The Perfect Innerwear

The Perfect Innerwear

This is Sidra’s last intern post (I’m going to miss her!). Please say your goodbyes and if you enjoyed her posts, I’d love to get some encouragement for her. She’s done a kickass job with this one on something we usually don’t like to talk about. I hope you guys love it just as much as I did (there are tiny comments from me in the post here and there).

We are brought up in a culture where apriority knows no bounds. It invades every nook and corner of our daily lives and dictates how we live and move around in our own space. Pregnant women are supposed to cover their bellies with dupattas that do nothing to conceal their bumps; not going in the direction of the need to cover them anyway. Layering up in summers is a norm and a peeking bra strap is almost fatwa-inducing. Nobody educates young girls about fundamental things and we spend our lives discovering things that don’t need to be rediscovered. One of these things is something that is bought in ugly beige tones, paid the least amount of attention to and washed and dried like it was used to murder somebody. You got it. Innerwear!
I talked to Shehzeen and we decided that we’ve got to come up with a few facts about innerwear that shockingly not every girl knows and treat something that’s just a piece of clothing like what it is: just a piece of clothing. We listed out a few things we’ve learnt from personal experience over the years but we didn’t just do that. We brought in some experts too. The awesome team at The Knicker Drawers (whattay cute name) gave us some really basic but insightful tips on finding the perfect innerwear, more specifically, the perfect bra, and here we have all the information down for you.


The Knicker Drawer, by the way, is the cutest boutique that stocks cup sizes up to – wait for it – KK. So no one’s excluded. They have amazing bra brands like Curvy Kate and Panache and a bunch of styles and colors. Also, they won my heart when they said this: Finding the perfect bra is like finding your perfect pair of jeans. You will have to try on a few styles and sizes and a random size will not work. True story.

Let’s discuss.

Fact #1. You need to find your actual size. As simple as this is, SO MANY women wear the wrong size and don’t even know it. For this, you have to absolutely get a professional bra fitting done. This is not something your mom or sister can do (in most cases). Not all stores will give you the best fitting, it can be person and/or training dependent, so give it a few tries and see what works best for your overall posture and look. If you can’t get a good fitting done, wait it out until you travel someplace where you trust the staff or learn the basics of a good bra fitting and check your bra against that (some basics from TKD at the end of the post).
TKD Tip: Always, always try on a shirt and see what the bra looks like when you’re clothed.
Shehzeen: I got a bra fitting from TKD and they were really great. It’s a small boutique so what I liked was that they weren’t in a rush and gave me lots of time to see what I ended up being most comfortable with. Plus they had actual knowledge on bras, which is kind of like an important step.




Fact #2. A good bra can make you look thinner or fuller, depending on what you want.
If you share what kind of look you want with your fitting professional, they can actually help you get it. Want to look big or small? Need a lift? Tell your professional what you like and let them show you options.

TKD Tip: Again, always, try on each style with a t-shirt to see how it would look under clothes and if it delivers on what you want.

Shehzeen: My fitting with TKD actually shocked me because I looked slimmer and I am completely on board with that. They fit me with a bra that I thought was the usual good fit but as soon as I put on a top, it was like I’d dropped a few kilos. No kidding, bros.

Fact #3. Padding is not evil. Every well endowed woman puts her foot down with the speed of light upon hearing this word: Padding. The common misconception being that padding adds to your size and makes it more prominent. That is a misconception. Did I already say that? The truth of the matter is that a sliver of a padding/lining of foam can give you a lift and improved shape without adding to your size. A good bra can actually make you look smaller while having a pad; this fact is TKD approved and hey, they are the experts. If you don’t want to accentuate the size more, you can easily go for a bra that has an overall foam lining but no push/padding in the lower part of the cup.



Fact #4. You need to take care of your bra. Yes, throwing your bra in the washing machine is faster and more convenient. However, your bras will last longer and therefore offer better support if you handwash them. Also, if you have a bra that has a clasp at the back, then you have to wear it just that way – wearing it backwards, tying the clasp and then rotating it just damages your bra.
TKD Tip: Take an extra couple of minutes and wash your bra when you’re in the shower. Just keep some detergent on hand. This way you end up doing this as part of your shower and not something that needs to be taken extra time out for. You can check out more tips here.
Fact #5. If you want seamless, a tshirt bra is not the only answer. A great bra will never show its shape under your clothes. Contrary to what most people think, you don’t have to get a t-shirt bra to only do that. A t-shirt bra is great (and important) if you’re going to be physically active or just like the style. But a seamless look can be achieved with another style as well.


Shehzeen: The one I tried at TKD was under a super clingy t-shirt and yet it was absolutely invisible. It was AMAZING.



Fact #6. Bras have an expiration date. Wearing a bra beyond its life is a bad decision. You should definitely change at 6 months especially if you’re wearing them frequently. At the max, you shouldn’t stretch a frequently used bra beyond a year.
TKD Tip: To allow a good lifespan for your bras, you should aim to have a minimum of three bras on hand at all times: one on you, one in the drawer, and one in the wash. 
Fact #7. Matchy matchy don’t always matchy. I spent most of my life thinking white bra under a white shirt is the way to go. LIE. The actual and true way to go is: Nude under white, White under light, Black under black (and other darks).
TKD Tip: If you want basic bra recommendations, then we totally suggest getting each of these: black, nude and strapless (and a sports bra as a bonus).



Fact #8. No THAI-NKS. A lot of times cheaper innerwear, specifically in desi-land, are Thai imports. Now, very obviously the proportions of desi sistahs and Thai sistahs are different. Thai bra cups are very close-set and don’t sit properly on an average desi body. Desi Women have wider structures and rounder physiques. Hey, its genetics. Whachugonnado? The point is: Invest in your innerwear as they work as a foundation for your outfit; everything looks better on you when everything else is in its proper place.
TKD Tip: When you go for a professional bra fitting, take young girls from your family with you. Take your daughter along, a younger sibling so they can familiarize themselves with the process of securing a perfect fit. Most young girls accompany the female members of their family on general shopping trips but aren’t included in innerwear shopping. Make it familiar territory for them.


Fact #9. The wrong bra can cause problems. Wearing a bra that’s smaller than your actual size can really mess up your blood circulation and just generally cause pain or discomfort (constantly adjusting your band!). Loose bras can give you terrible posture, giving birth to a constant slouch. If your straps are too loose, they’ll let the mighty gravity have its way and the weight makes your shoulders droop. Also, wearing the wrong kind of bra to the wrong place can also cause issues – not having a sports bra when you plan on working out aggressively for example, can actually damage a ligament. And the worst: the wrong bra can actually make you look bigger when you want to look small and vice versa!

Coverups for swimwear


Fact #10. Bras don’t have to be boring. Everyone should first stock up on the neutrals but if you are able, then buying nice and bright bras and wearing them under clothes that don’t parade them (for modesty, if you want to parade them, no judgments, friends) is a very fun experience. Innerwear is always bought and worn for your own self so enjoying wearing them and getting them in appealing colors and designs is shariah complainant (I’m 65% sure).
Fact #11. There’s a bra for everyone. No matter how big, small, disproportionate, anything else you are, there’s a bra for you. If you’re pregnant or nursing, there’s one for you too. Don’t lose heart and just keep trying to find your soulmate one.

Maternity and nursing bras

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QUICK BRA FIT BASICS
These are some basics that you should check not only when getting a new bra but also to assess if your current one needs some adjustment or has expired.
> Your band size is your starting point. It should not be riding up your back. Either you need a smaller band size or your bra is old and lost elasticity.
> The bra band should be flush against the breast bone. Completely resting, there should be no gap.
>  Nothing should be spilling on the sides, from the top of the cup, or bottom – that just means you’re wearing a cup too small.
> No gap between your cups’ top seam and your body – that means your cup is too big.
> The straps should be tight but not cutting into your shoulders. Ideally you should be able to insert one finger in the strap at the top of the shoulder, no more no less.



 > When you raise your arms above your head, your band should stay snug and secure under-bust, and your straps should stay on your shoulders (not cutting in the flesh, not falling off your shoulder). If it’s too loose you will have to adjust it every time you raise your arms or the straps will make several unwanted appearances on your arms.
> The band should be sitting against the breast tissue on each side under your arms. There should be no ‘bounce’ in your flesh if you press against it.
> When trying on a bra, always adjust yourself in the cups fully before taking a decision
> With a new bra always hook in the first hook. As the bra ages, move inwards to the middle and then the third and last one. If you’re reaching for the very last hook, then either you need a smaller band size or the elasticity of your friend has given up.

TKD Tip: Your fitting professional is supposed to fully educate you on what’s the right bra for you. Even if the bra they are recommending doesn’t feel right, keep trying until you find what works for you. You are the one who gets to choose. Don’t go home with a bra that doesn’t make you happy and will end up collecting dust in your drawer. Without hesitation, ask to see more styles or sizes, until you’re fully happy.
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Shehzeen: You guys, TKD gave me the most personal experience I have ever had while bra shopping. No rush, no push or shove to accept a bra I didn’t like. And they were giving the same amount of commitment and attention to each customer coming in (I was at their store for about a couple of hours taking pictures so I witnessed it first hand) and what they recommended to me in the end was great. The manager Bridgit has YEARS of experience in this industry and there’s nothing she does not know about how to find the right bra for anyone.  They had a ton of variety and other than your regular bras, they had bridal lingerie, maternity bras, those for the gym, nightwear, and even swimwear. I totally loved this place, I highly recommend it especially since the price point is also very good.

Bridal lingerie

Some details on TKD
Store:
The Knicker Drawer
Sizes: They stock upto KK sizes which is phenomenal.
Website: http://www.tkdlingerie.com/
Location: Ground Floor, Town Center Mall, Dubai (They also have a store in Bahrain)
What I liked: Small, personal feel, good variety, well-trained staff
Follow them here: Facebook, Instagram
That’s about it!
Sidra Raja-Shah is an authority on almost anything you can think of. Her superpowers include an ultra-super-keen- sense of observation and eating a big bag of Doritos all on her own. You can catch her rambling @therajalife on Instagram or on her blog http://www.therajalife.com/. To read more about Sidra, check out the meet the interns post.
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+ Check me out at the TKD store here giving a shoutout to my dad 🙂

+ + There’s a giveaway running for a 14 mask goodie bag from 7th heaven on my Facebook right now, feel free to enter right here

18 Comments

  1. You always bring such important topics to the blog. It's amazing. Love your attitude.

  2. good job sidra 🙂 enjoyed yours posts 🙂

  3. Amazing post. As always.

  4. Interesting read !! love it how wonderfully the topic has been tackled. Informative indeed

  5. Good job. Can anyone please shed some light on bridal lingerie shopping in Pakistan..

  6. This post was so informative! Thank you for talking about it *claps*
    Well done on your internship sidra. I've actually loved reading your posts 🙂

    – Maheen A

  7. Good informative post but didn't like one of the things said in the beginning of the post so just mentioning it.Pregnant women are supposed to cover their bellies with dupattas that do nothing to conceal their bumps? Excuse me? Even if that aint enough to conceal the bump,its there to show some " sharm-o-haya" rather than just flaunting your belly like a besharam. This is the way we have seen our elders and mothers do it, not to hide the bump; off-course you cannot hide it , but to be in a presentable manner.

    -Sehrish

  8. OH MY GOD this was THE BEST. SO MUCH LOVE FOR THE BOOBS, i have only started getting cute well fitting underwear for myself and this post is SO informative <3

  9. Such an awesome post! Can you please find and name such stores in Karachi or other big cities of Pakistan too?

  10. waooo u always bring something different on ur blog and thats ur specialty very well written thanks for sharing its really useful tips

  11. Love the post. Tbh I have tried professional consultancy from good international innerwear brands. Honestly, I m still confused about exact size. Any suggestions? MBS

  12. "Peeking bra starp is almost fatwa-inducing" made me laugh like crazyy…so true !! XD

    Helpful post btw 🙂

  13. Great post Sidra and Shehzeen. One point that I would like to mention is that bra sizes also change with time/circumstances. If you have put on/lost weight, become sexually active, gotten pregnant, are breast-feeding you most definitely will need different bra sizes. So don't buy all your lifetime supply of bras at the same time. This advice is especially for girls who are about to get married. Get a few, and purchase more as and when required.

  14. This is suchhhhh a helpful post.. bra fitters in pakistan?

  15. Debenhams at Dolmen Mall have a separate section for undies with staff who will help you find the perfect size. Same for the company owned Triumph outlet. I went there a few years ago. Not sure if they still are operating the store at Dolmen Mall.

  16. Great post. Would like to read a post about the tips and tricks for panties shopping as well. Specially related to the skin friendly material and the right type to wear during flow days; from a professional point of view.
    Selecting the right sized/material panties is also a task.


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