Rethinking the bra for comfort
It surprises Marlene Dent how underwire bras persist, given their tendency to pinch around the rib cage and hang uncomfortably from the shoulders.
The wires often dig into diaphragms and squeeze sensitive lymphatic tissue while still relying on shoulder straps to provide much of the support.
The strain this puts on the shoulders, neck and back can affect the wearer’s posture and circulation, leading to tiredness and headaches. Nonetheless, people keep buying them.
Marlene, a professional brafitter and the owner of Fit 4 U, says she suspects most women simply aren’t aware there are better options.
For most of her life, Marlene was among them, shopping from the big brands but never getting the support and comfort she really wanted.
It wasn’t until she found the Beauty Bra – known then as the Jeunique Bra – that everything changed.
‘‘It had the support I’d always been looking for; it was a revelation,’’ she says. ‘‘Now my focus is on sharing those benefits with other women.’’
The Beauty Bra, sold by Marlene through Fit 4 U, brought a subtle yet important shift in bra design by forgoing underwires in favour of ‘‘shelves’’ built into the cups and greater around-the-body support.
Designed in the United States, the bras have been in New Zealand for a little over 20 years.
To make sure people get the right size, Marlene provides personalised fittings in a dedicated room at her home. People are welcome to bring a friend or support person to appointments.
The Beauty Bra comes in two main styles, the ‘‘Classic’’ and the ‘‘Smoothie’’, neither of which is available in department stores.
This ultimately works for the best because a good fit is vital for comfort and finding the right size can be difficult in a busy, fast-paced store that lacks expert advice.
‘‘Getting it right is really quite specialised,’’ Marlene says.
‘‘It’s thought that about 70 per cent of women don’t wear the correct size bra, so a proper fitting is highly recommended, especially if you’ve never had one before.’’
The ‘‘Classic’’ bra is available
up to size K, making it ideal for women with larger busts or wider rib cages.
For women with smaller busts and more slender physiques, the Smoothie bra was created.
The Smoothie bra also has shelf-type support that encourages the breast tissue up and forward in the cup, supporting and directing the bust. However, it has a smoother profile that works particularly well with lighter clothing.
Marlene says the manufacturer is ‘‘absolutely fastidious’’ and the quality of both styles is outstanding.
‘‘They might cost a little more up front, but they could last three times as long as your typical bra,’’ she says.
With the right bra, posture often improves, clothes become more flattering and confidence grows. ‘‘Every woman wants to look and feel good. I can quite honestly say I’m proud to be associated with these bras,’’ Marlene says.
For a no-obligation appointment or to find out more, call Marlene at Fit 4 U on 03 352 6601.