Lose Five Pounds In 30 Minutes + Look Amaze-Balls In That Tight Tank
No FBPers, I'm not talking fad diets here. Rather, a bra fitting. Yours Truly toils part-time at Sandpiper Clothiers, a posh Florida resort lifestyle boutique, working with upwards of 60 women daily. I see bras and boobies all day while helping my gals in the dressing rooms, and I’ve noticed how too many of you (industry stats quote 64-80%) are wearing the wrong bra - size, color, shape, or just plain old and washed incorrectly way too many times.
And when you complain about back fat, your bra is the likely culprit.
First, a bit of background:
Bra shopping as a teen with my mother was among my most humiliating experiences. FBPers, please don’t be my mother when taking your daughters for their first bra! She’d tell the Bloomingdale's clerks, while pointing at my chest: “I don’t know where this came from. I have nothing.” Yet she also wore bad bras, causing her B-sized girls to sag.
Your author is truly over-endowed - a 32G right now. That's the right size for me, but I wore 34DDs until I had a post-college bra fitting sans mère 30 years and 20+ pounds ago at Saks Fifth Avenue. Talk about a bra-aha moment. No more spillage or sagging.
Wearing the right-sized bra makes me look thinner - and who doesn’t want that? Just ask Oprah, who devoted quite a few segments on finding the proper bra.
In short, IKMS (I Know My Sh-t. Or Stuff, if you're the Facebook Profanity Police). During the Nineties, in the Wonderbra era, I worked PR at Warnaco, one of America’s top lingerie and swimwear makers. Think Warner’s, Olga, Lejaby and myriad high-end designers who licensed lingerie lines. During that time, I earned the equivalent of a PhD in bras and swimwear, but I'll save my tips on the latter for a future post.
Since I can't be in the fitting room with you - unless you're headed to Florida, and in that case, look me up - here are my top fit tips:
You need a bra fitting anytime you’ve lost or gained 10 lbs.
Like shoes, you need a wardrobe of various styles that you can rotate; never wear the same bra two days in a row. While I sufficed with five good ones in NYC, Florida’s humidity makes me a sweaty betty. Seven is ideal.
On that note, prepare to spend. Mine average $75 apiece, and $40 and up is normal for a good one.
Schedule an advance appointment, allocating at least 30 minutes for measuring and trying on. I prefer department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom, whose experts treat fittings like the precise science it is, while offering a wide selection of manufacturers, sizes, styles and colors. Bonus points for discreet fitting rooms, pretty robes and good lighting.
On the color front, think nude tones and black for your basics. Too many women wear white bras. Stop it already! You don’t need white. The industry has greatly improved its skin-toned offerings, having finally realized that not everyone is a pale shade of nude.
Be open to new brands and styles. I was a devoted Chantelle , Fantasie and Freya fan for years. At my most recent fitting, industrial-strength Wacoal worked best (though it now takes 3 minutes longer in the morning to get it on and adjust my girls). My Nordstrom specialist in Naples used the bra I wore to illustrate how our boobies’ shape changes with age. Fullness shifts to the bottom of the breasts and it was obvs how the bottom part of the cup showed greater wear than the top half.
My specialist also turned me on to seamed bras - a French staple offering better support - noting most American women prefer seamless cups, like the T-shirt bra made famous by Ms. Oprah. I now have a seamed number from Chantelle, and wear it when my shirt isn't too thin or light-colored.
Bring cute dresses or tops you’ve been meaning to wear if only you had the right bra. My specialist turned me on to straps that now let big-bosomed me wear boat-necks and sleeveless tops with nary a snippet in sight.
Game Changer: NuBra
For readers with cup sizes A - D (bandwidth isn't an issue) try NuBra, which incorporates skin-friendly, secure and reusable silicone adhesive cups that clip - no shoulder or back straps. IMO, these bras work best for A-C cups; D if yours are implants. My colleague, Sandpiper store buyer Dawn Fernandez, wears one everyday because NuBras offer good support (plus better coverage than nipple tape) for off-the-shoulder, halter and strapless silhouettes. Every customer who’s tried NuBra is a now fan as it opens your wardrobe to gorgeous new possibilities. (Well hello there, Backless Dress!) By adjusting where you place the cups, you can boost or minimize cleavage too.