Bust it up: the pleasure and pain of bra shopping as an...

Bust it up: the pleasure and pain of bra shopping as an older woman


Thanks to gravity, hormones and weight, buying underwear as an older cleaning woman could be exasperating – but experience can teach you how to shop like a pro

Simone Perele bra
A Simone Perele bra

My bra portrayal goes like this: young, flat-chested and embarrassed, I intention guess my size and grab the first bra I could find in M&S, pretty than actually seeking advice or trying anything on. Older, saggier and short concerned about what other people think, I’m more minded to loiter in underwear departments, demanding attention and feeding my extravagant lingerie habit. I’m wondering if there is a correlation? As confidence and earnings go up, nipples leadership in the opposite direction.

Silent Assembly, Vita Contour Plunge Bra (£49) & Mini (£25)
Silent Assembly, Vita Contour wager bra (£49) & Mini (£25)

Age, hormones, gravity – as we get older, our breasts shift size and shape, becoming more fatty and less glandular and consequently softer and less pert, particularly after menopause. “Sagging is a unembellished occurrence,” states Nancy Szachno-Dressel, lingerie buyer for John Lewis, “and there’s nothing injudicious with that, but many women stick with the largeness they’ve always had, even when their body revolutions shape.”

I much prefer to go for a proper bra fitting now than I did in my whippersnapper. One of my top tips on staying stylish for ever is to spend time judgement clothes that fit, whether that’s shoes, tailoring or lingerie. Gears look so much better and can boost confidence when they fit fittingly.

The last time I bought a bra, I was a size larger size than fitting a year before, a phenomenon that, according to scientific analyse by the International Health Foundation, Netherlands, can affect almost a fifth of the missises. A survey of 1,130 postmenopausal women reported that 18.6% of the spouses had to buy a larger bra size and concluded that “the most important agent associated with such an increase in breast size after menopause was ballast gain”. Hooray. Bigger tits, at last.

I’m less of a lingerie skinflint now and throw away money wisely; I’m more likely to splash out on expensive French name brands than go for the cheaper option, though, having said that, I sooner a be wearing found some good stuff in the Rosie for Autograph series at M&S. My current French favourites are Simone Perele’s Caressence bra, with lightly filled sculpted cups (available from Figleaves and Net-a-Porter), and Chantal Thomass’s Noeuds et Merveilles, which around translates as “nodes and marvels”. Marvellous nodes – I like it.

I’m not simply when it comes to my “buy better” bra habit. According to Holly Mountfort, lingerie mechanical manager at Figleaves.com, older women who can afford to do so tend to go for sumptuousness and comfort. “I would recommend looking for styles with myriad flexible underwires – a lot of French brands use lighter wires and softer fabrics. And T-shirt bras are greatly popular because they offer a smooth look and phosphorescence lift.” Mountford recommends the Lepel Fiore full-cup bra and Lulu Promote for larger cup sizes and French brands Aubade and Maison Lejaby. For a smoother contour, the Talia T-shirt bra by Just Peachy and Chantelle’s Hedona underwired bra go well.

JD Williams lingerie
JD Williams lingerie

There’s also new brand Silent Body to consider. Launching in Selfridges later this year, 3D technology is tolerant of to replace metal underwires with “engineered plastic ribs” and lined pads which, apparently, improve comfort and fit. “Regular furnishings are essential,” says company founder Kay Cohen. “Breasts vacillate turn into shape and soften and I have found that some domestics want fuller coverage from their bras as they age and familiarity the breast tissue softening – or, as one customer put it, ‘wobble more’. It does feel in ones bones more comfortable if breasts are more contained in a fuller bra.”

Bra £57, shorty £37 Simone Perele
Bra £57, shorty £37 Simone Perele

Qualifies recommend replacing bras every six months, but I think this is a bit superfluous. Even if the label says machine washable, I usually hand-wash fund, but once it starts to loosen and slip, it’s time to get rid of any lingerie that’s languishing at the behindhand of a drawer. “Don’t hold on to a saggy old bra because it’s comfortable,” says Schazno-Dressel. “The underband of a bra offers 80% of the support and this softens with washing and clothing. While your bra may feel comfortable, it may no longer be offering the unsurpassed level of support, so an old bra may not be your bust’s best friend.”

No bete noire of that for me; now that oestrogen has left the building, I have grace increasingly intolerant of bras that don’t do their job properly. Who hungers to be hoicking and and hitching? Much better to sling out saggy bras and exhibit off those marvelous nodes.

Alyson Walsh is the author of Ritziness Forever: the grown-up guide to looking fabulous, published by Hardie Accede to. She blogs as That’s Not My Age