I want to first apologize for the incredibly poor quality of the following photos–I took them at night using my iPhone without a flash. I’m only using them to demonstrate a point: This is NOT OK to do. Never should a woman be donning a fun-backed dress with a nude colored bra blatantly showing. You are not deceiving anyone; even if your bra is a “nude” color, it does not simulate you being nude when it shows.
In the photo to the left, the blue box simply outlines where the dress’s decorative back is: it’s a simple crossback/racerback style made a bit more interesting with the differing widths of the stripes in the fabric. The lighter, smaller box outlines this bar-goer’s fashion foul because I know it may be difficult to see with the grainy picture quality. The photo to the right is just a side angle, and demonstrates that not all friends will be honest about how you look.
If a dress has an interesting back like this, make sure you are able to do the dress justice by wearing the appropriate undergarments to showcase both you and the dress’s design (this post & this post may help). This means minimal–if ANY–bra showing. This is not attractive nor flattering for this girl. I saw this fashion foul when I was visiting my hometown in July. She was out with a few other girlfriends to celebrate someone’s 21st birthday.
Regardless of whether or not you are the honoree for your fun night out, you should always dress to impress. I don’t say that to be snooty or to say that “you should dress to impress others.” I say that because you should dress to impress no one else except yourself. If you aren’t impressed by your outfit in some way (fit, color combo, style, trying something new, overall flattery), think of how that is linked to your self-confidence. Then think of how others will see you in that outfit throughout the rest of the night. How will you feel (mentally, physically, or emotionally) for the rest of your night? If your response is anything other than stellar, reevaluate your look for the evening.
The purpose of undergarments are to provide a smooth foundation on which to build your outfit. I don’t want it to come off that I think fashion is all work and no play–you’re supposed to have fun with it!! This edition of “Building a Solid Foundation” does just that: builds on the first two posts (which you can read here and here). You need to have the simple basics before you can add in the frivolous extras. Although, sometimes the extras aren’t so frivolous…
I may not have the largest chest in the world, but I have enough that not wearing a bra isn’t often an option. Then comes every girls’ dilemma: bras often limit what you can/cannot wear. HELLO ADHESIVES!! I love wearing plunging necklines and backless dresses–2 styles that are not bra friendly. I began my research earlier this summer and found my new best friends: 2: Braza’s Reveal Adhesive Bra, 6: Fashion Form’s NuBra Ultalite. Number 6 provides a great shape, but your night may be cut short if you sweat a bit–the adhesive slowly peeled away making me cross my arms for the rest of the night to hold it in place. Number 2 provides such a light lift you feel like you have nothing on! (And the adhesive stayed put All. Day. Long.)
Now here’s the fun part:
While I do think that unmentionables should remain unmentioned, there are times when I think they should show, too. I’ve often worn bandeaus (5) under super skimpy tanks, lacy bralettes (3) under low-cut shirts, and slips under shorter dresses to add a cute trim to my hem (8 & 9). I have yet to try bras as full-on shirts (1, 7, & 4 if under a blazer), but in no way shape or form am i opposed to it. But I will say: there is a fine line between sexy and skanky, so be weary.
No matter how fabulous your outfit is, the garments that are unseen (i.e. your bra) can make a world of difference.
The Fit: The proper fit of your bra will almost make you feel like you don’t have one on. You won’t be tugging to keep your girls contained, straps in place, or bra band from migrating. You will feel better. Your clothes will fit better. Who could be happier? To maintain a proper-fitting bra remember to get remeasured every 6 months. This sounds a bit often, but think of the weight fluctuations that happen from your Summer bikini body to your day-after-Thanksgiving body. No one likes to compare the two, but see the reasoning?
Now comes the unfortunate truth…a woman should own AT LEAST 3 staple bras to enhance her wardrobe: a lightly lined demi or full coverage, a simple strapless, and a plunge or scoop bra. I do not think that any woman needs a push-up bra. Aside from being “false advertising,” I have seen far more girls resemble Dolly Parton than I have Heidi Klum (more crass than class). Don’t forget: a bra is made to enhance the real you, not replace your real boobs.
The Fabric: I am a firm believer in seamless Nylon or elastane bras–they provide a smooth coverage that looks near-flawless under most fabrics. A little luxe lace every once in a while is a personal treat, but often rivals clingy tops. Actual fabric of the bra aside, my most sought attribute: color of the bra. I always want my clothes to talk, not the bra from under my clothes. Unless purposely donning a neon hue or a black bra under a sheer top, your bra should be invisible. The two colors to seek out: classic black and one that is as close to your skin tone as possible. “Nude” or “buff” does not apply to all–finding one that matches your complexion will make wearing white shirts and semi-sheer shirts a breeze.
The One(s): As I said before, “a woman should own AT LEAST 3 staple bras”…well here are my recommended 7:
1. Lightly Lined Demi Bra 2. Balcony Bra 3. Strapless Push-up Bra 4. Strapless Bra 5. Bandeau 6. Full Coverage/Racerback Bra 7. Plunge Bra
Each one is meant to let your clothes do the talking, based on what you want them to say. Have you worn anything interesting lately?