May 23, 2011

This is Not a Bra

This is not a bra.

This isn’t a bra either.

This may be labeled as a bra, but it doesn’t act like one.

This may be considered a bra, but it’s a bra for very specific athletic activities, and ONLY for those specific activities.

What’s the point of this post?

Whether you are an AA or an FFF, unless you are 12 years old, you need a proper bra. Breast tissue, unless supported by silicone or saline, doesn’t sit up on its own. When you are younger, it will have some bounce and your skin will have enough strength to hold the breasts up a bit. However with time, babies, weight loss and gain, your breasts will sag a bit. To keep the skin and tissue in great shape, and to flatter whatever figure you have, it is imperative to wear a proper bra. And the above examples are not proper bras.

A bra that fits and flatters, lifts and separates will do wonders for your figure, the fit of your clothing, your opinion of your body. A supportive, well-fitting bra can make you look ten pounds slimmer, three inches taller, five year younger. It can also reduce back pain, improve your posture, and help you when struggling in the fitting room for clothing to flatter.

Many women who like more relaxed and casual attire feel that wearing a sports bra or tank with shelf bra will “do.” That their clothing is loose enough for one to not notice. My dear, we notice. Women with small breasts often feel that a bra is pointless; they go without or wear little lacy triangle bras just for a bit of modesty in a breeze. No matter your size, such underpinnings do not give shape to your breasts, and do not flatter.

If you are feeling a little less than pleased with your figure or your wardrobe, before you run out to the mall or your local Jenny Craig location, consider a bra fitting with a professional. There are many boutiques in metropolitan areas that specialize in bra fittings; major department stores such as Lord and Taylor and Nordstrom also have bra fitters on site. Do not feel obligated to purchase a bra after the fitting; only buy that which you need and at a price you can afford.

One doesn’t need a dozen bras, just a handful so you can let them breathe between wearings. One in black, at least one in a color as close to your skin color as possible, one that is adjustable/strapless/appropriate to formal and special attire. The rest is icing on the cake, so instead of purchasing many cheap bras, buy few and buy looking for quality. Baby your bras – hand wash (or if you must, wash on the gentle cycle in the machine in a lingerie bag), line dry.

Who cares what you’re wearing on the outside if you’re not flattering and highlighting your body? Take some time and care with your underpinnings and you will be amazed how much better your entire wardrobe will look and fit!

And speaking of bra fittings, I need to do as I say, not as I do.  I haven't had a proper bra fitting since giving birth to Emerson.  Due to nursing, weight fluctuations and being lazy, I just haven't found the right time.  However, I will be having one after Bonnaroo and will be sharing the whole experience here on Wardrobe Oxygen.  Stay tuned!

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  1. Good for you, Allie! I can't wait to read about your experience. Am considering the Ahh bra by Rhonda Shearer~any thoughts?

  2. BRAVO!  I could not agree more.  I have to say that I'm very loyal to Soma.  They have fabulous bras for all sizes... I'm a 34 DD/DDD depending on the bra, and I always find a great supportive bra.  They do fittings and are amazing in the stores as well. 

  3.  I have heard great things about Soma; there is one in a mall near me and I plan to check it out soon!

  4. Jillian Berkowitz5/23/11, 8:08 PM

    Finally!!! I am a 34 E/F/G (depending on the brand)  and I cannot agree with you more. I have less well endowed friends that thought they could get away with camis and the like. I took them to Intimacy. They only have stores in a few major cities (yes, Allie there is one in D.C.) but the women there are just fantastic. They have sizes from AA to M (yes they come that big) and they will tailor  your bras for free if the elastic starts to wear out, or whatever.

  5. sarah tirona5/24/11, 9:22 AM

    this is very true! i am a 32dd and i find it very hard to find bras that fit in my country. im only able to find them in marks and spencer, sometimes debenhams. i wish there were more selections.

    ps. i'm having a blog giveaway, you might want to join! one of the prizes is an oversized satchel style clutch! :)

  6. I know of many in the #DMV area, now just deciding which one to go to!  Didn't know about the tailoring, that's awesome!

  7. I have never had a bra fitting, but you've inspired me to do so. I live close to a Nordstrom's and a Lord & Taylor. I'm looking forward to your review to see your recommendations.

  8. great post! after two kids and 37 years, there is no way i could go without...or even without a good bra! great's witty and educational all at the same time!

  9. Let me echo Jillian's comment and put in a plug for Intimacy. I made an appointment (appts are recommended) last summer for one of the NYC locations. I walked out with 5 amazing bras. Lets just say I was so pleased, I wore one of the new ones home and trashed the bra I had been wearing!! My daughter says I look like a 16 year old now (in terms of lack of sag). Plus they are all more comfortable than the less-than-effective bras I had been wearing. Well worth the money. Hey, it's way cheaper than plastic surgery!

  10. LOL!  Okay, I confess that I was just thinking about buying more tanks to use in place of my bras.  I'm a B cup and I always felt that I can get away with using tanks sometimes.  It's just a lazy habit, but thankfully I don't do it all of the time.

  11. I am wearing a bra today that should not even exist in my wardrobe because I own so few and my "babies" are hanging to dry in my bathroom (big reason why no post today and why I am wearing a scarf looped around my neck!).  Your comment (and the others) make me even happier I am making this decision.  Thanks for the time you took to leave this comment; so excited for my bra fitting!

  12. Heather Rutherford5/24/11, 3:53 PM

    A very good message, Allie! I'm wearing a supportive bra today, but let me tell you, after my second son was born (I'm talking around nine months after), I put on a built-in-support tank and pulled one of my favorite dresses on over top. Was that a wake up call! Prior to his birth, I was quite full and perky. I had no idea how much I'd changed until I put on that outfit. Despite my shock, I did have the presence of mind to remedy the problem with a bra. I wasn't about to go out of the house like that--I looked awful! LOL.

  13. La Petite Marmoset5/25/11, 10:38 AM

    Haha I love this! "This is not a bra... this is not a bra either"  I am guilty of not having bras I feel 100% confident in, I couldn't find my normal one for a while so I was going around wearing a strapless bra for the past month and was constantly doing the readjustment shimmy. Definitely time for a fitting!

    La Petite Marmoset

  14. I am laughing and laughing that I'm reading this today. Today, when I am wearing only a camisole under my maxi dress. There's no excuse for it from a fashion perspective, I'm sure, but it sure does feel good.

  15. Guilty!  I was scrolling through the images and going, "I've got that one, that one, that one, and that one too!"  Ha.  You are so right.  Even with my barely existent boobs, I appreciate a real and great-fitting bra.


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