Almost every woman I’ve been working with lately has one common issue: they are wearing the wrong bra size. As image consultant – and as a trusted “GBF” [gay best friend] – women clients have opened up to me about why their boobs have gone bust. What’s wonderful about the dialogue is that each woman realizes there is a reason why they haven’t thought about or noticed their boobs, and why I, ironically, am evaluating more breasts than I had ever bargained for! Life’s funny that way.
A very common situation with women’s breasts is how their sizes are subject to change. When in clients’ closets evaluating their existing clothing, a similar situation happens. She’ll try on something that she all ready owns, and really should be flattering. The fabric is in agreement with the messages she wants to convey. The colors and texture work with her personal coloring and repeat her hair and skin texture. The line and design are on the mark, but it’s just not quite right. It’s almost like the ‘headlights’ are too close to the ground. But the clothes would be so much better if the boobs had a simple adjustment: the right fitting and sized bra.
Just to show you how much fun the conversations go, even in the wake of bringing up a potentially sensitive subject, I asked one of my clients about this. “When was the last time you had a bra fitting?” She commented that this was the look she referred to as having “gone south for the winter.” We both let out such a laugh. Then I said, “Maybe it’s been a couple of long winters.” And then we both howled! The great thing is that she followed through and has new undergarments and greater security and confidence. Her body proportions have shifted over time, but now she’s reflecting a perfectly fine body that she can keep working on improving because she can embrace the positives. And now there won’t be another long winter with boobs gone bust.
Clients about to work with me on a new wardrobe will ask me if there’s any preliminary work they should do before we work together. I will always bring up the question of ‘the girls.’ It’s often thought that once a woman has a few bras that she’s – no pun intended – covered. Not true! I wish bras had expiration dates. And to be fair, this should also be the case for men’s underwear. Okay, too much information – but you get my point. And that IS the point. This stuff is to be replaced. It’s not meant to last forever! Bras that are aged and stretched out no longer provide the support or comfort that they are intended to. This can lead to wearing bras improperly, causing back and shoulder pain, even in young people.
Women also have real deep-seated sensitivities to their body parts. Women teased or made to feel self-conscious because their bodies developed at a particular age, or in a certain shape or size, could impact how they dress today. Let’s say your personality is perceived to be bolder. But when the subject comes to your boobs, your boldness goes bust, because of an adolescent issue that never got resolved.
This sort of conversation has happened a couple of times recently. In one case, it was important that she let go of the teasing that trapped her in a place that made her feel like she needed to hide her breasts. She now understands that by seeing her body as it truly is, she honors her full physical self, and no longer gives power to her childhood teaser. No longer a teasing victim, she’s able to have the bold personality she deserves, and boobs to match.
In another conversation, a client shared the pressures she has felt as a woman working in an environment dominated by men. Coupled with messages from her upbringing that she needed to minimize her femininity, hiding the shape of her body led her to having body image issues. After all, she is a curvaceous woman who really identifies with femininity, and who happens to be great at her job. Should her solution be to wear bras that mash down her boobs and dress in clothes that further deflate her shape on top of it all? Hell no!
The answer in all cases started with having a caring conversation with me to understand the issue. Yet the ultimate solution is the same: get fitted annually for a bra. Then get various bras to wear with different clothing styles that serve your wardrobe needs.
These clients may have had boobs-gone-bust, but now they boast great busts.
Joseph Rosenfeld helps high-profile individuals revitalize, manage, and be secure in their personal visual brand. Visit JosephRosenfeld.com for details.