Great outfits start with great lingerie

Underwear isn’t just the foundation of your outfit but of your whole attitude.
One in four women have had their mood affected by wearing an ill-fitting or unattractive pair of underwear, according to a national poll published by ShopSmart, the shopping magazine from the publisher of Consumer Reports. The poll also found that on average women own 21 pairs of underwear, with 10 percent of women owning 35 pairs or more.
While nearly half of women (47 percent) feel sexier or more confident wearing a nice or special pair, the poll also found that one in 10 women admit they will venture out of the house without underwear on at all. This, in some cases, might be the better option for the one-quarter of women who have a pair of underwear they would be embarrassed for someone else to see.
“What you wear under your clothes is just as important — maybe even more — as what you wear on the outside,” said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart.
The ShopSmart poll’s other findings include:
How much does underwear matter?
— Nearly one-quarter of women (21 percent) vary their underwear selection depending on their mood, and 12 percent feel it is an important part of their outfit.
— Topping the list of worst undergarment offenses is underwear or a thong that sticks out of clothing, especially among those ages 18 to 34 (49 percent) and 35 to 54 (55 percent).
— Half of women have complaints about the way their underwear fit, with wedgies (30 percent) topping the list, followed by not laying flat under clothes (19 percent) and not having enough coverage in the rear (14 percent).
In our drawers
— Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of women stick to neutral colors, with white (29 percent) most popular, followed by black (21 percent) and beige (15 percent). No one is envious of green as it came in dead last (1 percent), behind red (2 percent), purple (4 percent), blue (5 percent), a print (6 percent) and pink (9 percent).
— Women in the 18 to 34 age group seem more adventurous with their color choices with more than one-third (35 percent) indicating a color, not a neutral, as their favorite pair and 12 percent who chose a print.
— Nearly half of women (46 percent) cite the brief as the underwear style they wear most often, though women ages 18 to 34 skew toward the bikini style.
— More than half of women (56 percent) overall fold their underwear; 27 percent just toss it in the drawer.
The skinny on body shapers
— More than half (53 percent) of women have tried a body shaper; of those, the majority (84 percent) report a negative experience, including uncomfortable to wear (60 percent), difficult to don (52 percent) and too tight (41 percent).
— Most women (61 percent) who wear body shapers do so only for special occasions.
Shopsmart’s tips on finding a great fit
Bras. Too tight: Your breasts are spilling over, and the band is constricting or leaving indentations on your skin. Too big: It hikes up in the back, and you have gapping in your cups. A professional fitting is the best way to find the perfect bra.
Panties. The three C’s: covered, concealed and confident. If your panties are creeping up and creating a wedgie, or if they’re digging into your cheeks or waist, they’re too tight. Go down a size if they look bulky through your clothes. Underwear should fit like a second skin.
Body shapers. They should decrease the measurement in your targeted area by at least half an inch. Pick the size that corresponds to your actual measurements. If your skin is spilling over the edges, it’s too small. You’ll know it’s too big if it creases, bags, or rolls. It should feel like firm-fitting underwear.

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