So, last week I came at you with which knickers you should be considering when creating an outfit. I stressed the importance of how much underwear can be a game changer when looking at the end results of your outfit. Now, onto something perhaps even more important - bras. Not only will bras massively impact how your outfits going to look but they're going to save your boobies from dragging on the floor. We allll should be wearing a good supportive bra, so le'ts get on and find out what you should be wearing.
First things first, for everybody, make sure you are getting a regular bra fit. Most women's breasts tend to stop growing around age 25 but that doesn't mean they aren't continually changing. Breasts can always change shape or size, particularly if your weight has changed. You should get a good fitting at least once a year.
General rules for a well fitted bra:
All breast tissue should be held securely within the cup, with no gaping.
Under wiring should lie flat against the breast bone.
Shoulder straps should not be falling off the shoulders, or digging in too much.
The back strap should lie horizontally across the back with hooks comfortably fastened on the first row - when first bought (you can move along to the middle and end as the bra stretches with wearing and washing.)
As with knickers always, always, consider the colour of the bra. I enjoy a fun coloured bra as much as the next gal but if we're wearing a light outfit you gotta go for the nude/skin tones. And, don't let white bras fool you, they will still show through under white tops. They're sneaky.
T -Shirt Bras
These are what I liked to call an all rounder -the sort of thing one can wear with anything to any occasion, and okay, yes I watched Bridget Jones the other day. But, seriously maybe not to every occasion but everyone can benefit from having a good T-shirt bra. As they are smooth they provide a nice, clean, line under tight fitting top whilst offering a decent amount of support.
As the name suggest these cover the entire breast to give maximum support. This is great but we just need to remember what we're wearing over the top. If you're going for a lower cut top be aware that the bra may be visible if it comes up high on the breast. Full cups can be a reliable option thought for the larger breasted ladies, especially the Inverted Triangles among you.
The Balconette has a lower neckline and goes straight across the bust with wide set straps. For me, this is the pretty bra and speaking from experience as a larger busted lady, whilst they're not the most supportive they are surprisingly comfortable and well fitting. As they have a lower neckline they can be a great option for more low cut tops, however be aware if wearing anything with shorter sleeves, or cami style, as the bra straps are wider and may be visible.
Padded and Push Up
The padded bra (as the name suggests) adds padding and is designed to enhance small breasts, whilst the push up will, believe it or not, push up breasts to enhance cleavage. I've included these two together as they are obviously both a great option for smaller breasts, especially if you want to enhance. I'm not saying we all need to be walking around with giant, over the top, bosoms but I'm told that small boobs can be as irritating as large ones. Clothes tend to not fit quite right over the chest, so adding a little padding can help. Like the full cup and t-shirt bra though, we just need to be aware of how visible this will be. Both bras can be a fantastic option for Straights and Pears who are wanting to add a little more shape around their top half.
Multi way Bras
Bless you, whoever invented Multi way bras. You are a genius. These are your go to for any difficult clothing which shows off backs, shoulders, chest - I'm talking strapless dresses, I'm talking backless dresses, I'm talking less is more. So, if you hadn't guessed already Multi way bras can be worn in, well, multiple ways. Mind. Blown. Usually with these bras you can either take the straps off entirely or create a halter neck with the straps. Whilst these can be a winner and saviour for most, some of us (I'm talking to my fellow big busts) need to be careful of how much support they do provide.
My honorable mention this week goes to the Mastectomy bra. A wonderful idea for anyone who has had to have a mastectomy, or perhaps for those who have uneven breast sizes. This bra usually comes with a a soft cup to which a prosthesis can be added to give the illusion of even sized breasts.
So, there you have it, knickers and bras 101. Often we can overlook something so simple as underwear and forget how it will effect our overall outfits. As always though, don't forget to have fun with these things. Clothes and style should be about fun and expression, not depression. I have been known to own a neon pink bra. It didn't go with anything but I loved it all the same!