How To Choose The Right Underwear For A Great Silhouette

How to choose the right underwear for a great silhouette | Tips for fashion over 50 | The Barefaced Chic | Fashion and lifestyle blog

Throughout the years (oh so many years), I have had quite a few battles with my underwear. Yep, from visible panty lines to bras that cut off my circulation – my underwear has, quite literally, had me in tears.

So how did I battle my way through the plethora of underwear on offer and work out what makes me look less like an overstuffed sausage? I follow these simple guidelines.

And do bear in mind that I am not giving you a set of rules to follow – I don’t believe in rules! You can wear whatever the heck you like, these are simply the guidelines I follow if I don’t want my underwear to be the star of the show.

How To Choose The Right Underwear For A Great Silhouette

For a start, if anyone can tell what kind of underwear you are actually wearing, you’ve got it wrong (unless of course you’re aiming to flash the odd bit of bra, etc). Underwear should accentuate your outfit, not completely overpower it.

So really think about what you’re wearing under your white trousers, and for the sake of comfort if nothing else, don’t wear a bras so tight it cuts into your two breasts and miraculously creates four – ouch!

Here are my top tips for a great silhouette:


1) Coloured underwear under white or pale colours – nope. And be careful even with flesh coloured undies. A good rule of thumb when trying to decide if white/pale coloured garments are see-through is this: put your hand inside the garment and stretch it across a gold ring or piece of gold jewellery. The more of the gold colour you can see, the more sheer the fabric, and the more careful you will have to be when choosing your underwear.

2) Avoid elasticated hems/seams on your knickers. If you don’t want to fall victim of the dreaded VPL then briefs with raw edged hems that sit on the skin, rather than dig into the skin are the way forward if you’re not a fan of G strings.

3) Steer clear of lacy cups if you’re looking for a crisp, flawless finish. Smooth fabric on the cups of a bra will always lay better under fabric, especially if it’s sheer.

4) Clear bra straps still show. We all want to believe that no-one will notice those clear bra straps, but they ain’t fooling anyone! Having a perfect finish means biting the bullet and wearing a strapless bra.

Shop around because that ever elusive creature known as ‘the perfect strapless bra’ really does exist. You simply need to find the one that’s right for you.

5) Underwear shouldn’t be painful. OK, so if you’re going down the shape wear route then a certain amount of slight discomfort, at least when pouring yourself into said underwear is inevitable.

But underwear shouldn’t cut into your skin. There’s nothing worse than trying to get on with your day, or have a fun night out only to spend half the time trying to discreetly improve your circulation before you lose a breast!


6) Get yourself fitted. As we hit midlife our size and shape changes pretty frequently. If you think you can still throw on your favourite bra that you purchased in your 20’s – think again. If you can and it’s comfortable, I want to know your secret!

Getting fitted by a professional is the way to go, and don’t forget to slip on a top to see the shape and silhouette the bra creates. Unless you’re going for the Madonna circa 1990’s look 😂

7) Slip on a slip. A slip, or half slip in black or nude is great under sheer fabrics. It can also help with fabrics that tend to ride up over tights or stockings by creating a kind of barrier.

There’s nothing worse than feeling your skirt creeping up your leg and having to adjust it all day/evening.

8) Stay out of the spotlight. Just because you are wearing black doesn’t mean you can wear any colour underwear, especially if the fabric is thin. Under lights, even daylight, nude undies create a kind of spotlight effect – nice!

9) Get in shape. Invest in a couple of pieces of shape wear. You can’t beat the finish they give, especially under tight fitting outfits or evening wear.

10) Put fit and comfort over fashion. Our underwear is next to our skin – all day, every day. It therefore makes sense to choose items that fit well and feel comfortable. Don’t be swayed by labels, colours or packaging.

The only time I would say to go for style over comfort is when romance is in the air 💕

How to choose the right underwear for a great silhouette | Tips for fashion over 50 | The Barefaced Chic | Fashion and lifestyle blog

How to choose the right underwear for a great silhouette | Tips for fashion over 50 | The Barefaced Chic | Fashion and lifestyle blog

As I said, these aren’t ‘rules’, but they work for me. What do you do to achieve a great silhouette? Hit the comments and let me know.

This post has been featured on the Matalan blog. Mosey on over and take a look to see what other women have to say about choosing underwear.



    • February 24, 2017 / 11:44 am

      Thank Jacqui, hope you find the ones you didn’t know helpful.
      Michelle xx

  1. February 11, 2017 / 11:45 am

    Sooooooo many good points, Michelle (especially the one about elasticated hems/seams on your pants – I can’t bear having VPL)!

    I sadly didn’t get properly fitted for a bra until about 7 or 8 years ago… till then I was wearing completely the wrong size. I look at old pictures now and cringe at my saggy boobs ! The girls look so much better now, I can’t thank that Bravissimo assistant enough!!

    Great post my lovely

    Catherine x

    • February 24, 2017 / 11:46 am

      It’s amazing the difference a properly fitted bra makes! As you know, my bust size has increased quite a bit lately so I know from experience how important it is to keep ‘the girls’ happy.
      Michelle xx

  2. February 14, 2017 / 10:21 am

    These are all such good points! I definitely need to keep this in mind! I hate wearing strapless bras but I will persevere ’til I found the perfect one 😀 thanks for sharing!


    • February 24, 2017 / 11:54 am

      It took me ages to find a good strapless Kate. It’s like looking for the Holy Grail, but it’s out there 🙂

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