Look 5 Pounds Thinner (From a Bra!)

Look 5 Pounds Thinner (From a Bra!)

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Who doesn’t remember that awkward moment when your mom took you to the local department store to buy your first bra? You walked into a vast sea of nude and blush-colored brassieres and passed by shockingly large cup sizes that could hold watermelons—a far cry from your humble set.

And the person to help you find the right bra for your newly perky breasts? An elderly lady, peering down at you over the reading glasses perched on her nose, measuring tape in hand. Even though her attitude was one of “I’ve seen it all before, honey” you felt mortified, anxious and overwhelmed. And if you step into a department store today to pick up a new bra, chances are, not much has changed since then.

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Sure, now that training bras are in your distant past, you probably pop into Victoria’s Secret instead and pick up a sexy bra or two, but the person helping you this time around is most likely about 20 years old and has no clue about how a good bra should fit. Without a bra fit specialist to guide you or knowing what to look for in a good bra when you’re flying solo, it’s no surprise that most women are wearing the wrong size bra, according to “the bra whisperer” Susan Nethero, owner of Intimacy intimate apparel stores.

Considering how many hours you log in a bra each day, that’s a lot of time to spend feeling downright uncomfortable. According to a survey of 60,000 women conducted by Intimacy, “we found that nearly two-thirds of women struggle with fit issues relative to comfort,” says Nethero. The survey also revealed that nearly 50 percent of women would like more support from their bras and that one in three women are concerned about bra straps and underwire digging into their skin, as well as straps that won’t stay put.

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A bad bra can cause your breasts to sag. Above, before and after an Intimacy bra fitting. Photo courtesy of Intimacy
Best Bra

But wearing an unsupportive bra isn’t merely annoying. It can make you look heavier than you are and more importantly, can cause your breasts to sag, especially if you have a large chest. “No question that the larger the breasts are—whether from your genes, pregnancy or obesity—the faster they will sag,” says Arthur Perry, M.D., YouBeauty Cosmetic Surgery Expert. “The benefit of wearing a good bra is that the sagging and stretching of the tissues is lessened. When breasts are allowed to droop, you get a pulling on the skin. This stimulates the fibroblasts, which are pressure-sensitive cells that make collagen, to make more skin and contributes to drooping of the breast. The advantage of wearing a bra is that you get less stretch and less droopy breasts over time.”Rather than walking around with deflated balloons on your chest (although, as Bobby Brown once said, that’s your prerogative), why not kiss bad bras goodbye and start your own “bravolution”? Follow Nethero’s uplifting tips for finding the perfect fit—and maintaining your investment…

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Rachel Grumman Bender
Rachel Grumman Bender is an award-winning freelance health and beauty writer and editor. She writes regularly for The New York Times and has written for Women's Health, Yahoo Health, Everyday Health, the New York Post, Cosmopolitan, and many more publications. Rachel has held Health Editor positions at YouBeauty.com and Cosmopolitan magazine. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism at Boston University and her master’s degree in journalism at New York University. She lives in northern California with her husband and her twins.