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Q. I recently purchased a one piece retro-inspired swimsuit. I am worried about my belly bulge and am wondering, is it possible to wear some type of shapewear underneath the swimsuit?

r410568-p410574-back.jpgA. We’re not aware of a shapewear product specifically designed to be worn under a swimsuit in the water, but I suppose you could always wear a icontummy flattener thong, provided it fits completely underneath your swimsuit. I can’t think of anything more uncomfortable, though, on a hot summer day than shapewear underneath a swimsuit. Next time, opt for a tummy trimming swimsuit instead. There are so many styles available, including retro-inspired, that have built-in tummy panels and high spandex content to suck you in - you’re sure to find one that suits you.

Q. I saw you on The View the other day. I’m having a hard time finding bras to fit me right. I order out of Blair’s Book but I’m still not happy. I’m on the heavy side and I take a 48 DD but my bras are tight around the middle plus it’s extremely hard for me to turn them around after a shower. I have crippling arthritis with deterioration of the bones. I would rather have a bra with a front closure because my hands cramp and my fingers stiffen up as well. Can you suggest a store here in St. Louis, Missouri where I can get measured? I went to JCPenny’s to get fitted but the sales lady said I didn’t take a double just a D. I’m not sure I believe that. I don’t like under wire so if there is a brand that will fit me without one I’d be very happy.
- Larger Lady

A. I suggest you try the Playtex 18 Hour Style 4695 Front Close with Flex Back, which is wire free, has a front close with easy-to-close hooks and eyes, and comes in a 48DD. You can go to Macy’s for a fitting, and they should have the product there or they can order it if they don’t. Alternatively, you can order it from onehanesplace.com. Unfortunately, it only comes in white in that size (just one band size down, a 46DD, comes in Black, or up to a 44DD also comes in Beige. Hope this helps!

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Q. What panties/underwear would you recommend for underneath a bridesmaid’s gown that is a champagne-colored, satin material? The dress requires a strapless bra with a long front so that the dress stays smooth, and now I’m looking for seamless underwear that I can wear underneath. We tried high-waisted Spanx to create a completely smooth, body shaper type look, but the waistband is easily seen through the dress. Do you have any ideas/recommendations?
-Seamless
 

A. You need to look for a seamless thong that will banish the panty line. Look for a smooth thong with a side on the hip that is wider than a g-string style since a g-string may roll or dig into your hip and show a line on the dress.

1946han1202pfel102pfel1r464387-p464396-front 

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1. Hanro: Perfectly Nude Thong, $49 at barenecessities.com
2. Felina: Hint Of Skin Low Rise G-Kini, $9 at barenecessities.com
3. Felina: Hint Of Skin Low Rise Thong, $9 at barenecessities.com
4. Calvin Klein Naked thong, $16 at figleaves.com 

5. Miraclesuit: Firm Control Strapless Body Briefer, $52 at at barenecessities.com
6. Naomi & Nicole: Luxurious Shaping Convertible Strapless Bra Slip, $48 at barenecessities.com
7. The Body Wrap: Body Wrap Lites Bra Slip with Underwire, $42 at barenecessities.com

Q. I have a challenge that needs sorting for summer. I am a 40 year old British woman living in a hot country.  I cannot go bare legged in summer and have been desperately seeking some sheer very natural looking seamless toe hosiery that don’t slip on mules when I walk in summer and that don’t look unnatural when everyone else is walking around bare legged. Do you know where I can get something like this?
-Toe Free

A. More women are looking for opportunities to wear hosiery with their mules, peep toes and some sandals while still giving support and coverage to their legs. Thankfully, some designers are listening and creating toeless hosiery and tights. While I’m not a fan of hosiery in summer or with mules, I’m not about to tell you gals to forfeit them from your closet or go bare if you’re not comfortable doing so. So here are some options that offer sheer and flesh toned colors. Just match them as closely to your leg color as possible.

Hue Toeless with Lace Control-Top Pantyhosealke Shelina 12D Toeless Tights Berkshire: Ultra Sheer Hose without Toes

1. Hue Toeless with Lace Control-Top Pantyhose, $6 at alexblake.com
2. Falke Shelina 12D Toeless Tights, $17 at mytights.com
3. Berkshire: Ultra Sheer Hose without Toes, $6.95 at barenecessities.com

Q. I love reading your website, so I thought I’d reach out with a question of my own.  I am tall (5’8) and have large breasts (D/DD).  I really need a comfortable bra that will support me.  Right now most of my bras are comfortable, but unsupportive or a pushup style that leaves marks.  Is there a happy combination of both?  I haven’t had a lot of luck with chain stores, and am hoping you can recommend a specialty store where they will fit me (I live in Boston.)  I’m willing to pay whatever it takes for a bra that I will use over and over again.   I’m also in my 20s, so something cute would be much appreciated.
-Cute and Comfy

A. You’ve got to start with the best pieces underneath your clothes so you feel comfortable and confident with what you wear on the outside. And with busty gals, there’s no need to sacrifice support, comfort or even being sexy. A few tips when shopping for the perfect fitting bra:

  • If breasts spill out on the sides go up a cup size
  • If the cup has any wrinkles, go down a cup size
  • If straps leave marks, look for wider straps that are cushioned and adjustable
  • While underwire generally works best, there are plenty of new designs and technology that will still give support without the wire

As for Boston bra fitting experts, here are a few to help you with your shopping dilemma that are highly rated:

  • Lady Grace in Brookline
  • Intimacy of Boston in Copley Plaza
  • Lingerie Studio on Newbury St. in Boston

Some suggestions online:

 Bali: No Poke Wire® Seamless Underwire BraBali "Passion for Comfort" Minimizer Underwire BraLilyette® "Fit for You" Lace Wire with Sew Free Wing Panache: Inferno Convertible Underwire Plunge Bra

 Olga: Satin Edge Underwire Bra Le Mystère: Dream Tisha Seamless Full Fit Bra Bali: Seductive Curves Underwire Bra

1. Bali No Poke Wire® Seamless Underwire Bra, $24 at barenecessities.com
2. Bali "Passion for Comfort" Minimizer Underwire Bra, $32 at macys.com
3. Lilyette "Fit for You" Lace Wire with Sew Free Wing, $31 at macys.com
4. Panache Inferno Convertible Underwire Plunge Bra, $53 at barenecessities.com
5. Olga Satin Edge Underwire Bra, $32 at barenecessities.com
6. Le Mystère Dream Tisha Seamless Full Fit Bra, $68 at barenecessities.com
7. Bali Seductive Curves Underwire Bra, $24.80 at barenecessities.com

for even more optiions, check out our Ultimate Bra Guide

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