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Building Your Lingerie Wardrobe

Updated on October 20, 2010

Lingerie Basics:

Because lingerie is an essential part of our wardrobe, planning and proper care can increase the longevity of your investment. Taking time to review, replace and build a lingerie wardrobe can enhance your figure, simplify getting dressed each morning and enable you to look your best. Begin by taking an inventory of what you currently own about every six months and get rid of items that don’t fit or flatter your shape as well as items that are worn or stretched out.

The Lingerie Goddess Recommends:

Lingerie Questionnaire: Take a moment to think about your current lingerie history and answer the following questions.

1. What brands of lingerie do you currently wear?

2. What lingerie sizes are your currently wearing?

3. Where do you usually shop for your lingerie?

4. How many bras do you own?

5. Do you tend to wear the same bra everyday? Do you rotate your bras?

6. Do you hand wash/ hang dry or use the washing machine/ dryer on your lingerie?

7. How would you describe your personal style?

8. Do you prefer thongs, briefs, boy-shorts?

9. How does it make you feel when you wear beautiful lingerie?

10. Do you tend to wear beautiful lingerie because it makes you feel good or for others?

11. What do you sleep in?

12. What would you like to get out of your lingerie shopping experience?

Step One: Bras & Panties

Based on your lifestyle, consider what types of bras, underwear, shape-wear and slips you may need, plus consider treating yourself to items that you feel beautiful wearing for special occasions or everyday if that is your style. A good rule of thumb is to own at least a weeks worth of daily lingerie sets:


Begin with a variety of molded t-shirt bras, contour and lacey styles in both dark and light colors depending on your wardrobe. For everyday wear, seamless and contour bras are comfortable and should be the main investment, buying 4-5 new bras every 6 months. Take the time to try on a wide range of styles, ask the lingerie stylist to make suggestions based on your size and shape. Try to keep a sense of humor, an open mind and have compassion if you begin to feel overwhelmed or frustrated. Once you find styles that you feel great, fit well and flatter your shape, be sure to purchase and even buy multiples in light & dark colors. After a while you will notice that certain brands may fit you better, begin familiarizing yourself with the brands you prefer so that you can try on new styles each season. If you are fuller figure, you may consider minimizer bras, which are usually seamless, supportive and minimize your breasts. But fortunately, there is a nice selection of pretty and supportive bras for fuller breasts (cup size D and up.)

2 Matching Panties for each Bra (or 14 Panties):

Why 2 pairs of panties for each bra? Well, underwear tends to wear out sooner and if you have a special lace style, you may not be able to find the matching panties again. Like bras, it is important to try on the matching bottoms. When you buy matching panties, they are offered in a couple of different styles. Usually a hipster bikini, a brief, a thong/or g-string or a boy-short are available. Experiment with the different options and perhaps try 2 different styles for each set.

Some additional bras to consider owning are:

1-2 sports bras

1 strapless bra

1 halter bra

1 racer-back bra

1-2 lacy sets

1-2 colorful sets

1 bustier

As you find styles that you love, be sure to buy multiples and rotate them daily. By rotating your lingerie, you will extend the lifetime of each piece. Bras are not meant to last forever, but the little steps like storing them and hand washing can increase their longevity. Take the time to create lingerie drawers for your bras and stack them so that the cups are not crushed. I recommend clasping the backs and stacking them gently on top of each other. Give them space so that they have room for easy selection.

Tips For Finding The Perfect Fitting Bra

Ladies, we wear bras every day, so it is an investment we should put some thought into. Finding the perfect fitting bra, that compliments your figure can be challenging for many women. In fact statistics show that almost 80% of American women are wearing the incorrect bra size. The good news is that all of you can learn how to find a perfect fitting bra by understanding how it should look and feel on your body. Since you are the one wearing it, it is important to spend a little time, trying on different styles and knowing what to recognize if your bra is the wrong size. Following are some basic tips that you can use the next time you are buying bras:

The cups on your bra should be smooth and the edges should lie flat against your breast. If you don’t fill out the cups, you need to go down to a smaller cup size. If you find you are overflowing out of the cups, then try a larger cup size or a style with a fuller cup. Also, if there is a gap, especially with padded bras, you should go down a cup size. The fabric of the cups should be stable enough to give good support as well as a nice shape. A nice shape has good breast uplift, so that the apex of your breasts is halfway between your shoulders and elbows. Breasts should be facing forward and shouldn’t sag or fall to the sides. If wearing an under-wire bra, the under-wire should encircle your breast without poking or pinching your skin. The next area to check is to make sure the center panel lays flat against your breastbone. If it does not, this could be a sign that your cup size is too small or that the panel is not large enough to accommodate the separation between your breasts. Now lets talk about the importance of a proper fitting band. The band should be parallel to the floor and slightly lower in the back. the lower edge of the band should anchor below the shoulder blades, which will give better support. A good test is running a finger under the front band. Your bra should be snug but not too tight. If it is too tight, you may need a larger band size or a looser hook placement. Another test is to check and see how the band feels when you sit down and your ribcage is expanded. Finally, you should adjust the straps so that they stay put yet they don’t dig into your shoulders. Sometimes it is necessary to try a style with straps closer together, if you find that the straps are always falling down. If you are still finding it challenging to achieve the perfect fitting bra, you should consider having them altered by a professional tailor.

Things to consider about finding the perfect fitting bra:

Like clothing, women often wear different sizes depending on the brand and style.

This is very true for finding the correct bra size and style that flatters your unique shape. Also take into account that your body and size changes naturally over time at different stages in your life. That means you may wear a variety of sizes over your lifetime. The most important thing is to not get hung up or attached to wearing a certain size. Finding a bra that fits, supports and flatters your figure is the goal. So the first step is to get an idea of what size bra you wear but remember that is just a general idea- there is no such thing as a universal bra size. Once you determine the general size that you are, you will also need to take a look at elements of a good fitting bra and then adjust. That means you should be trying on several bra sizes and styles to see how it feels and looks each time you shop for a bra.

Basically bras sizes are the band(number) and then the cup size(letter) . So a 34B means 34 inches around the band and a B cup means 2 inches more around the apex of your breast-line (ex: A+1 inch, B +2 inches, C+3inches and so on). I hear and see a lot of information online and in person that I disagree with when it comes to getting measured for a bra. I have been fitting women in bras for over 20 years and have my own system that has helped thousands of women find the best fit for their size and shape. It is not rocket science, but it does require attention and awareness of your own body. Plus it is time to reclaim lingerie by educating yourself and knowing your size according to you. You should be the one who knows your size, not the sales-person, although they can be helpful. It is your responsibility to understand what sizes you are and which brands fit and flatter your shape the best. Be flexible with this information, expecting your size to vary throughout the month and for the rest of your life. Also recognize that depending on where the bra is manufactured, you may need to wear a larger or smaller size.

Step Two: Shape-Wear

Shape-wear, slips and camisoles

Women of all ages are using shape-wear to enhance their figures by supporting problem areas like the tummy, thighs, bottoms and busts. Take a look at your wardrobe and decide to add a few shape-wear solutions for special occasion outfits and clingy fabrics. Shape-wear has improved dramatically with textiles that are comfortable and can smooth out your figure under clingy clothes. The brand Spanx has a wide selection of affordable and useful shape-wear solutions and can be purchased in most lingerie boutiques and even online. With so many sheer fashion options, camisoles and slips also play an important role in your lingerie wardrobe. Be sure to select nude, black, white and some colorful pieces to layer underneath your ready-to-wear and evening clothes.

Step Three: sleepwear

Basics Sleepwear

Building a sleepwear wardrobe is just as important as your lingerie wardrobe since we spend one third of our lives in bed. It feels wonderful to lounge around in comfortable, luxurious sleepwear. We recommend a variety of styles based on the climate you live in:

- pajama set in silk

- pajama set in cotton

- a cami and short set in a soft cotton jersey

- one pajama set in a warm flannel or cashmere if you live in a cold climate

- a selection of nightgowns and sleep-shirts in silk and cotton both short and long

- a silk robe, a cotton robe and a warm robe in cashmere or a soft warm fabric.

- a pair of comfortable slippers and a pair of dressy slippers

Step Four: Continue Building

Beautiful Lingerie & Sleepwear

Once you have the basics, its time to have some fun and select things that you think are beautiful to wear underneath and to sleep in. This will entail monthly lingerie shopping trips to research what you prefer and to explore by trying things on.  The goal is to purchase one beautiful set of lingerie or sleepwear per month to add on to your lingerie wardrobe. As time goes by, you will be able to wear a beautiful lingerie set every day and sleep in gorgeous gowns, pajamas and lounge-wear every night. So now you have an idea of the basics and the beautiful for your lingerie drawer. If you take inventory of your lingerie and sleepwear and replace every six months as well as adding fun pieces along the way, you will realize what an incredible investment you have made in yourself. Wearing beautiful, great fitting lingerie can help you look and feel great. So have fun, try new styles and embrace the fun that you can have when treating yourself to new lingerie!

Step Five: Care

Lingerie Care

Taking care of your lingerie will insure that you get the most out of your investment. Generally, lingerie should last at least one year or longer. You can increase the lifespan by hand washing or using a lingerie bag in the washing machine on the delicate cycle, then line-dry. Never put your lingerie in the dryer, it will stretch out the elasticity, can tear lace and even bend your under-wires. There are many lingerie wash options on the market which are much more gentle on fine lingerie. Some brands we recommend include, Soak, The Laundress and Forever New. Most lingerie boutiques sell a selection of lingerie wash or you can also buy the lines we recommend online. Hand-washing your lingerie consists of sorting light and dark items and washing them separately. Use cold water and 1-2 capfuls of lingerie wash in your sink. Add a few items and soak for 5 minutes then gently clean each piece by rubbing them with the soapy water. Drain the soapy water and fill the sink with cold water again to rinse out the detergent. Drain and let hang dry or dry flat overnight.


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