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Change Your Bra, Change Your Body

Are You Wearing the Wrong Bra?

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One little strip of fabric has the power to completely transform a woman’s silhouette—and in some cases, her life. I’m talking about none other than the bra, and as the author of the best-known guide to all-things bras The Bra Book, I’m approached regularly to help women navigate through the mazes of numbers and letters to find the magic combination that’s going to lift and support.

I recently took three New York City-area women of all different ages and body types to Manhattan’s Calvin Klein Underwear store to show them how the right bra could instantly change their bodies. But don’t just take my word for it, see the transformations for yourself in their before and after photos!

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Joanie: Before the Bra Makeover

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The Problem: 59-year-old former administrative assistant and blogger Joanie Jacobsen came to me complaining that for nearly 60 years, she has been unable to find the “right” bra and didn’t even know her size, having never been fitted properly! To top it off, “I have always had issues with bra straps slipping off my sloped shoulders. I solved the problem with a t-back bra, but that’s tough to wear under many styles of clothing so I need another option,” Joanie says.

We thought that, after nearly six decades, Joanie has waited long enough for a bra that not only fits, but stays put.

Joanie: After the Bra Makeover

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The Solution: I put Joanie in a great everyday t-shirt style bra that she can wear under almost everything, and guess what? The straps didn’t slip!

The Calvin Klein Seductive Comfort bra ($46) in the proper size turned out to be the perfect solution. It molds to her body, gives her full coverage in all the right places, and has wider straps so they really stay put. The straps also convert to a t-back, in case she wants to wear it that way. You’ll notice in her after shot, Joanie’s even standing up straighter.

Leesa: Before the Bra Makeover

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The Problem: 29-year-old public relations specialist Leesa recently lost a lot of weight and just couldn’t seem to wrap her head around her ‘new size.’ She was buying—and wearing—bras that were way too big.

“My bust size went from about a 38DD to a 36B, but I’ve still been wearing bras I bought after I lost some of the weight that are about a 36C or D,” Leesa says. “I’ve decided in my head that it’s not noticeable I’m wearing a bigger bra, but I think the reality is I’m just having a hard time accepting that I could possibly be this small.”

Leesa’s ‘before’ bra had major gaping at the top of the cups (a big warning sign the bra is too big) and her straps were completely falling off of her. I could also put my entire hand underneath the back-band—another sign a bra is too big. The band should fit snugly, and you should only be able to slide two fingers underneath it, at most.

Leesa: After the Bra Makeover

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The Solution: The Perfectly Fit Balconette style bra ($38) was super flattering for her smaller bust, with its horizontal bustline, wide-set straps, and push-up effect (without any padding!). Leesa not only embraced her new size, she walked out with a huge weight off her shoulders now knowing exactly what to look for in the bra department.

A balconette style bra is a great option for smaller-busted women. It creates a flattering silhouette and a little cleavage too.

Eileen: Before the Bra Makeover

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The Problem: 40-year-old mom blogger Eileen Wolter had gotten away with not wearing any bra at all for years! Then, along came two kids (ages six and three) and suddenly she felt she needed a bra, for all the wrong reasons.

“After the kids, my breasts became mushy and I found I had this extra skin hanging out under my arms!” Eileen says. “The camis I had been wearing just weren’t cutting it anymore.”

Not only that, but in Eileen’s before shot, her barely-there choice of bra was causing an unflattering shape to her breasts and showing nipple poke-through (a definite no-no).

Eileen: After the Bra Makeover

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The Solution: While I disagree with Eileen’s choice all those years to not wear a bra (typically, even A and B cups like Eileen still need a little support), I’m glad she’s finally come to the realization that she needs one now more than ever. Keeping her in her comfort-zone, I opted to put Eileen in something that will mold to her body and give her the support she needs, without any hardware (aka underwire).

This Naked Glamour Wirefree Contour bra ($40) was the perfect choice. It’s just as comfy as her cami but offers a lot more support, smoothes her, and gives her breasts the perky shape they had before she had her kids.