Believe it or not, I’m not going to tell you to revamp your diet, hire a trainer and sign up to run a half marathon. (Although if you REALLY want to look 10 pounds lighter and 10 years younger…. it’s not a bad idea!)
No, what we’re going to talk about today has nothing to do with diet and exercise. I’ll pause while you all breathe a sigh of relief.
This is much less painful, I promise. I’m talking about the importance of proper undergarments.
Oh yes, I am going there.
It doesn’t matter how cute your clothes are, if you’re sagging and dragging, you’ll look schlumpy, but fortunately there’s an easy fix! Here are 3 easy ways to instantly look younger and thinner without ever darkening the door of the gym.
3 Easy Ways to Look 10 Years Younger and 10 Pounds Lighter
#1. Get A Professional Bra Fitting
How long has it been since you’ve had a professional bra fitting? Have you ever?
It is estimated that something like 80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra. And if you think that’s just a clever marketing ploy, look around. I believe it.
The older we are, the more of a problem it is. Our bodies change, yes, but I think we also put less of a priority on our underwear because, let’s face it, we’re not as cute and perky as we used to be, and it’s just not as much fun to shop for. But it must be done.
If you were last fitted for a bra 10 years ago, before you had kids and when your metabolism was still working for you, you are probably not the same size anymore. As we age and our weight hems and haws, our bodies change. Every woman should get a professional bra fitting every 5 years or with any major body change (weight loss or gain, childbirth, pregnancy, etc.)
I’m a bad one for this one, I will admit. I wear mine for too long, I know. But experts say that bras that we wear on a regular basis should be replaced every six months. I’ll stretch that to about a year, (haha, stretch… I’m so punny) but after that, it’s time for a new one.
Again, this is not just a brilliant marketing strategy on the part of bra manufacturers. Take a look at the straps on your favorite bra — especially the band that goes around your back. Does the elastic look stretched out and worn? See that? It’s time for a new one.
Have you ever bought the same bra as one you have in your closet and compared the new with the old? These babies don’t hold up for much more than a year of regular use. Once they start to stretch out, they don’t do their job, and the next thing you know, your saggin’ and baggin’.
No one wants that!
So take an afternoon for yourself, go to Nordstrom or Soma or a place that provides professional bra fittings, and freshen up your foundation garments with new ones that put the girls back where they’re supposed to be. Then see how much better your clothes look.
Of course every woman is different, and what works for me may not work for you, but these are my favorites (use the arrow to scroll to see more):
The Chantelle sports bra has been my go-to for several years. This bra is great because it lifts and separates (no uniboobs please) plus the straps can be hooked together in the back, creating a racerback style for more support. It’s spendy, but it does occasionally go on sale.
For daily wear, I usually alternate between the Wacoal Embrace Lace and Freya Idol Underwire Balconette bras. Both have light padding that doesn’t add bulk but does provide a little extra coverage, and they come in larger cup sizes with smaller back sizes for those of us who need that combination.
#2. Invest In Good Quality Shapewear
There was a time when a lady would not leave the house without a girdle, and that time wasn’t all that long ago. Nowadays, in the name of feminism or comfort or I’m not even sure what, we just let it all hang out.
Fortunately there’s a movement to bring back shapewear, and I’m willing to be the president of the organization.
Now, before you balk, shapewear has come a long way in the past ten years. I promise, good quality shapewear will not be terribly uncomfortable or make you hot. Most shapewear these days is moisture-wicking, so it actually can keep you cooler, and if you go for medium control rather than heavy control, it’s actually quite comfortable to wear all day. In fact, I feel almost naked without it.
Here are some of my favorites (use the arrow to scroll to see more):
I’m a huge fan of the Spanx Shape My Day Girl Shorts. I wear them under all my skirts and dresses. They have a medium-control that creates a sleeker, more toned appearance, and they keep your skirt from getting stuck in unfortunate places when you stand up… ahem.
If you don’t need medium control but you want some extra coverage, Jockey Skimmies Slip Shorts are the perfect solution. They keep things smoothed out without binding, they’re moisture-wicking to keep you cool and comfortable, and they provide some coverage if your skirt flies up.
Another piece that’s good to have is a waist cincher. I tend to carry extra weight in my belly and midsection, and a waist cincher is great for controlling those pesky belly rolls; it lays under your bra and tucks into your pants or jeans and smooths everything out. I always wear one of these when my tops are at all clingy or form fitting. The one I love is no longer available, but I hear great things about this one from Soma.
#3. Eliminate Panty Lines
Nothing ruins a classy look like visible panty lines. I think I shocked a bunch of you when I admitted a few months ago to wearing these almost exclusively. Yes, they’re pricey, but they are the best I’ve ever found, and you can get them on sale if you’re patient.
When I wear shorts or dresses, I usually wear these briefs instead. They stay in place and are very comfortable, but they don’t completely eliminate the panty line issue, so with most pants and jeans, I go for the Hanky Pankys. For a more budget-friendly option, I hear great things about the Maidenform version.
Finally, make sure your clothes fit and work for your body. Wearing clothing that is too big or too small will add visual weight and make you look older and heavier than you are. Dress for the size you are now, and you will look better and feel so much more comfortable.
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