When it comes to lingerie and women’s underwear, there are two types of people in the world:
I am currently attempting to morph into the former. I want to wear pretty, matching 3 piece lingerie sets with stockings and dresses everyday. I think it’s more “grown up” and put together; throwing on a mismatched bra and panties puts me in the mindset of, “I’m a sixith grader with no style awarenes,” IMO.
I recently purchased a three piece set made by a Polish brand called Axami from Luxury Goddess Lingerie. (I still need to purchase some old school stockings sans silicone.)
Maybe I’ll do a review of it sometime; it really is beautiful, high quality, and came at an excellent price.
Aside from the aesthetics and coordination of lingerie, there is so much more to know about such as the sizing and the care of lingerie.
With the advent of sites and forums such as Reddit’s A Bra That Fits, abrathatfits.org calculator, and the now defunct Bra Band Project, there’s no shortage of tools to help you figure out which bra size will fit you best.
Wearing the proper bra size has gotten a lot more attention in recent years and has helped many women alleviate back pain, correct breathing problems, improve posture, and just feel better and maybe a bit sexier all around. However, Reddit also has a sub called A Bra That Doesn’t Fit. This group asserts that having awesome looking cleavage usually is the result from a bra that doesn’t fit “properly.” I’ve noticed this for myself after buying bras in my correct size since most bras in my size are completely unpadded. For some reason, padding stops after like a DD/E cup and most women will find themselves in a smaller band size but larger cup size.
So what’s a girl to do when she wants to rock a quad boob and bare her cleavage? Times like these require a bra that’s just a little too small- not in the band but just the cups. Having a proper fitting band is essential to ensure that you don’t have trouble breathing (if it’s too tight) and so that your boobs are actually being supported and your bra is actually doing its job (which won’t happen if it’s too loose). When you have cups that are just one size (maybe two) too small, that allows you to foist your breasts into the cups to bring them forward and put them on display. Also, you’re gonna want to make sure you choose the right type of bra for getting cleavage; a full coverage bra ain’t gonna cut it. I’d recommend a push up bra in a balconette, demi cup, or plunge style. Then just tighten the shoulder straps, maybe even clip them together into a racer back style, and you’re well on your way to becoming Christina Hendricks!
Have you ever thought, or even said, “I can’t wear strapless bras, I just don’t have the boobs for it”? Women tend to say this a lot, as if strapless bras are something only for the Kim Ks of the world.
I’ve always had larger boobs. Not gigantic, but definitely not flat chested either. In terms of Victoria’s Secret’s (very limited) sizing, I’d wear a 32DD as it is one of my “sister sizes” (correct cup volume, but the band is too loose). I used to have a strapless bra a long long time ago (I was in middle school) and it would never stay up. So despite the fact that my boobs were bigger than most of my friend’s, I couldn’t wear a strapless bra.
This is why I’m of the opinion that anyone can wear a strapless bra. Yes, anyone. Let me say it a little louder for those in the back-
Hey you, yes you! You can wear a strapless bra! Even if you “don’t have the boobs for it” or even if you have smaller boobs!
Here’s why it’s so hard to wear a strapless bra. When wearing a strapless bra, 100% of the support has to come from the band of the bra, and there’s is zero support from the (nonexistent) straps. By contrast, when wearing a bra with straps, 80-90% of the support should come from the band and 10-20% of the support from the straps. However, with so many women wearing band sizes that are too loose for them or even correct sizes that are just old and stretched out, sometimes the straps are doing all the supporting. But even with a proper fitting bra, that missing 10-20% of support is a big deal.
The only way to correct this problem is to buy the correct bra band size. And maybe, you might even need to buy a band size smaller than your best size. For example, I wear a 28F (UK) or a 30E (UK) bra size. I usually stick with 30E bras because 28 bands are so snug on me that even after month of wear, I can still wear it on the loosest set of eye closures without the band riding up. Also, 30E bras are more comfortable for me and I don’t have to worry about those red marks after taking off my bra.
But, if I were to buy a strapless bra, you can bet your ass it’ll be a 28F because I know that a 28 has no chance of sliding around on me and the last thing I want is to have my boobs popping out of my bra in the middle of a concert/festival/wedding/etc. I think we’ve probably all had an incident that made us swear off strapless bras for forever. We’ve all been there and it’s no fun.
Now, are 28F bras harder to find than a 30E? Yep. Will most of them be less cute? Unfortunately. Are they more expensive? Oh yeah. But I think it’s well worth it to have at least one really good strapless bra in your neutral color of choice so we can wear all those cute sundresses and off the shoulder tops we have in the back of our closets.
And there’s one more trick I have for wearing a strapless bra:
If you can’t find a strapless bra that works for you, try a strapless bustier. No, I don’t mean just a longline bra that stops at your waistline. I’m talking full-on strapless corset type thing.
(But for the love of all things lacy, please make sure your cups fit you better than the fit on this model.)
Wearing a bustier should help (although there is no replacement for correct fit) because the garment goes around the waist and your entire torso and I highly doubt anyone’s hips are narrow enough for the whole bustier to slip down your legs.
Caring For Lingerie
I was perusing through the interwebs a few weeks ago and I came across an article about how we all need to be washing our bras more frequently and how a lot of women go month without washing their bras.
At first I was grossed out but then I remembered that I used to be there too. When I was younger, I didn’t have very many bras. Bra shopping with mom is embarrassing when your younger and my mom was, and is, working very long hours as a doctor (like 14 hour overnight shifts four times a week) so making time to get the the store just didn’t happen.
And when we did get to the store, there was no way in hell she was gonna let me buy a cute matching set from VS. I remember going to Bon Ton (RIP) in middle school and I picked out a plain white plunge bra with moulded cups and a decent amount of padding. Her response: “Why do you need to have so much padding?” 😒
And so, I trudged through middle school and half of high school with ugly, ill fitting bras, never owning more than 2 or 3 at a time. (Perhaps this is why I’m obsessed with having a lingerie wardrobe of many cute, matching sets.) And since the school week lasts 5 days, my bras inevitably got worn more than once without washing them between wears.
I was never taught how often to wash my bras (or my pajamas for that matter, which I was in the habit of wearing the same set for an entire week when I was younger- this definitely contributed to my horrendous bacne which has since been cured by a prescription of fresh pajamas every night) but I have learned the error of my ways as well as a little trick to wash your bras for the laziest of us (guilty as charged!).
You might hate me for this, but you really should be washing your bras after every wear. IMO, every 2-3 wears is too long. I wouldn’t go 2-3 wears without washing my underpants so why would I do the same with my bra? Bras go under our boobs and our armpits- two places that get sweaty and gross real quick.
And yes, if you’re gonna be washing your bra after every single wear, it MUST be hand washed. Unless you can afford to have your bras ripped apart by the washing machine and then go buy new bras every month.
My little trick for hand washing your bras is actually inspired by a little anecdote from Dita Von Tesse. At about 2 minutes into the interview (this interview is a goldmine of wisdom and it has inspired and will inspire many posts), she talks about bathing in her lingerie.
So I decided to shower in my lingerie everyday, not necessarily for the glamour, although let’s be honest, it is pretty glamorous, but for the utility. When I take my shower (I shower at night), I take off my clothes like normal but I leave my bra on. Then I wash my bra while it’s on me along with my body, using my regular wash. My reasoning is that if a product is gentle enough for my skin, it should be gentle enough for lacy fabric as well. Next, I take off my bra and ensure that the shower gel as been lathered all around the underwire and straps of the bra and then I rinse it off and hang it over the shower bar to dry and continue my normal shower routine.
I really like this method because it’s so simple and doesn’t take up too much extra time. There’s no need for me to clean out the sink, fill it, and wash my lingerie that way. Been there done that. I’d definitely recommend at least trying washing your bra in the shower with you if you want to hand wash your bras but you’ve been too lazy to do anything other than toss them in the wash (on delicate, with cold water, and in a bag with the hooks fastened I hope! And don’t even get me started on the dryer…).
And one more thing- if you need to dry your bras in a hurry try blow drying them with a hairdryer on low heat with a slow speed or your can try hanging them in your kitchen above a warm oven with the door slightly cracked open.
Happy hand-washing everyone, may your strapless bras be ever over your boobs and not your belly buttons! Let me know if you use these tricks and how they work out for you!