Okay, gents, this may be a post you want to skip. You are always welcome here, and you might just learn a little about the 50-something women in your life, but you probably don’t want to listen to my bra rant.
Ladies – seriously. We’ve reached a point in our lives where gravity is doing all kinds of things to our body, and our breasts are prime examples of the results. If we don’t pay attention to our bras, our breasts will end up at our waistline. I see it far too often, but I never thought it would happen to me.
Apparently, mirrors are not completely truthful, because I did not notice the gradual descent of my breasts until I saw a photo of myself in profile. It was a holiday photo from work, and ended up on a Christmas card that went to hundreds of clients (oh joy). And there I was, standing at the end of a row of people, in a lovely, finely knit red sweater. I felt great the day the picture was taken. But I was shocked when I saw the result. What were my breasts doing down there, halfway between where they should have been and my waistline? That’s when I realized that I should have been paying a little more attention when bra shopping.
I’ve always been fairly nicely endowed, and going braless has never been an option, so I’ve purchased a lot of bras through the years. As long as “the girls” weren’t bouncing around too much and I was comfortable, I was happy. But now I had to figure out how to factor “lift” into the equation. As in, how high are they? Victoria’s Secret just wasn’t cutting it any more. Maybe they need a “silver” section for women like us who need something different from our bras. I am definitely not ready to disregard comfort, so I had to find a happy medium.
I have always avoided the soft cup, or formed, bras, because they’re a nuisance to wash, store and pack. I have 17 “regular” bras in one drawer, but I can only fit 6 formed bras in the same space. Those nuisances are now the sacrifices I make to have a profile I’m happy with. It’s worth it. My personal favorite for a formed bra is Vanity Fair – it’s comfortable, and it survives machine washing (NEVER dry them in the dryer!). Not only do the formed bras keep the girls up where they belong, but they look awesome under sweaters. Hey, unless you’re a 44DD, you want your breasts to look bigger (you know it’s true), and formed bras do that, okay? They’re also firm enough to help prevent the embarrassing situation women can face when wearing a clingy blouse in a cold room (don’t play dumb – you know what I mean).
I’ve found a few “unformed” underwire bras that “lift and separate” quite nicely, too, including the Olga Luxury Lift underwire bra that has lace lifting panels on the sides that actually do something, and last through more than one washing.
Once I detected my own sagging breastline, I started paying attention to the profiles cut by other women, and I am frankly horrified by how women take their breasts out into the world. From the “way-too-bouncy” to the “way-too-saggy” to the “way-too-pointy” to the “are-you-even-wearing-a-bra” looks, a lot of them are just not good. At all.
First – wear a bra. Your hippy days are over, honey – no matter how petite your breasts may be, gravity affects them, and you need to harness them into something. You don’t want them pointing toward the ground like a hound dog’s nose.
Second – find a bra that fits. Spill-over is always a bad thing – whether it’s in the front (my cup runneth over) to the back, where our 50-something skin is sagging and bagging in new places every day. A too-small bra adds layers of body rolls that you just don’t need.
Third – give the girls some lift. I’m not talking about “wonder-bra” lift, where your boobs are smooshed together to give the illusion of cleavage under a low cut top. The look isn’t bad, but it’s not worth the discomfort, trust me. Find a bra that has some extra reinforcement to lift those girls up and make them look respectful. That’s why I like the Olga bra, but Bali has a couple that have side reinforcements, too. They just don’t last as well through multiple washings. Why side reinforcements and not just lift from the bottom? Because I’ve discovered that fifty-something boobs are very content hiding under your armpits, which is where they tend to scurry if you lift or “minimize” them. They may be happy there, but it’s not a good look.
And I just have to throw in number four – for heaven’s sake, look in the mirror HONESTLY before you walk out the door. Are your girls pointed in two different directions? Will someone get dizzy trying to figure out which way you’re goin’? Is one sagging and one lifting? My hubby laughs watching me get the girls lined up in the morning, but once I’m done, I don’t have to wonder if someone’s glance towards my breasts during the day is a compliment (hey, they’re still taking a second look after all these years!), or if it’s just curiosity (how can I avoid looking at that train wreck where one goes up and left and the other goes down and right?).
Oh, and as you may notice in the pictures of my two bra drawers – just as every woman should have a pair of red shoes, every woman should also have a red lace bra. No one may see it when you’re wearing it (don’t be tacky and wear it under a white blouse – you’re not 21), but you’ll know it’s there, and you’ll feel g-r-e-a-t. Especially if that red bra also fits, lifts and aims!