Ladies, it's time to go shopping.
According to a study of 500 women conducted by MyIntimacy.com, the average woman’s breasts will “change shape, size and distribution at least six times during the course of her life.” More proof that our bodies are constantly changing. Unfortunately, much of these changes happen as we age, and especially during and after menopause! As if hot flashes aren’t enough!
Just like the wrinkles on our face, our breasts can show our age. It’s safe to assume that all women know aging can have adverse effects on our breasts. Gravity is perhaps the worst culprit, with loss of skin elasticity causing sagging over time. Add to that body changes like pregnancy and any weight loss or gain and it's easy to see how our shape can change over time.
Besides sagging, aging will also cause our breasts to change in shape and size. And unfortunately, there has been no solid evidence to prove theories that suggest you can DO anything to prevent the sagging from happening (like sleeping in your bra or constantly wearing an underwire). There are many who argue that wearing a bra causes sagging because our breasts are made up of ligaments and the ligaments aren’t doing their job when the bra is doing it for them.
But the right bra can turn back the hands of time and give the illusion of the breasts you had 20 years ago. And you should be able to find a bra that makes you look and feel fabulous — no matter your age! I also don’t think there needs to be a ‘special’ bra for you — you should enjoy the same bras your 30-year old daughter does! I once did a bra makeover on my 56-year old mom on national TV, and put her in a Wonderbra. She felt great, and there’s no reason she shouldn’t be able to sport a padded push-up if she wants to!
With gravity at play, as things are pulling downward, the point is to pull them back up. You want to aim for a bra that’ll hoist your breasts up to halfway between your shoulders and your elbows, with the back band being completely level across the back — not riding up. Mature women — especially those with sore, sensitive breasts which can accompany menopause — will want to look for comfortable, cool fabrics and features like thicker and sometimes padded straps, and a wider back band and wings (the pieces that wrap around each side of the bra). Breast tissue also gets less firm as we age so a cup with some structure will only enhance the shaping and support. Also, as posture often declines as we get older, you want to have a proper fitting bra that helps support the posture you want to project —think about actress Helen Mirren, and how great she always looks!
Need some bra recommendations? Here are my picks to revamp your wardrobe:
- Playtex 18 Hour Seamless Smoothing Bra ($19.99) This bra features wide shoulder straps and tons of support in a comfortable fabric.
- DKNY Fusion Perfect Coverage T-Shirt Bra ($42) This is a nice full-coverage bra with underwire and no padding. It's very comfortable and light for summer.
- Pretty T-Shirt Bra ($21.95) For fuller figured women who want a seamless look and lots of support.
- Panache Alisha Full Coverage Nursing Bra ($59) Yes, this is a nursing bra, but it's also great for women going through menopause and experiencing sore breasts.
- Genie Bra ($19.99) For smaller-busted women who just want comfort.