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Lingerie Diaries

Lingerie Diaries

Plus Size Bras to Wear with 6 Popular Holiday Styles

plus size holiday bras

So many holiday parties; so many holiday styles! What’s the best plus size bras to wear underneath each of them? More festive and even formal holiday attire requires that you match your bra to your outfit, or vice versa. It’s a lot like picking out the right shoes to compliment your clothing choices.

Here are six holiday fashions, and tips on the best bras to wear under each one:

1. Sheer and see-through tops and dresses. The “nearly naked” look isn’t just for celebrities on the Red Carpet. Strappy bra designs are made to be shown off. Wear them under mesh, lace, and other sheer materials.

Strappy Bra

Plus Size Strappy Bra, Black
2. Mock neck, cold shoulder or strapless styles. Here’s where you want to maximize your options. Convertible bras allow you to switch up straps and wear them in very different ways. Go for a criss-cross under t-back, open shoulder, or halter-neck outfits. You can leave them off completely when you need support under strapless tops and dresses, too.

5 Way Convertible Bra

Plus Size 5 Way Convertible Plus Size Bra, Black

3. Clingy satin, silk, or cashmere. These materials demand that your bra be almost invisible. That means no bumpy lace or multi-seam lumps. Here’s where a plain, t-shirt bra is your best friend. Look for smooth molded cups and make sure there’s enough coverage or you’ll end up with a quad-boob look (unless you prefer that look, which is also fine).

Pretty T-Shirt Bra

Plus Size Pretty T-Shirt Bra,Nude

4. Plunging or deep “v” necklines. Push-ups and plunge style bras are all about showing off cleavage. They give you more by lifting up and bringing your girls closer together. Plunge bras have a low center gore, and the cup design pushes your beast tissue forward. Push-up bras lift breasts higher up on your torso. Experiment with both to maximize the oomph factor.

Molded Underwire Bra With Push Up

Plus Size Molded Underwire Bra with Push-Up, Black

5. Scoop, square, and rounded necklines. Sometimes all you want is lift and separate your boobs for lovely, open décolletagede. Demi-bras do an excellent job. They will create a perky, sexy lift for outfits with a little more space in the cleavage area.

Layla Fold Down Lace Bra

Plus Size Layla Fold Down Lace Bra, Black

6. Lingerie as outerwear. Modern-day corsets make this look easy to pull off. Plus, you have a ton of options in materials: from more elegant satin to edgy leather. Underbust corsets give you a sexy hourglass figure when cinching in the waist of a column or empire bodice dress. Overbust corsets can be paired with jeans or velvet leggings, skirts, or play peek-a-boo from under a festive jacket. There are plenty of ways to make your lingerie the center of attention.

Allegra Steel Boned Satin Corset

Plus Size Allegra Steel Boned Satin Corset, Black

Mastering a great holiday style shouldn’t be hard work: With so many great options–and fun, sexy, lingerie to wear underneath them–you’ll be the belle of any holiday ball.

Editor’s note: In Elisabeth Dale’s book The Breast Life Guide to The Bra Zone: How to Find Your Ideal Size, Style, and Support, she dedicates an entire chapter to the pros and cons of different bra styles and covers. But the book’s more than that: It demystifies the entire process of shopping for a bra, and covers basics like how to take care of your bras to get the most out of them. There’s much more. Learn more, and buy a special signed copy, at Elisabeth’s web site.


Lingerie Diaries

My Corset Craze

my plus size corset craze

I’m not even sure how I got on the email list, but there it was again — another message in my inbox from “that corset store,” complete with up-close photos of gorgeous gals spilling out of satin corsets laced tight and, of course, on super sale. The emails seemed to pop up every week, and I never could bring myself to unsubscribe…

I’m not normally a lingerie gal, especially since giving birth to a child 6 years ago and my marriage (read: sex life) fizzling out around the same time. But I had a wild life before I got married, involving a piece or two of latex and lace, and I’ve always loved looking at erotic photos of women. So, there I was, daydreaming about scoring a corsetry deal and wishing I was 5 or 10 pounds thinner. Then, maybe, I could take a chance and order one of those tempting and intimidating garments. I mean, you’d have to be pretty thin to rock one of those, right?

Turns out, that’s not right. Inspired to do a little reading up on the subject, I searched the web for “corset” and “plus size.” What came up was a bunch of hits on “waist training,” a phrase new to me. Down the internet rabbit hole I went, and when I came up for air, I was newly inspired to invest in myself. Seems corsets can not only instantly boost your natural curves, but over time may actually lead to a more permanent hourglass shape — all while looking sexy as hell. I was sold (or more accurately, I bought).

I ordered a dark purple satin “short underbust” style, which does not go as high up the ribcage or as low down the hips as a traditional corset. It was on sale, and I also felt that a short corset would make a good starter choice, since it seemed less intimidating in size and amount of lacing involved . The package arrived during the day, allowing me to handle the corset and try it on in private. This turned out to be a very good thing.

The internet was very helpful in supplying a selection of videos on how to lace myself up. By the time I wrapped the silky yet firm fabric around my naked middle, I was a little nervous — as well as a little excited. It felt indulgent and also somewhat naughty to hook the metal busks and smooth the satin over my hips. It had been so long since I had worn any kind of lingerie, and this corset seemed to me like the epitome of a “sexy underthing.” I had to use a mirror to reach around and find the laces. The criss-crossing black ribbons, arguably the sexiest part of a corset, made my soft-bodied self look — and feel — positively voluptuous. I thought, briefly, of the tassle-tipped pasties I had seen on the corset site…. Maybe next time.

I was ready to tighten. With two laces in one hand and two in the other, I pulled my arms out to the side and felt the breath leave my lungs as my ribs compressed. At the same time, I noticed another sensation. Warmth pervaded my groin, most likely related to extra blood flow being diverted from the center of my body outward. It was definitely not unpleasant, and I was driven to tug the laces even tighter before tying a clumsy but secure bow at the small of my back.

Turning to face the mirror, I was surprised at how great I looked. My constrained waist was highlighted by the generous outward curve of my hips and my overflowing bustline, which was forced upward like never before. My panty-clad rear end, normally not my favorite body part, offered a perfectly soft horizontal balance to the strong vertical line of the lacing. I was in love — with my own image.

It may be hard to understand how new this self-attraction was for me. Thinking I would only look heavier in fitted or body-skimming clothes, I exclusively wore loose or even baggy tops and dark, wide-legged pants. But now, in the tightest — and most purple! —article of clothing possible, I saw a seriously hot, smiling woman looking back at me. The tight holding around my middle and the electric awareness of my crotch and breasts had completely altered the mental image I usually held of my own body. Rather than squishy or shapeless, I was now sleek, supported, shapely, and sexualized.

What happened next? Let’s just say I did what anyone would do when faced with a drippingly hot woman in a plus size corset, posing in their bedroom. My husband wasn’t due home for hours, and I realized I was overdue for some seriously sensuous self-care.

Since then, that “starter” corset got a lot of regular wear, and in fact, I’m thinking of adding another to my collection. I might go with something a little longer and a little tighter this time…

Lingerie Diaries

It’s What’s Underneath that Counts

It's what's underneath

True confession: I’m a matching-underwear fanatic. It’s a little out of control, but I have it down to a science. When I shop for underwear, I look for a color I like first, and then a cut and fabric, and I always buy one bra and three matching panties: The one bra is because I don’t always wash them after every wear, and the three panties are so I can have one pair sized up one from what I usually wear for the bloaty time of the month, and the other two for whenever.

And if I can’t find three matching panties in stock, I move on to the next bra.

I’m not sure why I do this. It’s not out of allegiance to personal style, or any one color; or any one maker of underwear. And, as my friends who know about this particular affliction of mine regularly say, “It’s not like anyone sees your underwear.” “But I know,” I say back to them, but that’s such a weak rejoinder, automatic, something right out of a self-help book from the mid-90s, or Dr. Phil.

Anyway, when I first started the whole matching-underwear thing, I was dating a lot. Hey, I was in my mid-20s! It was New York City! Other people were definitely seeing my underwear.

But there was something else that was going on: I was feeling pretty good about life. I was meeting a lot of people, living in a fantastic place, experiencing and seeing new things every single day. I didn’t love my job, but I didn’t hate it, either. I think I was in what some people call the prime of life.

Plus, most of my clothes were black and I actually had two or three three-piece suits in my wardrobe from my day job. Yep, I was put together, but I also probably needed something to liven up my closet.

You know, in some circles, underwear is referred to as “foundation garments.” I know, doesn’t it sound so clunky, for something that can be frivolous, and fun, and frisky? But I like this idea, for something that’s so basically a part of your daily dress, for the thing you put on first.

But I like it even better for the idea that I first started wearing matching underwear during a specific period in my life–that it was a good time in my life that made me go in search of foundation garments that matched my state of mind.

Because, let’s face it. I’m in my 40s now, and I don’t live in New York anymore. I go out maybe once a week, and my wardrobe has divested itself of black suits and somber colors and seems to entirely comprise colors (Melon! Teal!) and jeans.

Maybe that’s why I keep on buying matching underwear. Because even if it is just me, my husband and my dog knowing what I’m wearing, well, at least I know that somewhere deep below, only as far away as my tank top and jeans, is the firm bedrock of someone who likes what she’s made of herself.

What’s your go-to, feel-good piece of clothing? Tell us in the comments below.