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5 In Shopping Tips

Losing five pounds in five minutes with the right bra

Getting a bra to help with the girls on

How I lost five pounds in five minutes


“You’ve just lost five pounds,” said Mariam, my sales associate and style muse at Nordstrom, Corte Madera. I’d just been fitted for a new bra and all thumbs were up (and so were my breasts). Can the right bra help you lose five visual pounds? Well, yes! It can seem that way.

I know what she meant. A results of a better fitting bra could be measured that way (losing five pounds) but really it’s about feeling uplifted, having more room in your torso, feeling stretched out, being able to wear clothes with more ease. That’s what the right bra can do.

A quick test to see if you’re in the right bra

I’m going to explain why there are broad lines across my body in this picture of me testing out a new bra. It’s actually something I demonstrated when I was on The Oprah Winfrey Show when my book 40 Over 40 came out. It was one of my tips for the Oprah audience about how not to look matronly. In the clip from the show, I had a client standing in front of a full length mirror. I said, “To see if your bustline is in the right place, draw an imaginary line across your waist. Now draw an imaginary line across your shoulders. Your bustline should be sitting right in the middle of those two lines. If those babies are heading south of that line, you need to pull up your bra straps or get a new bra.”

Those words came back to me when I experienced this myself in the dressing room after working with two clients on Monday. It didn’t start with me looking at my chest and thinking I needed new bras. No, I was actually looking at dresses. While I was still in the store I wanted to try on a dress style that didn’t have a waistline. I’ve seen people wearing them in magazine pages, in catalogues, or in Instagram and it’s intrigued me. They’re wearing them over jeans or leggings and I wanted to see if I could do that, too!


Lafayette dress for spring on

Trying on this Lafayette 148 NY dress

Trying on a dress led to trying on bras

So I tried on this Lafayette 148 NY dress. Mariam came to a look at it and said, “I think you should try a minimizer bra.” Okay, I was game. I could see my boobs weren’t looking quite right in this dress. Mariam called in Delores who has helped me many times. She’s a specialist in the lingerie department. A cancer survivor herself, she knows the special needs someone like me, a one breasted woman, has. I need a bra that will fit me with my prosthesis filling out one of the cups. Not all bras are capable of having a pouch sewn in them to hold the prosthesis and Delores knows all about that.

It was old home week seeing Delores. I just love her! (Go see her at the Corte Madera Nordstrom for all your bra needs whether you have one breast or two.) She looked at me and said, “I know you want to try a minimizer, Brenda, but I don’t think it’s going to work for you.”

She went and got one. I tried it on and she said, No. Okay then.

“But what you need is a different bra,” she said. She thought I should be looking perkier than I was in my Wacoal bra. So she brought in a Chantelle bra. I tried it on. Mariam brought me a thin lilac T-shirt to wear over it so it was easier to see the fit. I did the imaginary line test to see if my bustline was in the middle between my waistline and shoulder line. It was. I felt better sculpted in this bra.

Yay, new bras, more room!

Now I just have to muster the patience for the pocket to be sewn into them (I bought a nude one and a black one) so I can wear them. I hadn’t realized how sick I was of the bras I was wearing so I got a mental lift along with a boob lift with Delores’ amazing skill.

Erin was so impressed that she got fitted for new bras too. She took Delores’ card to give to her friend, Teresa. We all agreed that getting fitted for a bra was a perfect thing to do on a stormy night in Marin.

Have you been measured for a bra recently? Trust me! It’s uplifting!