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Monday, June 29, 2015

Underwear and Bra-blem Solving

Is there a garment category more hated and loved than intimate apparel? We love bras for how they look but hate how they feel. Shapewear might smooth us out but strangles us in the process. I toured the latest offerings in underwear and bras for you.  

Iconic intimate apparel brand Warner's knows this. They took a poll of women's biggest beefs with the bra and addressed them with a range of new products. They called it a "Bra-blem" to be solved. Do you ever suffer that extra roll of fat under the arm that spills over the sides of your bra? If you're like me, you hide from sleeveless clothing because it just looks obscene in that area. They launched their " No Side Effects " collection. As you can see on the grey bra up top, they have extra seamless 
support above the cup and a fuller band that keeps that spillage contained. 

Those of you who hate underwires but find them necessary are getting some relief. Warner's is adding cushioning and smoothing bands over their wires on some of their bras. I went for a bra fitting with these new styles, and I can honestly say it was the most comfortable underwire bra I have ever put on.

No Nonsense. I remember this brand's ads when I was a child. They have updated their hosiery options for this generation. Their super sheer, seamless stockings have gentle support where you can skip the Spanx. They have light shapewear shorts and a range of really comfortable denim finish cuffed leggings that can spare you the dangerous jeggings syndrome but still give you the look. I guess it took a stockings company to figure out how to do this right.

rago mad men bra

As a short woman with a big rack, it's tough to find a great bra that supports your curves without looking matronly. I always loved how amazing Christina Hendricks looked in all her curves on Mad Men. Naturally, I asked Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant on where she shops for all the structured underpinnings. She led me straight to RAGO. They have supremely constructed bras, cinchers, girdles, body briefers to create that vintage hourglass figure. I absolutely fell in love with the Long Line Bra (right). The elastic waistband is secure but not uncomfortable. It is actually more comfortable than Spanx, because it relies on soft boning that I don't even feel, and surprisingly, no underwire. It gives me the best shape I have ever tried (and look what it does for Ms. Hendricks!) The support in the bra cups actually comes from a double layer of lace where the cup is supported on a bound frame of the underlayer.

When it comes to looking good in high fashion, what is  underneath is as important as what is on the outside. As Tim Gunn once said "Shaky foundation, shaky house". And like pop artist Pink sang, "I'm an instigator of underwear". 

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