Love or loathe it, it can be pleasurable or just plain awful – and is greatly impacted by your knowledge and where you go!
What could be better than treating yourself to a new set of underwear that fits you perfectly and leaves you feeling good about your shape? Sadly, it doesn’t always pan out that way. Poor service, cramped fitting rooms, poorly conceived lighting, long queues…
Here are some dos and don’ts to help you sidestep the pitfalls of lingerie shopping to ensure it can be an enjoyable experience!
Ask for assistance – an expert lingerie stylist is like your best friend and can assist you in creating a flattering silhouette. The best lingerie experts I have worked with ask “what are you looking for” – every day, smooth cup, lace, padded, underwire, sports, etc – the choices are infinite.
Make sure you say what you are after and if you have a budget in mind – this is the time to say so. There is nothing worse than falling in love with something that is outside your price range!
Now, let the lingerie expert show you styles that fulfil your criteria and be willing to try on something new. These women (if you have the right person) should know about how to ‘fit’ your shape and they should know their stock – trust them and let them serve you.
Now try on a few bras – lean forward, place the bra cups over your breasts and stand up then do the back strap up and adjust your breasts into the cups – this is the time to check your strap length and make sure that the support strap under you bust and around your rib cage is firm.
I often find when I first buy a bra, the support strap under my bust feels a bit snug, however this will give within a few weeks and be comfortable.
Note: your bust should be supported from underneath not just from the shoulder straps.
When I have found something that fits well I often slip my t-shirt/shirt back on and check my silhouette from the side or front and ask myself “does my bust look the way I want it to? Is it too pointed, rounded, do I have enough cleavage or too much cleavage?” etc.
Like clothes – don’t be fussed about the size on the tag. When I change brands or cup shape I often change sizes – you must buy a bra that supports you & leaves you feeling good about your shape.
How to check the fit: With the new bra on lean forward, shake your breasts, straighten up and check in the fitting room mirror to see whether your bra is still fitting perfectly and do you like how you look and feel – if so you probably have a winner!
Note: We do not want to see fleshy bulges out over the cup or creases and folds in the fabric of the cup, this means that the bra is not holding you properly. Is the gore between the cups nice and snug against your ribs and have the back wings or straps stayed in place or have they ridden up?
DONT’ Go lingerie shopping at the busiest times – after work or Saturday morning. Standing in line waiting for a lingerie expert and a fitting room is not much fun.
DON’T Bring along your partner when you are looking for something just for you. You won’t necessarily be looking for the same thing – something sexy may be perfect for date night, but it will probably wont be something you’ll want to wear day-to-day.
DON’T Compromise! If you find the perfect set but they don’t have your size, order it, choose something else or try another shop. When fitting in the shop you may feel you can live with the next size up or down but when it comes to wearing it for several hours you’ll always feel it doesn’t quite fit perfectly – you deserve a perfect fit!
Department Stores – I have given up being ‘fitted’ at department stores as I find the that the service varies enormously and if I want the items to really fit I need a real expert.
In Melbourne I go to Dickory Dock – 945 Burke Road, Camberwell – who will do strap alteration while you wait.
In London I go to Rigby & Peller – 22A Conduit St, London W1