{History} Bras throughout the ages

If you think your breasts have changed a lot in your own lifetime — you’ll be astounded how breasts and lingerie have changed over the past century. Evolving beauty standards, technology and even historical events have contributed to the bras we wear and breast shape and sizes that we desire. Fill your cups with knowledge when you click through this visual herstory of bras though the ages.

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{Makeover} A bra-mazing makeover

“Although I’m 63, my body looks 45 because I exercise every day. But, my boobs belie the rest of my appearance,” wrote in Harriet Brand in response to our call for FOFs in need of a bra makeover. “I could really use a professional to help lift my ‘girls’ and my spirits.”

We knew just the FOF bra guru to call: Linda Becker owns two lingerie stores in New York and has been in the bra biz for twenty-four years. She has been featured in The New York Times, Glamour magazine and The Today Show for her bra-mazing abilities. [Read the entire interview with Linda here.]

“Your breasts have a mind of their own,” said Linda, when Harriet met her at her New York City store. “They’re like two bad kids. If you don’t control them, they’re out of control.”

According to Linda, Harriet’s breasts were just that — out of control. When she came in to Linda’s Bra Salon, Harriet was wearing a size 36C bra from Steinmart, which Linda called “totally dead” because it was so worn out that it offered no support. She also said the band was much too loose. “[Her breasts are] low, her nipple should be halfway between her shoulder and elbow. We’ll pick your girls up,” Linda assured Harriet, after she determined that her true size is 34DD. “The last time I had a bra fitting? Never,” said Harriet.  Linda trashed Harriet’s old bra and replaced it with three new and perfectly-fitting bras including the bestselling Body Sense Back Control Bra by Natori in Nude, 34DD. “It’s what I call the back fat bra,” says Linda. “It’s wide on the sides so it gives you a really smooth look in the back. It’s a really basic, comfortable bra.”

SO how did Linda find Harriet’s perfect bra? And how can you find yours? Read on to find out . . .

How do you know if your bra fits correctly?
Your nipple should be halfway between your shoulder and your elbow. When your breasts are low they make you look shorter, heavier and older.

How often should you get new bras?
Every six months. No one is the same size their entire life. There’s too many things that go on — you exercise, you have babies, you gain weight, you lose weight, you take medication that can make your breasts bigger, you go through menopause…

Should you wear a bra when you sleep?
Your breasts never know what you’re doing. They have to be supported all the time – whether you’re cleaning your house, sleeping or going to a wedding. You can wear sleep bras to keep them uplifted through the night.

Is a more expensive bra necessarily a better bra?
You can get a great fitting $29 bra. The difference is in the fabric. For instance, you get a better lace in a $129 bra.

What are your favorite bra lines for FOFs?
Different companies are specialized in certain things, Simone Perele makes really pretty, well-fitting bras that minimize you. Chantelle is a fabulous bra company that is making their cups bigger and bigger, which is great. Panache specializes in double D and higher. Wacoal are great fitting bras for FOFs at great prices.

Do different brand bras fit differently?
Yes. You should always be fitted when you buy a new bra. You should never go into a department store and just say, ‘Oh, I’m a  34B.’

Can I figure out my own bra size?
I’d recommend having a professional fit you. There are so many intricacies and as I mentioned before, different bra brands fit differently. You may be one size in one brand and another size in a different brand.

{Giveaway} Instant Breast Lifts by Bring It Up

20 FOFs will get to test Instant Breast Lifts by Bring It Up. To enter, answer in the comments below: Has your cup size changed over the years?

Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.

Newton said “what goes up, must come down,” and unfortunately, our FOF breasts are certainly no exception.

However, Denise Cooper, the genius behind Bring It Up Instant Breast Lifts won’t give in to gravity. A Los Angeles-based luxury salon owner, Denise listened to her female clients complain about their own sagging breasts for over twenty years — and was downright tired of it.

In 2001 she invented her Instant Breast Lifts, crescent-moon shaped, transparent, waterproof and hypoallergenic adhesives that work by lifting the breasts from the top.

“[The] product is a true beauty breakthrough,” says Denise. “Our ‘lift from the top’ method provides full support, without a bra.”

Since Denise introduced the product, they’ve been featured everywhere from Glamour and The Rachael Ray Show to that “best things” bible, O magazine. In 2009 Denise was awarded a U.S. patent for Bring It Up’s “method of lifting and supporting human breast tissue.”

The company claims the lifters can raise breasts up to six inches. Could it be true? Twenty FOFs will get to put this product to the test, then report back.

Enter to test Instant Breast Lifts by Bring It Up. 20 FOFs will win. To enter, answer in the comments below: Has your cup size changed over the years?

Can’t wait to find out if you’ve won? Need this product ASAP!? Bring it Up is offering a special discount to FOFs on Instant Breast Lifts and their other beauty fixers, this month only. Enter code FAB50 at checkout to receive $10 off your purchase of $25 or more.

(See all our past winners. See official rules. One winner is chosen at random from all those commenters who answer the question. Contest closes October 18, 2011.)