(The top photo was taken before a proper bra fitting and the bottom photo was taken after.)
I have officially entered the stage in life that I like to refer to as the “annual visitation” phase. If you’re over the age of 40, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. For what equates to roughly two weeks of my life every year, I spend an inordinate amount of time coordinating appointments to get voluntarily poked and prodded by a variety of physicians specializing in a variety of fields.
During one of my most recent p-n-p sessions, my OB/gyn told me that the density of my breasts had started to change.
After noting the look of sheer horror on my face, she quickly went on to explain that breast density – a relatively normal phenomenon for most mature women – can be caused by a number of factors, including fluctuating estrogen and weight levels, as well as age.
A woman’s breasts are made up of fat, glands, lobes, ducts and other breast tissue which is supported by a network of ligaments contributing to perk and lift. Over time, those ligaments lose some of their elasticity, causing “the girls” to soften and sag.
Aging is inevitable and we can’t fight its effects any more than we can those of gravity. What we can do to combat the signs of aging, though, is update our wardrobe to include a few properly fitted bras that will give the illusion of having those perky, firm breasts we all remember so fondly from our 20s.
So, what does it mean to have a bra that’s properly fitted? Start with this checklist.
- Make sure you’re wearing the right size – A lot of women believe incorrectly that it’s the bra cup that provides the most support. In reality, it’s the band. If it’s too loose, the weight of the breasts will drag down the front. To avoid this very common mistake, have your measurements taken by a professional bra fitter or refer to the guide below to determine your perfect bra size.
Style Tip: Wearing a bra with a properly fitted band can eliminate “back fat,” and give you a smoother, more figure-flattering sillouette.
- Replace your bra on a regular basis – The useful life expectancy of most bras will run out at around 6-9 months. That’s an approximation, of course, depending on care and storage. But, the more you wear and wash your pieces, the more the elastic will stretch and the overall support will be lost. So, be sure to rotate wear among your bras to prolong the life.
Style Tip: To extend the life of your bra, be sure that it fits snugly (but not too snugly) on the loosest hook. Over time, your bra will stretch and as it does, you’ll be able to fit it on the tighter hooks, which, in effect will help prolong the life of the bra.
- Ensure proper care and storage for your bras – Always, I repeat, ALWAYS air dry your bra after washing it. The heat from a dryer can damage the memory of plastic underwire and elastic bands, causing your bra to lose support.
Style Tip: Rather than stuffing your bras into a lingerie drawer that’s probably already filled to the brim (guilty!) try placing your bra on a hanger in your closet. That way, you can ensure the integrity of the bra’s structure, which is especially important for molded/padded bras, which can dimple or pucker if the cup gets inverted in the drawer.
So, give your tatas the TLC they deserve and check out the guide below to help you determine your perfect bra size. It’s the first step toward achieving that sexy silhouette you’ve been looking for. And, don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter below to get more style tips and advice.
Oh, and P.S. – Be sure to have your breasts examined by a professional on a regular basis (in addition to your own self-examinations) because the more dense the tissue in your breasts, the more difficult it can be to detect a lump. Early detection is one of the best weapons we have to fight breast cancer.