In which I find the perfect strapless bra
I'm sure you're all with me here Ladies! This is no small feat, by any means...
If you read my previous post, "In which I have a fight with my boobs", you may well be forgiven for thinking that I have a bit of an obsession with my cleavage. I don't. It's really not that impressive, but I do think that wearing the right bra for all occasions is an absolute essential. It can transform an outfit from lumpy and frumpy, into fabulous and streamlined; being comfortable and well supported is of paramount importance; and, if you get knocked down by a bus, you at least need to feel that you won't weep with embarrassment for months afterwards, when replaying the paramedics cutting your clothes off and recoiling in horror at the sight of your 10 year old grey and bobbly bra!
Equally, this doesn't mean that I'm wearing the lingerie expected in a French boudoir at all times, but I at least like to make sure it's newish and fit for purpose. There's absolutely no point bothering with a bra if your breasts are grazing your navel, or you're spilling out the top and sides of the cups. The same can be said if the under band digs into your back, causing it to cascade out in rolls.
I can still remember going to John Lewis for my first bra fitting. I must have been about 12 years old and I recall it was a huge cause of apprehension. As it turned out, it really wasn't that bad. A lady in her sixties appeared, wearing a spectacular shade of fuchsia lipstick, tape measure dangling around her neck, intertwining itself with the cord of her glasses. She instructed me to go into the changing room and remove my t-shirt and jumper, leaving my crop top on. She then measured me under the bust and across it, and the experience was over, as simple as that. I was sent off to browse their very small selection. I don't remember there being a huge amount of choice really: white with lace, or white with no lace! I believe that was the sum total of the range. Although, as my own Daughter reaches the age of requiring her first crop top, I'm wishing those were the only choices she will be faced with. Electric pink with net overlay, or lime green with graffiti and hashtags anyone?
Anyway, about eighteen months ago, I was a Bridesmaid at a friend's wedding and my dress; a beautiful floor length, blush pink, chiffon number, with delicate spaghetti straps, required a strapless bra to give the baps a bit of a lift. I dutifully ordered the entire selection from the Next website, in a choice of three sizes and varying price ranges and proceeded to try them on for about three hours. There are many pitfalls that one might face when selecting a strapless bra: sometimes it will keep slipping down and you have to hoick it up as subtly as you can, sometimes it's so tight around your ribcage, that you can't enjoy a full intake of breath. If you're really unlucky, your backfat will splay out from below and above the band, creating a triple stacked tyre effect. Some bright spark had the great idea of trying to hold the bra up with tight elastic at the top of the cup! In my experience, this elastic is absolutely not fit for purpose, and only results in each breast being spliced into two parts, so you end up with a quad of puppies, fighting for position under your dress.
To my absolute amazement and relief, I settled on one of the least expensive bras, that did the job wonderfully. The underside of the band has rubber pads that stick it firmly in place to the skin on top of your ribcage, which blessedly means it doesn't go anywhere. No lifting and jiggling required. Each bazooka is separated, so that you don't end up with the dreaded mono-boob effect. The cups are big enough to fit an entire breast in to each, without any overspill and finally, you can sit down, bend forwards and leap in the air to catch a bouquet, elbowing a few unsuspecting cousins in the process, without any kind of embarrassing and unintentional evacuation of the mammaries.
Here I am modelling a new eBay purchase. A lovely striped dress, perfect for all the hot weather we have been experiencing recently! I put it on with a black t-shirt bra. It looked horrendous. The wide straps completely ruined the delicacy of the thin strapped dress. I tried it on with no bra - absolutely unacceptable! One step away from indecent exposure. "A ha" I thought to myself triumphantly, as I remembered the strapless bra at the bottom of my underwear drawer. I put it on - perfect! In fact, it's so good, it has inspired me to purchase more clothing with spaghetti straps or racer backs or halter necks; as I now have the confidence to wear them. Any excuse for more shopping.
The best part of all this? I've just found it reduced by 25% here. It even goes up to a G cup. Ladies, you can thank me later. (Disclaimer: I am in no way receiving any commission for this post. Shame really, as I think I've done an excellent job at selling the bra. I just genuinely believe it's a garment worth sharing. That's all!)
Have you experienced an underwear faux pas? Let me know in the comments section.
If you enjoyed this post, please share it using the link icon and don't forget to subscribe to the website for free to ensure you never miss a new post.