Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New baby, new boobs, new bras

It has been a rather magical six months on the baby front in my life. First my best friend Sarah gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl in December. Then my beautiful sister announced that she is pregnant with my first niece and my fabulous friend Jess is due in September. 

With all this wonderful baby news, and Mother’s Day just around the corner we're talking about new babies and the new boobs that come with them! You can find lots of in-depth information on our website but this is the top five must-knows when fitting your baby boobs.

1) Maternity bras are not nursing bras. Maternity bras are stretchy bras that change with your shape before and after baby and can be worn at night to give you extra support as your boobs get heavier and more sensitive. Nursing bras have release clasps on the cups so you can easily access your boobs for feeding. Maternity bras in D-K cups can be hard to find but there are lots of bras with stretch in the cups that can accommodate the fluctuation. Andorra from Panache is a good option.  

2) Size Matters. If you’ve never bothered with getting the right size before – bother NOW! Wearing the wrong size will make you really uncomfortable before and after pregnancy and worse than that it can actually cause infection if you get a blocked milk duct from an ill-fitting bra. Follow the instructions in our Fitting Room and check out our Bra Size Calculator to see how to keep track of your changing shape then buy the right size accordingly.

3) There’s no hard and fast rule to how often or how much your boobs are going to change, but a good tip if you’re going to breastfeed is to buy ONE nursing bra in your last trimester based on your current size at that time plus one full cup size. The chances that this will be your exact size are slim but it will be close and it will give you the instant convenience of a nursing bra when the baby arrives. Bra shopping in the first week after a new baby will be low on your priority list.

4) Good maternity and nursing bras should be made of breathable material so look for ones with a high cotton content or made of microfiber material – this will keep your skin cool and rash free. Make sure your bra has wide, soft straps to keep you comfortable as your chest becomes heavier.

5) Unless you are fastidious about wearing the correct size bra you should wear wirefree bras after giving birth. This will reduce the risk of unwanted pressure on your breast tissue which can cause duct blockages.  Never sleep in a wired bra, pregnant or not!

On average a woman’s bra size changes by two cups during pregnancy and breastfeeding. This can seem overwhelming for big busted girls but can be mind-boggling for women who go from a regular high street size like a C cup then don't know where to find a pretty nursing bra in an E cup. If the changing shape of your breasts seems a little daunting you can email our support team to talk through your concerns about maternity and breastfeeding.

Remember that this is an exceptionally special time in your life and being supported (emotionally and physically) makes the whole experience more enjoyable. Being in a supportive bra will remove some of the stress and allow you to be a happy and comfortable mother.  To all our customers who are expecting a new arrival this year, or who have just had a baby, my HUGE congratulations! xx

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How to Buy the Wrong Bra

It's very easy to buy the wrong bra but by pinpointing which Bra-Buying mistake you make you can learn how to change it!

1. The Big Band Brigade
This is the most common mistake. Buying a bra with a huge band that gives you no support. Women do this because they think that a firm fitting band is uncomfortable – it’s only uncomfortable when you’re in the wrong cup size. The most common size mistake I see is women in a 36C who should actually be in a 32E. Why is this? Because most high street stores don’t offer E+ cups and so women force themselves into what’s available.

The biggest ailment that comes with wearing the wrong band size is the band riding up at the back (giving you back fat) straps digging into your shoulders, straps slipping off your shoulders, wires digging in you at the sides and your boobs spilling out at the front. Measuring yourself regularly (or getting measured somewhere reputable) will get you a step closer to the right bras. If you're not sure what size range you should be looking for our Bra Size Calculator can help.

2. The Never-Changing Story
Ask yourself if you want the same hairstyle now as you had 10 years ago, or the same wardrobe, or makeup. If the answer is no then why do you think you should be in the same underwear? We all change with time. Our skin, weight and hormones all play a part in our changing shape. This doesn’t mean you can’t look phenomenal in lingerie, but it does mean you need to adapt your bras to your changing shape. At the very least you should be getting re-measured every year and more often if you are pregnant, experiencing weight-gain or weight-loss or going through the menopause. This isn’t just aesthetics; you can feel physically much better in the right sized bra.

3. Style Counseling
If you’re shopping on the high street and don’t have access to a store that carries a full range of sizes, not only are you squeezing into the wrong size, you are most likely in the wrong style. The bra industry is constantly trying to push-up, deep plunge and volumize smaller boobs with styles that are not designed for ladies with their own oomph! Your natural curves are heavier than the average 34B and so you need styles designed with better support. Every busty girl should have at least three supportive everyday bras that keep her boobs firmly in place. You should have a sports bra designed for busty women. Beyond that you might need a strapless bra, a plunge bra and I believe every woman should have at least one set that makes her feel beautiful and special!

Things you will discover in the right underwear
1. You’re figure is different. The right bra should lift your bust so that your nipples are exactly half way between your shoulder and elbow when stood looking in a mirror. This bust line makes your waist more pronounced showing your curvaceous figure.

2. Your clothes will fit better. Wearing the wrong underwear makes everything you put over the top of it look wrong. With the right foundations anything you put over the top will look more polished.

3. You wont be uncomfortable or in pain. Being free from these two things can revolutionize your life making you happier and more confident.

I hope you can figure out which bra shopping mistake you've been making and start your journey towards better fit. xx