“Even though a woman’s lingerie may be reduced to two pieces, they should at least be matching. It is the height of negligence to wear a white brassiere with black pants or the reverse. Bright-colored undergarments are charming but of course they can only be worn under dresses which are opaque or dark. In the summer it is preferable to stick to white.”
- Genevieve Antoine Dariaux
I will never forget buying my first matching bra and panty set. I was 16 and had just received a paycheck for two weeks of full time work at the Canadian National Exhibition selling “simulated diamonds”.
For some reason I have long forgotten, I wanted to acquire a serious collection of “adult” lingerie. I went to the most high-end, long forgotten luxury department store, Creeds, in what is now the Manulife Centre in Toronto, and full of the arrogance of youth I asked for the person in charge of the lingerie department. A middle aged no-nonsense lady was called and kindly took me in hand, teaching me the basics of buying lingerie.
Madame No-Nonsense determined my correct size. She told me to stand straight. Using a tape measure she told me to exhale then measured just below my by bust line. Then, arms at side, she measured the fullest part of my breast.
Madame No-Nonsense explained, and told me to never forget, and I have not, that correct sizing, styling and placement (hooks and straps) is vital to looks and breast health. She indicated that a bra should never be uncomfortable; in fact you should not notice you even have a bra on.
- Signs of an incorrect size/bra shape include: the bra doesn’t stay flat and parallel to your body (e.g., band rises in back, digs into your shoulders, bunches, skin sticks out at tops or sides of cups).
She advised that I only buy high quality lingerie and take good care of it (hand wash in a delicate detergent and air dry).
Finally Madame No-Nonsense also counseled that I buy two pairs of matching panties with each bra.
When I left I was the proud owner of a delightful light pinkish peach colored ensemble from Maison Lejaby.
From that moment on I was addicted and have only bought good quality lingerie.
Over the years I have learned what shapes work and do not work for me. I have kept an ongoing e-list for “la leche-vitrine electronique” (e-Window-shopping) in advance of purchasing. Given the price of these “little nothings” I want to make sure I really love the piece and that I make an informed purchase. If I don’t keep going back to look at the item for a few weeks then they are not for me.
Affordable is subjective – it’s not a deal if it does not make you feel comfortable in your skin or if you don’t wear it!
Basic Bra Care
How to Rotate your Bras
- Avoid wearing your bra more than twice between washings.
- Don’t wear your bra for two consecutive days. Elastic needs to recover after a day of wear.
- Have a minimum of three basic bras: one to wear, one to wash and one to spare.
- Have a minimum of two matching panties for each bra.
How to Wash your Lingerie
- Hand-wash your bra in a delicate detergent.
- Rinse garment in cold water to restore the bra’s shape and elasticity.
- Put wet bra between towels and walk on it to soak up excess moisture. Do not wring the material as this can break down the elastic and fine lace.
- Air-dry your bra flat or hanging.
Different Kinds of Bras
Lingerie Blogs (I have included some blogs that are currently inactive but still contain interesting information)
- Bras and Body Image
- Bra School 101
- Busts for Justice
- Fuller Figure Fuller Bust
- Invest in Your Chest
- Lingerie Stylist
- Lingerie Talk
- Lost in Lingerie
- Miss Underpinnings
- Of Lambs and Lace
- Oh so French
- Petite Coquette Luxury Lingerie Blog
- Scarlet’s Letter
- The Full Figured Chest
- The Girl With the Messy Hair
- The Lingerie Addict
- Thin and Curvey
- 32aa Bra
- Undercover Lingerista
- Up Front and In Brief
The above list is a work in progress… if you have any suggestions to help improve my site or additional links please contact me.
[Next post in this Experiment: Lingerie II – List of Luxury Lingerie Companies]