friday Article

Support Yourself
I recently had a friend over for dinner. Rather than bringing the usual hostess gift – wine or dessert – she brought her newly enhanced breasts. Talk about “show and tell”! I got to see and, yes, touch them. (Please note that she insisted: her feeling is since she spent several thousand dollars that, by golly, she wanted everyone’s “first-hand” opinion). They were very nice and definitely worth the money and trouble. But I just about died when I saw her bra! I’m sorry but how can you take out an equity line of credit on your house to buy new boobs and not put them in a proper bra? The bra was the wrong cup size and I must have pulled the back strap about six inches. That’s how stretched out it was. You should only be able to fit your hand between your bra band and back.

Think of it the same way you would buy jeans: you buy your jeans so that they just fit you, knowing that after a while they give and conform to your body. Same thing with bras. It should fit you snugly, but comfortably, on the first hook. As the bra ages and gives, you gradually move the hook to the middle then the last. Once you hit the last hook and it’s gets to be too big, then you’re ready for a new bra.

Naturally, I chided her but I also offered to go bra shopping with her. It still confounds me that well-dressed women who see nothing wrong in laying out several hundred dollars for a new blazer or designer shoes or bag STILL have the same underwear they wore in college, let alone think they are still the same bra size they were in college! It was time to be properly fitted, especially considering my friend’s new dimensions.

The very best place to be fitted is a local lingerie or bra boutique. Just about every large to mid-sized city has one. The staff are absolute experts and you get a one-on-one experience. Plus, their selections are usually better and can accommodate more than the most common bra sizes. (I was in the shop I patronize once and a woman with a 30G bust was there and they had her size in stock. A 30G!!) You can almost always get a bra custom fitted, if necessary. If you have one of these boutiques in your area, consider yourself lucky and patronize them. You’ll never go anywhere else.

Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom also have very well-trained bra fitters but please note that they fit bras very differently. NM fits by measurement using a tape then calculating cup size. You are then fitted in one or two styles appropriate for your breast shape and tissue (soft vs. firm, otherwise known as real vs. fake). I find it quite efficient. Nordstrom, on the other hand, fits you by “eye”. Meaning the bra fitter does not measure you with a tape but instead gauges your size by eye then has you try on a few predetermined “fit styles” they select for you. It’s time-consuming and not for the impatient but you will finally get a properly fitted bra. I have been fitted both ways and both were correct (32C demi-cup). I would skip Victoria’s Secret altogether. From my experience and the opinion of many others, their fitters are not as detail oriented and the quality of their bras is not very good.
A good quality bra runs about $75. You only need 2 or 3 with one of them being a convertible bra that can also be worn strapless. With proper care, they will last for several years.

*Tip: Once you are correctly fitted, buy just one bra at the store. Then go home and buy your additional ones online from lingerie shopping sites such as www.abriefaffair.com (my favorite), www.figleaves.com or www.barenecessities.com. Not only will you save on tax but you can always find an online discount coupon as well as free shipping. Your best bet is to find a favorite site and sign up for their emails. I always stock up during their special promotions.

As for care, the two most important things to remember is to “stack” your lined/padded bras, cups up, in your drawer (unlined ones can be folded in half). This is important because if you crease or bend the foam in the cup, it will NEVER go back, even after washing. Do the same thing when packing. Speaking of washing, beware of Woolite. It is notorious for eating up elastic. You must hand was in a very gentle detergent such as Forever New or Dreft Laundry Detergent for baby clothes. Never, EVER wash your bra in the machine, even if you put it in a lingerie bag on the gentle cycle.

They will be ruined in no time, trust me.
So get a couple of girlfriends and go treat yourselves to a bra fitting and a new bra this month. You won’t be sorry and you’ll look and feel terrific!

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