According to the press, women in the UK have far too many bras in their underwear drawer, some of which have never been worn. This isn’t especially surprising as we profess to dread shopping for this essential item of clothing. A poll by the retailer, Sweatshop, found we each own an average of nine bras but around half of them are never worn. The main reasons – not comfortable and/or the wrong size. Currently, the research says we waste 156 million bras – that’s a huge BOOB – forgive the pun.
I can certainly identify with this. For many years I wore an AA cup bra which was very difficult to find. I continually wore 3 or 4 until they virtually dropped to bits. I have an inverted triangle shape with very, very broad shoulders. When measured for bra’s, invariably they sit well under the bust but flab appears over the top of the back strap because I’m wider there. So, like many of us, I have problems with comfort and fit. Interestingly, one fitter told me that a good bra should be tight and it’s nothing to worry about if you have a welt on your skin at the end of the day. Yipes! This may well be correct but I’m not succumbing. It’s bad enough having to wear one without endless amounts of agony all day long.
Due to menopause and general ageing, I am now 32 or 34 B. I don’t discriminate because underwear, just like other clothing, varies in size tremendously not only because of different manufacturing processes but also due to the variety of styles on offer. The size label is just an indication of size and definitely not a certainty.
The other thing I’ve discovered is that, for me anyway, the fabric used is critical to my decision about whether or not to buy. I’ve picked up bras made with such scratchy lace that I’m starting to itch before I’ve even tried it on.
The style you choose is important. A seamless, smooth bra looks great under T-shirts and other fine fabrics. A balcony or uplift bra is better to promote cleavage while a padded bra is a great boost to us flat chested gals. If you love physical activities such as running or you attend a gym, you’ll need a bra specifically designed for sports to stop excessive bouncing of your breast tissue. Pretty or sexy styles have their place as do the more functional, especially for those of us with larger breasts. Strapless or halter styles, worn to enhance a particular style of dress or neckline are popular additions to a lingerie collection. To own nine bras, therefore, doesn’t seem excessive to me especially when you take daily laundering into account.
The best bra fitters don’t need a physical measure. They just know your size by looking at you. Many of my clients love Rigby & Peller because not only do they have oodles of experience (they are the lingerie suppliers to the Queen) but they stock gorgeous lingerie to suit ALL sizes – except for those of us with A or AA cups. Well worth saving up to visit. Underwear acts as the foundation. Like building a house you need the foundations to be laid correctly, otherwise the house collapses. Ditto with your outfit. So whether you love it or hate if, you need to spend time searching for exactly the right bra.
Let me have your own horror stories. I’m sure you have them too.
Photo – Marisota www.marisota.co.uk
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