This is a post that has been long, LONG overdue. In fact, it should have been one of my first posts but for one reason or the other, I kept postponing it. So, I am grateful to Divya whose inquisitive texts today, finally pushed me into these forgotten, mysterious realms of the loveliest pieces of clothing - La Lingerie. Now, the world of lingerie is so huge that it is impossible to cover it all in one post. Hence today, I will deal with one that is the most confusing, and that is the brassiere or the bra.
My first attempts at buying a bra were clumsy at best. Where I grew up, discussing or pondering over lingerie, was taboo. All I could lay my hands on were uncomfortably starched cotton bras with straps that dug into my shoulders and made my back ache. As soon as I started donning them, I stopped playing or indulging in any sort of physical activity because those bras, and more importantly, the secrecy and shame associated with them, caused both mental and physical anguish. However, I overcame that shame with age and after numerous trials and errors, I have come a long way. I have also realized during this journey that it is very important for a young girl to get the right advice regarding something as important as bras. This is the garment that unknowingly builds or breaks a girl's confidence in herself. Whether she chooses to wear it or not, whether she wants to wear a certain kind or other, let it all be her choice - an informed choice.
So here I am, sharing whatever knowledge I have gained about bras till date. Check out the types of bras and when to wear which one.
The World of Bras
Padded - Wear it under a snug dress or top for the extra oomph OR/AND if you want to enhance your cup size.
Unlined - Wear it for a comfortable, light fit. You'd feel relaxed in it, especially if you are wearing some loose-fit top or shirt.
Balconet - Wear it to feel like a diva and to give your breasts some extra upwards push.
Front Closure - Wear it when you are tired of the complex exercise involved in the opening/closing of your bra clasp OR just try it for a change. This bra is great fun!
Sports/Gym Bra - A must have in every girl's wardrobe. Make sure to wear it when you go running or indulge in any physical exercise. It helps prevent breast sagging and maintains shape but more importantly it is very comfortable. I wish I had found this bra when I was much younger.
Bralette - Wear it especially when you want to layer. This bra is stylish and casual enough to be worn on its own if need be. So, if it is too hot, you can shed your top or shirt and relax in your bra. Also, a fancy, lace bralette looks extremely stylish under a translucent shirt!
Halter - You need not wear it exclusively with a halter top or dress. This bra rocks even with casual tops or sporty tees.
Strapless/Multiway - My go to bra! This is the best invention in the garment industry. Wear it strapless, halter, one-shoulder, cross-back or regular. Say goodbye to the ugly, transparent plastic straps of the past and say hello to these bras. You can buy one with fancy straps, so you need not have to worry even if the straps show.
Plunge - As the name says, wear it with plunging necklines, with low-cut tops or dresses. Make sure this bra fits you well because an ill-fitting plunge bra will show up from the sides.
T-Shirt - Wear it especially with a snug t-shirt for a smooth, even look. Make sure that the bra has perfect coverage and does not dig into your skin.
Silicon Adhesives - Buy a good quality one and you never have to worry about your strapless bra slipping under your tube dress or your bra hook peeping through your perfect backless dresses.
Bandeau - Wear it when you lounge or rest at home. Make sure that you buy a fitted one so that it is neither too tight nor too slippery.
Wired Vs Unwired - Almost all the styles mentioned above are available in various stores, with or without an underwire. A wired bra gives more support and is a boon for those who seek a more defined shape. An unwired bra is more comfortable for others.
Extra Pointers -
- Give the bra a break and go a day or two every week, without it, at least at home.
- Lay the bras flat in a box or drawer. Don't fold or hang them.
- When making a purchase, make sure that the bra is snug but comfortable on the first hook. It will loosen with time so you will reach the last hook later in time.
- If your bra is loose on the last hook, it is time to throw it away.
- Never, ever wear plastic straps or straps that dig into your shoulders. Those transparent straps don't fool anyone as they are quite visibly there and they make you look uncomfortable.
- If your bra strap or any other part of your bra shows, it is perfectly okay. Don't let people tell you it is immodest or unfashionable. It is a basic piece of clothing and there is no shame in it.
- Last but not the least, if you are buying a very fancy bra, invest in matching panties too. A matching set looks gorgeous!