OK, ladies. It's time for a lingerie revolution. Begin by extricating ill-fitting bras and tattered nightgowns from your closet and be done with them. It's time to embrace your figure and reveal its true fabulousness.
Every woman, no matter what her size, can benefit immensely from properly fitted undergarments that both enhance her body and make each item in her wardrobe look spectacular. Find out what it takes to get that "perfect fit" and check out what looks are hot for Valentine's Day, the sexiest day of the year.
Quality vs. quantity
Despite those tempting ads in department store flyers that shout "50 per cent off brand-name bras," it's a good idea to bypass larger stores where it's difficult to receive one-on-one attention. Instead, head for a shop that specializes in fitting bras.
"You are not just buying a bra; you are buying a whole look," says Vasilia, owner and bra guru of Avec Plaisir in Toronto. "Lingerie should be like shoes: They should be comfortable." Don't underestimate the worth of your undergarments. "By buying cheaper bras, you are not getting the benefits of what a bra can do for you," Vasilia says.
Vasilia is passionate about women taking the time (about a half-hour or so) to get fitted for a bra. A good salesperson considers a woman's lifestyle and wardrobe choices when matching a customer with the best bra. Vasilia stresses that fit needs to work more than style, so don't let flimsy bras with pretty patterns sway your decision and keep you from getting the best fit.
All lingerie is not made equal, says Ana Mesic, owner of the Bra Bar in Toronto. Specialty stores like hers exclusively carry lingerie and offer superb fabrics like breathable microfibres from manufacturers who make garments with quality fabrics. The benefit, Mesic suggests, is lingerie that lasts longer than department-store brands.
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Fitting all figures
Another benefit to visiting a lingerie shop is that there's often a wide selection of sizes. "Department stores don't carry all sizes," says Mesic, who also points out that the brands she carries offer bigger-busted women more choice when it comes to bra cuts and styles. For fuller-figured women, Mesic recommends a line called Simone Perele. It offers beautifully accented, fuller-coverage bras and higher-cut briefs to hide bulging tummies.
For women who want to enhance their assets, The Cotton Club's Padded Plunge Bra is ultrasexy and comes in various colours and patterns. For women who are happy with their smaller bust size but want to mix function and femininity, try Princesse Tam-tam's line of delicate, soft-hued lacy bras that feature triangular-cut styles for added elegance.
Hot styles to heat up your valentine
If the thought of lingerie-shopping makes you reach for the nearest oversize bathrobe, don't worry. Vasilia warns women not to get hung up in their imperfections; there are many styles to flatter every figure. "To each person, 'sexy' is different."
For a woman who is not comfortable strutting her stuff in a bra and panty set, a silk or lace-accented chemise that drops to the waist or hip can cover as little or as much as you like. Another naughty but nice option, says Caroline Sacchetti, executive vice president of La Senza Lingerie, is a cotton camisole and cropped pant set."It's for a person who doesn't want frilly but wants cute."
La Senza's Baby Doll collection is one of their best sellers: lacy or feather-trimmed camisoles matched with panties in colours ranging from traditional black to fun fuchsia. Sacchetti points out that these sets are popular with male buyers because guys don't need to know the recipient's cup size to purchase a set.
This season, traditional colours of red and black still reign; however, lovely nudes, vibrant hues and bold prints are at the forefront of modern lingerie design. Don't think of a fitting or a bra purchase of $100 or more as extravagant; properly fitted undergarments ensure comfort for all sizes. Nothing is sexier than a woman who is comfy and confident in wearing something that enhances her curves.
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