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Underwear Essentials: Your Guide To Flawless Style

Good underwear essentials are the foundations of flawless style.

Get it right and your clothes will appear to fit better, you’ll look great and you’ll be comfortable!

Get it wrong and ill-fitting underwear will ruin your day and ruin your outfit.

Can you remember a time when your bra was digging into you so much that you couldn’t concentrate, it made you grumpy and as soon as you got home you threw it in the bin? And, what about when your undies were so tight they achingly dug into your skin creating lumps and bumps that had never existed before? Or undies that rode up and ‘disappeared’ because the elastic had given up the ghost?

Here’s how to stop these annoying situations ever happening again.

Underwear Essentials 1: Your Bra

History’s not clear about when the bra (as we know it) was first invented. In 1889 French born Herminie Cadolle separated a corset into two pieces. The upper part supported the bust using ‘rubber thread’ shoulder straps (the equivalent of modern day elastic). A few years later Marie Tucek introduced the forerunner to the underwire bra by using metal support plates in her design. But, it was Mary Phelps Jacob who patented her lightweight, soft ‘Backless Bra’ in 1914 that paved the way for the bras we wear today.

Underwear Essentials blog. Two ladies wearing 1950s bras.

I highly recommend having a professional bra fitting every year. Our breasts and bodies are constantly changing. Your bra needs to be comfortable, fit perfectly and support you every day. A professional bra fitter will ensure the band, cup size, straps, hooks and wires suit your body shape and proportions.

It’s amazing what a great fitting bra can do for the way clothes hang on your body. When your bust is lifted you look more youthful and, if you have a large bust, your waist looks slimmer. A few times during personal shopping trips I’ve recommended we start with buying a new bra. Clothes looked so much better when their bust was properly supported and shaped.

Large department stores like David Jones and Myer offer fitting services. Storm in a D Cup in Sydney’s Bondi Junction specialises in D to K cup bras.

Have you found that clothing sizes vary dramatically? Well the same applies to bras. ‘Try before you buy’ is my motto. A Berlei 14C will be different to a Victoria’s Secret 14C or a Simone Perele 14C.

Invest in a couple of ‘workhorse’ bras. They’ll have no lace or embellishments and will be nude in colour. Both practical and versatile, they can be worn under most of your clothes, even finer fabrics and tees.

If you’re prone to nipples that protrude, wear a slightly padded bra or invest in reusable nipple covers from B Free or Cotton On.

Underwear Essentials 2: Your Undies

Panties, undies, knickers. Whatever you call like to them, choose wisely. A visible pantie line (VPL) is a sure-fire way to ruin the look of your outfit. VPLs happen when the outer edges and seams of your underwear show as a ridge or depression in the clothes you’re wearing.

Underwear Essentials blog. Image shows 6 pairs of laser cut panties.

Laser cut panties

 

How can you avoid it? If you find g-strings and thongs uncomfortable the answer is laser cut underwear. No elastic in the leg, waist or sides creates a smooth, nearly invisible appearance under your clothes. For hygiene and comfort reasons look for brands that stock undies that have a cotton crotch like Berlei, Triumph and Uniqlo.

Laser cut undies come in all shapes and sizes.

Underwear Essentials 3: Your Shapewear

Underwear Essentials blog. Picture shows ivory silk satin and whalebone corset circa 1900

Excruciatingly restrictive whalebone corsets, and old-fashioned girdles worn from the 20s to the 60s have thankfully morphed into the shapewear we know today.

Think of period movies like Gone With The Wind, Titanic, Elizabeth and Marie Antoinette that give us an insight into how gruelling it was to get into these devices and how uncomfortable they were to wear. The options we have today trim, smooth or lift virtually any area of your body, encourage natural curves and are comfortable.

Underwear Essentials blog. Model wears a modern day version of a girdle - the OnCore mid-thigh bodysuit from Spanx.
Underwear Essentials blog. 1942 advert for a Berlei girdle.
Underwear Essentials blog. Model wears a modern day girdle: the Strapless cropped mid-thigh bodysuit by Spanx.

 

The most important tip I can give you is to buy the right size. Too small and you’ll create bulging lumps outside the shapewear area (and be screaming on the inside). Too large: you’ll add wrinkles to your outfit fooling no-one about what’s going on underneath.

Putting shapewear on is easy if you wait a few minutes for your body to cool down and dry completely after you shower. And a small amount of talcum powder dusted over your skin will help too.

These days there’s an abundance of underwear brands offering a huge choice of styles, fabrics, sizes and fits to suit your preferences and needs. Update and invest in your underwear essentials for ultimate comfort, confidence and flawless style.

What is your favourite underwear brand and why?

 

Image Credits:

vintagedancer.com

Philadelphia Museum

Lacy Hint

eBay

Spanx

 

 

 

Sticky
January 12, 2019

Palazzo Pants – How To Wear Them Well

Move over skinny pants, palazzo pants are back in!

Coco Chanel wore them in the 20s and Katherine Hepburn wore them in the 30s. But it wasn’t until the 60s and early 70s that palazzo pants were embraced and worn by the masses. One of the reasons they became popular is because some of the ritzy restaurants in Europe insisted on enforcing the rule that women had to wear skirts or dresses to their restaurants. The women wanted to wear pants, so they found a way around it by wearing long, loose, floaty pants that looked similar to the dresses and skirts.

If you’re keen to wear this latest fashion trend read on…

Palazzo pants can be tricky to wear for those of us who are ‘vertically challenged’ and for anyone who carries weight on their hips and thighs. The volume of fabric and the full, broad leg can make you look wider and shorter.

3 pairs of palazzo pants. The first pair features floaty fabric. The second pair of palazzo pants feature a hemline that covers the shoes. The third pair is too short. It makes the wearer look short and wide.

Soft, floaty fabrics and longer hemlines are best.

 

Here are my top 6 tips to wearing palazzo pants well:

  1. Wear heels to visually elongate your legs. Wedges are a comfortable option.
  2. Choose light floaty fabrics.
  3. Hem them as long as possible (but not too long that they’re a trip hazard 👍).
  4. Wear lighter or colourful tops, and jewellery to draw attention up to your face.
  5. Choose solid colours or small dense patterns.
  6. And, as well as the suggestions in point 4, you could also wear the same colour or a similar colour to your pants to make you look longer and taller.
Striped palazzo pants with a bright top. the bright top brings attention to your face.

Stripes elongate and the bright top brings the eye up to the face

Black palazzo pants teamed with a black top and high heels makes the wearer look taller and slimmer

Look taller by wearing a top in the same colour and heels

There are plenty of colours and styles at online stores like The Iconic

If you want more info on how to create stylish outfits using loose, baggy clothing like palazzo pants, you can read my article on the Principle of Volume.

 

Sticky
November 16, 2018

Improve Your Style using the ‘Principle of Volume’

There are many ways to improve your style, and one of them is by using the principle of volume. It is a simple technique that makes every outfit look good. You may be using it already without knowing it.

This article explains the principle of volume and how you can use it when combining your clothes.

Improve Your Style using the Principle of Volume

A garment is voluminous when it is oversized, bulky, full or wide, very gathered or flared, or there is a large quantity of fabric. Think: palazzo pants, culottes, loose billowy blouses, tops and skirts with ruffles, peasant tops and box pleat or full circle skirts. Here are some examples:

These garments are voluminous. They are bulky, gathered, pleated, full, wide or flared. Use one of these garments and team it with a slim or tapered garment to improve your style. Combining a loose garment with a slimmer fitting garment is called the principle of volume. When two voluminous items are worn together the look becomes boxy and shapeless. The fabric swamps you and makes you look larger. The picture on the left (below) shows examples of this.

Now look at the image on the right. I have replaced the full skirt and loose, baggy pants with a tapered pencil skirt and straight cut black jeans. The slim lines of these garments balance out the oversized top giving the wearer some shape which creates a more flattering and visually appealing look. Other fitted garments that will show your shape include slim leg jeans and capri pants, high waisted straight skirts and tube skirts.

Two outfits featuring voluminous garments. These looks do not improve your style.
Two outfits featuring voluminous tops and slim fitting pants and skirt. Wearing this type of clothing combination is a way to improve your style.

The last picture shows the combination in reverse. The original voluminous skirt and pants have been teamed with a red-orange slim fitting top. Tip: If you are petite wear heels to elongate your legs.

Improve your style by wearing a fitted top with a voluminous bottom. This is called the 'principle of volume'.

The principle of volume works with all body shapes and for outfits for all occasions i.e., casual, smart casual or dressy. Just by using the simple formula of mixing a slim fitting garment with a voluminous one you will create a stylish look. Add accessories to complete your outfit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sticky
September 24, 2018
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