“Lingerie is my next love after clothing; I think it is what is worn underneath that really inspires a woman to feel beautiful in her clothes – that inner secret glamour.” Alice Temperley.
Every great outfit starts with the right lingerie; it’s the indispensable foundation of your look.
Underwear choices can “make or break” any outfit, so it’s important to choose wisely. The right bra, panties or tights can enhance your features and camouflage any flaws.
Not to mention the comfort factor - awkwardly re-arranging your boobs is not chic!!
So, let’s get intimate with your intimates…
Breasts come in all different shapes and sizes – therefore you need to ensure that you find a bra that fits your shape and size perfectly.
To get the right fit, you need to experiment and try out different designs, styles and cuts. Your ultimate goal is to find a bra that feels comfortable and gives you the right support and coverage. Looking pretty needs to come second.
Like any aspect of fashion, bras are not immune to trends. Currently, padded and push-up bras have disappeared from the spotlight and have been replaced with lacy bralets which showcase a more natural silhouette. Romantic details such as frills and bows are big this year and are designed to be shown-off under sheer dresses or tops.
However, when it comes to everyday life, fashion is not the first thing to be concerned with. Instead, take your dress or top and consider:
- cut, shape and fit
- fabric of the item
- cleavage and neckline
- color (lighter colors need a nude bra)
For everyday outfits, I always recommend choosing a plain, seamless nude or black bra, depending on the color of your clothing. Make sure that there are no “bra lines”, there is no flesh bulging out, and the straps don't show anywhere. The aim is to seem as if you don't’ have anything underneath your top so that the focus is on your outfit, not on your underwear.
- Invest in good quality basics.
- Take your measurements and find the right fit, shape and support (you can often get help with this in lingerie stores).
- Re-evaluate your size every once in a while.
- Pay attention to how your launder and store your bras (take note of the care label).
Here’s what I wear (both in nude and black): INTIMISSIMI TRIANGLE BRA.
If you’re wearing a see-through or sheer dress or top, you have to option to stick to the plain nude and “invisible” solution, or, if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you can also go with lace. In this case, I’d suggest that you choose a piece that’s more like a “bra-top” so that it becomes the highlight of your outfit. These kind of bras are usually less functional but more pretty and will definitely help you to feel sexy and feminine. Feel free to play around with the colors, but make sure to match them with your clothes.
This is one of my favorites: INTIMISSIMI LACE BALCONETTE BRA.
I don't recommend a lot of padding for smaller chests, however shaping bras for bigger breasts are essential. A good shaping bra helps to keep things together and reduces the size and “volume” of the boobs.
Once again, prioritise functionality over aesthetics.
Please - no strings that show, no panty lines anywhere, and especially no patterns or lace that show through your clothes. Find some great seamless knickers for everyday use and keep the sexy, barely there G-strings for the bedroom.
Lace is great when you’re wearing jeans or any heavy material, but as soon as you switch to lighter and thinner fabrics, seamless panties are a must. Once again there’s no “right” cut, anything that’s comfortable and flattering works.
Again, think about the dress, skirt or pants that you plan to wear and consider:
- cut, shape and fit
- fabric of the item
As a general rule, you want to make sure that no one can see what’s underneath your clothes. So if you’re wearing white pants or a light colored dress, your panties should not by any means be visible. White pants will show through, so be sure to wear a nude color.
In regards to matching bras/panty sets, it’s not necessarily a must, although it’s nice to have some sort of harmony between your top and bottom.
Shaping underwear such as Spanx can help to reduce the waistline, flatten the belly and give a boost to the butt. These are great to have in your styling arsenal when wearing fitted items, especially tight dresses – good shapewear will streamline your look no matter your size or shape (celebrities don’t go down the red carpet without them!).
As the temperature rises, we can finally put away the wool tights and move onto more summery looks. But while the outlook seems nice, we may still need a little help to combat the unpredictable European (and American East Coast) spring.
Keep darker colored tights for more wintery and night looks, and if you’re ready to rock a flowy floral dress for the day, just go with nude seamless tights.
Things to consider when buying nude tights:
- Go for ultra-sheer, invisible options that are neither too shiny nor too matte.
- Choose 20 denier or less (and if you’re out and about, always carry a spare pair with you in case you pull a hole in the fragile fabric or get a ladder).
- Color match your tights just like foundations! Don’t forget that your legs might be slightly different color than your face or hands.
- Generally, avoid anything that’s too thick, too matte or too shiny, because if you don't get nude tights right, it can easily look very “granny-like”.
I wear black tights in the winter, but during the rest of the year I only wear nude tights when there’s no other solution (for example, when I haven’t had a chance to apply fake tan!)
Here’s what I wear: CALZEDONIA 8 DENIER ULTRA SHEER TIGHTS.
Again, if you’re looking to suck-in your tummy or slim your thighs, shaping tights are a great solution.
Calzedonia has some great options, and they are good if you need a little support in the belly, waist or butt area, but you want to wear nice underwear underneath. Shaping tights are generally more comfortable than shaping underwear for everyday use.
One last piece of advice…
One of my can’t-live-without items in my underwear wardrobe is this INTIMISSIMI SEAMLESS VEST TOP.
It’s perfect under sheer, mesh or see-through items if you want to avoid showing-off too much, or if you simply want to keep warm! Always wear it with a nude bra.
If looking great – and feeling amazing! – every day is important to you, then make sure you’ve got your free copy of my Ultimate Chic Sheet. I’ve put all of my best advice together and created a cute printable that you can stick to the inside of your closet door or keep with you at all times in your diary or handbag.
Get it here…
Veronika Nemeth is a Style Coach & Image Consultant, based in Milan, Italy. She works with ambitious businesswomen and female entrepreneurs who have a desire to create a unique & authentic image that enhances both their professional & personal lives.
Veronika’s mission is to empower women to build wildly successful businesses & lives by creating a confident, authentic & stylish personal brand.
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