By Megan McDonald December 16, 2011

Is there something you want to get off your chest? Then come sit by me on the couch, ‘cause we’re gonna have an Oprah moment.

Tell me, does your bosom have intimacy issues with your bra?

If you chalk up an ill-fitting brassiere to body changes or dread strapping into the torture chamber – thinking that’s just the way the beast of burden is supposed to feel -- then you may be among the 75-85 percent of women tolerating a dysfunctional relationship with the wrong size bra.  And, as a confidant, I’m here to say that you need better support.

Here’s the tell list:

  • You engage in the shift/tug/pull/adjust battle all day, every day
  • When wearing a t-shirt, it bulges in more than the two obvious locations
  • Under-wiring is desperate to escape
  • The bra is wrinkled and/or does not rest against your body
  • Oooh, ow! Perpetual indention marks on your shoulders
  • You’ve had the same bra since 1993

It’s only us here--can you relate? Admitting there’s a problem is the first step.

In fact, you’re not alone; I’ve been there. It took a friend to shine the light on my bra-situation denial. Molly Schechter witnessed me in a full-on tug fest (Rude Awakening: Others can actually see you doing this!). She immediately assessed my issue and sent me to Cheryl Burke at Sea Cup and Up.

Years later, I’m paying it forward by liberating my fellow sisters and their girls.

Now, there’s only so much you can do via the Internet. A proper in-person fitting will do more than solve the comfort dilemma; it will improve your posture. And, seriously, when was the last time you were delighted to open your unmentionables drawer? 

Here’s some Cheryl Burke insight from fit to looking after your lingerie:


Q&A with Cheryl Burke of Sea Cup and Up:

What are the latest trends in undergarments?

The newest trend seems to be Body Shapers, even for men!

Aside from sizing – what are other common mistakes women make when selecting a bra?


I would say that choosing a minimizer is the biggest mistake, especially for a large-busted woman; it creates a round, wide look. 

A seamed bra or molded-cup bra brings your bust in on the sides and up where it belongs, thus making you look longer and thinner in the waist.  A much more flattering shape than having your breasts squished flat and under your arms.


How should we care for lingerie?

All our lingerie brands recommend hand-washing your lingerie. Some people will refuse to do this. If you insist on machine-washing, then we suggest a lingerie bag with a wire or one that’s shaped. 

A flat lingerie bag gets twisted during the wash and is a common way for a wire to pop on a wired bra. It is best to fold the bra in half and place in the wired lingerie bag, then the bag doesn't get twisted during washing. 

Either way, a delicate detergent should be used, one that is made for lingerie. And never place a bra in the dryer.  Always hang dry.


What should every woman have in her lingerie drawer? 

A minimum of three bras is recommended: One that you are wearing, one that was just washed and one in the drawer! 

Be sure to pick lingerie that fits properly and makes you feel good even if no one sees it; you know what you are wearing!

Also, a well-fitted bra fits snugly, stays in place and does not move around when you move. A good fit gives a good shape, lifts the bust, improves posture and, yes, can even eliminate bumps under your clothing. Ill-fitting bras can be uncomfortable, the straps can dig into the shoulders and you can appear saggy.


One more pearl from Cheryl:

Bras are similar to shoes; you wear different shoes for different outfits. In the same way, you need different bra styles to enhance your outfits.  In Tim Gunn's Guide to Style, he says: "Undergarments are the most important part of dressing.  They are the foundation on which a good outfit is built on."

Want a one-on-one with the lingerie master?  You can find Cheryl at Sea Cup and Up, 1810 S. Osprey Avenue in Sarasota, or call for an appointment: (941) 951-2727.

For more fashion tips and trends, follow Heather on Twitter @heatherDUNHILL.

And for even more ways to get Sarasota Magazine, become a fan on Facebook or follow @SarasotaMagazin on Twitter.

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