Apr 6, 2014

When I took part in Stacy London’s stylist training seminar in NYC, I had the opportunity to hear several guest speakers from various realms of the style and fashion world. One session I found particularly interesting was with a bra expert who had been part of Oprah’s Bra Revolution and had worked the show where they fit the entire audience in new bras - the transformation was astounding.

We spend so much time thinking about what we wear but sometimes forget the impact foundational garments have on the overall look. Wearing the right bra can make you look 10 lbs lighter (and yes the wrong one can make you look 10 lbs heavier!).

During the session, I realized I was making several mistakes when it comes to bras. Research cited stated 8 out of 10 women wear the wrong bra size. I am pretty certain I am not alone in this so am hoping you find some of the tips I took away useful...

You should be professionally fitted every 6 months. 

This was not the first time I had heard this and, to be honest, I know myself well enough to know I am not going to be fitted every 6 months. It is a good reminder though, that our bodies are constantly changing and that this is something that we should do more frequently.

The lifespan of a bra is 6-8 months.

I fail on this one too. I keep my bras much longer even if I know they are not fitting quite as well, or have lost a little life. This was a reminder that I need to make an effort to replace them more frequently or have a couple more in my daily rotation.

Like shoes you should be aware your bra is on, but it shouldn’t be uncomfortable.

This was a good analogy for me. The bra is a support garment so if you can’t feel it, it probably isn’t doing its job.

The fullest part of the breast should fall between the shoulder and the elbow.

When I get dressed, I am eyeballing for this one all the time now. Don’t panic - this is only when wearing a bra!).

Bras can be worn 2 or 3 times before washing but should rest between wears.

It is best if you hand-wash bras or machine wash in a mesh bag. Always hang to dry. Using a gentle product such as Forever New or Ivory Snow will help with the care of these garments.

Signs that you need a new bra:

  • band rides up in the back
  • bust spills over top of the cup
  • straps fall off the shoulder (band probably too wide at the back)
  • underwire digs into breast tissue
  • centre gore of the bra isn't sitting flat against the chest
  • you are wearing a nursing bra and you are no longer nursing...

I always advise clients to consider cost-per-wear with their purchases. Bras are a no-brainer.  Invest in them, they will owe you nothing.  I promise.

Images courtesy of Bake Photography and Woman's Day