Foundation: the basic groundwork of anything
Just as a building needs a solid foundation, or you use “foundation” to prepare your face for the color accents, your body needs the right foundation garments to best project your outer garments. Whether a $59 dress from H & M or a $1000 dress from Armani, it will look better when you are wearing the proper foundation garments.
I think we often treat our undergarments a bit like toothpaste – a necessary part of life but we buy replacements by rote. A closet edit is often where clients realize their foundation items are not working for them. Since good foundational garments are expensive, it is important to have a knowledgeable sales person guiding you.
A good place to start is with the bra. I have found that my size has changed over the years so a new fitting is important. Another nasty little habit manufacturers have is discontinuing a favorite style. I would recommend having a good fitting at least every five years. Although lace is beautiful and makes you feel elegant, these bras often show the pattern of the lace through soft knits. The “T” shirt bra has become a staple in my wardrobe. Another feature to look for when choosing a bra is the option of crossing the straps in back. As most of you have discovered, many of the newer summer designs have found creative ways to cut deep into the armhole, thus revealing a bra strap. I notice many women ignoring this fact and letting their bra straps show. There is a reason undergarments are called “undergarments”. Exposed lingerie ruins the whole look of a garment. After switching to a strapless bra when wearing some of my dresses and tops, I discovered that one of my bras had detachable straps in the back that could be lengthened and crossed. Voila! Hidden straps and much more comfortable than a strapless bra.
Spanx, Bali, Miraclesuit, Body Wrap and other manufacturers have added shape wear to their lines. Spanx, an Atlanta company, seems to take the lead. You can find lightweight or firm body shapers, depending on your needs. Whether it is smoothing out through the midriffs, thighs or tummy, there is something for you. The “frog suit” is a lightweight full body and thigh unit that allows you to wear your own bra so you don’t get a “uni-boob” effect. Look for panties that do not show a panty line with your slacks.
When you are trying on any shapewear, look for something that will be comfortable. These are not designed to be like the corsets we have all see in movies from the ‘40s or fashions from the turn of the 20th century. Smelling salts are no longer fashioable! Be sure you move around, make sure they garment doesn’t roll up or cut in. Don’t make the mistake of thinking a smaller size will minimize as it will be uncomfortable over time.
Choose a store that has staff trained in fitting lingerie. You don’t want someone that has just been working in the perfume department helping fit your lingerie.