Thursday, June 18, 2009

Let's Get Intimate!

A subject we don’t usually discuss with our friends but one that is important. Here are some tips for wearing and caring for your bra.

So, how often should you wash a bra? As a general rule, you should wash it after every second wearing. Now there are obvious exceptions to this rule. If you just finished running five miles, you really need to wash that sports bra before wearing it again. If you wear a particular bra only every so often, that should probably be washed after each wearing as well. Perfumes, lotions, and perspiration can mark fine fabrics. Body chemistry can cause straps and bands to lose elasticity.

Hand washing is always the best bet but you can throw them in the washer. Make sure the hooks are closed and put them in a mesh lingerie bag. Use warm water and the gentle cycle. Most bras contain a fair amount of elastic, which can deteriorate due to heat. Elastic bras should never be placed in the clothes dryer or left out in direct sunlight to dry.

The most important time to get fitted for a bra is after a significant weight gain or loss. Otherwise get fitted yearly. (To be honest, I have never done this. Anyone else ever gone into a store and gotten professionally fitted? How was that experience?) Here’s a way to do it yourself…

It's best to measure when you are wearing your most comfortable bra - one that has no padding and is not a minimizer.

Step 1:Band Size
Measure under your arms, high on your back, across the top of your chest. If this measurement is an even number, this is your band size. If an odd number, add 1" to determine your band size

Step 2: Cup Size
Measure loosely around the fullest part of your bust. Next, subtract your band measurement from your bust measurement; each inch represents a cup size. For example: if your band measurement is 34" and your bust measurement is 36", the difference between these measurements is two inches, and you'd wear a B-cup.

A great fitting bra shouldn't dig, pull, poke or otherwise cause discomfort. If it does, it's not the right bra (or size) for you. Make sure it feels comfortable when you sit down and move around.

Always try your bras on wearing a t-shirt – it's the best way to see what it's doing for you. A great fitting bra can make you look taller, will define your waist, and even make you look slimmer!

Take a look at the front of the bra. There shouldn't be any breast tissue spillage, puddling, or falling out of the bottom of the cups. If there is, your cup size is too small. Try sizing up for a flattering, more natural looking fit.

Underwires should lie flat at the front of your bra, against your ribcage. If you feel your underwire digging into any breast tissue, you should try a larger cup size or a different style.

If you wear a white or light-colored top, choose a bra that blends with your skin tone. Don’t wear white under white or the lines will show through.

Here are some lingerie sites to check out: and

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