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The Perfect Bra... For You

WEB-EXCLUSIVE: Make bra shopping a little less intimidating with these helpful tips from Bra Whisperer Susan Nethero.

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{intimacy} at South Coast Plaza
657.622.0595 :: myintimacy.com

If you think about it, finding the perfect bra is a lot like dating. Just as you’ve spent countless hours searching for the right guy in all the wrong places, like bars and nightclubs, you’ve probably spent an equal amount of time in department stores foolishly hoping to find the perfect bra. There are a lot of bras out there, but how do you find the bra that’s right for you? Enter The Bra Whisperer. Susan Nethero, owner and founder of the bra fitting specialty boutique {intimacy}, has earned the nickname thanks to her knack for helping women find the best bra for them. If finding the right bra is like finding the right man, then think of Nethero as your own personal matchmaker.
You may not be surprised to know 85% of women are wearing the wrong bra size, but you might be shocked to learn a majority of women are not even trying them on correctly.

“That's a funny one,” Nethero says. “People say, ‘What do you mean how do I try on a bra? I've been wearing a bra for 30 years, you’re telling me how to try it on?’”

But believe it or not it’s among some of the mistakes you might be making when shopping for a bra. Here Nethero talks about the top mistakes women make when shopping for a bra and how to avoid them.

1. Too Much Slack in the Back Band: “We associate looseness with comfort,” says Nethero, but that’s not the case when it comes to bras. “Most of the stress in a bra is not in the strap or in the cups, but in the back band,” Nethero explains. When the back is too loose, it can ride up, causing the breasts to sag. “It's a little bit like a seesaw,” she says. If one side goes up, the other goes down. Nethero recommends most women size down in the back and size up in the cup.

2. Not Changing with the Times: You aren’t still sporting the same bad perm from the 1980s, so what’s up with your emotional attachment to your bra size? The truth is many factors, from nursing to weight loss or gain, can cause your bra size to fluctuate. For maximum comfort, try to get fitted at least once a year.

3. The Myth of the Perfect Bra: There is no such thing as the perfect bra, there is only the perfect bra for you. You may have to try on a lot, but the work you put into it will be worth it. “A good bra can change your life,” says Nethero.

4. Try It On (the Right Way): You should never buy a bra without trying it on, but be sure to try it on correctly. Most of us put the cups behind us, hook the closure and then twist the cups to the front, slipping the straps over our shoulders. Nethero suggests “bending over, leaning into the bra.” Slip your arms through the straps, then while bending over bring the hook and eye together at your back. Once it’s secured, lift your breasts into the cups and then stand up straight. “This helps you get the right look and you can actually retain firmness by doing it this way,” she says.

5. Buy Your Bra Firm, in the Loosest Position: Most bras have three hooks and when you are buying a new bra it should fit firmly on the loosest hook. “Most women are buying a bra in the middle position,” says Nethero. “But you want to be able to tighten it as it stretches so you can retain that low band in the back and lift in the front.” It may feel firm at first but you’ll just have to wear it a few times to break it in. Once you have a bra that is perfect for you, take care of it!

6. Build Your Wardrobe: “Sixty five percent of all women are wearing four bras or less,” says Nethero. “So they tend to be over-wearing the ones they have and wearing them out faster.” Because you wear your bra nearly 14 hours a day, it’s important to have more than one or two to rotate, so each bra has a chance to return to its shape. “The average women needs seven to 10 bras in her wardrobe,” she says. “We recommend for women to start with three. If you rotate bras twice in between wearings, with three bras that is like six wearings.”

7. Wash with Lingerie Soap: You might think normal detergents like Woolite are best for your delicates but those soaps are designed for natural fibers and most bras are made of manmade materials like Lycra. {intimacy} carries two soaps, Forever New and a branded soap made especially for the store that will help your bras last longer. “Both of them protect the Lycra,” she says.

If you’d like more help, {intimacy} offers a 30-minute bra fit makeover to its customers for free. The fittings are done privately, sans measuring tape, with a bra specialist helping you get into the right size and style. “For most women, a fit experience here is really more like a wardrobe makeover,” says Nethero. Intimacy also keeps a wide selection of styles in all sizes from A cup to H cup in stock.

“People come in looking for comfort and go out saying, ‘Wow, I didn't know I had so many options. I didn’t know I could look so good,’” she says. “And more often than not that leads them to say, ‘I look better in my clothes, I'm more confident.’”

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