What to Wear Underneath

There are some subjects that aren't very "sexy" or "glamorous" to discuss, but could make or break the look you are going for in one second flat. The word "Underpinnings" is a little out of date, but the subject is extremely relevant today. Clothes are much more body con, fabrics are more delicate and summer is fast approaching. You can have the perfect dress for that wedding or cocktail party but have no idea that the fabric is clinging in all the wrong places across the back. The effect instantly goes from "Wow" to "Yikes". A big part of my job is "have your back" literally and figuratively. I'm going to be honest and make sure all your garments fit well, and there is nothing that would cause you embarrassment when you head out into the world, especially in areas like the back that you can't see very well. If a bra isn't fitting properly across the back, or the fabric is too clingy, there will be lumps and bumps that can really distract from a beautiful look.

Another area of concern is the hip and thigh area; "saddlebags" around the lower hip (your hip is actually at the very top of your leg on the side, not the pelvic bone). Then there is the lovely tummy area! No matter how skinny we may be, a tummy that is sticking out detracts from your look.

Wearing the correct bra is super important as well. You already know this and are saying, "It's on my list, I've just been so busy!". A bra that doesn't lay flat against the skin can give people a direct view of what you are trying to cover up! A bra that is old has stretched out and the straps are probably falling off half the time. You are having to readjust constantly because the delicate fabric has stretched out and the bra rides up half way over your breast. Another common problem with bras is what kind you wear with specific necklines (racerback, halter, strapless).

The last thing I want to talk to about is that it is important to wear a slip under most dresses. If the dress is lined in a comfortable, opaque fabric then you may be okay without one. It doesn't have to be a "support" piece like Spanx neccessarily, depending on the garment, but it will ensure that the dress or skirt hangs correctly and that it is not see-though. We try on our clothes in a dimly lit closet, and have no idea that when we are outside in the sun, people can look straight through the fabric. I see this ALL THE TIME...not a very polished look.

As I tell my clients, you need to take the time to build the foundation catagory of your wardrobe. It is one the most important parts of the process. You absolutely will NOT be able to create the look you are going for without this step. 

The good news is that there are new fabrics that are more lightweight and comfortable these days, using high tech materials and wicking to pull moisture away from the body. The bad news is that is can be really difficult to figure out which one works best for you specifically, without trying on a million, and that is EXHAUSTING! Do some research and find someone in your area that knows how to measure for a bra, and that is knowlegeable about the products she is selling. These garments can be expensive, so you want to make smart choices. It may mean that you need to go to several different stores until you find someone you feel really knows what she is talking about. REMEMBER: this is going to take some time and money on the front end, but it is an extremely smart investment, and you won't have to do it  again for awhile. I have put together a sampling of what I have found that works for me here. We are all unique with different areas of concern, so think about which areas you would like to concentrate on. You do not need a full Spanx shapewear slip if it is just the thigh area that you need help with. Also, it is important to have both nude and black options. IF YOU WEAR A NUDE OR WHITE BRA UNDER A BLACK TEE OR BLOUSE, IT WILL SHOW THROUGH! These details are important to create a polished appearance. The woman about whom everyone says, "I want to look like that...", always pays attention to the details. It would be like somone cutting the grass, but avoiding the outer areas and just cutting down the center of the yard. The overall picture is clearly not going to be a success. I cannot stress enough that you need to start with the foundation and work from there to achieve the most flattering effect, otherwise it is just not worth spending the money on a beautiful garment.

Let's not forget panty lines... ugh. They can really take a look to a bad place. All of these issues can be avoided, if you tell yourself, "Today is the day I am going to throw out all the pieces I bought that weren't quite right-all the ancient bras, the bright red bikini underwear with polka dots, the worn out first gen shapewear from ten years ago, etc. etc. etc. I will invest in the right garments for me and will know when I put on my favorite new dress, that I look absolutely FABULOUS!" No more sabotaging yourself! This is not rocket science, it simply takes a little time to build the perfect core wardrobe for your life. Invest yourself, because why not?

Until next time,


Alison Bruhn