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Bra Care: How Often, and How, To Wash Your Bras

bra careBra care can be so confusing. How often do you wash your bras — and how do you care for them? Which bras are best for under work clothes? Reader C wonders:

Could you please do a post on best bras for under work clothes, and also on how often one ought to be replacing bras? I have switched to (what I thought, at least) were high quality bras from Natori (size 32D), which I really like and also take moderately good care of (handwashing only; hang to dry; washing every 1-2 wears; rotating every day among 7-10 total bras). But they still only last about 1 year. Is this the normal lifespan? Or is there something I’m doing wrong in my purchasing and/or care? Many thanks!

We haven’t talked about this in a few years (here: a few of my favorite t-shirt bras, a poll on readers’ favorite lingerie brands), and we’ve never talked directly about how to wash your bras — so let’s discuss. (Pictured: Stripes’ bathtime, originally uploaded to Flickr by Sarah Joy.)

[Read more…]

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Slips, Camisoles, and More: What Are Your Go-To Pieces?

what-to-wear-beneath-wrap-dressesWhat do you wear under wrap dresses? Are there camisole-slips? Reader V has an interesting question about what to wear beneath clothes that I think leads us to a great larger question: what are your favorite brands and pieces in slips, camisoles, support garments, pantyhose, and more?

I have a question re slips. I understand that people wear them (even the non-control ones) to even out the lumpy-squishies, make things less sheer, improve drape, etc. But for an unlined v-neck or wrap dress, where one might want help with smoothing out lumps and VPL and sheerness, what if you also want to raise the neckline. Are there camisole-type slips that are designed to be seen (so maybe in white or black, depending on the color of dress; not nude-for-you)? I’m not sure what to do for something like a DVF wrap dress — I want to wear a slip, but don’t want to slip up. Thoughts? Suggestions? Thank you!

This is a great question. We’ve talked about how to keep wrap dresses closed, but not what to wear beneath them. While reading her answer I found myself going through the things that I would wear beneath a wrap dress:

  • Spanx Higher Power (either shaper or tights, because I wear them with every dress)
  •  camisole (here’s our last roundup of great camisoles — based on reader suggestions I might upgrade my collection to a half-camisole, such as this one)
  • half-slip on the bottom (similar to this)

Now that’s a lot of undergarments. [Read more…]

Unmentionables: What are you wearing beneath your suit?

best everyday lingerieToday, reader J has an interesting question that kind of reminds us of David Lat’s first blog, Underneath Their Robes

I’d love to hear what the gals are wearing under all these fabulous dresses and suits. I love my Spanx hide & sleek full slip for wearing under dresses to keep them from clinging, and have noticed my clothes fit better after I recently went in for a bra fitting and bought some new ones. I’d love to hear about new brands or other tips for pulling the outfit together from underneath it all.

Spanx came up on our Twitter chat this morning, and it strikes us as a great question, and one we’ll throw to the readers.  So, readers:  What bra do you have in multiples, it’s so comfortable? What brands of shapewear do you like?  Thong, boyshort, or other?  Let’s talk brands, type, and more! (Tip:  if you’re talking bra, please post your bra size — there can be a big difference in comfort to someone who’s 30G and someone who’s 36A.)

* As I’m no longer anonymous, I think we have come to the border of TMI — but I’ll chime in in comments.  Also, <cough>, here are some links for you, for no particular reasonSmoothing Molded T-Shirt Bra, pictured above, available at Freshpair for $60; Hide and Sleek Hi-Rise Smoother, $68 at Freshpair, On Gossamer’s Mesh Hip-G, available for $16 (2 for $30) at Freshpair, and Hip Fit™ Cotton Boyshort, available at Maidenform for $8.

Reader Mail – How to Dress if You’re Busty and on a Budget

how-to-dress-professionally-if-youre-bustyWe’re catching up on reader mail this week…

I am a first year in law school, consequently I am broke. In reading your advice about dressing professionally for busty ladies, I met the same problem I always do. I am aware Neiman’s and Nordstrom’s have the better underwear departments, in terms of selection and fittings; but I still can’t afford it. Are there any suggestions for a wide selection in a more affordable price range? Again thanks for all your great advice!

First, go to Neiman’s and Nordstrom’s or specialty shops to get fitted anyway, even if you can’t afford to fill your entire lingerie drawer there. You may feel required to buy one bra to compensate the woman for her time, but it shouldn’t run more than $50-$75 (TOPS), and you shouldn’t feel obligated to buy more than one. The reason for this is that they have a broader selection than the cheaper stores — for example, it’s next to impossible to find anything below a band size 34 in Victoria Secret’s or Macy’s, or a cup size higher than a DD, and that may be where you fall. [Read more…]

Ten Things About… Dressing Professionally if You’re Busty

2017 Update: We’ve updated links below, but you can also check out our latest workwear style tips for busty women

What are your best tips for dressing professionally if you’re busty, ladies?

A lot of times for our TPS reports, people will note that they couldn’t get away with that, as they’re too well-endowed to wear a certain dress.  It’s one of the sad facts of clothes that most “professional” outfits seem to be intended for women shaped more like Jackie rather than Marilyn (or Betty rather than Joan, in today’s parlance).  But well-endowed women have to dress professionally also!  Below, some tips… Please chime in and let us know if you have any others.

1. Know your bra size. If the girls are multiplying throughout the day (and your bra is giving you the dreaded quadra-boob effect) then your cup size is too small.  Alternatively, if your straps are digging into your shoulders, your band size is probably too big.  Take our advice — go and get fitted at a reputable place like Nordstrom’s.  (The absolute best place to get fitted, in our experience?  Department stores in London —  they have the best range of sizes and the most knowledgeable fitters.)  You may find that you’re a 30F instead of a 34D. [Read more…]

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