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Following on from an article I had recently written about the bra, I thought a few useful tips on finding the perfect fit might come in handy as well as a few other pointers on how to manage your lingerie drawer! The worst part about having such a drawer full of ill-fitting unmentionables is that it limits what you can wear.

Our basic bras and underwear get the most use and that is why more thought and care should be given to them. As many as 80% of women in the UK alone are alleged to be wearing the wrong sized bra! So where are they going wrong?

First off, your bra should fit firmly and evenly around the rib cage and shouldn’t ride up the back. Shoulder straps should be snug without digging in and the larger you are, the wider the straps should be. It is useful to bend over at the waist when putting the bra on, making sure the cups are full, but not brimming over! Always use the middle hook on a new bra so that as the bra stretches over time, or if you shrink, you can tighten or loosen it to make it more comfortable. Remember to try on several sizes when buying, as they can all vary. You may be a 34C in one bra or a 36A in another. Most stores offer a measuring service, so do take advantage of that too.

Once you have determined the correct size, choosing the right style of bra is a must! A nude bra is essential to wear under your white or light-hued clothing. Although I must confess there is nothing nicer than a crisp, white bra with a tan in the summer! Dark clothing makes a black bra a must too – day or night! However these days, fashion dictates and allows for many different colours – making underwear more fun, but you still can’t beat a black bra for that sophisticated edge. Any clothing that has a halter-neck, thin straps or indeed no straps requires a strapless bra, and a T-back is also very handy for vest tops and pieces that cut-in at the shoulders and back. A multi-way bra is useful because it can very often switch from regular to strapless to T-back!

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When wearing a T shirt, choose a full coverage, slightly padded nude bra – anything demi-cupped or lacy will not look as smooth. A plunge bra for a plunging neckline should also be on your shopping list, as this is essential for deep V-necks.

If you exercise or play sports, then stock up on your sports bras, as they give support to your chest and allow you to move comfortably and painlessly. However, replace them frequently, as they can wear out quickly.

With regards to knickers, the list is endless. A pair of nude, seamless ones are always going to be useful, because nobody wants a VPL (visible panty line). Thongs, shorts, full, high, bikini… They’re all out there, but whatever your style preference, make sure you have at least three pairs of underwear for each bra. When you do find lingerie you love, buy in multiples!

There are plenty of styles out there to suit all women and occasionally, it is nice to indulge in those lacy, more sexy and feminine pieces – something frivolous and flirty! As Elle Macpherson says, “It is important to feel good about your body, and lingerie is a great way of being in touch with it.” Do remember however that ruffly underwear doesn’t always sit nicely under a tight fitting outfit. Don’t be afraid. When looking for that special number, take your special underwear in with you to try things on. It could save money!

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To help prolong the life of your bras, always wash them in cold water with a gentle detergent, and if a washing machine has to be used then use a net bag. Assess your lingerie drawer regularly. Depending on how well you have looked after it, a good bra should last 2 to 5 years. Wear it no more than twice before washing and get refitted when your body has gone or is going through changes such as pregnancy or dieting.

Let’s not forget to have fun with our underwear too! Nowadays, anything goes! If a shirt or top allows for a touch of bra to show, wear one that’s trimmed in lace and/or colour matching or has a little bow detailing. A plain, basic one is not going to look quite as attractive!

These tips are just meant to be guidelines, and although it’s not rocket science, they may just help provide you with a good ‘ foundation the next time you go shopping!

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