michele@mbenza.com

Monday, September 22, 2008

Watch Your Back! Beware of Visible Bra Lines


A few weeks ago I was strolling along the streets of San Francisco when I caught sight of a lovely woman of a certain age walking out of a luxurious department store, holding many shopping bags. She was elegant, slender, perfectly coiffed and her accessories were well chosen. Then she turned away from me and I saw her from behind. Being an image consultant I cannot help but immediately notice the small details that enhance or ruin a person’s look. And in the case of the latter, my mind automatically assesses what can be done to remedy a problem. This woman’s problem was her back.

Do you check yourself in the mirror before you leave the house or in store windows when you walk down the street? More importantly, do you check your profile and your back? I would say that more often than not, most of us probably forget these two crucial facets of our appearance.

I can never insist enough how essential it is to view ourselves from all angles just as our friends, family and co-workers do. You can do this with the help of two mirrors. If you don’t have two full-length mirrors, use a large hand held mirror just as hairstylists do!

I am sure the woman mentioned above would have been shocked if she had applied my two-mirror trick before walking out the door that day. There is no doubt that she prided herself in her style and taste as it was evident she had taken care to ensure every detail was perfect. But if she had’ve but just glanced at her back, she would’ve realized her jacket was too tight and that her bra line was not only visible through the fabric, but had created small rolls of excess skin along the edge of the bra, especially near the arm pits. Clearly she had VBL (visible bra line).

Most people I meet in my professional life have never learned the basics of ensuring a proper fit. Or if they have, they ignore the signs of an improper fit simply because they love the style, color or fabric. Remember, a garment fits when it conforms to the contour of your body without pinching, sagging, or bunching. If a piece of clothing causes parts of the body to bulge, it does not fit. If your body is encased like a sausage, it does not fit!

To eliminate the unsightly visible bra line use adhesive bra cups, a corset or an underwire torso trim (www.sassybax.com)

Also remember that when buying a bra, if your breasts spill over the top and/or the sides, it’s not the right size for you. The back straps that join together must be completely horizontal across your back and must not pinch or cause even a hint of a bulge! Once you have decided on a bra, make sure it is comfortable and try it under your clothes before buying it. I highly recommend that you be fitted by a pro on a regular basis as our bodies change considerably as we age.