Underneath it All: the art of wearing a bra

by christiem on June 8, 2010 · 5 comments

I have sat quietly for years watching models, friends, even family members commit a serious crime against themselves!  I see it everywhere: at home, in a dressing room, at a restaurant and on photoshoots.  Bad bra application and technique followed by  ill fitting bras worn past their expiration date resulting in  bumpy boobs, uniboob, false back fat, underboobs, falling straps, red marks and cups runnething over!

It begins with the simple act of getting dressed.  First with the closure in front they take the bra and hook it underneath their breasts, then they spin it around and stick their arms into the straps and off they go.

Alright, enough already ladies!  I can stay silent no longer!  THAT IS NOT THE CORRECT WAY TO PUT A BRA ON! No More Clip and Spin!!!

Putting your bra on in this way does nothing to help “the ladies”.  Its the difference between having your “head down at your desk” and “standing at attention”.  You are in there all smooshed and willy-nilly.  You don’t look your best and its uncomfortable!

My friends at Freya http://www.freyalingerie.com/  perfectly explain how to properly put on a bra.  (good news for larger breasted women, Freya goes up to a J-cup and offers “active wear” bras)

Swoop and Scoop.

“First, lean forward and allow your breasts to fall into your bra so they sit in place naturally and comfortably(what we call the swoop). Then fasten the bra on the loosest hook and stand up. Next, scoop each breast gently into place in the bra (remember that breast tissue goes all the way to the underarm) to ensure they are comfortably positioned and not caught in the underwire or spilling out of the sides and use your index finger to smooth across the top cup edge to ensure there is no overspill.  And there you have it; it really is as simple as that.”

(above: Freya “Frankie” underwire plunge bra)

Knowing how to put the bra on properly is just the first step.  Now you need to make sure you buy the right kind of bra!

I spoke with my friends at Elle Macpherson lingerie (one of my personal favorite lines) http://www.ellemacphersonintimates.com/

and here are some tips from Elle herself on purchasing a bra:

Q: What are the keys to getting a bra that fits comfortably?

E:  “A professional bra-fitting is the first and most important step in finding a bra that fits comfortably”

Q: What should women look for when shopping for a bra?

E: “Fit, function. fashion and affordability”.

Q: What is the expiration date on a bra?

E: “bras should be replaced every six months.  When a bra starts to ride up in the back, wrinkle in the cup or slips off your shoulders it’s a sign of fabric weakening and your need for a new bra.  Hand washing your lingerie makes it last a bit longer”.

(above: Elle Macpherson “Artistry” bra)

The fit.

The experts at Neiman Marcus  (who carry amazing lines like La Perla, Marlies Dekkers, and Costabella)  provided me with  some great advice on  “getting the perfect fit”:

  • Lean forward to make sure your breasts fit comfortably in the cups: they should not bulge out.
  • You should be able to slip two fingers underneath the center of the band easily with some resistance.
  • Support is achieved through the cups and band, not through the straps.
  • Center front of bra should lay flat against the body.

According to Neimans “80% of women are wearing the wrong bra. Not only can a poor-fitting bra be extremely unflattering, it can also be harmful to your breasts.”

HEALTH risks caused by ill-fitting bras that don’t offer the correct support can range from constricted breathing, back pain and restricted circulation to muscle strain, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and tissue damage to the breasts!

Neimans specialists will measure you for free and help you select the proper fit!

(above: Marlies Dekkers “striped balcony bra” available at Neiman Marcus)

Another thing to consider when buying a bra is what type of clothing and activities you will be doing.  Bras come in a variety of shapes and types for different uses!  Neiman Marcus gave me this great chart to show the styles and uses for a variety of bra types:

Remember when selecting a bra keep in mind: technique, fit, expiration, and activity.  Your new mantra: If  your “white” bra has turned gray throw it away!  The proper fit and type of bra will ensure both comfort and a smooth look throughout the day.  Your bra lays the foundation for how the rest of your clothing looks!

{ 4 comments }

Lauren June 8, 2010 at 3:04 pm

I predict this will become your most popular blog post ever. BRAVO! This reminds me of when I was a kid and I used to check out the bra section of Sears and JC Penney!

John June 8, 2010 at 4:05 pm

I sure learned a lot you should have more blogs with photos… ‘;-)

Snoopy Dunton June 8, 2010 at 9:00 pm

I love it!! It’s good to be reminded especially when you have big boobs!!

beth wood June 14, 2010 at 8:33 pm

What do you mean? I’ve been doing this wrong all along.
Great, another reason to go to “Therapy”

Swoop & scoop, got it… LOL

I do like the “guide to bras” that’s helpful, they should have one called the:
Makes the rest of the body look small: A sexy racy bra that actually makes the rest of your body look like you’ve lost about 10lbs.

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