Your REHOME, REFUSE AND REPAIR bags
Pull all underwear out of the drawer and lay it out on the bed.
Set aside any shapewear as we’ll revisit this tomorrow.
Start with briefs and remove any that are faded, discoloured, have lost their elasticity, have not been worn in the last 12 months, are uncomfortable to wear or are the wrong size.*
Unless something is brand new with the tags still attached, we’re not going to be using the REHOME bag for our briefs and bras. Any discards can go straight into the REFUSE bag.
Let’s repeat Step 2 above for bras considering those same reasons but this time you need to try them on, in front of your mirror, to check for correct size and that they are giving you the right support and coverage.
Put the bra on and when it’s clasped (note where you’re clasping – a new bra should be able to be hooked on the loosest clasp – we then move to the tighter clasps as the bra ages and the fabric stretches) – if you have it on the tightest clasp and the band is not sitting firmly against your body it has likely stretched too much and the bra needs to be replaced.
Check the level of the band all the way around your body, it should be level front and back. Looking at your profile, your bust should sit at the middle point of your shoulder to elbow line. Lower signals the need to find a bra with better support.
Looking at the cup now and if your bust is spilling over, it’s too small; if you’re able to fit your pinky finger between the cup and your skin, it’s too big. The cup should not wrinkle in any way.
Check the straps are adjusted correctly and still holding everything firmly. If the straps are sliding around or falling off your shoulder, they have likely lost their elasticity and the strap or entire bra needs to be replaced.
* My lovelies, we are living in the present, not in the past when we were (insert desired number of sizes) smaller and not in the future when we plan to be (insert desired number of sizes) smaller. It doesn’t matter what “size” you are right now, what matters is the size of the space you’re storing your garments in and keeping it neat and orderly, rather than jam-packed with pieces that a) we aren’t using right now and b) only serve as negative reinforcement for ideals we may not have achieved. Who needs that? So, promise yourself this and say it out loud…
From this day forward, I shall not hold space for clothes that do not fit and I’ll never, not ever, be harsh on myself when having to part with them.
There are some undergarments you’ve just got to have and others that are nice to have.
Briefs – a close colour match to your skin, with no fancy details or seams for fitted pants, skirts and dresses. G-string options or full brief will work but make sure you do the full 360 in the mirror to check for any VPL (visual pant lines). They should fit neatly, not too tightly so as to cause ‘lumps and bumps' in places we don't love them or too loose that they don’t hold their place. You can pick up a dark coloured pair while you’re at it.
T-shirt bra – a close colour match to your skin once again, with no fancy details or seams that would show through a fitted top or shirt. I recommend two of these on rotation. If you wish to add a black option for dark garments, you can.
Convertible strap bra – this is going to give you flexibility to play with the straps for tricky garments that don’t work with a conventional bra. In the interests of impeccable grooming, bra straps should never show. Ever. Pick up this one in a skin-tone and a dark option too.
Adhesive bra – a must have if you’re wearing styles that are backless or revealing bra straps. They’re fantastic; even the most inexpensive pair I found at Cosmetics Plus, have been fabulous.
Sport’s bra – if you work out. As much support as you can get when you’re working out is best.
Nice to have:
All other bras fall in the ‘nice to have’ category…your fancy, lacy, sexy, whites**, bold coloured or no support bras and so on. These are the ones you buy yourself for a treat or your partner can buy for you!
If you're wanting a real cleavage commando (or push up bra) to maximise a smaller bust or a piece to 'tame the wild ones' (a minimiser) there is a bra out there to do just that.
**White undergarments don’t work under white clothing…they most definitely show through. Keep it as close to your skin tone as possible to keep it discreet.
When did you last have a professional bra fitting? Many factors can affect our physical size and shape – hormones, general weight gain or loss, medication, pregnancy and breastfeeding, menopause, a mastectomy and the one we have absolutely no control over…ageing and gravity! For that reason, it’s important to have that fitting regularly (say every 2 years) to ensure the garments you place over the top sit pretty. I liken it to the house that Jack built…if the foundations are wonky, so too will the garments you layer over the top.
FOLLOW UP ACTION REQUIRED:
Perform the discard!
Commit to a organise a professional bra fitting if you've not had one in the last two years or since a significant physical change.
“To love yourself is to understand you don’t need to be perfect to be good.”
Gold Coast, Brisbane & Northern New South Wales Stylist, Louise Chambers is available for personal styling, photo shoot & media styling, style workshops, fashion event MC bookings and media bookings.