how to buy lingerie | spring retrospective

can you believe we’re nearing the end of April?  given everything that’s happened over the past few months, it’s still surprising to me that we’re heading into May.  today, we’re gonna try two things at once:  we’re going to talk how to buy lingerie while intermixing a little spring retrospective from the past two months. over the years, i’ve talked lingerie here on the blog, because if we’re not wearing the right undergarments, even the most spectacular outfit can go awry. it’s somewhat akin to building a house – the foundation is laid first. this is the most important step, which is why we’re about to dive in and tackle a brief overview of lingerie.  so enjoy the last remaining sights of spring, and at the end of the post, i’ve put together my top picks for lingerie.  

 

bra fitting

under normal circumstances, i suggest a twice-yearly bra-fit session. all reputable department stores have trained 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. take heart, this is when wearing the proper lingerie will help! 

but that’s not really doable right now for obvious reasons. so, if you’re looking for alternative means to find your fit while staying at home, check out Third Love’s online fitting guide.  it’s great and will serve as a safe alternative until trusted retailers like Nordstrom are open again. 

similar jacket | similar sweaterlow wedges | similar bag | similar jeans 

choosing a brand

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 on 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, you can fasten it on the next hook for a tighter fit. Simone Perele and Wacoal are my top picks for bras with Chantelle pulling up the rear. recently i discovered Third Love, and i’m quite impressed. their bras are incredibly comfortable with tagless bands and no-slip straps. the Third Love website offers loads of information about fit issues & solutions or lingerie care. yes, we should hand wash our bras or at the very least run them through the delicate cycle securely fastened inside a lingerie bag.

poncho | gingham crop pant | blouse | silk scarf | heel sandals 

how often to buy

i shop for new bras every three months. why? because bras are one of the hardest-working items in your closet. we need lift and support every single day – yes, even A cups. as such bras have a shorter lifespan. at all times i keep three styles of bras in the rotation and two colors. 

how to host a virtual dinner party

c/o gingham pants | top (old, similar here and here)

how to host a virtual dinner party

styles

here are the three styles of bras i have on hand. first is a push-up or plunge bra that is perfect underneath special occasion or evening wear. this is the bra that gives a nice lift and adds a bit of cleavage. and many times we need a strapless bra too. Wacoal halo convertible bra gets rave reviews. 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. it keeps you in place and your buttons fastened without tugging! a racerback bra is perfect for summer halter tops. last but not least is the t-shirt bra that gives smooth coverage with its molded cups and fits beautifully underneath my beloved tees and sweaters.

FWO | Lemon Rosemary Chicken

t-shirt | sweater | shoes | jeans

colors

as for bra colors, i keep a nude or skin tone bra at my beck and call. it goes underneath a sheer blouse with ease. next, i add a black bra. once these basic colors are tucked inside your lingerie drawer, then it’s up to your individual aesthetics as to what additional colors find their way into your line-up.

global runway fashion presentation

denim | gingham shirt | pink sweatshirt | shoes (old, similar here and here) utility jacket (old, similar herehere, and here) | belt | similar tote

panties

next, let’s talk about panties, 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. i always feel like a million bucks when i wear a matching set. 

 

similar blazersimilar pantssimilar sweatershoes | similar bagsimilar earrings  

shapewear

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. personally, i prefer to wear smoothing shorts underneath dresses. this shapewear is lightweight but gives a smooth silhouette. but when it comes to shapewear, it’s pretty much 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. i also have white and black camisoles tucked in my drawer and lace camisole. don’t forget a cami looks great all by itself underneath a cashmere cardigan or v-neck sweater.

stars and stripes

beth from Style at a Certain Age wears a cashmere cardigan from Marks & Spencer

 
 
 

all right ladies, are you ready to find your perfect bra? you won’t be sorry. once you have the right foundations in place, you’ll look and feel your best every day!

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16 Comments

  1. Mary Margaret wrote:

    Thanks for the great tips! Question: because where I live in coastal Texas, it is hot and humid so much of the year, do you have a recommendation for a bra that won’t feel like a a sweat suit in that heat and humidity? Thanks!

    Posted 3.4.18
    • DriftwoodLover wrote:

      Good question … lots of heat and humidity in the Chicago area too

      Posted 3.5.18
    • i am not aware of any specific lingerie products tailored for heat and humidity. but a sports bra is definitely constructed to keep you in place and wick the sweat away.
      xo

      Posted 3.8.18
  2. Beth Herina wrote:

    Great Info!!

    Posted 3.4.18
    • glad you enjoyed the post! a great outfit starts with fabulous lingerie.
      xo

      Posted 3.8.18
  3. Sheri wrote:

    Very timely information!! I was just thinking about how I could do some measuring at home, to get a good fit for ordering online! Thank you! I was also wondering if you’ve had any experience with Soma bras or other products? I’ve been wanting to try them and wondered how they work…I’ve heard their pj’s for keeping cool work great, but not sure about the other items.

    Posted 4.26.20
    • Cathy McMann wrote:

      I recently discovered Soma and I like their line of panties called Embraceable very much, they’re very much no visible line and stay in place. (This line does not have the silicon grips.) I haven’t found a bra from Soma that I like yet – either the cups are made of thick foam and too structured or the cups are too far apart.

      Posted 4.26.20
  4. Sonja wrote:

    Hi Beth! Great post and great timing as several stores have temporarily reduced pricing for Wacoal and Chantelle. As a size 34H (yes I said H – H as in hell yeah!!) Lol. Hope I haven’t offended anyone here. Being this size definitely has its challenges especially when I’m a size 8 on the bottom. I would love to have a breast reduction but can’t due to two total hip replacements. So I depend on a minimizer bra to help me out. My go to’s are the Simple Shaping Minimizer by Wacoal and the C Magnifique Full Coverage Underwire by Chantelle. Hope this helps someone with the same fit issues.

    Posted 4.26.20
  5. Madeline se wrote:

    You are so right. Nice lingerie makes us feel great. It is good to be stylish over and under! I am 70 yrs old and still have lingerie not just underwear! 🤗

    Posted 4.26.20
  6. Carroll Niesen wrote:

    I love the blouse you wore in the video. Where did you get it?

    Posted 4.26.20
    • the blouse is by Tory Burch at least five years old.

      Posted 4.27.20
  7. jackie wrote:

    Great Post. On another matter when you do your next optical post would you mind looking at glasses shapes that are flattering on which face shapes

    Posted 4.26.20
  8. Jacki wrote:

    I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older that both underpants and bras create bulges that I never had, even though I am not overweight. They often itch, the tags are annoying, and one bra strap is always falling down. I can’t wait to take my bra off at the end of the day–always feels constrictive. For panties, I like Chantelle soft-stretch no seam microfiber hipsters. For bras I have become a Shapeez bra convert, which you can buy on their website and they give good measuring instructions and customer support. (Small company started/owned by a woman.) I love the unlined Silkee short minimizer. All day comfort and straps do not move. No more back fat, hip bulges or VPLs for me!

    Posted 4.26.20
  9. Lyn wrote:

    As a larger bust sized gal – either a 36D or a 38C – I have been wearing Wacoal for a long time. I plan on exploring the other options you suggested. I did have breast reduction done in my late thirties – I was a small girl and after a pregnancy – well – I didn’t take care of myself the way I should have – binding my chest or wearing a real supportive bra, instead going for comfort and I paid the price! After the reduction I was a 34B – worth every second of the surgery and recovery. Now at age 70, gravity and a 15 lb. weight gain over the years have done a bit of a number so I always make sure to wear a very supportive bra. I worked with a young lady a number of years ago that complained about the size of her chest. I thought about it for a while, but then decided to gently tell her about my experience – normally I am a very private person – and told her instead of going to Wal-mart to buy her bras she should invest in just one great bra to start with and she how she felt about herself. She did – and it did show. That being said, she later went on to have breast reduction as well. I love to look good, but my favorite outfit is a tee, jeans and flip flops while sitting on my patio with a coffee or a glass of wine. As casual as the look is – I always have great undies on and a killer pedicure!! Thanks, Beth.

    Posted 4.27.20
  10. Carroll Niesen wrote:

    Thank you. I’m glad you keep your clothes for a while! Some things will always look great.

    Posted 4.27.20
  11. Andi Anderson wrote:

    love this site enjoying big time

    Posted 5.3.20

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