Ugh. Bras. We can't live without 'em, but to say finding one that fits well, lifts and separates the way it's supposed to, and makes us look amazing in our clothes seems like an impossible feat, to say the least.
But as it turns out, a lot of us are making bra shopping way more difficult than it has to be. (Everything is our fault. Face it.)
Last week, I had the pleasure of chatting with Jené Luciani, style expert and author of The Bra Book -- and she gave me some easy tips for how to find the perfect bras -- and how to care for them properly so we remain happy with them.
OMG, you guys -- so many of us are making major bra mistakes. (I definitely am.)
- Look in the mirror -- If your bra is not laying straight across your back, if your boobs are spilling out of the top, or if the straps are cutting into you and the band is giving you bra-line-bulge -- you're wearing the wrong size bra. (Guilty as charged.)
- Get professionally fitted -- This means going to a specialty or department store that has certified bra fitters, not your local lingerie joint where some 18-year-old lets you into the dressing room and tries to sell you her most expensive bra. And it's important that whoever measures you actually busts out the measuring tape instead of trying to guess your size by looking at you.
- Be open minded -- What you think your bra size is and what your bra size actually is are probably two different things. And don't be surprised if your band size is smaller than you think and your cup size is larger. Don't laugh or cringe when you find out your real size after being professionally measured. Just go with it.
- Stick to your band size -- Alright, confession time. I measure at a 34, but always buy a 36 because the 34 feels so tight. But bras are supposed to feel snug at first. They'll stretch out after an hour or so, at which point they'll fit correctly. If you buy a size up, when it stretches out, it winds up being too big. (No wonder I'm always tugging on mine.)
- Stock up -- Jené recommends that every woman have the following in her lingerie drawer: 2 nude bras; 2 black bras; one strapless or convertible style; and 1 seamless, wireless bra for comfort. (Yes, you need more than one or two, ladies.) FYI, The Genie Bra is a great option as far as seamless bras go. It looks flawless under your clothes, and it's so comfortable, you might not even realize you have it on!
- Re-measure and Replace -- Jené also says it's a good rule of thumb to get measured and replace your bras about once a year. And if you experience pregnancy, weight loss or gain, or another life change, it's probably a good idea to get measured again.
- Wash often -- Ok, so I really suck at this one. Did you know you're supposed to wash your bras in between every single use? I didn't. I wear those babies over and over again. (Gross?) The oil from our skin breaks down the elasticity of the fabric if we don't wash them every time, which means they won't last as long, which means we have to go out and spend more money on new ones a lot sooner. (Fail.)
More from The Stir: Britney Spears' Major Bra 'Malfunction' Could Have Been Avoided
Are you making any of these bra mistakes?
Image via The Lingerie Addict/Flickr & Betsey Johnson