This blog post has been guest-written by Arti Rajput, Brava fitter and writer on City Living Coastal Loving.
Do you remember your first time? Walking past the mannequins winking at you from the window display, then entering the store with a ding. Accompanied by your mother who didn't understand how her baby could fit into a bra. Or did you go with your closest friends? All a bit nervous, acting as if you knew what you were doing... pick a bra, try it on and wish for the best. Fingers crossed. How times have changed.
My first time was very different to my last time.
I was fitted once, I received a size and then I stuck to that size until I was twenty-three. Bra fitters around the world would gasp at that, if not for the fact that many women follow a similar pattern.
I never paid any attention to my boobs until a few boys one day pointed out that they could see my nipples. Having that pointed out is always a fun experience. I recommend it to everyone.
There's so much more to picking out a bra that will fit you.
You can't go and grab it off the rail for the sake of necessity. This takes some time to learn. I knew the rules, yet I still went to high street lingerie shops to search out a bra that I could make work. A size I could easily grab and buy, but my small back didn't allow for that to happen.
No ˜go and grabs' when it comes to your confidence, please. Wearing lingerie that makes you feel sexy or sexier starts with having the perfect fit. I learnt this through trial and error as a shopper. The bras that made me feel good were the ones that fit like a glove. Spending the time to find the perfect fit was worthwhile as I'm the person looking at myself in the mirror every day and I want to love what I see.
I'm the one that needs to be happy with my lingerie.
It serves to make me feel good. A well-fitted bra relieves back and neck stress, it also makes you stand up a little straighter once you've acknowledged just what it does to your body and your self-esteem. All those benefits add up as you get older. I'm lucky enough to have realised this in my early twenties and my renewed love for my body led me to becoming a bra fitter. Sharing the knowledge with as many people as possible makes me feel like I'm helping women see their bodies in a different light. There are bras out there for us and we're not a ˜weird' size.
I believe lingerie isn't always something that's worn decoratively for special occasions. It's the first layer of our clothing. Basic pieces can be special by how they enhance a woman's shape, becoming a personal expression of fashion and style. Next time you go in search of lingerie, remember what lies beneath - it's all about how you feel.
Arti Rajput - travelled to Australia with 12 bras and can't stop adding to the collection...
She's also one of our bra fitters in Prahran. A travel writer and an author, you can read more of her work on www.citylivingcoastalloving.com.