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Tricks & Tips

 

By Leslie, AKA Missus Smarty Pants

 

 

It is time to adjust to an upright position and get ready! No, I’m not talking about your tray table on an airline. I’m talking about your bust!

 

Get the inside story here! You really can improve your appearance by realigning your bust line. Does your bust sit lower than it once did? Have the “girls” gone a bit South on you? Tired of slipping straps or neck and back pain?

 

It is true that we naturally lose firmness as we get older, but we can do something about it!

 

Follow the tips below and take an honest assessment of what your bust looks like in your clothes.

 

Here’s the way MissusSmartyPants wants you to start thinking: Dress from the inside out! What you wear under your clothes has a huge effect on the way you look in your clothes. Just by wearing the correct-fitting bra can help you go from frumpy to sexy and appear slimmer and younger! Don’t think this is true? Then read on.

 

The fact is most women are wearing the wrong size! Chances are YOU are one of them! It is estimated that as many as 8 in 10 women are walking around every day in a bra that does not fit right! Women are wearing bras that hike up the back, are droopy and lack the proper support. This can allow the breast tissue to sag over time.

 

Here’s another fact -- wearing the right bra can actually make you look 10 pounds trimmer! It will lift your breasts and put them where they belong, helping to define your torso and waist and improve your posture!

 

The correct position for your bust falls mid-way between you shoulders and elbows, so check yourself in a mirror. Do you measure up? Finding the right bra size will certainly add some sex appeal to your look when you have a perkier look!

 

Each and every one of us is unique, and we must find what works for our shape. The bra style and size that fits you may not necessarily work for me. It is highly recommended that you get measured for a bra once a year. Your body changes throughout your lifetime, so the bra you wore when you were a teenager will no longer fit you correctly later in life.

 

Your body goes through changes sch as pregnancy, weight gain or weight loss, as well as aging. That means your breast tissue changes along with your body.

Did you know the average weight of a “D” cup breast weight is 8 pounds! Wow! Now you can see the need for some serious support!

 

MissusSmartyPants went to a well-known department store to be professionally fit for a bra. It’s nothing to get embarrassed about, they are trained sales ladies, and know how get you the correct fit. They are very knowledgeable and helpful.

 

I was grateful and relived to know that my Victoria’s Secret bra was the right size!

 

You can measure yourself, but for less chance of error have a trained salesperson do it for you. Make sure you have plenty of time to spend, because to find the right bra fit and style you will need several hours. Also, shopping mid-week when stores are least busy will give you the opportunity for the best service.

 

Take a look at your bust line in a 3-way mirror to see how to solve your bra issues. Take a good look in the rear-view and see what everyone else sees. Got back fat? Follow the tips below to help you solve that problem. Yup, people DO see you from every angle, so you might as well do the same!

 

Here’s how to get the “girls” in an upright position by finding the solutions to common bras fitting problems:

Spilling out of the top.
If your cup runneth over, the cup you are wearing is probably too shallow. Try going up a cup size. This can especially be a problem if you choose demi-cup or push-up bras, these have a smaller cup and you need to go up a size in these styles.

 

Click!

 

Falling down.
Most likely your bra straps are probably worn. Try tightening your straps. It may also be the bra style is not right for you. Try another style. Also, the bra cups may be too big and you are not filling out the top of the cup, which would allow the straps to fall. If you wear a push-up bra, the wide-set straps have a tendency to slip. Some women have sloping or smaller shoulders; again bras will have a tendency to slip. If this is the case, try a racer-back or convertible style bra.

 

Digging in.
If you have straps that dig in to the tops of your shoulders, either your straps are too tight, or they are not wide enough. Look for bras with enough support and wider straps. Also, be sure you have a tight-enough band size, because the right-size band will help take off some of the pressure from the shoulders.

 

Your bra doesn’t lay flat.
If you find that your bra rises up in the front and does not lay flat on your breastbone, go up a size.

 

Not quite even.
This is a frequent occurrence. Purchase a bra to fit the larger breast. Padded cups are best at covering an imbalance. Also, make sure that you adjust the strap down a bit for the larger breast. If you have a cup size difference or more, wearing a “chicken cutlet” or “cookie” (this is a nylon pad or a silicone insert) in the smaller breast will help even out your appearance.

 

Riding up.
Soooo many women have this problem! If you find the back of your bra riding up, you need to tighten up the band or go down a band size. A new bra will fit tighter, but will loosen with wash and wear. Always purchase a bra that fits well on the loosest setting, this way in time you can tighten the band, if needed. The band should be even and parallel to the floor and fit below the shoulder blades.

 

Fit check list for bras

1. For a really smooth look, consider a bra in a soft micro-fiber and one that is seamless. Think about it, the lace one is not practical under a lot of clothes -- it just looks bumpy.

 

2. If you experience neck and shoulder pain, your bra is not supportive enough. First, take the time and get professionally fitted. You need a full-coverage bra with thick straps and more support.

 

3. If you want more bust fullness, look for a push-up bra. These have angled demi-cups and often come with “cookies” (these are thin pads that can be removed or added to adjust fullness).

 

4. If you are more voluptuous and want to minimize. Look for a minimizer bra. It can take your size down by a whole cup!

 

5. Make sure the back sits snug and low (below your shoulder blades). This offers the best support and gives you the best look. Remember, the band should be level to the floor, all the way around.

 

6. Consider an underwire bra. So many new styles on the market are really quite comfortable. They give a really nice look, and offer more support than a regular bra.

7. After all is said and done, realize that just like clothes, different manufacturers cut their bras different from other companies. You may need to go up a cup size or down a band size to find the best fit. Don’t get hung up on the size!

 

 

How to Measure for the Best Fit

There are several theories of how to measure and get your correct bra size. Measuring for your bra size is not an exact science. Measuring will give you a guideline for your size, and then go and try on several styles to find the best for your body shape and size.

 

Let’s get started: Get a cloth tape measure and a paper and pencil. Stand in front of a mirror in your bra. You will need to measure certain areas of your upper torso to find your correct bra size.

 

First, take the tape measure and slide it under your arms. Bring the tape measure high on your back and level around to the armpits and to the front of your chest (This will be above your bust). Check the measurement. If it is even, this is your bra size. If it is odd, then add one inch -- this is your bra size. Write this number down.

 

Next, take the tape measure and measure loosely around the fullest part of your bust. Write that number down.

Now, you need to take the first number (band size number) and subtract it from the second number (the full bust number). This number will be your cup size.

 

Here’s how it works:

1 inch difference -- A cup
2 inches -- B cup
3 inches -- C cup
4 inches -- D cup
5 inches -- D(D cup
6 inches -- DDD cup
7 inches -- DDDD cup
8 inches -- FF cup
9 inches -- G cup

 

While we are dressing from the inside out, let’s improve our bottom line! Nothing says sexy like a firm “bootylicious” rear end!

 

Panties vs. Power Panties

Panties and the type you wear are a matter of personal preference. However, it is very important that you avoid dreaded VPL (visible panty line)! Having visible panty line can draw attention to your bottom and ruin your look with bulges and lines. With the fabulous micro-fabrics and barely there elastic trim, there’s no reason to have a bad case of VPL!

 

So choose the best panties and power panties available and improve your bottom line!

 

Oh, and one other tidbit of information: if you are wearing white shorts or pants, make sure your underwear choice is a nude color and close to your natural coloring. This will help you avoid the see-through look!

 

Love ‘em or hate ‘em

Either way, they are here to stay! Thongs! They can save you from VPL, especially when you are wearing a skirt in a slinky type of fabric. Sometimes they are the best option. Yes, they take some getting use. For more comfort, try buying thongs in a size larger and ones with a larger back part. By the way, retail statistics show they are one of the most popular panty style sold!

 

Other panties

The classic brief is going nowhere any time soon. Choices include hi-cut briefs, regular briefs and tummy-control briefs. Other choices are bikini, tap pants and g-strings. Pick you favorite styles that will give you the smoothest look and be sure to avoid VPL!

 

Power Panties

We are so lucky to live in this day and age when it comes to the power panty! This is not your Mama’s girdle of yesteryear! No! These fabulous power panties are made out of sheer ‘power’ fabric! I think the planets have aligned to allow comfort and support to go hand in hand! They are like a bike short and very comfortable and should be worn on days that you would like a smoother look. Spanx is the most popular brand out there, especially since Oprah and MissusSmartyPants wear them!

 

Missus Smarty Pants was born with a copy of Vogue in one hand and a color chart in the other. Her life mission is to help women dress their best.

 

With thanks to Tescoediets.co.uk

 

Please e-mail comments to comments@thenewblackmagazine.com

 

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