If you’ve never had a proper bra fitting with an expert, what are you waiting for? Having a bra fitting, and wearing a great bra in the right size, is one of the simplest things you can do to boost your self-esteem and look as good as you’ll feel. Just by wearing the right bra, you can look ten pounds thinner, and shave ten years off your shape. Yes, a bra alone can elongate the look of your torso, and make you look leaner.

As I reached into my bra drawer the other day, it occurred to me that this is a great time to go through all my drawers and closets, and clear out the old, and assess what my wardrobe needs are now.  

In deciding what to keep and what to toss or donate, I consider a few factors.  

Is the elastic still firm and stretchy?

Is the elastic still firm and stretchy throughout the bra: cups, sides, straps? Does the garment have overall integrity, or will one more tug of the straps turn them to dust? If the straps are already adjusted to their max, yet your boobs still seem to sit too low, it’s time to toss. Once the elastic is shot, the bra becomes useless.  

One of the most common fit problems we see is that women buy the band of the bra too big, when what they really need is a fuller cup. It’s common that women who think they should be 36C are really 32DD. If this is the case, tightening the straps won’t improve the fit — it will just give you a pain in the neck! Solution: Get a bra fitting!

Does it still fit?

Our bodies change over time, and as we age, even without gaining or losing weight, our shape shifts. Most of the women I know, and me too, complain about a little extra weight around the middle, a bit more sagging of the skin, despite taut and toned muscles. Can I still close the band of the bra without it pinching, cutting, or creating bulges? Do the cups still accommodate my boobs? Is there gapping (never happened to me), or spilling? Does the bra create quadraboobs?  If any of these things happen, the bra no longer fits. Time to toss or donate.

Toss or donate?   

If your bra is shot, toss it. No, your housekeeper doesn’t want it. If it doesn’t do its job for you, what use is it to anyone else? If your bra is in good condition, but doesn’t fit you anymore, or you’ve just never worn the thing, think about donating it. Bra Tenders supports and is a drop off location for Free the Girls, a 501C3 nonprofit organization that recycles gently used and donated bras to girls and women in poverty-stricken countries to help them avoid sex slavery.

“By donating your new or gently used bras, you’re giving economic opportunity that these women use to change their lives. Your financial donation helps survivors of human trafficking start their own businesses selling bras in their local second-hand clothing markets while they recover and build their new life.”

Do I have the basic bra wardrobe required for my lifestyle?  

The average Basic Bra Kit includes multiples of: T-shirt/everyday bra; strapless/convertible bra; sports bra; little black bra; leisure bra.  

One of my favorite pieces is the Shapeez cami, which has a built-in, molded cup bra, a high back to banish bumps, and a gentle hug of shaping throughout the torso. It’s cut to sit at the high hip, so there’s no rolling. It’s a great piece to perfect the look of skinny clothes.

What’s happening in the panty drawer?

As long as I’m doing an underwear assessment… what’s happening in the panty drawer?  I passed the age of thongs 10 years ago, so you’ll not find one in my underwear drawer. What you will find are Marie Jo laser cut briefs that are lightweight and comfortable, and fit my not-exactly drum tight ass, perfectly. I have a few pairs of lacy panties, because hey, you never know.  

All your underwear should be clean, obviously. If it’s got holes, toss it. If you’re over 18 and it’s got Barbie on them, TOSS! What does the underwear in your drawer right now, say about you as a woman, and how you treat yourself?

Our needs change as we grow and change. The end of one year/beginning of the next is a good time to reflect on how we are, or are not, the same or different from the same time last year. True reflection of how life has progressed over 365 days provides great self-awareness and the impetus to act on our dreams. I am a different woman from the one I was same time last year and have accomplished several goals, with several others in progress.  I will purge everything that no longer serves me, and nevertheless, persist.