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Ignore social media and live by your own beauty standards

This blog first appeared on April 26, 2019

 

Like! Share! Subscribe! Follow! We hear this all day every day while we consume social media. These are the measurements used for our life in the 21st Century. We are living in the age where we let our social media profiles define who we are, who we decide we can be, and how we feel about ourselves. We may have fallen trap to this ‘filter’ generation and found ourselves continuously comparing our lives to the curated ones online. Constantly asking ‘am I doing something wrong?’, ‘am I good enough?’ or ‘am I beautiful enough?’ are the results of this comparison.

Social media has also recently become a space where people try to seek information on certain controversial topics, be it the pandemic, vaccinations, or body autonomy. This has caused social media to become a space where one is constantly comparing themselves, getting into a negative mindset, or seeking validation from followers who may not know them in real life. Online the more followers and likes you have, equal the more beautiful, exciting, or intellectual a person is. This is far from the truth. 

Unrealistic beauty standards have always existed in the media, misinformation as well, and now, with the prevalence of social media, it has entered our lives in a way that many of us cannot deny. With that being said, here are some positive ways to navigate social media so you stay whole.

You are more than your online profile: Most people online don’t even look like their online persona; many are fulfilling the unrealistic and sometimes unattainable standards that exist currently. This is why Photoshop and photo editing software apps are very popular, allowing the poster to manipulate their body in any way they wish to fit this standard. Many only ever post that one selfie that came out just right—after taking 500 pictures overall— and is manipulated by numerous filters. Kylie Jenner herself has admitted to this, even as she has been viewed as an effortless beauty by many. You do not need to compete with that because being you is not a competition. On the topic of manipulation, someone’s online persona is oftentimes very opposite to their true selves; so, unless you know someone’s true self take their online image with a grain of salt and don’t judge yourself, or your life against theirs. There is no need to change who you are to get more likes; true engagement occurs when you show the real you. You are more than your online profile and your beauty stands out because it is unique.

Likes do not define you, You are enough: Your face, body, skin, and hair are unique to you and as cliché, as it may sound, you need to love the skin that you are in because it is the only one you get. Why spend your life bemoaning how you don’t like one aspect of your physique when you can spend the time finding all the things that make you beautiful? Show this off, find the love from within, without looking for external validation which often comes at a negative cost to mental health.

Live your life offline: Why let current online trends dictate whether you can wear those skinny jeans this season, or what activity is recognized as self-care? If those jeans make you feel beautiful; wear them, honey! If your idea of self-care is re-watching your favourite movie, then do it! Do what makes you happy and makes you feel the most you! Ditch the ridiculous expectations and live your life offline.

So next time you start comparing yourself and your life to an online persona, make a conscious effort to value yourself; value the very part of you that you are comparing. Make a conscious effort to love yourself, and if all else fails remove yourself from the platform that gives you great anxiety. Beauty is only skin deep, and it cannot be defined.

Bra School for Teens and Tweens

This blog was originally published on September 25, 2014

Hey teens and tweens! I’ve got a question: have you been wearing bras for a while now or are you new to this whole bra thing?  Either way, we want to make sure you’re set up for a happy bra-wearing lifetime. Welcome to the Underpinnings bra school (don’t worry, there’ll be no pop quiz!)

What size am I anyway?

 

Fun fact: many adult women aren’t wearing the right size bras, so don’t worry if you aren’t sure what size you need either! Bra sizes combine a band size and a cup size. The band size is based on the measurement around your ribcage, just under your bust. The band of your bra should be snug enough (on the loosest or middle set of hooks) to make sure it doesn’t move when you raise your arms or move around but not so snug that you feel it’s tight.

Source: nowthatslingerie.com

This is important because if the band doesn’t fit correctly, you’re probably going to find that the bra is uncomfortable. The cup size isn’t so straightforward and really depends on the number, or band size, it is attached to. For example, a 36D and a 30D are two very different cup sizes. Even though they are both ‘D’ the 36D will hold a bigger breast than a 30D would. It can get confusing, so here’s what you need to know: figure out the band size that stays in place around your ribcage comfortably, and then try on bras with that band size but different cup sizes until you find the one that fits, which brings us to…

A word about underwire

Despite what you may have heard from the adult women around you, bras should not be uncomfortable. If a bra fits properly you shouldn’t even really remember that you have it on. When you are trying on bras, check to make sure that the underwire is lying flat against your ribcage all the way around, and not resting directly on your breast at any point.  Think about it, if you were wearing a bra in which a piece of metal or hard plastic was poking your breast all day wouldn’t you be uncomfortable too?  If that’s happening it’s a sure sign that the bra cups are too small, increase your cup size until you find one that can contain your entire breast.

How to put on a bra ‘correctly’

Once you’ve got some bras that fit well the next step is learning to put them on.  The best way to put your bra on is to place your arms through the shoulder straps while leaning forward slightly and do the hooks up behind you.  Leaning forward helps make sure that the fullest part of your breast makes its way into the fullest part of the cup – that way there is less adjusting to do once the bra is on.  Until you get the hang of it though, hooking the band behind you can feel a bit awkward so an easier alternative can be to hook the bra around your waist in front of you then turn it around and while leaning slightly forward put your arms through the shoulder straps and raise the cups into place.  An important note with this method- when you bring the cups around your waist to the front, they should already be facing the correct direction – meaning they should not be upside down so that you need to flip them right side up.  Especially in a bra with underwire, this flipping motion can distort the shape of the underwire which means the bra won’t last as long before you must replace it.

 

Get the most out of your bras

Washing and drying

We have to say that washing your bras by hand is the absolute best way to have them last a long time (because it’s true) but really, we just want to make sure that you don’t throw them in the washing machine with your jeans.  If you’re going to wash them in the machine, use a mesh laundry bag to protect them and use the delicate cycle of the washing machine…they’re called “delicates” for a reason after all.  We will put our foot down at the dryer though. Never, ever put your bras in the dryer – heat and the delicate materials that bras are made of do not work well together.  Instead, hang them out to dry.

Bra rotation

Don’t wear the same bra two days in a row- remember the band is stretchy and if it’s constantly stretched around your body, it will get loose too quickly.  Instead, wait at least 24 hours between wears.

When to replace
Your body is still developing, and the shape of your breasts may still be changing.  If you notice that your breasts are starting to overflow the cups of the bra or the underwire is pinching or squeezing breast tissue, it’s time to overhaul your bra collection.  Similarly, if your size hasn’t changed but you notice that you’re using the tightest hooks and the bra band still shifts up and down your ribcage, it is likely that the band is stretched out and the bra needs to be replaced.  To keep it simple – if your bras are no longer providing comfortable support, it’s time to go shopping.  Fun! 

 

Your first bra fitting

We know that this can be a tricky phase of your life and the idea of taking off your clothes in front of a strange woman might not be so appealing but trust us – the right bra fit consultant will make you feel extremely comfortable and will make your bra shopping experience enjoyable.  While we will need to see you in the bra to assess the fit, you never need to be bare-chested if that makes you uncomfortable.  You’ll be wearing bras for many years to come, and so a professional fitting can definitely help ensure you get the right bras for your body.

Breasts, Biology and Bras

This blog was originally published on April 7, 2014

 

Do you know how to flatter your breasts? How to dress them to look their best? Yes, odd questions I know. As women, many of us give a lot of thought to our outerwear; the styles, sizes, and cuts of clothing that best complement our bodies, but how many of us think about these things when choosing bras?

Since wearing the right bra for your body can help you feel more comfortable, confident, and beautiful, this post aims to help you understand the changes that occur within the breast over time, how those changes affect the shape, fullness, and firmness of your breasts, and how different bra styles may best complement your body as it changes.

Puberty

During this time the emerging breast tissue may be sensitive and tender, and girls may experience itchiness of the skin as it stretches to accommodate the growing breast.  Some young ladies may find relief by wearing a supportive undergarment such as a camisole or a bra. Like anything new, bras take some time to adjust to for girls and if she has questions, then try to be as supportive as possible. Early bras are less about providing shaping and structure to the breast tissue and more about offering support and modesty under clothing.  If you find yourself responsible for one of these early bra-shopping experiences with an impressionable girl, please be mindful that any comments you make can impact her body image for years to come.  A young woman’s breasts will develop at their own pace and can take from a few months to a few years to fully develop.  Try to avoid descriptive words such as “big” or “small” and try to assure her that whatever breast development she has is completely normal; beauty comes in all sizes.  Your bra fitter should also help to ensure that the experience is positive.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

As a woman’s body is going through changes related to pregnancy, quality maternity and nursing bras can help ensure her comfort.  Look for bras with wide sidebands as this will help support the increased weight of the breasts. The straps should not be overly narrow, as this may cause them to dig in at the shoulders.  Bra cups that are made of a slightly stretchy material will accommodate growing breasts while breathable fabrics will help keep a woman cool as nursing can raise body temperature. For women who are used to wearing underwired bras and choose to continue to do so during pregnancy and nursing, it is crucial to ensure a proper fit to avoid any potential issues with mastitis – a painful infection caused by blocked milk ducts.  Your bra fitter will check to make sure that the underwire rests on the ribcage, not breast tissue, and does not dig in.

We’ve covered the changes a woman’s body goes through during pregnancy and breastfeeding in these previous posts:

  1. How to choose bras during pregnancy
  2. Guide to choosing nursing bras
  3. Will nursing my baby cause my breasts to sag

Before, during, and after menopause

As a woman ages the milk-producing system atrophies and is replaced by fat.  Having more fat than milk ducts make the breasts both heavier and softer.  Additionally, the connective fibrous tissue loses strength, and it is this combination that is largely responsible for the loss of firmness that many women experience over time.  Some women find that they are no longer able to fill out the moulded cup “t-shirt” bras that they wore in their 20s and 30s as their breasts change shape and lose volume. Bras with seamed cups help provide structure and shaping to softer breast tissue and are also especially useful in providing support for full-busted women.

Choosing bras that fit and flatter

Breasts vary widely in terms of shape, volume, firmness, and spacing on a woman’s body.  Even women who wear the same size bra may find that different styles are more flattering.  Our last words of advice are to (i) always try on a bra to know how it is going to work on your unique body, and (ii) select styles that fit and flatter both your body and your sense of style.  There are beautiful bras available to suit every woman.

Disclaimer:  This post is not intended to offer medical guidance.  Please seek advice from a healthcare professional if you have a concern about any changes to your breasts.

Finding a bra for your teen-back to school edition

This blog was first published on August 17, 2019

 

With the new academic year beginning this week, it’s a good time to start thinking of going bra shopping for your teen or tween. While it may seem as if overnight your little girl has developed the need for a bra, bra shopping for your developing daughter does not have to be a daunting task! As many of our children won’t be in face-to-face school until October, this extra time at home is a great opportunity to get your daughter accustomed to wearing a bra. Oftentimes, many parents opt for the camisole or bralette under the school uniform as a form of ‘training’ bra for their budding teens, however, if your daughter is more developed, a camisole or bralette won’t be enough support. So, today we are going to help you by giving you tips on how to find the best bras for your well-endowed little lady for back to school. Any bra you choose should be comfortable, supportive, and modest enough to fit perfectly under a school uniform.

 

First, get her fitted
Yes, do your daughter a favour and get her fitted by a professional so you both can get off on the right foot. Knowing the sizes and bra styles that suit her body would make the rest of the shopping experience very easy. A typical department store/mall branch bra outlet may try to sell you whatever sizes they have, but these common sizes don’t fit every body type. So, make an appointment soon at your favourite bra expert location *hint, hint* and get fitted!

Make a decision
Do you also need to purchase a bra for your teen for use in sporting activities, or for a particular special occasion? Do your research and know what types of outfits each bra would be worn underneath. This would inform your choices of style, fabric, and level of support needed.

No padding, no problem
At this stage, your teen does not need any form of padding. Most teens who are well-endowed simply need a bra that would provide the needed support and comfort to take them throughout their school day.

Get professional help
If your teen has already progressed past a B, C, or even D cup, the best option is to find an independent bra shop and opt out of the bra boutique chains or department store locations. An independent bra shop, like Underpinnings, will offer many different selections in a body-positive atmosphere – just the environment needed for any teen (and parent) who are going on this journey together.

Take it easy
Start early so neither you nor your teen, feel like the process has been rushed. A great tip is to take the school shirt that your teen would be wearing to try each style underneath to make sure the fit and style are correct. While lace is cute and girly, it may not be appropriate for under a school shirt, so stick to solid colours and fabrics that are breathable.

 

All in all, bra shopping with your well-endowed teen should not be stressful at all once you follow these few tips. Remember, we at Underpinnings are here for you, so don’t hesitate to make that appointment, and let’s chat and get you guys fitted!

Using Mindfulness to Navigate this Pandemic

This blog was originally published on May 16, 2020

Guest Post by Integrative Nutrition Health Coach Kaylan Bartholomew


We have now been living with the Covid-19 pandemic for over a year, and most days conversations around masking and vaccinations have taken over traditional media, social media, and many of our daily thoughts and conversations. How this is impacting you will be different for different people. For some, it can create fear for your physical health or those you love, anxiety about your financial security, stress, and a general unease because of the many uncertainties that we now face. All of these emotions create a stress response in our bodies, which dampens our overall health and immunity, which is all the more important now. Mindfulness is a great tool to help us to navigate our new reality.
Mindfulness means to pay attention, on purpose to what you are experiencing in the present moment, non-judgmentally. Sounds simple, right? Just noticing your present moment experience. While it may be simple, it is not necessarily easy to do, because our minds have a habit of dwelling on things that happened in the past, or in the case of this current crisis, worrying about things that may happen in the future. Because it does not come naturally, it helps to have a formal mindfulness practice where you set aside 5 – 30 minutes a day to focus your attention for example on your breathing or a body scan where you notice sensations in your body.
In addition to a formal mindfulness practice, there are many ways you can bring mindful awareness to your day informally by trying to be fully focused on whatever task you are doing. So, if you are drinking a cup of tea instead of letting your mind wander, notice the weight of the cup in your hand and feel the temperature of the tea as you take a sip, and for that moment just drink tea.
The key to managing our mental health through this time is to be able to regulate our emotions. To do this, we first need to calm our nervous system and that is one of the benefits of the mindfulness practice. In fact, just pausing to take three deep breaths helps you to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and relax. Mindfulness also helps you to be more in tune with other people’s emotions as well. People will respond to the stress of this pandemic in different ways and the more we can empathize with other people’s emotions, the better our relationships will be. In addition, mindfulness allows us to act more compassionately towards others and that is exactly what the world needs now to heal.
There are many apps such as Calm and Headspace, YouTube videos, and online resources, which can help you get started on a mindfulness practice. I love breath meditation as a place to start because our breath is always present – we cannot hold onto the last breath or anticipate the next. And without even changing your breath in any way, just by noticing your breath you are able to calm the body and the mind. Alternatively, you can try focusing on one sense at a time. Unconsciously our brain is processing and filtering all of the information that is coming through our 5 senses. However, when we focus on one sense at a time, for example listening, we notice many sounds that are playing in the background that we may not have noticed before. And that concentration on our sense of hearing drowns out the constant chatter of the mind.
If you are a little skeptical about the benefits of mindfulness meditation, let me remind you of a story that dominated the headlines in June 2018. A football coach in Thailand was trapped in a cave with 12 boys from his team for 18 days. Many credit the meditation techniques the coach taught the boys while in the cave as the reason for their survival and calm despite their ordeal. In fact, many were surprised when they saw videos of the boys who sat quietly waiting to be rescued. The coach had years of experience and was able to tap into his practice when he needed it the most. So even if you are just beginning today, be consistent with your practice and you will reap the rewards.
While we are dealing with the very real covid-19 pandemic, we are also dealing with a pandemic of fear. We have the opportunity to change that and create a new pandemic of calm using mindfulness techniques. It requires us to be intentional with our self-care and consciously adopting practices that trigger the relaxation response in our bodies and put us at ease. And then we can share that calm with those around us.


Kaylan Bartholomew is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach who incorporates her training as a Hatha Yoga instructor to help her clients transform their bodies and their minds. Graduating from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which is the largest nutrition school in the world, Kaylan learned practical lifestyle management techniques and over 100 dietary theories. She is also a licensed instructor for the Springboard Women’s Development Programme, a revolutionary personal development programme for women. Kaylan can be contacted at +1 868-332-9841.

Enhance your life with a Pop of Colour!

At Underpinnings we LOVE colour, and we often encourage our clients to be a bit more adventurous, at least when it comes to their “bra-drobes”. But do you shy away from using colour in your wardrobe in an effort to stay ‘safe’ and ‘professional’? Colour is one of the best ways that we can communicate our mood to everyone or enhance our current mood. It is a powerful, but easy tool that should not be taken for granted.

For centuries psychologists have debated how fascinating colour psychology is and how it can be used. While most of the evidence is still very anecdotal, many cultures have been known to utilise colour to represent certain intentions during significant events (think white for Western brides, but red for Hindu ones. Both represent purity, for each culture). But how can you communicate the right message or intention, while finding the right shade for you? Through experimentation is how!

When next you don your smart black suit, why not try a pop of yellow as an accent piece? Yellow is a great colour to communicate happiness and optimism, while black communicates power and professionalism. While you’re at it, why not add a pop of colour underneath? We dress for ourselves first, and wearing that pair of red underwear may give you the boost of confidence you need at the office; even though your outerwear is a ‘professional’ black.

Look at your wardrobe and connect with the emotions you feel when you see every item of clothing. How does that red jacket make you feel, especially when paired with black slacks? How about those vibrant multicoloured pumps? For the office, or after work cocktails? While you investigate the closet, make time to check out that underwear drawer. Do you need to add more colour there as well? Some delicate blue undies, or a lacy purple bra may affect your mood just as much as the pop of colour in your outer wear (and nobody knows but you!)

Through trial and error, you can figure out what colours make you feel best and help you communicate the message you want to communicate or feel the way you want to feel. Sometimes the same colour may communicate different things at different times, like a red suit may be a bit much depending on the culture at your office, but a red dress on a date would be just the right amount of passion.

Give yourself enough time to explore colours and how you will add them to your wardrobe. Let us know how this practice has worked for you, and which colours put you in the best mood, both for outer wear and underwear!

Let’s go bra shopping!

In the fitting room, women often tell us that they’ve always felt uncomfortable in bras and have just resigned themselves to the idea that “that’s just the way it is”.  Not so!  A properly fitted bra should leave you feeling supported and comfortable without necessarily being conscious of wearing a bra…yes, even in a bra with underwire.

Here are a few things you should look for at your next bra-shopping trip:

The Band– The band’s function is to provide support for the weight of the breast and in order to do this well, it has to fit snugly, but comfortably, around your back. If when you move your arms your band moves, it is likely too loose.

The Underwire– All of the breast should fit comfortably inside the underwire and it should not feel as though it is poking or digging into breast tissue. Underwire is not your enemy! Underwired bras tend to provide more lift, support, and shaping than a soft bra can.

The Cups– Breasts should be encased in the cups and not spilling out the side, top, or bottom. If you have wrinkling or gaps, and all of your breast tissue is in the cup, the cup is likely too big.

The Straps-The support of a well-fitted bra should come from the band and not the straps.  Straps are primarily meant to keep the cups in place and not provide any substantial amount of support.

With this in mind you are well on your way to finding the best fitting bra for you, but we can all do with a little (ahem) support. If your bra has previously been your enemy we at Underpinnings are here to help.  Give us a call or click to book your bra intervention today!

Using Mindfulness to Navigate this Pandemic

 

Guest Post by Integrative Nutrition Health Coach Kaylan Bartholomew

Depending on where in the world you live, you have likely been consumed by the Covid-19 pandemic over the last few weeks or months.  It has taken over traditional media, social media and many of our daily thoughts and conversations.  How this is impacting you will be different for different people.  For some it can create fear for your physical health or those you love, anxiety about your financial security, stress from the isolation and a general unease because of the many uncertainties that we now face.  All of these emotions create a stress response in our bodies, which dampens our overall health and immunity, which is all the more important now.  Mindfulness is a great tool to help us to navigate our new reality.

Mindfulness means to pay attention, on purpose to what you are experiencing in the present moment, non-judgmentally. Sounds simple, right?  Just noticing your present moment experience.  While it may be simple, it is not necessarily easy to do, because our minds have a habit of dwelling on things that happened in the past, or in the case of this current crisis, worrying about things that may happen in the future.  Because it does not come naturally, it helps to have a formal mindfulness practice where you set aside 5 – 30 minutes a day to focus your attention for example on your breathing or a body scan where you notice sensations in your body.

In addition to a formal mindfulness practice, there are many ways you can bring mindful awareness to your day informally by trying to be fully focused on whatever task you are doing.  So if you are drinking a cup of tea instead of letting your mind wander, notice the weight of the cup in your hand and feel the temperature of the tea as you take a sip and for that moment just drink tea.

The key to managing our mental health through this time is to be able to regulate our emotions.  To do this, we first need to calm our nervous system and that is one of the benefits of the mindfulness practice.  In fact just pausing to take three deep breaths helps you to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and relax.  Mindfulness also helps you to be more in tune with other people’s emotions as well.  People will respond to the stress of this pandemic in different ways and the more we can empathize with other people’s emotions, the better our relationships will be.  In addition, mindfulness allows us to act more compassionately towards others and that is exactly what the world needs now to heal.

There are many apps such as Calm and Headspace, YouTube videos and online resources, which can help you get started on a mindfulness practice.  I love the breath meditation as a place to start, because our breath is always present – we cannot hold onto the last breath or anticipate the next.  And without even changing your breath in anyway, just by noticing your breath you are able to calm the body and the mind.  Alternatively you can try focusing on one sense at a time.  Unconsciously our brain is processing and filtering all of the information that is coming through our 5 senses.  However when we focus on one sense at a time, for example listening, we notice many sounds that are playing in the background that we may not have noticed before.  And that concentration on our sense of hearing drowns out the constant chatter of the mind.

If you are a little skeptical about the benefits of mindfulness meditation, let me remind you of a story that dominated the headlines in June 2018.  A football coach in Thailand was trapped in a cave with 12 boys from his team for 18 days. Many credit the meditation techniques the coach taught the boys while in the cave as the reason for their survival and calm despite their ordeal.  In fact many were surprised when they saw videos of the boys who sat quietly waiting to be rescued.   The coach had years of experience and was able to tap into his practice when he needed it the most.   So even if you are just beginning today, be consistent with your practice and you will reap the rewards.

While we are dealing with the very real covid-19 pandemic, we are also dealing with a pandemic of fear.  We have the opportunity to change that and create a new pandemic of calm using mindfulness techniques.  It requires us to be intentional with our self-care and consciously adopting practices that trigger the relaxation response in our bodies and put us at ease.  And then we can share that calm with those around us.

Kaylan Bartholomew is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach who incorporates her training as a Hatha Yoga instructor to help her clients transform their bodies and their minds. Graduating from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which is the largest nutrition school in the world, Kaylan learned practical lifestyle management techniques and over 100 dietary theories. She is also a licensed instructor for the Springboard Women’s Development Programme, a revolutionary personal development programme for womenKaylan can be contacted at +1 868-332-9841.

De-clutter your way to Joy- Stay at home Covid 19 edition

If the last month or so has taught us anything is that our homes should be our refuge and our sanctuary. We have all been made to stay at home to ensure that we, and our families are safe, and we are doing our part. 
However, most of us have not spent much time at home because we were busy living our over-scheduled lives. At some point during the past couple months before this all started my life was full. Full of work that I loved doing, activities that I wanted to do, people that I wanted to spend time with, and time that I spent on personal development.
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Now, while we spend our days at home working (if we have been lucky enough to keep our employment), providing schooling for our kids (those of us who have) and going about our day to day lives, comfort in our physical space has become paramount. So, I invite you to de-clutter your physical space with me. This month we can take a look at the places in your home that you spend the most time in right now –let’s start with your home office, kitchen and family room. Also, since your family will be at home with you, this is a great time to get them involved as well!
So, here’s the deal, take one physical space at a time and dedicate some time to clear the area, evaluate the items and decide what stays and what goes. If it stays it has to be useful (in that you actually use it, not that you might use it…someday) or it has to be something that you love. The point of this exercise is to keep the things that inspire us and make us feel good, but get rid of anything that triggers feelings of guilt or inadequacy…Marie Kondo style.Ask yourself:

  1. Do I have room for this? Can the item be put away in an orderly manner so that when you walk into the room the space doesn’t feel crowded and overwhelming?
  2. Is this something I use regularly? If the last time you can remember using it was more than 6 months ago it’s a candidate to be tossed.
  3. Is it something I love? For an item of clothing (like maybe a bra) do you feel good when you put it on? Or is it uncomfortable or maybe just so dowdy that it makes you feel unattractive?
  4. How do I feel when I look at this item? Sometimes we have good intentions. The yoga mat and the dumbbells hanging out in a corner of the living room might inspire you to work out today…or they might lead to feelings of guilt if they’ve been sitting there, unused for some weeks/months. If that’s the case it’s time to find a new home for them, out of the way so that negative emotions of guilt (“I really should work out”) aren’t triggered but they’re available when you’re ready to make the commitment and take the steps to get back into a workout regimen.

Once you’ve cleared the area and decided what stays and what goes it’s important to follow through. Don’t keep the giveaway or toss items around because it’s all too easy for them to creep back in and just become clutter again.

I’d love to read in the comments which room you’ll be starting with, and what feelings you experienced as you de-cluttered.

5 signs it is time to ditch that bra

Picture

We get it, you found that awesomely sexy bra in your favourite colour that goes so well with practically every outfit you own… but it’s two years old and we’re here to tell you that it is time to give it up! Yes, it is time. Chances are you are already hooking the bra on the last row, chances are you’ve tightened the straps to the tightest it can go and if the bra has any underwire (or bones as it’s not so fondly called), it has been making its presence known for a while. It is time to give it up! But, just in case you are still unconvinced, here are a few signs that you do indeed need to give that bra up.

  1. It is uncomfortable: Many women enjoy walking into the house after a long day and ditching their bras post haste, but have you found that you want to ditch your bra in the middle of the day? Or, maybe it feels like it fits like a vise as soon as you put it on. Well my dear, this is one of the first signs that you need to ditch that bra!
  2. It has lost its elasticity: Are you already on the last row of hooks on your bra, or have your straps been tightened to their last? Is there no more stretch or bounce back in the elastic of your bra? Then, this is a sure-fire sign that your bra is no longer doing its job of supporting your girls. Bras need to be at their tip top elasticity in order to give you the support you need and if they are not (especially as they would be after a few years), it is not supporting you as it should. If this is your bra, then it is time to ditch it!
  3. There are lumps and bumps and it no longer holds its form:  If your favourite bra has turned lumpy and shapeless, then it is time to ditch it! If there are any lumps, bumps or unevenness in the cups it means that you are probably not getting the support you need. Ditch that shapeless bra!
  4. It is too small: This goes without saying, right? Well, you would be surprised that about 80% of women are wearing the wrong sized bra and they don’t know it. This is why we suggest that you get yourself professionally fitted; especially after gaining or losing weight or having a baby. Wearing a too-small bra can cause pain and discomfort and does not support your breasts in the way a bra should. Breasts go through many changes throughout our life, which is why having a perfectly fitting bra is important, always. So ditch that bra and make an appointment to get fitted!
  5. It is falling apart: We know, we know, it is the perfect colour, the right size and it goes so well with everything, but the lace has gotten a bit rough and there are some strings hanging out. Your favourite bra is falling apart, and you have to replace it. If it is falling apart, then chances are its ability to support your breasts adequately has also been compromised. So, make a decision, ditch that bra and go shopping!

Think about it…even if you have three great bras in your wardrobe that means you wear each one over one hundred times each year! Even the best of bras will wear out after a while. Don’t hold on to something that may be causing you pain and discomfort. Now that you know the warning signs, ditch that bra, get measured and go get some new favourite bras!