today, we’re talking all things lingerie. the first step to a beautiful outfit is what lies underneath. which is why we’re about to tackle a brief overview of lingerie. if we aren’t wearing the right undergarments, even the most spectacular outfit can go awry. plunging necklines need a bra made especially for that top or dress. but more importantly, when we wear lovely undies, it helps us feel beautiful and confident. there’s something magical about a lacy bra or panties. and i love to wear a matching set.
first, i suggest a twice-yearly bra-fit session. all reputable department stores from neiman marcus to dillard’s have bra-fit specialists that will equip you with proper measurements – it’s a service they offer at no charge to their customers. why twice a year? because in the space of six months, our bodies may have changed. weight fluctuates, ladies, and as we age our bodies can morph seemingly overnight. like clockwork right after a closet cleanse in january and july i head to the lingerie department for a fitting.
surveys suggest that 80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra. but the right bra can make you look slimmer and more put-together. once you know your correct bra size, then it’s a matter of deciding what brand you like. in my opinion, bras are like jeans – we’re always on the hunt for the perfect one. so don’t be afraid to carve out an afternoon and try every brand known to mankind. once you find the perfect match the hard part is over. remember, the band should be snug when hooked on the first row. then over time as the band stretches, fasten it on the next hook for a tighter fit.
simone perele and wacoal are my top picks for bras with chantelle and third love coming in third and fourth place. i will mention third love has tagless bands and no-slip straps which is a wonderful selling point. the third love website offers loads of information about fit issues & solutions or lingerie care. bras and panties should be washed by hand. at the very least run them through the delicate cycle securely fastened inside a lingerie bag. panties should be washed after each use. bras depend on different factors. how many are in your rotation? if you tend to wear one or two bras every day, then wash them every other week. the laundress is a mild and gentle detergent that’s perfect for hand and machine washing. always hang your lingerie on a laundry rack to dry. dryers are hard on those lacy undergarments and will shorten the lifespan.
every three months i shop for new bras. why? because bras are one of the hardest working items in your closet. we need lift and support every single day – even A cups. as such bras have a shorter lifespan and must be replaced on an ongoing basis. several styles of bras are in my lingerie drawer and two colors at all times.
first is a push-up or plunge bra that is perfect underneath special occasion or evening wear. this bra gives a nice lift and adds cleavage. next on my list is a minimizer. many of you may not need this type, but if you are a C cup or larger this is the bra to reach for if you wear button-up shirts. a good minimizer helps keep your buttons fastened without tugging! a t-shirt bra gives smooth coverage with its molded cups and fits beautifully underneath my beloved tees and sweaters. last but not least is a strapless bra. my favorite is wacoal red carpet strapless bra.
a nude or skin tone bra is always at my beck and call. it goes underneath a sheer blouse with ease. next, comes a black bra. once these basic colors are tucked inside your lingerie drawer, then it’s up to your aesthetics as to the additional colors that find their way into your line-up.
let’s talk about panties. the rule of thumb is three panties to one bra. i have bikinis on hand, cheekies, and boyshorts. my favorite brands are hanky panky and natori. don’t forget to look for panties that give a ‘no visible panty line’ underneath snug fitting pencil skirts or pants. my favorite nvpl brand is jockey. also, i have several sets of matching bras and panties in my lingerie drawer. as i said earlier, i always feel like a million bucks when i wear a matching set.
once you’ve tackled the basics, shapewear is a nice addition to your lingerie drawer. a slim-fit one-piece bodysuit is a dream to wear underneath a curve-hugging dress. or try a slim-fit slip or camisole. wacoal smoothing shorts are perfect to wear underneath dresses. this shapewear is lightweight but gives a smooth silhouette. when it comes to shapewear, it’s up to your personal preferences as to what area you would like smoothed and controlled. believe me, if you need an area of your body sucked in there is shapewear made just for you.
a nude camisole with slim straps is a must-have to wear under sheer blouses. but don’t forget to add a nude tank camisole with wider straps. i also have white and black camisoles tucked in my drawer along with lace. don’t forget a cami looks great tucked underneath a cashmere cardigan or v-neck sweater.
tights and stockings are important to have on hand. textured or patterned tights give a basic outfit some oomph. and pantyhose are perfect for special occasions. wolford and commando are favorites of mine.
treating yourself to brand new lingerie is a great way to kick off the new year. happy sunday, ladies! happy shopping.
is the Founder and CEO of Style at a Certain Age. She writes Sundays-Fridays on all topics ranging from fashion, health, wellness, home design and more.
She’s 63, 5’8, and size 8.
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