Sunday, February 22, 2009

Underneath It All

All American women need to understand one important fact: the U.S. bra sizing system is wack. There is variation in every size from garment to garment, but with bras you never know what you're gonna get (Can anyone say that without the Forrest Gump drawl anymore?).

You may have hear about Intimacy on Oprah or What Not to Wear, but if you haven't now is your chance. A their stores in select cities, a specialist will meet with you and help you find the right European-sized bra. You see with European bras the band number is the actual measurement around your ribcage. The cup size depends upon the size of your breasts, of course.

A proper bra will be snug. The band will carry most of the weight, not the straps, and it will touch your breastbone. Your breasts will be lifted, your clothes will fit better, and the line of your back will be much improved (I hate that bra-bulge one can sometimes get).

I'm sure other stores besides Intimacy can help you with sizing, but it's the only on I know of. However, once you find the right size, you can purchase many styles online. My favorite brand is Fantasie. They will run you $40-100+ and they are well worth the price. A Gilligan & O'Malley bra from Target costs $10 for a reason.

You can find Fantasie and other European brands here:
One more thing, when you find the perfect bra, take care of it. Don't throw it in the washer. Hand wash it with a gentle cleaner like Forever New Fabric Care.

Make Me Up

I can't get enough makeup. As I've been more frugal, I've stayed away from shopping for items that aren't necessary. Well, when you want to save money, the best thing to do is go out and buy the right product the first time. Also, quality is key. I have fair, sensitive skin and tend to get a pimple or two on my chin every once in a while. That means I really, really have to be careful about my products otherwise I end up with a stockpile of foundation that makes me breakout.

Luckily, there are many helpful sites to help us on our quest for Holy Grail products:
I love learning new application techniques. Here are some great artists:
  • Kevin Aucoin's book Making Faces is a must. The man was a true artist.
  • Bobbi Brown's book Beauty has some nice basic makeup info. I love her focus on taking care of your skin.
  • Carmindy from What Not to Wear has some great little tips, especially for folks who don't normally wear makeup.
  • Tricia Sawyer has an amazing amount of information on her website. She doesn't just list application tips, but has tons of video as well.

Mother of the Bride

One of my closest friends is getting married. She has chosen a fabulous gown and the other bridesmaid and myself get to wear dresses I already had. Yes. Anyway, her mother is dead set on not looking like a mother of the bride. I came up with a little list for guidance. I think it really could work for almost any special occasion.

A mother of the bride outfit must be chic, comfortable and fit perfectly. And it has to express your fabulously unique personality. In order to fit the criteria, I have created these guidelines:

1) When in doubt, try it on. You never know how it will look on you unless you are wearing it.

2) Use a great tailor! Don't limit yourself to petite pieces. If it fits in the waist and not the hips, go up until it fits the hips and have the waist take in. Even if you do find something that fits pretty well, take the extra step to make it fit perfectly. You are worth it!

3) This outfit should make you feel like a million bucks. If you have to force something, it isn't right. There is enough time to find the pieces that are just right.

4) You should have one "wow" piece. This is the funky, unique, interesting piece that you can't live without and are so excited to debut. It could be a jacket, blouse or skirt, or it could be a piece of jewelry. However, it should only be one piece. If you have loud, fabulous earrings, then go easy on the necklace, or don't wear one. The rest of your ensemble should be a chic and elegant complement to your "wow" focal point.