I love lingerie (after all, I am The Lingerie Addict), but even I get a little overwhelmed at how a few ounces of fabric can go wrong in so many ways. From visible pantylines to visible nipples, there’s always something that needs correcting, adjusting, or just plain covering up when it comes to your undergarments. Fortunately, you’re not alone, and the most common lingerie mishaps have easy fixes. Here are five of the ones I encounter most frequently and how to solve them.
Visible Panty Lines: We’ll start off with a classic—the VPL. Visible panty lines are as tragic as they are avoidable. The most common culprit is a pair of too-tight knickers. When the elastic cuts into your bottom, it makes everything a bit more…obvious than it should be. Ironically enough, too-large panties can also create visible panty lines, as the loose fabric bunches and ripples instead of laying flat against the skin.
The best fix for VPL is to buy a pair of seamless panties in the right size. Small, medium, and large tends to vary by designer, so always check the size chart before buying. Women with vintage figures (i.e. hips 10” or more larger than their waist) will want to buy panties by their hip size instead of their waist measure. Boyshorts, hipsters, and low-rise knickers also tend to be flattering on curvy figures.
Visible Nipples: While some women don’t mind if the “headlights” are on, many do. The most common culprit behind visible nipples is a sheer, thin, or otherwise unlined bra. Padded bras are usually recommended as a solution, but many women don’t want to deal with the extra bulk padding gives, especially if they already have a full bust.
Contour bras--which are molded but not padded—eliminate nipple show through. A lot of brands also call these “t-shirt” bras. Women with smaller busts who may prefer to go braless (but still avoid visible nipples) can also look at adhesive nipple covers.
Double Boob: The double boob (also known as the “quad boob”) happens when a woman wears a bra too small for her breasts. Once your breasts fill up the cups, they have nowhere else to go and start to spill over the tops and sides of your bra. The double boob is visible even beneath a shirt or sweater.
If your cups are overflowing, try going up a cup size. However, if it’s been a couple of years since your last bra fitting and/or if you’ve had a major life change (such as having a baby, nursing, weaning, or gaining weight), go in for a professional bra fitting. That way you can make sure you have the right size.
Wrinkly Boob: The opposite of double boob, wrinkly boob happens when your bras cups are too large, creating unsightly ripples, creases, and puckers. Women with shallow breasts (where most of the fullness is in the lower half of the bosom) often have to cope with wrinkly boob even if they’re technically in the right bra size. Lace, frills, and pleats on your bra can also give the appearance of wrinkles beneath clothing.
If the cup is too large, first try going to down a cup size. However, if you’re in the right cup size, try another style of bra, such as a balconette, demi, or bralette. And, of course, if the issue is the bra trim or decoration, try a t-shirt bra.
Conspicuous Bras: Conspicuous bras are those bras you see when you’re probably not supposed to. Think white bras beneath white shirts and regular bras beneath t-back shirts. Yes, the bra is doing its job and keeping everything supported, but it’s a bit more visible than it should be and takes attention away from the rest of the outfit.
The best solution for a conspicuous bra is to buy a skintone and/or convertible bra. A bra that matches your skin disappears beneath almost all clothing, and a convertible bra allows you to easily accommodate all the different looks in your wardrobe.