Undergarments. The most important part of any outfit, yet the most overlooked by many women. I’ve been professionally dressing women since I was 19 years old. I have seen everything. EVERYTHING. When I was the manager of a boutique in Philadelphia, I had to tell someone that if she weren’t going to wear underwear, she wouldn’t be able to try on clothes. I had to say this out load, and she wasn’t particularly thrilled with me.
When I first started Kristel Closets, I had a client who wanted some extra lift. Sounds perfectly normal. Except instead of wearing a push-up bra that fit her, she wore a bra three sizes too small and then pulled the back straps together a CLIPPED them together. Her poor boobs. She said it hurt, but she liked how they looked.
You’ve heard professionals like me talk about the importance of good foundation pieces to create a slim and smooth look. But what does that look like for busy women, who’s budgets aren’t endless, and needs are varied. Today, I’m breaking it down.
First, get fitted. If you have never had a bra fitting before, make an appointment immediately. I guarantee you are wearing the wrong size. Better department stores like Nordstrom or Bloomingdales have a team of women trained to measure you properly and know how to translate your size to the right brand. If you have a local lingerie store, go there. Support local small business and take advantage of their expertise. They will also be able to help you if you need special sizing.
Get fitted every six months or so. If you’ve gained or lost weight or had a baby or two, get fitted. Our bodies change all the time, yet some women I know are wearing the same bra size as they did in high school. Also, keep in mind that bra brands, just like other brands will vary in sizes. Try on and work with the staff, so you get the best, most comfortable fit possible.
Because undergarments are expensive, I stick to neutral, basic colors and styles. I only buy beige or black, never white. Have you ever worn a white bra under a black top and had your photo taken? Then you know white shows under everything. It also doesn’t wear as well. White turns yellow and looks dingy fast. Lucky many brands are recognizing that neutral is different for all of us and are doing a better job matching all skin tones.
Proper care of undergarments is the key to making them last a long time. Every expert I have ever talk to says never to wash your bra in Woolite. It destroys the fabric and elasticity almost instantly. Instead, mild detergent or lingerie wash is the way to go.
So what do we really need?
Tee Shirt : A tee shirt bra is a go-to, standard everyday bra that won’t show under your lightest weight tops.
Cami’s: For sheer tops or when you just need something between you and your shirt a seamless cami is a must have.
Seamless Underwear: Whether you want full cover or prefer a thong, something seamless is the only way to go.
Body Shapers: ” Well, these thighs haven’t gone out of the house without lycra on them since I was 14. “ Truvy, Steel Magnolias.