Supermarket star bras

Three weeks ago I put out a survey and one of the questions I asked was where you brought your lingerie from. To my complete ignorance and surprise, I found that the majority of my “Other” answers were either M&S or supermarkets. M&S could have fit under one of my other categories but supermarkets did not even cross my mind as an option. I found this quite funny as most of my socks are from Sainsburys so I knew that supermarkets sold underthings. As quite a lot of ladies must buy their bras from their local supermarket, I thought I would filter out what each supermarket does well.

George at ASDA

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I was slightly overwhelmed by the choice in ASDA and their online store is also filled with more choices. I spoke to the shop assistant who told me that more sizes were available online so ASDA stock sizes 32A-42G which is quite impressive. The quality of their products are not high, but that is what you get with a bras starting as little as £4. I thought some of the wires were quite flimsy but the reviews for a majority of their bras are 4-5 stars which is amazing, comparative to high end brands where price doesn’t always correlate with consistent five star products. Customers favourite products online appear to be the post surgery bras which are also lacy. I love that ASDA stock these because women who are post surgery deserve pretty bras no matter what their financial situation might be. So the overview for ASDA is that initially not a lot excited me, especially with regards to quality. Saying that though, those who have tried and tested the bras appear to be really happy with the results for the price they paid. I would say their online store range is better than those that I saw in the store itself. And you can do click and collect in store for your convenience.

 

TU at Sainsburys

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Not lingerie related but Sainsburys is my go to supermarket and as I said above about 70% of my socks come from Sainsburys. So being a lover of their store in general their lingerie section did disappointment me as far as selection goes. If you like little to no padding, Sainsburys is your go to place. Sizes range from a 32A to a 42E which is still a good range but not as good as ASDA’s. The Shapewear range was Sainsburys strong point. Their range for shape was large compared to Tesco and ASDA. Sainsburys also stocked cute underwear which could be included in a 3 for £8 which weren’t too dissimilar to high street clothing retailers styles. The quality of products was better than ASDA.

 

Tesco F&F

Tesco are the champions for bras found in supermarkets. With products ranging from £5-£27 and sizes from 32A-40G, the quality of products were the highest across the three stores. They had the largest ranges of each bra type, excluding shapewear but they did have some online. Some of the bras could be comparable to high street lingerie brands such as Boux Avenue and one of the bras even reminded me of a product I have handled in Victoria’s Secret but for only a fifth of the price. All of the seasonal bras came with pretty matching bottoms.

 

Summary

  • Bright pink and lime are in all supermarkets this SS16.
  • In my opinion Tesco has the best value for money products. You spend a little more but the fabric is better quality.
  • ASDA bra customers seem very happy with the bras they get for the price they pay.
  • Sainsburys are the best for shapewear and underwear deals (and socks..).
  • If I went back to a store to buy any of the products it would be the Tesco white balcony bra as shown above.

Things to keep in mind:

Stock in store and online differs. ASDA’s website doesn’t co-ordinate very well with some of the products I found in store. Also you can find a lot more sizes online for each of the supermarkets.

You often get what you pay for with cheaper bras.

Sainsburys don’t have a super store near me which could be a result of their small selection. They do good sleepwear though so check it out.

Next time you are doing a food shop check out your underwear section in your supermarket and see what bargains you pick up. You could be pleasantly surprised with what you find.

Claudia. x

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Wonderful wedding lingerie

As summer is approaching, wedding details are being put together and brides are gearing up for the big day to marry the man they want to spend their life with. Whilst the dress takes centre stage, bridal lingerie is a really important part of the day. Not only because of the first night you spend with your new husband, but because you could have a £2000 dress that could be ruined by the lingerie you wish to wear underneath it. You don’t have to spend a fortune on lingerie so here are some ideas for the big day.

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Backless dresses appear to be very Vogue this wedding season, and if you are a bride who doesn’t have a bra sewn into her dress, this would probably be the hardest dress to find bridal lingerie for. Stick on bras aren’t often pretty but Fashion Forms can solve your backless bride problems. Their Lace Backless Strapless Bridal Body is the simplest solution with its stick on cups and side support. A friend of mine who has spent months looking for something like this, was thrilled when I linked it to her. I asked her to confirm if it has poppers at the bottom (Easy toilet access is very important) and she said that it does. For only £32 it is probably just a useful solution to have in your lingerie collection.

Strapless bras are one of the most commonly needed bras for brides. As you know the Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless is my favourite, and the lace covered ones are acceptable bridal lingerie. But there are other strapless bras on the market and some which are more “bridal”. This Gorgeous by Debenhams bra caters to DD-H cups and 30-40 band size. It’s smooth cups will be suitable for all material types that make up the dress, as well as having some beautiful lace detailing and at only £24 it won’t take a huge chunk of your budget.

Going up the market a bit, Gossards have a lovely bridal range and their Retrolution Bridal Multiway Bra can be perfect for all dresses except plunge and backless. It has a wide waist band and three hooks at the back for extra support and to keep your bra in tact throughout the day. It goes up to an E cup and comes in at only £42. You can add on a thong and a waist cincher to complete the look.

 

Basques tend to be a bridal lingerie trend whatever the season. This Opera Basque by Chantelle has beautiful lace detailing and the cups are smooth, meaning it will not affect the dress around the bust. It comes in at £104 on sale (Originally £130) and goes up to a DD cup. Pour Moi? Amour Basque in Almond is a cheaper alternative at £35 and it goes up to an F cup. The reviews for it are great and it’s slightly pink so you can feel peachy under your dress. Both of these have removable straps if your dress is strapless.

Lots of lingerie retailers would recommend that you buy your lingerie before you try on dresses. I personally would not recommend this unless you are planning on spending more on your lingerie than on your dress. Take a standard white multiway bra and a stick on bra to your first dress fittings. Lots of brides want to loose weight before the big day and therefore your lingerie might not fit you. Buy your lingerie just before you have your dress altered (If you are) and take it to that fitting. If it isn’t right then make note of why it isn’t right and look for alternative options. You do not want to limit yourself to a dress style because you have already brought the lingerie for it.

Check list for your bridal lingerie:

  • Are any parts of the lingerie showing that shouldn’t be?
  • Is it comfortable?
  • Do I feel like a million dollars in this?

Congratulations to any future brides that might be reading this, I wish you a life time of happiness!

Claudia.x

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Fix your bra fitting

The statistic circling the lingerie industry is that 8/10 women wear the wrong bra size. Of that 80% of women in the wrong bra, 70% wear a bra too small and 10% wear one too big. This is a huge problem and lots of women resent wearing bras because of the discomfort that comes with wearing the wrong size.

So how do you know if you’re wearing the wrong size?

Going to a specialist lingerie retailer and getting refit is the easiest way to know if you’re wearing the wrong size. I remember when I turned 16 I went for a fitting in Boux Avenue as the store just opened up in Bath and a lady measured me in at 3 cups larger and a band size down from what I was currently wearing. I thought “My boobs can’t really be that size”. I let her know about my concerns and she went through and explained the way in which a bra should sit on your body. So after that I ran into loads of other shops that sold bras and tried on a fair few in my new size testing to see if they fit me. They did!

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It is recommended that you get your size refit every six months but here are the things to look for if you think you should be resized:

  • If the band at the back is riding up, you’re wearing the wrong bra size. It should be horizontal around your entire body. This usually means your band size is too big and often your cup size is too small.
  • If the band is loose it means either your bra is old and the elastic has gone, or you need a tighter fitting band. Remember that it must be tight but also comfortable.
  • If the band is too tight and is rubbing and digging, you need a bigger band size. “.
  • Wires digging or rubbing into your rib or under your arm indicates a cup size too small.
  • If your breast is overflowing from the cup and bulging out, your cup is too small.
  • If your bra cup is gaping, leaving a gap between your breast and the cup itself, this generally means you are wearing a cup too big. Try sitting down when trying on a bra as this will let you see if your cup will gape.
  • The material in between your cups should sit flat against your chest between your breasts. If it doesn’t, that indicates that your cup size is too small and your band size might change with your cup size.
  • Shoulder straps digging into you means that either the band or the cup are too small for you.
  • Painful back and neck issues are normally found in larger bust women. This tends to be because they are in the wrong bra size and are therefore not getting the support that their large bust needs.

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Other notes.

Remember, scooping your breasts into your cups ensures that your bra is supporting your breasts in the way they need to be supported. Always scoop when trying on and wearing a bra!

A lot of people talk about sister sizing bras. This is when you buy a bra that gives you the next “best” support. So if you were a 32E but someone didn’t have that size, you could try a 34DD which should effectively give you the same result as the cup volume is the same as the band size increases. Here’s a chart that will explain:

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Sister sizing isn’t something I would choose to do myself, especially when you are forking out a lot for a bra. I was in Victoria’s Secret with a friend and the sales assistant tried to get her into a 34 band when she is a 30. That back size would have been far too large even if it evened out the cups. If you are going to spend £50 on a bra, don’t settle for sister sizes. I have only ever brought a sister size bra once when a bra was £10 in a sale. I really regret this because I had this bra in 3 other colours and it was not half as comfortable as my previous purchases.

NEVER buy a bra in a smaller size because you want good cleavage. I have known girls to intentionally buy bras in smaller sizes because it makes their boobs look “better” (i.e. bigger). If you want cleavage just buy a push up bra. It will be far more comfortable and all of the components of your bra will fit as they should around the rest of your body.

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So basically, do not compensate on bra sizes. Stop buying bras in the wrong size and get fit properly, you will only be paying for something that could be doing your body harm. When forking out lots of money for bras, make sure they are the right size, they will last longer meaning you will get your moneys worth. If you feel in pain a lot around your neck, back, shoulders and even torso, see if the problem stems from your bra.

Claudia.x

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Have no fear, there’s a bra for that.

Bra solutions are the saviour we need to enjoy wearing beautiful outfits, without a bra popping out where we don’t want it. But what bra solution works for what situation?  Here are a list of bra solutions to look through and see what would work for you. Bra solutions are not just for special occasions either. Wear them under casual clothing if you need too, buy clothes and find the bra after. If there is a will, there is a way.

The strapless bra

Everyone knows that a strapless bra is an essential part of your lingerie wardrobe. You would wear a strapless bra with anything that doesn’t have straps or has straps thinner than your bra’s. My favourite strapless solution is the Wonder bra Ultimate Strapless and you can read my review of it here. Wearing straps when your clothing doesn’t have them can really spoil the look of your outfit. I would also highly recommend investing in a good quality strapless bra and staying as far away from “invisible” straps as possible. They are not invisible and they look cheap and tacky.

The stick on bra

The stick on bra, or the backless bra, comes in two forms; silicone stick cups or cups that stick with tabs on the side that also stick to you. The one with tabs on the side are for extra support. These bras are really useful to wear with open back or low back clothes. Similarly to “invisible straps” do not buy a “Clear back bra” they are not clear, they are very noticeable and they will not bring positive attention to your outfit.

Racer back converter

Racer back converters are super cheap and are worth having as a back up in your wardrobe. Quite a lot of bras now have clips already built in to the bra structure to allow you to have this look, but if yours don’t then this simple solution is perfect for you. It’s easier to ask someone else to help you, but you simply clip your two back bra straps together in the middle to form an X. I would loosen your bra straps ever so slightly to make the pull of the bra straps more comfortable. You would need an X shaped back for clothes that have that same X back. The converter can also be used to slightly boost cleavage.

Low back converter

A low back converter is very easy to use. You simply clip the two parts of the solution to your hooks and eyes on the back of your bra and wrap it around your body and hook it together at the front. This will make your bra back go from a straight line to a V. This converter won’t work on really low backs but there are other solutions listed on this post that you can try instead (Such as the backless, stick on bras). You can use this solution for V backed clothes where the V goes lower than your normal bra back. You can use dress tape to secure your cups and the converter straps if you have larger breasts.

Dress tape

Before I brought dress tape I didn’t realise how much I needed it. Dress tape can help secure other bra solutions in place, such as a low back converter, as well as holding your clothes fabric in place to prevent nipple slips. It can be used on any clothing you feel it should be used with. I use it on low cut clothes with another bra solution.

Nipple covers

Nipple covers are pretty self explanatory, they are covers for your nipples. You can get fabric or silicone ones. For Love and Lemons are the only stockers of nipple covers I’ve come across that are in different skin shades so you can pick from three colours here. Nipple covers can be used when you want to go braless or another bra solution won’t work and want to keep your nipples at bay when it gets a bit chilly. I prefer silicone covers to fabric as they are smoother.

Bra back extender

Although this isn’t a solution for outfits, it is worth mentioning. If your favourite bra is starting to get a little tight but you’re a bit strapped for cash and can’t afford to replenish your bra wardrobe until a few pay days away, all you need is a set of bra back extenders. Buy packs with either two or three hooks depending on what you have in your wardrobe. They are cheap and always worth having to hand.

 

U plunge bra

The U plunge bra is a bra with a U cut out at the front. This bra solution would be used if you wear low cut tops or dresses and the bra will hold your boobs with good cleavage.

Bye bra

Bye bra is breast lift tape used with nipple covers. The tape is placed on your breast then you lift it to your desired lift and stick down. You can see a tutorial on how to use this product here. These apparently work really well for larger breasts so if any of the solutions don’t appeal to the larger cupped ladies, then this solution can be used for any clothing you need a solution bra for. I have tried a dupe version of this and it was awful. I have yet to try the bye bra official product but it has good reviews.

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I hope these bra solutions help inspire you to buy the complicated cut dress or top that you’ve always wanted to step out in. I will review some of these products as and when I try them out myself.

Important

You must love your skin so please take care with stick on products and test them out at home before you wear them out. A lot of products recommend you patch test them so please do. Also do not use moisturiser or oil on your skin before you use stick on products as they will not stay put.

Claudia x

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