Dealing With Pesky Bra Straps
Author: Ginger Burr
As most of my clients will tell you, I am pretty easy going. I'm a big believer in self-expression in your wardrobe, and I help women create this for themselves. To this end, I am always open to exploring ways to make something unconventional work. That said, can we please, please do away with the trend of visible bra straps? I mean, do we really need to see someone's underwear?
Okay, I know sometimes bra straps have the annoying habit of peeking out here or there, and it's not the end of the world, but the truth is that they really don't need to. I'm assuming it's more that women don't know how to properly conceal them than that they really think they are making a stylish fashion statement by exposing them (or thinking that no one notices!). And, yes, I know teenagers do it all the time, but let's face it, teens are notorious for enjoying the shock value of their fashion statements (although at this point I think they think it's fashionable!) and, hey, one can get away with a lot more at 16 than you can at 35 or 58.
Besides who wants their bra straps to be the focus of attention! (Well, actually I did at my wedding last year, but I'll explain that in a minute).
So, for those of you who have been unconsciously letting your bra straps slip and slide, here are a few alternatives:
• Lingerie Straps - On occasion lingerie straps are built into a garment but if not, a tailor can add them in a heartbeat. Lingerie straps consist of a little string that hooks under your bra strap and snaps it into place so it is secured to your outfit and won't go peeking out unexpectedly.
• The Right Bra - Racerback or convertible bras pull the bra straps in closer to your neck so they can't slip off your shoulders (this is especially handy for those of us with sloped shoulders). Just be sure the straps are not visible in the back by your neck (this is dependent upon the neckline of the top you are wearing). (I love Wacoal, e.g).
• Strap Attachments - These handy devices immediately turn any bra into a racerback. Less expensive than buying a new bra and it does the trick. Choose the right one for you.
• Sparkly Straps - This is one of my favorite options. Have your strapless bra fitted with elegant sparkly straps and let them show! (I wore these at my wedding (as you can see in the picture (I was singing to my partner-in case you were wondering)), and every woman there asked me about them!). The best source is www.showoffstraps.com where Susan uses Swarovski crystals. Since you only need one or two (although you might want more when you see all the stunning choices!) it's worth getting a beautiful, well-made set.
• Strapless Bra - When all else fails, do away with the straps altogether! These days there is a strapless bra that fits nearly every bra size (okay, there are a few women (you know who you are) who just can't do it), and they stay in place, and are relatively comfortable.
• Avoid Sleeveless Tops - While this is certainly an option, it is a bit drastic and not necessary as you can see by all the other choices above.
So, let the teenagers do their thing if they must. The rest of us will set the standard for timeless beauty and elegance. Why not draw focus to features you want others to see rather than let it happen haphazardly (and not always to your advantage!).
About the author: Over the past 22 years, Ginger Burr, believing that your image is about representing the best of you (not making designers happy), has built a remarkable career as an expert personal image consultant working with women from all walks of life. Whether it's the "dynasty" shoulder pad era, the never-ending confusion of business casual, or the low-rise pant controversy, she has helped women navigate through (and sometimes completely ignore!) the styles of the season and feel good about how they look.
In 1987, Ginger launched her own company, Total Image Consultants, with the simple credo that a dynamic personal and professional image could be created without having to relinquish personal style or comfort. Today, Ginger offers private consultations and remarkable makeovers for women, brides-to-be and transgender clients. Ginger also directs corporate seminars and community education programs for some of Boston's most prestigious organizations including Harvard Law School, Brown Rudnick Berlack Israels Law Firm, and Fidelity Investments and has been the media spokesperson and fashion expert for Rowenta, Inc.
In 2005, Ginger adopted veganism as a way of life and quickly realized that this personal commitment directly impacted her business. At a time when the terms stylish and vegan rarely appeared in the same sentence, Ginger's mission became to prove that the two could happily co-exist. Her passion for health, beauty and her commitment to a cruelty-free way of life also led to her being selected as one of VegNews Magazine's "25 Most Fascinating Vegetarians" in 2007. She now offers guidance, support and insight to her vegan (or just curious and open-minded) clients showing them how to dress fashionably and still be true to their values.
Ginger is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College (a music major -- who would ever think that would lead to a career in fashion!). She is also the Past President of the New England Chapter of the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI) and has served on the AICI's International Board as the Vice President of Member Communications. In addition, Ginger is a past President of the Boston Wedding Group.
Ginger recently launched her one-of-a-kind body image, self-esteem, and style home study program "Who Taught You How to Dress?" which allows women to overcome the obstacles and learn the skills they need to create a wardrobe they love all in the comfort of their own home! In addition, Ginger's book, Fashion Secrets Mother Never Taught You is used today as a style and wardrobe consultation tool.
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