It’s been some time since I wrote about bras, underwear and shape wear. I promised it as the last segment of the Wardrobe Series last fall. Then it seemed I never got to all the research I wanted to do. I’m actually glad I waited as I’ve gleaned some great insight from clients. This post is longer than usual with lots of links. It might be one you want to save and read through a couple of times to get all the suggestions.
Let’s start with bras!
You have heard it dozens of times. It is important to be professionally fit every couple of years. If you have lost or gained weight put it on your list now! The major departments stores in your area are a good source, and there are many smaller lingerie boutiques across the country that do an excellent job. During Covid (like so many things) I let that go. I really had not changed sizes, but once again I noticed it in photos. Well, I’m putting myself out there and sharing for you here. I seriously needed some lift! Ughhh!
Remember the most projected part of your breast should align with the midpoint of your bent elbow and shoulder.
Wacaol, Chantelle and Natori are probably the main three bra brands most of you will find that work well for you. This article from Wacoal will be helpful. Notice the first tip! If you have a larger cup size, Elomi is also a good label to check out. And if you have a smaller chest your choices are endless! I hear a lot about Third Love, but I have not tried it.
The “cut and sewn” designs give more support, but they also have seams that can be annoying for T-shirts!The molded cup bras are great for a T- shirt, but they often add volume. Don’t give up though! There are many options now–more so than ever! If you get the right help, you will find the perfect style! I’ve added some popular styles to the widget below, but I trust you’ll go get fit and bypass buying here unless you are duplicating something that you know works from a recent fitting!
I’m going to be talking about Spanx later on in the article, but many women swear by the bralellujiah and last year I tried their minimizing bra. I’d give it an 8 out of 10.
This is another area that has endless possibilities. But it can also add frustration! How many styles have you purchased that haven’t worked? Hanky Panky made thong underwear a big seller about 20 years ago. I can remember the group of moms talking about this brand and thong underwear in general at our kids’ baseball game (the things we talked about at baseball games! ) which makes me laugh thinking back to this conversation. I have never been able to embrace the thong. Am I the only one?
Your best fit is greatly influenced by the shape of your bottom (rounded or flat)and size of your hips. I can recall thinking years ago… “Why in the world can’t I find underwear that doesn’t ride up? ” I certainly was a number of sizes smaller when I became frustrated. Then I realized that my flat rear was greatly affecting fit! A number of years ago I discovered a version of panty by TC that had the silicone that helped the garment stay in place. It doesn’t stick to your skin and really was the clear ticket for me. I know it may not be for everyone, but I recall what a difference it made; I could wear white denim without a line! I wore a boy short style and that worked really well. (unfortunately the styles/sizes are now very limited at Nordstrom) Macy’s has more options and you’ll see those in the widget.
Soma has their own version and it’s called Vanishing Edge. I have heard good reviews on this line.
Ok here go, the most “controversial” lingerie category because many women abhor shape wear. I’ve heard all the complaints about comfort. However, we’ve come a long way in the area of comfort. Sara Blakely sold Spanx recently and it was valued at 1.2 BILLION! That’s a lot of Shape wear sold over the years!
The year was 2001. I walked into Nordstrom and was intrigued by the little TV in the lingerie department showing me my first pair of Spanx. This was the original style that Sara created that was basically a chopped off pair of control top pantyhose. And… they were NOT comfortable. But doggone it, I wore them because they got rid of the VPL (visible panty lines). At the time I was 40 and I really was beginning to struggle with the weight around the middle. They didn’t have the high waisted version yet–that was to come later. But it must have given what I needed because at the time I remember thinking they were great and just what I needed to suck in the middle.
Want the most comfort? Enter Thinstincts.
If you haven’t tried any shape wear at all or gave up on it completely, this is what I’d try. As the photo shows, the fabric is very thin! It only offers light support however.
Everything comes in a waist version and a high waist version. I often hear the high waist will slip down. They won’t if you have the right size and if the band of your bra is middle of your back and not riding up (often the sign of a poor fit) Again, like the panties I mentioned above, there is silicone to help it stay in place. There are so many levels of support now. I tried to link a little of everything below.
Target also carries their own version of Spanx called Assets.
What about the tanks? I’ve tried those too. I like the ones that come underneath your bra but that is personal preference. They can create the “uniboob” look and believe me I’ve had my share of that over the years. If you carry your weight in the upper middle this is a good solution and might be more comfortable. Keep in mind that if you decided to go for an “all in one” style of shape wear that you are likely going to compromise fit and support on top. l think it’s really difficult to get a good fit top/bottom in the same piece of shape wear. (Just my personal opinion of course )
Many women like to wear dresses in the summer but this also can create problems on a warm day if you don’t wear any type of shape wear. The thigh rub, chafing and sweat is a real thing and not a good feeling. Soma has a cotton pair that looks like a great alternative to the Spanx one above if you are worried about getting too warm. The brand is Yummie which was previously called Yummie Tummie and came out a few years after Spanx.
I also just found the Thigh Society. I thought this looked promising.
The topic is extensive and so much I didn’t cover here. I do hope you received a couple of tips that will be helpful. Thank you for being here. As always, I love to hear your comments.