Thursday, 23 January 2014

Good Foundations.

Today I wanted to talk to you ladies about underwear. And not just in the way of me saying, ‘oh this is pretty don’t you think? Get it from here...’.
To me, and the ladies I have dressed along the way, the correct underwear can make an outfit good to great.  As well as making you feel that way too. So I wanted to share with you guys some advice and tips on getting the right foundations.

Bra talk: Are you wearing the right size bra?

According to statistics, around 80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra. Which sounds like a pretty exaggerated number- so I thought, until I began working with lingerie two years ago now, but it was when I did that I realised just how many woman, including myself, were so off when it came to their correct bra size. Fast forward a few months where I began dressing people for a living, it really hit home to me.
From my experience, the common problem is that women think that anything above a D is porn star material, and that anything where a small amount of SKIN (not ‘fat’ as I have heard repeatedly for two years) peeps over is too tight. This is where the problems begin.
From the time I started wearing a bra- a hideous bra fitting in M&S which I’m still not quite over, I was lead to believe I was a 32 back.  As the years went on, I thought that as I began to develop it would be the number which would increase not the cup size, and so I moved into a 34. During one of my first weeks working with lingerie and the girls on the department I was grabbed from my bra strap and almost shouted at for wearing a 34b- which to me was perfectly fine and comfortable, however to my surprise (and that honestly, is an understatement..) I was measured properly and was fitted into a 28E. Yes you read that correct. And let me tell you, It fitted like a dream, gone were the problems of the straps falling down, and me having to pull my boobs into my bra again when I looked at myself in the mirror (you all know what I mean). As for wearing strapless bras- you know the dreaded ones where you need it for an outfit but do you want to be pulling it up every 5 minutes? Those days were gone from that point on (except in tanning days where I wear my ‘naughty’ bra, but thats a separate story).
Most women I have ever dressed have had some sort of hang up when it comes to stripping down or wearing certain things, which is perfectly natural, however, with the right type of underwear you can literally change a way an outfit can look on you and make you feel (and look) a lot more confident in the process.
The correct size bra will not only be a lot more comfortable on you, but it will also fix your posture, get your boobs up where they need to be, make any garment hang off you a million times better and can make you look thinner.
My theory is, what is the point of spending money on a fabulous outfit when the foundations are wrong? 

So here's a few questions...

Are you buying bras that as soon as you wear them you are putting them on the tightest setting?
If the answer is yes then you are probably wearing a bra that’s too big in the back, those three sets of hooks are to give your bra longevity through wash and wear..

Do your straps fall down, resulting you in tightening them which is making the back of the bra ride up your back?
If yes, again, we have a problem, this again is a sign your in the wrong size bra, and let me add, the higher your bra is at the back, the lower it is at the front, which means your boobs aren’t being supported and are actually calling the shots with your bra, when we need it to be the other way around!

When wearing your bra, do your boobs (or just one) fall slightly out of the cup?
Again, if yes, your bra is too small in the cup size. When fitting for a new bra, it should always be fitted to your larger side- if you have one, to give you maximum support and comfort.
I know there are many websites that will apparently show you exactly how to measure yourself with a few minutes and a tape measure, however all bra’s fit differently- as in some back sizes are slightly more generous than others so for what it is worth, where you can, I would recommend getting fitted into them individually, however, to start, I think every one of you should have a think about your bra, what size it is and how comfy it is, and if in doubt, go and get a professional fit.

Debenhams offer a free bra fitting service and more than likely can fit you in for a fit on the day, within half an hour you could walk out a slightly changed (and surprised) woman!
I am fully aware that most stores stock bras from 32b to about a 38d, meaning that most ladies will feel they will fall into this category, however in so many cases, this isn't so.
In these cases, brands such as Freya, offer lovely sets for fuller busted beauties starting from a 28 back and going up to a K cup!
Department stores are a great place to get lingerie from, as they will stock a selection of brands and can recommend brands and styles that are better suited to your shape.
For a great one stop online shop I would recommend ASOS as they offer a the wide range of sizes and gorgeous styles, as well as great swimwear in more obscure sizes too which is perfect for that extra support in the pool or on the beach.

Lingerie top picks

Strapless: Freya, red lace: Boux Avenue, Teal: Topshop, Nude: Ultimoo, Satin: Topshop, Polka dot: Topshop, Both Black lace: ASOS, Lace and lilac satin: Topshop.

Moving down south...
Okay so now we have covered bras, where do you ladies stand with shapewear?
Personally? I think it’s awesome, and own some myself. When I say this, people pull a similar face, followed by the same comment: ‘what do you need that for’?
I’ll tell you why, because they have the ability to make my outfit look that extra bit better, and they keep me feeling more together after a Prosecco too many.
Now I am not saying that everyone should be walking around sucking themselves in with giant knickers willy nilly, but from all my experience, working one on one with women, they have the power to make that outfit a little bit better, and more importantly,  make ladies (and gentlemen- yes shapewear for men exists) more confident- especially with bigger occasions such as nights out, weddings etc.
You can’t put on a pair of control knickers expecting them to change the world (I once had a girl ask me how long they take to work.....thinking they made you physically lose weight..), but what they do do is a brilliant job of smoothing over areas and giving you that extra bit of confidence...So why not?
Shapewear now comes in a range of shapes and sizes, from your standard control knicker, to now even bum boosting pants!
Debenhams own brand are my absolute favourite for shapewear and come in such a great range of styles for a fraction of the price of brands. However brands such as Spanx are trusted by women all over the world, just don’t think price necessarily reflects the quality, as this is not always the case.
When choosing shapewear that is right for you, you need think about what you want from it, along with what you are going to be wearing it with. If it’s for the tummy, I would recommend just a good high waisted control brief that is seamless to avoid a VPL situation. Other tummy controllers come with leg shapers in which are great if you want to smooth over the thigh area as well, however be conscious of the length of the garment you’re wearing, no one wants to show off their leg shapers!
Control bodies and slips are also a popular choice, and in my opinion are great if you are worried about the top of the brief 'spill over' and want a completely seam free silhouette. These come generally in two varieties; one with a built in bra- available in your bra size, or a cut out body, which goes over your shoulders yet sits under your own bra- available in your dress size.
My advice would always be to go for the latter for the key reason being you will be wearing the correct size bra giving you support and a great shape and the body working to smooth you over, and also because the bodies with the fitted bra and made for a small amount of women who are fully proportionate, assuming that your bra size is relevant to you mid and lower body- so if you deviate away from this corrupt expectation- like most of us do, the maximum support and desired effect isn't going to be achieved!

Shapewear Top Picks.

 Top row: all Debenhams own brand, Red satin and Leopard print: Marie Meili, Spanx @ ASOS , Body: Maidenform.

So there it is, the meatiest post ever, however hopefully an eye opening one for some of you, and if I have encouraged even one of you ladies to go and get bra fitted and into a correct sized bra, or one of you to go for 'that' dress thanks to a little shapewear, then I have done what I set out to do! Keep me posted! <3 comment-3--="">


  1. Definitely off to get my bra fitted properly tomorrow. I swear I have every size under the sun in my drawer because I just grab whatever and buy what fits best (ish)! Thank you for all your tips :) X

    1. amazing! let me know how you get on!! XX

  2. Every girl should own a pair of Spanx for those off days! Loved this post, so useful.

    Jamie x

  3. Hello Stacie,

    I've always read your blog and never commented but I had to here.. I couldn't agree more with you and I've actually written something similar myself on my own blog but I do also have to say where my own problem lies is when you get past a certain size (e.g I range from a 34E and upwards) and I'm not even 23 yet, I still want a push up bra/ boost/ moulded cup bra and the likes of Freya and Debenhams' own Gorgeous range (which I do like a lot) is about as good as it gets and I can't get exactly what I want for my size which is so frustrating.

    Rachel :) xx

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