Gaining the Body Confidence to Wear Valentine's Lingerie

Valentine's Day is almost here and I've no doubt you've already been bombarded with adverts for sexy lingerie, corsets and various other sexy gifts that revolve around.. well, pretty much being naked. As with summer holidays, this can be a really daunting time if you're low on confidence and of the 'dance in the dark' disposition. 

Instead of worrying about how you'll cope on Valentine's night, here are some tips for boosting your body confidence and pulling off a 'sexy look', which do not include unscrewing the lightbulb above the bed. 

Get fitted for bras

A great fitting bra works wonders for confidence, as well as improving posture, alleviating shoulder and back ache and creating a smooth silhouette under any outfit. Most women are wearing the wrong bra size, often we underestimate the cup size and wear a back size that's too big, causing it to rise up the back. This then makes us tighten the shoulder straps to hold everything in place, resulting in sore red marks on our shoulders and often back ache, shoulder pain,neck strain and headaches! Sound familiar?  

Many high street stores with a lingerie department offer a free bra fitting service, I recommend this over measuring yourself any day! Even as a trained bra fitter, I've never been able to measure my own bra size accurately! Once you've discovered your true size, try out a few different bra styles. Some will fit much better than others. Fuller cups and balcony styles work well on bigger boobs while plunge or push-up styles can dramatically enhance smaller boobs.

Buy sizes that fit 

In addition to a well-fitted bra, make sure that the rest of your clothing fits the body you actually have. Avoid buying sizes that are too big and baggy or too tight and clingy. Often this is because we either think our body is bigger than it really is and attempt to hide it in baggy clothes, or the opposite, we buy small sizes because we think the size label in our clothing actually matters and refuse to go one size up for a more flattering fit.  

Dress sizes vary between shops, fabrics, clothing styles. On the same day I've bought a size 10 pair of jeans and a size 14 pair of black trousers. I've even left the same shop with a size 12 dress and a size 16 fitted jacket. It's just not worth getting hung up on! Remember: you are the only one who knows what size it is! All anyone else can see is how well it fits you.

Have a workout

There's something about working out that makes you feel naturally sexy (once you've had a shower afterwards). Whether it's a weight session, a dance workout, a run in the park or a yoga class - it's a great way to remind yourself that your body is strong, flexible and powerful. If I know there's an occasion where I'm likely to be in the spotlight (Cosmo Blog Awards and Graduation as good examples!) then a workout in the morning always leaves me feeling more confident about my body.

Highlight your assets

Every woman has something unique about her that makes her beautiful! No really, you do, you just need to see yourself through the eyes of someone else. If you're really stuck for ideas, ask your friends, partner, sister etc. what it is about you that they consider beautiful. Often with other females this leads to a conversation about what part of their body they'd like to swap with yours... careful in this territory that you don't both end of berating yourselves and keep it positive. Accept compliments when you're given them instead of turning them down or denying them.  

So what is your best asset? Is it your smile, eyes, hair, toned bum, boobs, hour-glass figure? What ever it is, make this the focus of your Valentine's outfit (whether it's lingerie in the bedroom or an evening dress for dinner). If it's your boobs, consider balcony bras, waist cinches or corsets. If it's your eyes, try out different make-up looks to emphasise them. If it's your bum, then chose French knickers or suspender belts. Remember that you don't have to have a lot of flesh on show for it to look sexy. If your wearing a dress to dinner, then a sweetheart neckline can work wonders for emphasising cleavage while you cover up your legs (and keep warm, it's still winter after all) in black tights. 

Recommended Lingerie & Shape Wear Retailers

Valentina Suspenders £17
Debenhams

Debenhams Lingerie

Home to wonderful designer lingerie brands! Debenhams is one of the few high street stores that stock a decent DD+ range that doesn't consist of white, nude or black tones. They have a nice range of suspenders and matching lingerie sets for a sultry look. These Valentina suspenders are my favourite. 



Darling Hearts DD-K cup, £32
Bravissimo




Bravissimo

This is the website for any woman looking for DD+ cup sizes. You'll find lingerie, bridal wear, maternity bras, swimwear and nightwear on the site. I highly recommend checking out their Valentine's collection - I love this Darling Heart set.


Figleaves


Chantelle Palazzon
Waist Cincher £65
Figleaves
I buy all my sports bras and swimwear from Figleaves but they also have a nice lingerie section for a wide range of bra sizes and have a huge range of different styles. Figleaves also has a range of Valentine's shapewear, like this Chantelle Palazzo Waist Cincher, if your bum is your best asset, this one is for you! 




Shapewear by Alarna 


Underbust corsets &
waist cinhers
This site offers a range of corset style shapewear (a sexier version of control clothing) and stunning figure hugging dresses to suit hour glass types. If you're conscious about your tummy area, then I'd recommend wearing one of these as underbust corset with a sexy bra and underwear set to emphasise an hour glass shape or to enhance your bust. They work wonders for drawing you in at the waist and also look great when worn under a dress. 


Waist Cincher £45Shapewear by Alarna
While the Shapewear by Alarna website recommends using the waist cinchers as a form of 'waist training' to be worn while exercising, I wouldn't personally advise this. Waist training serves as a temporary fix by pushing body fat to another area of the body. It's not the most comfortable way to workout and you need to be able to exhale and inhale deeply when doing any form of cardiovascular exercise, as well as freely bend and move around during activities such as yoga or dance. 

Bottom line: accessorise with waist cinches/ corsets when putting together a sexy ensemble, but take them off if you feel physically uncomfortable and don't attempt to exercise or sleep in them. 

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