SECURELY FASHIONED: Underwear 101 for 2014

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First Posted: 1/7/2014

Welcome to the new year! To kick things off, I thought I would break it down to basics. Underwear.

That’s right, we’re going there. It’s time to clean out your drawers (pun intended) and get your basics in order. First things first, anything you’ve had for more than three years must go. Most underwire bras won’t last much past that point even if they’ve never been in a dryer. Even if it’s an old fave, it’s not doing your shape any good. Toss it. And if you have any underwear that you would be embarrassed to be spotted in, toss that, too. With all of the options out there, you don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics for comfort. Once you’ve created your toss pile, you can begin to make a list of what you need to carry your derrière through 2014.

Everyday undergarments:

Cotton panties. There are many shapes and cuts to choose from, like high leg brief, bikini, hipster, thong, g-string, and boy short to name a few. You have found the right cut when you don’t have to keep adjusting them all day long. You really shouldn’t feel them at all. Cotton is best for daily wear and usually the most comfortable. Another comfortable and cute alternative is a lace/cotton blend. Usually these are very stretchy and fit even on a bad day. The cotton is soft and breathable, and the lace gives it that extra femininity.

As far as bras go, simple cotton underwire with light padding will make a great t-shirt bra. If underwire bras really bother you, first consider getting measured to make sure you are wearing the right size. The underwire should not be touching your breasts at all but resting underneath, flat against your ribs. There are also some nice wireless options, but they usually only flatter certain cup sizes. You will also need one plunge bra for those low cut tops and at least one good push up, demi and balconette style; that’s a minimum of four bras, and throw in an extra everyday bra in case one is being laundered. Five bras and at least two pairs of each style panty: thong, bikini, brief, nude color seamless panty and seamless thong, and a few that just make you feel gorgeous.

Shapewear staples:

There are so many options for shapewear, but I have found that I get the most mileage out of a strapless dress style shaper. The bra cups are padded and strapless, so you can wear it with any top or dress, and the shaper holds and slims through the waist, back, butt, and upper thighs. If you only need help on the bottom, you can find the “Spanx” style shorts with tummy, butt, and thigh control. The key to finding the perfect fit is that you don’t want to see any lumps or bumps where the shaper has pushed all of your extra weight to the unfortunate spot where your shaper ends, but you also need it tight enough to hold everything up and in and make it stay put. My only advice is trial and error. Bring a tight-fitting dress and a pair of pants with you while you try on shapers. If you are a new mom and aren’t feeling confident enough to wear your pre-baby clothes, try the “Squeem” belly binder. This little gem worked wonders for me with its tight-fitting corset hooks that go from under the breasts all the way down to the pubic bone. Not only does it make you look great, but it also helps put your organs back where they once were. True story.

Proper care for your new undergarments:

Never put your bras or shapers in the dryer. Do not wash after every wear. When you do wash them, they should be hand-washed with lingerie soap and warm water. This also goes for any non-cotton panties. Things like lace, satin and silk, or… pleather, if you are into that sort of thing. You can even hang your bras in the bathroom when you take a shower, and this will gently steam clean them. Cotton panties can be washed in the regular wash cycle and dried. Some shapers like the “Squeem” need to be soaked in warm water and then air dried before you wear them for the first time. Hot water can damage elastic in shapewear.

Store your bras with the clasps hooked to prevent snagging and the dreaded bent-hook; we’ve all been there fumbling around the bathroom trying desperately to hook our bras and wondering why it won’t latch. Keep all of the cups in their original shape and don’t fold one cup into the other. Instead, line your bras up one in front of the other going horizontal in a drawer. Bonus points for ROY G BIV. If you need extra storage, the large decorative keepsake and photo boxes sold at Michaels, Marshalls, Ross, and TJ Maxx are great for storing bras and panties.

The Semi Annual sales for both Victoria’s Secret and Aerie are happening now, so you can get all of your pieces for about 50 percent or more off of retail! Here’s to a sexier year!