Your nude bra is probably at the very top of your lingerie drawer: it’s every woman’s trusty go-to under any type (or hue) of top—you know it will seamlessly disappear and create a flawless silhouette. But we bet your nude bra isn’t your prettiest—and that somewhere toward the back of that drawer there’s a stash of lovely unmentionables that are rarely worn because your skin-toned favorite is on such constant rotation. Ready to add a little color to your life and give your boring bra a break? Here’s a secret: You can wear a red bra under a white shirt (and no one will be able to tell).

Although it seems like this defies the laws of color theory, that’s exactly what makes this work. “We all have some element of red or pink in our skin, so once you layer white over it, the red blends in with your skin’s natural undertones,” explains Candace Etafo, a stylist for lingerie company Rigby & Peller. There is a tiny caveat, however. “I like to compare it to red lipstick,” says Etafo. “There is a perfect shade for everyone, so you might have to try a few different hues to find the perfect red for you.” Meaning some lucky ladies will be able to pull off a bright scarlet bra under a white tee, but darker skin tones will have better luck with a deeper shade, like burgundy. Others may want to consider reds with tons of pink or even orange.

Test the trick for yourself by donning a white T-shirt the next time you’re buying a new bra, and trying a few different hues of red until you find the one that works for you.

Sources – Softy Bra


Soma Vanishing Back Full Coverage Bra

There are bras that look smooth beneath your clothing, and then there are bras that make you look smooth beneath your clothing. A wide, raw cut back makes this option the second kind, eliminating bulging or spillover all the way around. Available in eight colors.

Chantelle Vous & Moi Strapless Bra

Attention, silicon-allergy sufferers (and also all those who find the stuff unbearably uncomfortable): This strapless style features a wide, ridged band that stays up without the need for any sticky lining. Also available in black.

Yummie Peyton Strapless Convertible Bra

This pullover bandeau has no seams or closures, which translates to no VBL (visible bra lines). It also features molded cups, which provide shaping and support with no underwire to pinch or dig. Available in four colors.

penny_neon_nova_padded_wired_smooth_fit_t_shirt_bra_1.jpg_4Natori Feathers Full Figure Bra

Gone are the days when having a larger bust meant limiting your lingerie to matronly bras in white or neutrals. Natori’s beautiful bra was engineered for comfort and support—and delicate laciness. (A favorite detail? Sheer stretch mesh that offers full coverage without looking bulky.) Available in three colors, up to a size 36H.

Third Love 24/7 Lace T-shirt Bra

There are lots to love about this bra—not only does Third Love have a smart and simple app that can accurately calculate your size using just the camera on your phone, but their bras also come in half-cup sizes to ensure a perfect fit. Lace sides make this one of the prettiest T-shirt bras out there, while smooth cups still look completely seamless beneath clothes. Also available in black.

Chantelle Merci Lightweight Nursing Bra

From the easy, one-handed clip to the softly supportive flex underwire to the demure lace trim, it’s easy to see why this pick is go-to for new moms. Also available in black.

Cosabella Never Say Never Padded Bralette

Slightly padded, this bralette is the optimum pick for those who love the pretty look of lace but feel like unlined, sheer lace leaves too little to the imagination. Bonus: The light layer of padding also provides a shapely, rounded silhouette. Available in 22 colors.

Passionate Dream Passio Soft Bra

Think fuller busts can’t wear bralettes? Think again. The thick band on the bottom of this one gives enough support for larger chests (even up to cup size F!).

Cosabella Ceylon Criss Cross Lace Bralette

Don’t keep these underpinnings under wraps. With delicate straps and beautiful details, this bralette was meant to be seen—think of the straps as a layer or an accessory, and let them peek out from under a tee or a tank. Also available in black.

bd0564c6af23d0242efc886f04a10237Soma Sports Max Support Wireless Sport Bra

This ingenious sports bra, sized like a regular bra for the best possible fit, provides lift and separation (key for workouts, because, well, sweat) without the use of a wire. Adjustable straps and a hook-and-eye back closure let you customize your fit. Also available in tan and black.

Nudwear Sofia Strapless Backless Adhesive Bra

Got a top or a dress with a truly tricky neckline? We’ve got you covered (literally). This backless bra offers light support, but full coverage and shaping, so you’ll never feel overexposed.

Sources – Softy Bra


Not Investing in a Quality Bra.

Solution: Buy from a brand that believes in fit and stands behind their bras.

There is a big difference in how a $15 bra and a $50 bra will perform, even if they don’t look very different on the hanger. A good quality bra will fit more comfortably from the minute you put it on, provide all-day support and will hold its appearance over many wearings and washings.

Going Too Long Between Bra Fittings.

Solution: Get professional bra fittings regularly.

You may need new bras whenever your body goes through a change—gaining or losing five pounds or more, pregnancy, post-pregnancy, during and after nursing, or after breast surgeries or menopause. All of these events will affect how your bra fits, the support that you need, and how comfortable it feels. Some companies provide free bra expert fittings to ensure comfort, support, and shape. We recommend a fitting every six months to a year.

Wearing the Same Bra Every Day.

Solution: Rotate your bras.

lacebraWe recommend you avoid wearing the same bra two days in a row. Why? Perspiration can cause a bra’s elastic to deteriorate. Have at least three bras in your wardrobe: one to wear, one to wash, and one to rest for a day. Rotating your bras in this way will help each last longer.

Putting Your Bra in the Dryer.

Solution: Hang or lay flat to dry.

Every bra has unique fabrics, trims, and care requirements. Read labels for washing and temperature instructions. The good news is you don’t have to hand-wash all of your delicates. Most bras can be washed in a lingerie bag on your machine’s gentlest cycle. Close the hooks and eyes on the bra before putting it in the bag, zip shut, and then wash in the washer with cool water. But never put a bra in the dryer—the heat ruins the stretch. Simply hang it on a hanger or lay flat to dry.

Storing Your Bras Incorrectly.

Solution: Stack your bras.

After your bras are completely dry, stack them in a row so the cups fit into each other in your drawer, or hang them on hangers in your closet. This is especially important for bras with a molded foam cup. Avoid folding bras in half with one cup inside the other, which could alter their shape.

Wearing a Bra With a Problematic Band.

Solution: Find the right size.

Your bra’s band is the key to good support. The bottom edge of your bra should sit level and straight all the way around your body. If the band is too loose, it will hike up in the back and the cups will fall down, causing your breasts to sag. Just as bad, if your band is too tight, it can dig into the skin and create painful, unflattering lines and bulges on your back and sides. Just because a bra’s tag says it is a certain size doesn’t mean it’s a perfect fit. Approach bra buying like shoe buying—try a variety of sizes and styles to gauge fit, look, and feel.

Wearing a White Bra Under White Clothing.

Tonya-5706X-001-Anita-care-300x400Solution: Choose a color closest to your skin tone.

The key to looking polished when wearing light summer fabrics is to ensure you’ve chosen pieces that vanish underneath. That means matching your bra to your skin tone, not your clothing. We recommend choosing a neutral shade such as light nude, soft tan, mocha, or black—any color that closely matches your skin tone will disappear under light colors or sheer fabrics.

Wearing Basic Colors Every Day.

Solution: Don’t be afraid to go for fun colors or prints.

It’s a common misconception that everyday bras should be a basic color. While having bras in neutral colors (such as black or soft tan) is essential to completing your bra wardrobe, wearing a fun printed bra (such as leopard or polka dots) or an uplifting color can feel like a special treat.

Not Completing Your Bra Wardrobe.

Solution: Know which styles work for your body and outfits.

Different cup sizes and outfits call for different bras. If you have a fuller cup size and want the most cup coverage and maximum support every day, choose a full coverage bra. For smaller cup sizes, push ups or demi bras offer enough coverage. If you’re wearing a blouse and want to avoid gapping between buttons, go with a minimizer bra. It reduces the bust from 1 to 3 inches. Wearing a T-shirt? Choose a bra that’s invisible under clothing. With open neckline tops, balconette bras work well because they offer a lower cut.

Throwing Your Gently Worn Bra Away.

Solution: Support bra donation programs.

A little-known fact: Bras are the most needed, yet least donated item of clothing for women. Support women in need by giving bras to initiatives like the Soma Bra Donation, which benefits women staying in local shelters affiliated with the National Network to End Domestic Violence.

Sources – Softy Bra


Here at Panache, we’re passionate about bra fitting. It’s so important for your health and comfort, but so many people find it a minefield. And no wonder! To the untrained eye, the fitting process can seem scary and complicated, which is why we do everything we can to help.

What you may not realize is that you should actually have bras in lots of different sizes stashed away in your wardrobe. As much as you may want to find your one, true size to make bra shopping a breeze, in reality, different brands and different bra styles mean you’ll need to be willing to be a bit flexible when it comes to those numbers. The important thing, as always, is the fit, so don’t get hung up on what you think is your size – let your boobs tell you whether the bra is right or not!

When you’re trying on bras, the first thing to consider is the bra band. Is it too tight? Does it ride up? Try it on the loosest hooks; if it doesn’t sit firmly and horizontally across your back, you’ve probably picked up the wrong size – even if it is your usual. Adjusting your size can help you find the best fit – so go up or down a band size as necessary.

At this point, it’s time to use the bra size table to your advantage. Moving diagonally across the table will give you other options to try out if you’ve spotted a bra you like but it just isn’t working for you in your regular size. Not all D-cups (or E-cups, or F-cups…) are the same; in fact, the size of the cup is related to the size of the band. So if you drop a band size, go up a cup size (or vice versa) and you might find your perfect match! If you usually wear a 36D, for example, but need a tighter band, try a 34E on for size.

There are a lot of different factors which will determine if you need to change your size; the brand you’re looking at might use a thicker underwire which digs in at your normal size, for example. The style of the bra can also affect what size you’ll need. Just remember to be flexible, and if it doesn’t feel right, don’t buy it!

Sources – Softy Bra


For a garment that’s been worn the world over for at least a century, it seems there’s an awful lot we don’t know about our most intimate accouterment, the bra. From well-quoted statistics that suggest more than 70 percent of women are wearing the wrong size, to the ongoing hunt for the perfect strapless style that won’t, ah, let you down, there seem to be many mysteries about the undergarment that we wear every day. Thankfully, there is also a host of experts out there to help us out with all of them, from professional fitters at your favorite lingerie store to experts who can recommend a brand specifically suited to your shape and cup size.

juno-sports-braEven with all these helpful hints, there’s always something new to learn. I was surprised by a tip I was given by Heather Cvitkovic, director of apparel merchandising at Brooks Running Company—a leading active apparel brand. “Your bra should never celebrate a birthday,” Cvitkovic said. “A sports bra needs to be replaced every six to 12 months.”

We ask more of our sports bras than our regular bras—stretching them further than a normal bra (since we stretch further during exercise than our normal range of motion) and covering them in sweat, which has corrosive properties that cause the fabric and elastic to break down quicker, even with proper care and cleaning.

To maximize the life of your sports bras, Cvitkovic suggests “having three in your rotation. This will give you multiple options and extend the life of each.” Active women who hit the gym three times a week should stick to the six to 12 month rule and keep an eye out for key signs that your bra is past its prime: a stretched band or straps, faded tags, spots that cause your skin to chafe, or a less-than-fresh scent even after being laundered.

Sticking to this easy rule of thumb will ensure that your sports bra is always in tip-top shape, so you can be, too.

Sources – Softy Bra


Most of us need to wear a bra, at least sometimes. But lots of women I speak to complain about how much they hate bras – they don’t find them comfortable at all. Many seek out the advice of a “professional bra fitter” in the hope of finding a better fit. Sadly this often doesn’t help.

There are a few shops out there who are doing it right – Bravissimo, Rigby and Peller, Leia etc. But there are a lot more who are doing it wrong. Marks and Spencer, BHS, AnnSummers, La Senza and many others are on the bad fitter’s list. If you have had a fitting from any of them or followed almost any online size chart, then chances are you are in the wrong bra. If you recognize any of the symptoms below then you probably need a new bra.

Bad Bra Alert

  •  You have to tighten the straps a lot to keep the bra up
  • Your bra rides  up at the back – you can feel it isn’t sitting horizontally
  • Your shoulder straps dig in and leave nasty red marks or grooves
  • Your bra straps fall down (off the shoulder)
  • You sometimes bulge over your bra (the 4-boob look)
  • If you lift your arms, your bra moves up (sometimes letting you slip out from underneath)
  • You have “armpit fat” – there is bulging over the sides of your bra cups.
  • The middle of your bra (the “central gore”) does not sit flat against your chest – it should sit flat in between your boobs
  • The wires dig and cut in – anywhere
  • You suffer from back  or neck pain
  • Your bra slips down, leaving empty space at the bottom of the cup
  • You are a size 8 and wearing a 34 band…it’s possible, but it’s unlikely!

These are all signs of an unhappy bra.

The reason for this is an old fitting method where they take your back measurement and add 4-5 inches to get the back size. This results in an unsupportive and often painful bra, normally much too big in the back and too small in the cup.

How to Fit Properly

Firstly, you can’t get your exact size from a measuring tape. You can get a pretty good guide (particularly when it comes to the back size) but you need to know what to look for to get it perfect. First off – getting your “starting size”; you can measure wearing a bra, but only if the bra already fits well. So I am going to tell you how to do it braless.

  • Measure underneath your bust, firmly, in inches. The tape measure should be pretty tight
  • Bend over so your boobs are hanging down at 90 degrees and measure around the widest part – like this picture

The underbust measurement is the band size*. If you are an odd number you will want to try the size either side to be sure, but as a rule of thumb, most people fit better if they round down. So, if you measure 31”, you could try a 30 and a 32 back, but chances are the 30 will be better.

there are a couple of exceptions to this rule. If you are very very slender and have no “padding” around your ribs then you may find it necessary to try one back size higher. Conversely, if you are “squidgy of torso” then you may need a smaller back size than you actually measure as the bra needs a relatively firm surface to sit on. So if this is you don’t be scared to try 1-2 back sizes smaller than you measure.

To test if the band fits

Put the bra on back to front so the cups are at the back. When new this should be on the loosest hook as bras stretch with age. The band should feel snug, and you should be able to fit a couple of fingers under it, but that’s about all. If you can’t breathe try a size up,  but most of the support comes from the band so we are aiming for the firm. The reason for trying it back to front is that even if the back is correct if the cup is far too small it can trick you into thinking the band is too small – the cups try to steal the fabric!

Now, working out the cup size

Most UK manufacturers Bra-alphabet goes A,B,C,D,DD,E,F,FF,G,GG,H,HH,J,JJ,K, KK,L…..there is also the AA, which is smaller than an A. For each inch difference between your band size and your overbust measurement, you get a cup (starting at A) – so somebody measuring 30” underneath and 40” over would start at a 30GG. I would normally suggest trying AT LEAST 1 cup size either side of this to be sure. Now, if you have always been fitted the “old way” you will probably be in shock right now, as you’ve probably gone down 2-3 back sizes, and up several

Once you have the band right, time to test the cups. Here is what to do

Lean forward, drop your breasts into the cups and do the bra up at the back. Now, take your right hand, put it around inside the left cup, all the way around under your armpit, and scoop all the soft tissue and flesh into the cup. You might not know it, but all that soft tissue under your armpit is breast, and it needs to be in the cup. Now, repeat on the other side. The wire should totally encase your soft breast tissue, and you should have no overspill or wrinkling in the cups. The central gore should sit flat in between your boobs.

Sources – Softy Bra


Are You Wearing the Right Size?

Here are a few telltale signs that you may not be: wrinkling in the cups, underwire poking the sides of your breasts, a band that rides up, cup spillage, slipping straps, or a bra that hikes up when you lift your arms, says Sandi Simon, a fit consultant at Bra Smyth, in New York City. (Keep in mind that certain factors can cause you to change bra size: a weight gain or loss, a new exercise regimen, pregnancy, and a change of diet, among them.) If you suffer from any of the fit issues above, head to a professional bra fitter—or bust out the measuring tape and follow the steps here.

1: Determine Your Band Size

illo-band-measurement_galWhile braless or wearing a non-padded bra, measure around the bottom of the band, directly under your bust. The measuring tape should be level and very snug. Round to the nearest whole number. If the number is even, add four inches. If it’s odd, add five. Your band size is the sum of this calculation. (So if you measured 32 inches, your band size is 36. If you measured 33 inches, your band size is 38.)

2: Take Your Bust Measurement

Wrap the measuring tape somewhat loosely around the fullest part of your chest (at nipple level). Round to the nearest whole number.

 

3: Calculate Your Cup Size

Subtract your band size from your bust measurement and refer to the chart. Example: 37 inches (bust) – 34 inches (band) = 3 inches. That’s a 34C.

So how can you tell if a particular style fits? Try these tips:

Bend forward at the waist, then slip on the bra and hook it. This ensures your breasts are completely in the cups.

2

Adjust the band. The back of the bra should be level with the front.

Make sure the bra is not too loose. You should be able to slide only one finger underneath the band.

Fix falling straps. First, tighten the band, then shorten the straps.

Put on a close-fitting shirt over the bra. If the cups pucker or your breasts bulge, you’re not wearing the correct size.

Look at yourself sideways in a mirror. Your breasts should sit midway between your shoulders and elbows. If not, you need a more supportive and better-fitting bra.

If you need to go down a cup size for fit, go up one band size, and vice versa. For example, if a 34C is too big for you, move to a 36B.

Choose a bra that fits perfectly when secured on the outermost hook. As the bra loosens over time, make the band taut by moving toward the tightest hook.

Sources – Softy Bra