If your undergarments are stretched, stained, damaged or otherwise abused, throw them in the garbage . . . Now.
There is nothing more valuable to your appearance than wearing proper undergarments. Undergarments have the power to completely alter an outfit. I mean, what’s the sense of wearing a fabulous Nicole Miller dress you got for $35 from Bluefly if your backside looks like a carton of Rocky Road ice cream? Who cares if you just scored a Chloe Paddington bag for 200 bucks if your chest is as rocky as the Rocky Mountains?
TBF put together this guide to help you discover the power of proper-fitting undergarments. Whether you’ve got a ton of junk in your trunk or barely have a trunk at all, we have a bevy of tips on finding the proper fit; details on budget places to get great bras; and frank answers to your most pressing underwear questions. And, in true Budget Fashionista style, we encourage you to share your own undergarment tips.
The Budget Fashionista: A Personal Boob Saga
For most of my life, I wore the wrong bra size. Like many women, I bought
bras as an afterthought—sort of like remembering to floss after brushing.
In fact, I didn’t get a proper fitting bra until I was 22 years old—11
years after my first training bra. All that changed when my mother and grandmother
camed to visit me during my first year of graduate school. Appalled by the sad
state of my breasts (I wore sports bras that made it look like I had a uni-boob),
my mother and grandmother marched me straight to Saks Fifth Avenue and got me
fitted by a wonderful woman named Antonia. My breasts have never been the same
So profound was this interaction with Antonia that I started a crusade to make
sure all my friends (including you) learn the importance of properly fitting
undergarments. I learned that I was wearing a band two sizes too big and a cup
two sizes too small. She taught me tips like the middle section of the bra should
lie flat against your breastbone, and if you’re over a C-cup, underwire
is your best friend. I believe —it’s like giving birth somehow increases
their attachment to undergarments) of my friends to enlist their help in ensuring
that their loved ones have adequate support.
The Bra Fitting Tips & Rules
Our bodies change for all sorts of reasons over the course of our lives (age, weight variations, pregnancy, and use of the contraceptive pill). So, if you want to look and feel as good as you deserve to, follow these rules.
Do . . .
- Get measured for a bra at least twice per year by a professional bra fitter
- Wash your bras in lukewarm water, using a gentle soap like baby detergent, Ivory Snow, or even baby shampoo
- Never, ever, ever place your bras in the dryer
- If you’ve got love handles, always buy briefs (not bikinis) with light stomach support
- For health reasons, make sure your underwear has a cotton crotch
- Wait at least 1 week after your period before trying and purchasing new bras
- Always try on bras before purchasing them—you will not wear the same-sized bra in every bra
- Wash unpacked panties before wearing them (people DO try on the undergarments before purchasing)
- Rotate your bras every day to extend the life of the bra
- Focus on fit rather than fashion when looking for everyday bras
Don’t . . .
- White pants with bright-colored panties (you know better!)
- Too-tight panties (horror humps)
- Too-tight bra (boob spillage/back bulk)
- Visible panty-line (I see London, I see France…)
- Thongs peeking from the top of jeans (even Britney stopped doing it!)
- Showing more rolls (of flesh) than a Thanksgiving dinner (try a body-shaper)
- Form-fitting top with heavily detailed bra (you can see bra imprint through top)
- Slip longer than dress or skirt (“the Chicken Little,” a.k.a. the slip is falling! The slip is falling!)
- Tube top with no bra (and you need one)