"Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury" - Coco Chanel
We Sirens love to indulge in beautiful lingerie, to perform in, to wear to class and to treat ourselves in our daily life. Lingerie is like a pretty little secret beneath your clothes, and can make you feel glamorous, even if your outerwear can’t be (especially if you have to wear a work uniform!)
The secret to feeling gorgeous in your lingerie is to buy pieces that fit you well. Unfortunately, this can be a lot trickier than it sounds! Finding a perfectly-fitting bra is one of the biggest challenges that a babe might face. The balance of cup size, band size, style and how best to wear it can get so confusing! We’ve compiled a helpful guide to finding the perfect fit when lingerie shopping.
The first step to finding the perfect fit is to know your measurements. Your body measurements will give you a lot of information that will help you to make an informed decision! They’re also very useful to know when shopping online, as you will better be able to work out your size. When taking your measurements, its important to do it over bare skin, or a close fitting leotard or t-shirt, to get the most accurate measurements possible.
How to take your Body Measurements
Bust - To measure your bust, bring the tape around your back and around to the front. Pull it around the apex (or fullest) point of your bust. It should be aligned parallel to the floor, making a straight, horizontal line across both your front and back. If you have someone to help, you record the measurement at the front with your hand down at your sides.
Under Bust - Measure directly under your bust, where your bra strap would usually sit. Make sure this is also aligned parallel to the floor!
Waist - To measure your waist, don't measure where your pants finish — this is not your natural waist! Your waist is the smallest part of your torso and right underneath your rib cage near your belly button. Make sure the tape is even across the front and back and parallel to the floor.
Hips - To measure the hips, keep this in mind: it is not where the top of your hip bone is, it is actually around the largest part of your hip area.
Shoulder Width - Measure from the base of your neck right in the middle of your shoulder (from a bird's eye view) and along to the tip of your shoulder. If you have trouble determining your shoulder tip, find a garment in your closet that fits well and has a collar and sleeve. Then measure the shoulder length of the garment.
Arm Length - Have your arm just slightly bent, and measure from the tip of your shoulder over the elbow to your wrist line. You will also need a friend for this measurement.
Thigh - Measure around your thigh, where your stockings would usually sit. If you have curvaceous thighs, you may need to take a couple of measurements for different stocking heights!
Breasts and chests come in all different shapes and sizes, and so do bras! Choosing the right bra for you can be an arduous task, but with a few tips and tricks up your sleeve, you’ll be able to make the process much easier.
When trying on a bra, the band should fit you firmly around your under-bust, without digging in uncomfortably. Your bra band should fit you on the loosest hook set, so that as the elastic of the band loosens over time with wear, you can move the hooks to the tighter option.
To ensure the best fit for your cup size, make sure you are positioning your whole breast into the cup. Lean forward and pull the bra away from your chest, and use your arm to scoop to the side of your breast, bringing it all in front and into the cup. A well-fitting cup will sit snugly, without empty space, or spilling over the top!
Finally, you’ll want to make sure the straps are adjusted correctly. Straps should support your bust, and not dig into your shoulders or back.
Knickers come in many different shapes, sizes, styles and fits. As we all have different shaped bodies, what suits you best may not be the same as what suits someone else. Always check for a comfortable fit, without digging in or bunching up.
A few common styles of knickers:
Briefs - Briefs can come in a high or low waist style, but their main feature is full coverage of the bottom. But just because they are full coverage, doesn’t mean they aren’t sexy! Some briefs come with a sheer back for a cheeky peek.
Brazilian - A brazilian cut is a low, V-shaped pair of knickers. It is cut high on the thighs to be more revealing, but isn’t quite so revealing as a G-String.
G-String - Usually has a slim back designed to sit between the cheeks of one’s bottom. This can either be a fabric panel, or sometimes a narrow strap, similar to a bra strap.
High-Cut - High cut knickers elongate the legs as they sit much higher over the thighs. Often this style is high-waisted, with a very high-arching leg hole.
French Knickers - French knickers look like little frilly shorts, and are usually made from silk, satin or lace. They are full coverage, but also breezy and super flirty!
A suspender belt or garter belt is a lingerie piece that is used to hold up stockings. Often you can buy garter belts to match underwear sets, making a cute matching 3-piece set, perfect for performing or feeling put-together.
When buying a garter belt, look for quality elastic and construction. Good garter belts will have clips made from metal, rather than plastic, and these tend to hold up stockings much better than their plastic counterpart. Better quality garter belts will have six straps or more, which do a much better job of keeping your stockings from sagging than a four strap belt. You can adjust the straps using the sliders to make sure the length suits your shape and stocking length.
A good garter belt will be quite wide in it’s construction, to sit comfortably over the hips. It should be worn on the natural waist, so make sure to choose a style that fits you firmly, but comfortably!
Bodysuits are a fabulous option for performances if you are doing a pole, lyra or sling piece. You can achieve the pin-up glamour of lingerie without having to worry about managing all the different pieces riding up or coming undone! Some bodysuits come with an inbuilt bra or cups, while others are completely soft, and feel more like a leotard. If you’re a babe who needs a bit more support, try going for a style with in-built cups.
Fitting a bodysuit is just like fitting a bra and briefs, together! Check the band size, cup fit and strap length, just like you would with a bra. Make sure that the leg holes are not digging into your thighs or hips, and that the bodysuit isn’t riding up uncomfortably into your crotch!
The important thing to take note of with a bodysuit is the torso length. If it’s too long for your body, the bodysuit will bunch up and won’t sit smoothly, or support you properly. If it is too tight, it will ride up and you’ll find yourself very uncomfortable! Some bodysuits have adjustable snaps in the crotch to be able to alter the length, but the best thing to do is make sure you move around in the change room to see if the suit stays put!
Corsets are one of those decadent items that can really be the cherry on top for a lingerie collector. These beautiful waist-shapers come in many different styles, including underbusts, overbusts, and waspies, and the cinched silhouette is iconic of burlesque queens like Dita Von Teese.
A good quality corset will be made on a base of a canvas-like fabric called coutil. It is very strong, and can withstand the strain of being laced tightly around the body. The top can be made from satin, brocade, silk or lace, and in any colour of the rainbow. The front of the corset should have a metal busk, which is a special kind of tab with hooks and bars. The back has rows of metal eyelets, or grommets, with lacing to cinch the corset closed. Corsets should contain spiral steel boning, as this special boning flexes to hug curves comfortably and create shape.
To determine your corset fit, measure your waist. Most corset sizing is done in inches, so make sure to take your measurement in inches rather than centimetres. A general corset sizing guideline is as follows: If your natural waist is under 38” select a corset 4-7 inches smaller than your natural waist. If your natural waist is over 38” select a corset 7-10 inches smaller than your natural waist.
Nothing polishes off a lingerie set like a pretty pair of matching stockings. There are plenty of styles of stockings out there, with all manner of patterns, colours and textures.
Pantyhose are stockings that have a crotch area and go up to your waist. These can come in a range of styles, including opaque, sheer and fishnet styles. Look for higher quality pantyhose as these will be much less likely to develop holes. Ballet hose are particularly good for dancers, as they are very tough and can withstand lots of movement. Professional dance fishnets also fall into this category, as they are very strong, and have a firm but very stretchy fit.
For thigh-high stockings, you can get both stay-up, and hold-up varieties. Stay-up stockings have a silicone band at the top part of the stocking (which is called the welt.) The silicone sticks to the top of your thigh and stops the stockings from sliding down your leg. Hold-ups must be worn with a garter belt to stay up, as they do not have enough elasticity to stay up on their own. For thigh-high stockings, ensure the top part of the stocking isn’t so tight that it is digging in to your thigh, and that you aren’t bulging over the top. There are also different lengths, so choose the length that is most comfortable for you, whether that comes halfway up your thigh, or right up to the very top of your leg!