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Getting the right foundation pieces

I need to start with this important topic.

Nothing will make you look leaner and longer than wearing the right bra as it creates more space between your natural waist and bust line and emphasises the waist that you have. This helps to hide the tummy as well as it will draw the eye upward and create more space between your bust and your belly.

I know it's not always easy (I'm guilty myself for choosing comfortable ill fitting bras over tighter better fitting bras) but it makes a huge difference and it can look like you lost weight.

When I was in New York this summer I decided that I was going to get some new bras. To my surprise I was given the size 34 D! This surprised me as I had never worn a D before and did not think my boobs were that big. For comfort reasons I had always preferred to get a 36C. To my surprise I even ended up buying a bra in double D!

I never choose a lower size bra because of vanity reasons and you shouldn't either. Nobody needs to know what size you have. All that matters is that your bust (and with that your overall figure) looks your best.

Let's have a look at how getting a better bra can make a huge difference to your outfit. Here is the same dress but with a different bra.

How to get the right bra measurement

Measuring your bra size yourself can be tricky as ideally you would need to wear the perfect bra to get the right measurement. I like the directions by excellent undergarments site Bare Necessities.

Here are their guidelines for measuring band size:

Measuring band size

There are two ways to measure your band size. The best bet is to do it both ways to see if you get a consistent measurement.

1. Bring the measuring tape around your back to the front, keeping it under the arms and bringing it up across to the middle of your chest (see image). If you get an odd number, round up to the next even number to get your band size.

2. Measure across the bottom of your band, directly under the bust and across your ribcage. Make sure to keep your measuring tape straight around the back to front. Again, if you get an odd number, round up to the next even number to get your band size.

Measuring cup size

1. Measure loosely around the fullest part of your bust, with the tape straight across and around your back, bringing it to the front.

2. Subtract your band measurement (from step 1) from this bust measurement. The difference calculates your bra size- each inch represents a cup size. For example, if you measure a 34 inch band size, and a 36 inch cup size, the difference is 2: which would indicate a B cup.

I encourage you to read Bare Necessities full guidelines or go to your local shop and get a professional assistant to help you.

For more tips on bra choices you can also have a look at this article on 40+Style.

Finding the right underwear

Finding the right underwear is just as important. Nothing will break the line and leanness of your clothing than a visible panty line (VPL). With all the options for underwear available right now, there really is no excuse for these ugly lines.

Here is how I manage the VPL:

  • For non-tight skirts and dresses I just wear regular bikini style cotton panties. Choose any style you like here
  • For leggings, tight fitting pants and tight skirts I use microfibre low rise shorts. I like these ones from M&S  These show absolutely no lines and are comfortable to wear.

I don't wear g-strings and find them unfortable to wear. I also don't like the silhouette they create as they divide the buttocks in 2. I love the streamline bottom look that my microfibre shorts create.

How about shapewear?

Shapewear can be a good option if you like to give your body a longer and leaner silhouette. Shapewear has much approved in the last few years and you may find styles that you find comfortable enough to wear.

Today's top shape wear companies like Maidenform, Spanx, Yummie and others are founded by women or work with women designers that know how a woman wants to look -- and feel. That means that there is a fashionable selection of undergarments that tuck, lift and hide flaws while being pretty comfortable for all seasons, too.

Here’s a collection of some of the best:


For more on shapewear you can also read this article.