by Terri Murray

The bra: 6 ways to annoy you.

1. Wear a good fitting bra even if you don’t wear shapewear.  Remember, that the usual rule of adding five inches to the underbust measurement usually doesn’t work for the curvy girl, even though most   bra fitters use this formula.  Adding two to three inches to the underbust measurement is your best way to find the band size.

2. Be re-measured every six months – Unbelievably, some women are still wearing the same bra size as when they were in high school!  Here’s what to watch for in an incorrectly fitting bra:  double busting (happens when cups are too small); having the center front too far from the chest; dumping, which happens when the breast is not able to fill in the bottom cup (because the cup is too small); band rising up in the back (because the band is too big).  Remember, when you go up in a band size, you should go down in the cup size.  If you go down in a band size, you should go up in the cup size.

3. Shapewear is so important for great fitting clothes! It helps you exude confidence when you know your fluffs are smoothed, and does the trick when you want to fit into a smaller item in your closet or to smooth over those times in the month when you might be a little bloated.

Woman on right demonstrates how wearing a belt can totally change your look

4. Take an honest look at your shape.  If you are narrow at the top, try a small shoulder pad to balance your overall look.

5. Short jackets are ok, contrary to what some may think.  A woman who is much smaller on the top and larger on the bottom needs a shorter jacket that ends higher than her widest part.  If she buys a jacket to fit over her hip, the shoulders will be disproportionately large.

6. Buy pants to fit your largest measurement, whether it’s your hip or your waist. Then have the smaller measuring point altered.  Men have their clothes altered all the time and it is a fact of life with them.  Ladies don’t always think of alterations.

Terri Murray, immediate-past President of the Tri-State Association of Image Consultants International and 16-year shapewear fit model, who will be leading two upcoming seminars for Fashion Societé   ( at the 36th Street Studio, 260 West 36th Street, NYC (classes offered again on a rotating basis throughout the year): 

Lingerie & Lace: A Lesson in Allure, April 9, 1:30 pm

Six Steps to Fashionably Fitting the Voluptuous Woman, April 9, 3:15 pm


Tina Graham

Tina Graham is the Managing Editor of Curvy Magazine. She lives in Nw York City with her husband and daughter.

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