Monday, 16 April 2012

The Perfect Bra


Discreet Choices
Since wearing a slip and a bra in Ed Wood I have much more respect for women . . .
- Johnny Depp

Closet Content Analysis: Bras

NICE      NO THANKS      NOTE-WORTHY         NEED        NEW

You know it's a bad day when you put your bra on backwards and it fits better.
- unknown

I love the bra shops in Europe; but unless you are serious about buying, I have found that the staff is usually impatient with “just looking” patrons. I remember being in Brussels and I found a beautiful lingerie shop. I was determined to buy myself something lacy and pretty. I was 30 something and wearing a very functional bra. When the sales woman saw me in the change room, she asked, “Why are you wearing your grandmother’s bra?” In accented English, she assured me she would fix me up and brought me several lacy confections. I bought.

Another story from Europe comes from a friend who was in Rome and walked into a La Perla store. The sales associate was helping an elderly woman. My friend thinks the customer would have been in her late seventies. The customer was gesturing and pointing to where the girls should be sitting, aiding the explanation with physical manipulation as well. With affirmative nodding from the saleswoman and in emphatic verbal reassurance, the customer was led to the fitting room. My friend vowed that when she is in her late seventies, she will be buying beautiful LaPerla bras that will minimize the sides and emphasize her cleavage in just the same way the woman gestured. 

NICE: No matter how much I like the lace and frill of sexy bras, the encapsulating micro--fibre molded bra with an under-wire is probably the best NICE bra because it is the “wear under everything” bra. My NICE one has an extended bodice that smooths things out over the torso as well. I have one in black and one in beige. I prefer beige to white because I feel the beige is a flatter tone and in no way appears pronounced under white whereas a white bra can be rather stark. I don't even know the brand name of it because I usually cut off the tags when I get them home. I do remember that I bought the beige one at The Bay department store in Canada on sale and then found the black one at a local bra shop. 

NO THANKS: Lacy bras are beautiful but under t-shirts and light weight fabrics, it's NO THANKS to textured lumps and bumps. Apparently you can buy molded bras that have a flat lace overlay. I guess I haven’t yet found a NICE one.

NOTE-WORTHY 1: Sports bras are multifunctional. I have worn them many times with regular everyday clothing. However many are compression styled and what day-wear really needs is a side minimizer bra which brings the breasts forward instead of flattening them. 

NOTE-WORTHY 2: Not a product or style but an amusing video demonstrating how to put on a bra. Just for fun - no malicious intent meant for my male readers on my part by the last scene.

NEW: a red Marie Jo L’Aventure molded style. I bought it on sale for 70% off at a bra shop that was going out of business. It is unfortunate when small business owners in downtown locations are being forced to shut down. The bottom line needs to be adequate for the shopkeeper and I guess there just weren't enough buyers of expensive bras. Too bad for the owner but I am quite pleased with this bra especially at the price.

A recent daytime television talk show suggested that one show off the bright-coloured bra straps under an off the shoulder blouse instead of wearing a strapless bra. Perhaps. However, that would be a NO THANKS for me.  

Bra Buying:

A 34B is not always a 34B. Variations in cup size could require going from, let’s say a single letter, D to a DD or even a cup size up to an E.  As well the band may vary so that someone wearing a 34 could also wear a 32 or even a 36. The differences between manufacturers can be that varied. When you're shopping, use the number you bought last time as a guideline but don't rely on it being the perfect size. Try them on.

Going to a bra shop for a professional fitting will be one of the best fashion choices you will ever make.

Caring for your Bras:

Hand wash your bras in cool water with a delicate detergent such as Forever New.

Hang dry. It is preferable not to put them in a dryer.

If you want to wash your bras in a machine, make sure you use a laundry bag and have them hooked up so that the hooks don’t catch on the lace or fabric for both drying and washing.


  1. "Going to a bra shop for a professional fitting will be one of the best fashion choices you will ever make." Agreed. I find that with the right undergarents clothing really does fit and lay better. Thank you for this post- it's a gem.

    1. You are most welcome! I always appreciate it when readers take the time to comment. And to think, I debated posting on this topic. The friend who was in Rome and told me the "old lady in the bra shop" story was visiting this weekend and she encouraged me. Thanks to her too!


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