Underwear 101

Yes, I'm blogging about underwear. A real shocker eh? Seriously, I have a purpose. Or maybe it's more like a public service announcement. Or maybe I just feel like standing on a soapbox for a few minutes.

What Not to Wear (on TLC) was about underwear tonight. Was there any doubt that I was gonna watch it? I don't think so! Basically they took three people with sad underwear lives and transformed them. They got them new bras (they had fittings so they were actually the right size), new underwear and new lingerie. They got to spend about $2000 each. How freaking jealous am I?

At the end one of the them commented that they couldn't believe that underwear made such a big difference in their confidence. Um hello! Is that something that people really haven't realized yet? Seriously? Is this some secret among women that isn't shared with all women?

Wearing nice (or sexy - nice doesn't necessarily have to be sexy but it certainly can be) underwear is a HUGE confidence booster. I know many people argue that no one is gonna see it so who cares? You may not see it but you FEEL it. Even if you are not thrilled with your body you will feel better about your body if you are wearing properly fitted underwear. Especially bras. I swear having a properly fitted bra is like having someone wave a magic wand because it can suddenly change your shape and silhouette.

Nice/sexy underwear is a secret that only you know. No one sees it. But you know it. You feel it. And it does make a difference. When I was job searching and going through the interview process - you darned well know I was wearing nice underwear under that suit!

So this is what you all need to do. First of all go get properly fitted for a bra because you are NOT the size you think you are. In fact, I bet you are a completely different band size AND cup size. While most store only carry A-C and occassionally D or DD many of us fall outside of those parameters (or fall outside what is normally carried for their band size - a lot of stores only carry A and B cups for a 32 band, occasionally a C, very rarely anything above a C). Yes, that likely does mean that bras suddenly cost more but they will FIT. And until we all claim our sizes and start demanding that more stores carry them it's not going to happen. It's that whole supply and demand thing - unless we start demanding it, they aren't going to supply it.

If you want tips on how a bra should fit here's a decent reference.
Bra Fitting Clinic
There are a number of sites out there that will tell you how to size yourself for a bra but I don't think that anything beats having someone who's trained in it do it. Smaller stores often tend to give better service in this area. And it's something you ought to have done more than once in your life. Have you lost weight/gained weight/ had a kid/gotten older? Get another fitting. If you are wearing the same size you were in high school I guarantee you it's wrong, wrong, wrong. Any change in your body size is going to affect your bra size (not to mention the effects of gravity...).

Secondly, after you buy yourself a bra that fits WASH IT PROPERLY. This is important. Especially if you've spent the money for a good supportive bra. You do *NOT* just throw your bras in with the rest of your laundry. You either wash them by hand or you put them in a lingerie bag (you know those mesh zipper bags) and put them in the washer. You can buy lingerie bags everywhere from lingerie stores to places like WalMart and Zellers. Fasten the eyes and hooks on your bra before washing it. And *NEVER* *EVER* put your bras in the dryer. Hang them to dry.

Thirdly, buy yourself some nice underwear. And no, I do not mean Hanes three to a package type. The ones that you buy individually. I'm not a crazy matching person. I often buy sets but if things don't completely match exactly it's not the end of the world. If you haven't tried a thong before TRY IT (just make sure you get the right size because nothing is more wrong than a too small thong). To all you thong naysayers - I dare you to try running in a full back or even bikini cut undies and then running in a thong and then tell me thongs aren't comfortable.

And finally - when you have a good, supportive bra and some nice underwear, WEAR THEM. Do not leave them sitting around in your drawer for special occasions. Especially bras (see above about bra size changing - you want to get your money out of that bra!).

Sigh. I so want to go underwear shopping. Anyone want to sponsor me? lol

Edit: If anyone would like to see the What Not to Wear Underwear episode it is repeating the 24th at 8pm and 11pm and March 25th at 2pm. I'm assuming these are EST. Check your local listings to be sure of times.