Hearing aids and heels…

The hearing aids bit anyway!

I had a bit of a moment the other day where I felt really stupid. And I mean really stupid. Like I was incompetent and worthless stupid. It’s a more frequent occurrence than I would like!

I had to ask my hubby to repeat something several times and even in the end I still didn’t hear it properly. It’s not because I’m stupid, I just didn’t hear him. Don’t assume its hubby making me feel this way, it’s me and my hearing that is doing it. I was on my way out to get some milk and he said something, a joke probably but I just didn’t hear him. I sat in the car and it hit me just how much this is beginning to bother me and also how much I have been hiding it from others.

So what am I on about?

I have been losing my hearing for a few years, and up until now it hasn’t really worried me, it’s one of the reasons I was going to call the blog hearing aids and heels. But just recently it’s begun to have a big impact on my life – both personally and professionally. I’m struggling to hear students in class, made all the more difficult with the fact that they are international students and we were having to wear masks. I avoid talking to colleagues as I know I won’t be able to hear them. I smile and hope I’m looking like I can hear people and smiling at the right moment too!

I do have an appointment for another hearing test in the next couple of weeks as I’m well overdue but with pandemic delays and suchlike any previous ones had been put off. My hearing aid hasn’t worked for almost a year and is well overdue a service, I thought I was getting on alright without it but clearly I’m not.

Photo by SplitShire on Pexels.com

When did it all start?

Just over 14 years ago I was having ear issues, constant earache, pain and suchlike. I didn’t worry about it I just thought it an inconvenience at the time as I’d suffered with ear problems when I was young. But after a while and realising that this wasn’t going away, visit number four to the doctors finally discovered I had a perforation of the ear attic. Bearing in mind this had taken two years to discover and things were not looking pretty. I was lucky as the doctor I saw that day knew a bit about ears!

I was booked an appointment to see a specialist in ENT. Went through lots of poking about and x-rays and scans. Then the bombshell hit. You have a tumour. Of course the first thing you think is I’s cancer. Thankfully it wasn’t it was a benign tumour, but it was in a nasty place and there was a secondary infection going on which given the nature of the tumour was making its way to my brain.

Cue the “right, young lady, let’s get you booked in for surgery and quickly, we don’t have much time” moment. To be honest I’m not sure if he explained much about it as I was in a fog but I signed the forms and went ahead anyway. It’s not every day you get told you have something wrong that isn’t normally bad but with the extra problem of an infection going on could kill you.

Well, me being me didn’t tell people it was as bad as it was, why worry others with stuff they can’t control. My parents would have been worrying (as parents do!) and I couldn’t be arsed with people fussing.

Hair shaved and off I go, I had the surgery to remove the tumour, get rid of the nasty infected stuff and rebuild my inner ear. Took a few hours but seemed to go ok. Things were a bit muzzy for a while. Head was itchy where the hair was beginning to grow back but it wasn’t all that bad. I got the piss taken out of me by family members but I’m the black sheep anyway so this was nothing new.

I am on lifetime care regarding my ear. I slowly regained some hearing in my rebuilt ear and things seemed to be all going tickety boo. Until I had one of my quarterly check-ups. And, boom. It was back! The tumour had returned and was obviously happy as it was growing far too well! This was almost 8 years ago. Back into surgery I went again, head shaved, ear sliced and off we go. I now have miniscule plastic tubes and bits where my little bones were. Micro surgery is amazing. 

Anyway, same old operation, seven hours in and redone prosthetics. All is well? Not quite. This time my hearing really is shot. To top it all off the hearing in my other ear has been degenerating quicker than I would like and I’m now at the stage I am now. The surgeon managed to cut a little bit of my facial nerve so my face drooped a bit but thankfully wasn’t noticeable unless I was tired, it’s still a little noticeable even now but only if you look carefully!

I didn’t realise how much having poor hearing would affect me. I didn’t think it would be something that bothered me, but the pandemic and others wearing masks really has made my life hard. Over the years I’ve learnt to lip read, albeit in a basic form, and this has been a lifeline for me even with a hearing aid. But it really is frustrating when you go into a coffee shop and ask for something and can’t hear what the barista is saying as there’s noises of the machines, a mask over their mouth and people chatting. It was getting to a point where I put a note on my phone and showed them what I wanted.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

I’m fed up of not quite getting what people are saying in conversation as they’ve turned their head a little away from me and I can’t see their lips properly. I’m fed up of getting frustrated by asking people to repeat things several times. I am at a point now where I don’t know where to turn or go to make this any better. I know some sign language but not enough to get by. I struggle with lots of noise in the background, or when both kids are trying to talk to me. I can’t manage a group conversation I can’t process it all with what little hearing I do have.

I am grateful for mask wearing given the Covid situation, and I am an avid mask wearer and still will to certain extent even though restrictions have been lifted. However, it hasn’t made mine or any other hard of hearing person’s life easy.

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

I was quite surprised when I heard on the news recently that BSL isn’t a legally recognised language like Welsh or Gaelic in the UK.  Given the fact that there are eleven million people in the UK that are deaf or profoundly hard of hearing and only 131,000 actually use BSL I’m surprised they don’t teach it in schools, although I know by the already saturated curriculum that there simply isn’t any time to teach it and teachers simply don’t need any more stress. [source: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/understanding-disabilities-and-impairments-user-profiles/saleem-profoundly-deaf-user#]. Apparently it is also the second most common disability in this country. I always thought it was an old person’s disability, but whilst figures do show 40% of the over 50’s are deaf it rises to 70% in those over 70, there are increasing signs of it becoming more prevalent in younger generations.

This got me thinking why this could be happening. Could this be our constant need to be plugged in to something? I know I’m often saying to the kids even with their noise limited headphones that they need to turn to volume down and take a break from wearing them. Of course I get ignored completely and their eyes roll but I think I may have a point. I found this article interesting and it’s not the only one saying similar things https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/53221-Kids-headphones-earbuds-hearing-damage-tinnitus

When we listen to loud music for long periods of time we damage the tiny hair cells in the inner ear and the hearing nerve which is called sensorineural hearing loss. Of course hearing loss can be caused by many things, most commonly ear infection but I do think our habits play a big part in how we manage hearing loss in the future. I know I check my kids ears regularly, it’s habit, just like checking for head lice – you never know!

So let’s rally round and encourage our kids not to listen to their music or videos up too high, taking breaks away from it more frequently and hoping they have a sensible bone in their body to actually pay attention to the advice we give them. They’ll thank us for it later!

I’m hoping my hearing test won’t be so bad and that they’ll sort my hearing aid out and I can get back to being ‘normal’, as much as I can be.

Take care, stay safe

Becks xo

What defines the perfect beauty regime?

Is there even one?

According to experts, and it seems everyone on the internet is an expert these days, there are three main steps to a beauty regime: Cleanse, Treat and Moisturise. Ok, fair enough but being a teenager in the late 80’s early 90’s I thought Tone was the middle one. Well it seems I’m wrong and Toning is an optional activity these days and we do it to redress the PH balance of our skin, but apparently the key thing we need to be doing now is Treating our skin after we’ve cleansed and before we moisturise.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Fair enough I’m no expert but this is what I have found out and if you are like me and don’t use much by the way of skin care products then this may help. For those of you that do use products daily you might just find you are using too many products and actually overwhelming your skin.

So what does ‘treat’ stand for?

I can tell you it’s not a lovely chocolate biscuit treat unless it’s one specifically made for skin! I do have a rather lovely face mask that smells so chocolatey and delish that it always makes me feel hungry… but I digress. Treating is where we use, serums or creams which are packed full of skincare superheroes like vitamin C, retinol, hydroxy acid and more.

Of course everyone’s skin is different and we need to adjust to suit our skin and our age but after looking at what is recommended the following seems to be the ideal skincare regime:

Daytime

  1. Cleanse – use a gentle face wash to take away the impurities of daily life. Using a gentle face wash is important if you are using several products in your skin care regime as you don’t want to overwhelm your skin. Don’t cleanse too often or use too harsh a cleanser otherwise your skins natural barrier will be washed away and you’ll end up with redness and potential problems with other products.
  2. Tone – this is an optional stage but is good for rebalancing the PH levels of your skin. Make sure you are using the right toner for your skin type though. If you have dry skin use a hydrating toner to soothe skin and if you are prone to acne then using a toner with salicylic acid in will help keep spots at bay.
  3. Serum – whatever your age or skin type it seems as though vitamin C is the skin saviour. It helps reverse the damage caused by the sun and pollution. It’s also good for hyperpigmentation, and especially so if used in the morning routine.
  4. Eye cream – find one that suits you and dab with your ring finger to prevent damage to the fine skin under the eyes. Our ring finger is the weakest one so ideal or delicate areas.
  5. Moisturise – this is designed to keep your skin hydrated and create a protective barrier for your skin against damage and pollution. Depending on your skin type choose a lighter moisturiser that will soak in quickly, if your skin is on the drier side then a thicker cream based moisturiser will do the trick.
  6. Sun cream/sunscreen – this is essential, our skin can get damaged by the sun even on an overcast day. It is the number 1 cause of skin damage so we need to use it daily and at least an SPF of 30 is recommended, even if you spend most of the time indoors. 

Night-time – this is the perfect opportunity to ensure your skin is getting all the key nutrients it needs

  1. Cleanse – this is where a cleansing oil is recommended as it is designed to take off your makeup and cleanses your skin in one go.
  2. Tone – again optional but do it before you apply serums.
  3. Serums – apparently retinol is the skin saviour for anyone to use at any age but especially in our 40’s and 50’s. There are recommendations to using alpha hydroxy acid to encourage collagen but this will need to alternate so as not to put too many ingredients that may fight with each other if you now what I mean.
  4. Eye cream – use as you would in the day, but using eye cream at night helps the delicate skin around the eyes deal with stronger ingredients like retinol better.
  5. Acne cream – this is about prevention rather than cure. If you know you are prone to the odd or regular breakout then putting spot control cream on can help keep them at bay.
  6. Moisturise – uber important to moisturise using a night cream as this is designed to hydrate and protect your skin and make sure it is glowing when you wake up.
  7. Face oil – these are designed to give that extra boost of moisture for your skin overnight. They add an extra layer of protection. Don’t worry if your skin is oily these if the right formula is chosen can work wonders for your skin.

To me this seems a lot of a faff, although it is why many women and men have fantastic skin and I don’t. I look at my own skin care regime and for me to do what is recommended I’d be there all day messing about. Especially as it’s advised to wait a little between stages to let the skin settle and for the products to sink in. But with the pressures on us all to look good every day, and keep the aging process at bay we are ‘encouraged’ to follow complicated regimes.

To be honest in the grand scheme of things if you only do half of the recommended régime you are doing something right!

Essentials are – cleansing, applying serum and moisturising the other bits, are for when you have time if you can.

What about me? What do I do?

I’m such a heathen when it comes to my skincare, or lack of care as is mostly the case. I do put sun cream on I confess to that, but if I’m honest I don’t much do the other stuff. I have the odd phase where I go all out and do all three steps, but mostly I wash with a bamboo or organic cotton flannel, yes you read that correctly a flannel. I was born in the 70’s and some of the things I did as a kid have stuck with me. I have a pile of bamboo and organic cotton flannels in the airing cupboard as they get used regularly, I’m not for these environmentally damaging wipes (they don’t do your skin much good either) and the washable wipes that companies seem to keep coming up with as the new environmental alternative, well open your eyes they’re just cut up flannels made from bamboo or organic cotton, marketed as the new way to save the planet! And, yes I can be this cynical I used to work in marketing, kinda know the tricks they use to get people to buy into the ‘product’. And spot cream! I just use toothpaste! It works a treat and leaves my face smelling minty fresh 🤣, the other half has grown accustomed to seeing me with toothpaste on my face occasionally he doesn’t bat an eyelid these days.

I will use a moisturiser on occasion when I remember to, although I confess I don’t always do this every day. I forget. Unless I get into routine and remember to do it or I’m putting on makeup, it just doesn’t get done. I do put sun cream on though, as I mentioned before but I don’t much like the combined moisturisers with SPF in them I find them far too greasy for my skin. So normal mineral based sun cream does the job for me. I do remember to put moisturiser on at night, and I’m even choosing a night time one for extra Oomph. So I suppose I might get some brownie points for that!

My mum always encouraged me to ensure my skin was clean but she used to suffer terribly with allergic reactions to most skin care products and so she rarely wore makeup, in fact I think she only ever wore mascara and lipstick as everything else made her skin react. She would react really badly and have to have prescription cream to put on, usually some steroid cream or …

What’s it called? …

Hang on…

It’ll come to me in a bit…

This is one of those walk into a room moments and you forget what you walked into the room for! It’s an age thing.

Antihistamines! That’s the one.

Mum used to wear a moisturiser but it was the same one for years and she rarely changed the brand, she had to though on the odd occasion as the formula and ingredients had changed and caused a really nasty reaction where her face swelled up and went burning red it started to peel in places. So as you can imagine skincare and makeup wasn’t foremost in my teens. Most of my influence came from teen mags like MORE and when I was older Cosmopolitan. Ahh, those were the days 🤣 Anyone of a certain age will remember More Magazine, Cosmo is still about and is even more racier than I remember 😜

I can’t say I’m much of a girly girl and I never really have been, but on occasion I do like to make an effort. And, this means when I do remember to use skincare products I want them to be as skin, animal and environmentally friendly as possible.

I will only use animal friendly products those with the Leaping Bunny and Vegan logo on them. I have long been an advocate of animal friendly products and positive ethical practices in the beauty industry and I naively used to use many of the high end brands Estee Lauder, Clinique and such like, but I found out that they were and are still not animal friendly. They are often owned by parent companies who sell in China and their products must be tested on animals before they can be sold there. So at some point there will have been an ingredient that has been tested, if not the actual product, on animals. It is hard to find a truly animal friendly product but if you care enough then look for the leaping bunny and the vegan V and you can’t go far wrong.

You don’t have to pay high end to get a good product. Many cheaper products use the same ingredients as the more expensive brands, it’s just the bigger more ‘high end’ brands market to a ‘lifestyle dream’. We all like a bit of designer but we don’t necessarily need it for our moisturiser. Do your research, there are plenty of informative websites out there.

I’m not here to tell you which products to use, you are old enough to make those decisions on your own. All I ask is that you consider the impact on the environment, animals and your health and do your research you can’t go far wrong.

Thats it from me for now. Have a rummage through your skin care products and take a careful look. Hopefully you’ve perhaps picked up a little snippet of useful information in this post.

Take care, stay safe.

Becks xo

A little bit of style is all you need…

I guess as my little slice of the internet is about my life and style I ought to put my money where my mouth is and write a post on said style bit. This may get a little embarrassing but be kind, I’m all about being kind here.

I mentioned ages ago in an old post (Archived post: Surprised? I was… https://mylifeandstyleover40.com/2020/08/ scroll down a little in the archives to find it if you want to have a look) about how I need to get grip on finding my own style as I’d kind of given up on my appearance and how I looked in others eyes. I tend to be the type who doesn’t always practice what they preach and I must get out of that habit! Definitely not a good habit to have if you’re a teacher like me 🙄

I’d like to think I know a little bit about style, I know the a bit of the ‘theoretical’ elements, which some might deem to be ‘common sense’, and I think know how to put a stylish outfit together (most of the time) and I’m a good learner. But, I think the problem is I’m quite lazy and I also quite often have a ‘so what do I care what others think’ approach. Believe it or not, I actually do care how I look. To me it’s not being vain it’s a part of self care, just like taking five minutes to ground ourselves and refocus. Something we are told to do for our mental health. I do care about what others may think about me and how I look but it’s easier to hide behind ‘a cloak’ and appear nonchalant about things.

Photo by Kat Smith on Pexels.com

Why is this? Is it a British stiff upper lip thing? Who knows! But, I do think there is something in the feeling that if we change how we look, even if it’s a smart pair of shoes rather than the usual scruffy trainers we may wear on the school run, someone might notice the little change we’ve made and may comment on it. Oh no, how do we deal with that!?! Especially if it’s a compliment, because let’s face it, for some of us, we are not good at receiving compliments are we. It often makes us a little uncomfortable, it may even sometimes make us think in a negative way “OMG, if they make a comment on what I’m wearing then I must have looked really bad before”, which can go either way and make us think positively enough to make us care a little more or as I suspect I have done in the past, we may verge towards the negative side and will hide away going back to our old ways because if I don’t’ change they will never notice. The truth is, if we try to hide we get noticed just as much as when we make an effort. And any changes we make get quickly absorbed into our daily look and become the norm to others. Ironically I like to compliment others on how they look and yet feel a little awkward when others compliment me.

It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut where you just grab the nearest thing to hand and throw it on hoping that it might look reasonable, I am busy like most people, I am time deficient, and planning what I wear often doesn’t work for me. I have off days, fat days, happy days, down days and every kind of day so what I may plan to wear may not be what I actually wear as I might just not be feeling in the mood that day! I am very much an emotional dresser, much like my emotional eating. I wear happy clothes if I’m feeling buoyant, but I wear scruffy clothes if I’m feeling tired and worn out. My clothes fit my mood.

I find it difficult to find clothes that I feel really comfortable and confident in, many of my comfort clothes do not scream style and make me look frumpy (see the dress in the pic as an example!😲) which then puts me in a negative frame of mind and thus the continual cycle goes on. I do have some really positive days where I will wear something I really like and makes me feel confident.

This has been down to learning a lot about style from a group I’m part of. ALERT!!! Shameless plug of the Lessons in Style Club I’m in (I’m recommending this service because I love it, I don’t get any commision for doing this at all so this is genuine!!!). Visit RuthEssex.com for more information. If you are feeling in a style rut, or just want to understand a little more about colours that might suit you believe me there’s a lesson for everyone there. Have a peek and sign up for her newsletter – you’ll find some really interesting helpful hints and tips there. She really is one of a kind when it comes to stylists.

Beware, you will be subject to some awful photo’s but I’m all about keeping it real! 🤣

The photo, although a couple of years on, does show I’ve improved my style I think. The dress in the first image makes me look overweight and frumpy. I would have worn trainers with it or sandals I’ve come a fair way in a couple of years. The second photo shows in my opinion a much better more refined me, despite the grumpy face 🤣. I’m still the same size, you just don’t notice it so much, I’m just wearing a much better outfit. And, yes, I still wear colours that don’t suit my colouring but I wear them away from my face (most of the time). I’m also not one for a full face of war paint, I bow to you if you have the patience to apply everyday, but I’ve just bought some new mascara and concealer so will be slightly more presentable than I was!

I remember being slim, and wearing miniskirts because I had good legs, I’m not being vain when I say I think I still have half decent legs and although the skirt lengths may have come down a little I know from the help and guidance from the friends I have made in the club I can still make the most of the good parts of me. I’m still learning the art of disguising the not so good parts though 🤣 Mum tum anyone?!

Photo by Castorly Stock on Pexels.com

I thoroughly enjoy my lessons in style in the style club (again if you want more information go to https://ruthessex.com/ to find out more). It’s a lovely family community, very supportive and not bitchy like other groups I’ve been in, and the lessons are well thought out, and very insightful. I learn a lot, although I may not always put the learning into practice, but like I said I’m an emotional dresser. There are going to be days where I don’t wear what I may have initially planned to wear and throw on some old trousers and a jumper – I unlike many cannot pull off the ‘looks amazing in a bin bag’ look.

I often have this concern that if I try to follow trends I’ll look like overweight mutton dressed as lamb! I’ve always been a little bit old fashioned I guess. I love the idea of coated jeans with an oversized jumper and heels, and in my head it looks great, and I’ve scoured Pinterest and gathered loads of images, sadly there are so few images of larger ladies there in the styles I like that I’m fast losing interest in Pinterest. And let’s face it how many times would I wear said heels?! I can barely keep my balance in flats at the best of times – oops. Maybe I should start flooding Pinterest with awful images of me 🤣. Yes, I have bought a pair of Matthew Williamson Butterfly black coated skinnies on a whim but they were from a charity shop so I’m not buying new and I’m doing my bit for the environment which is quite apt considering we’ve just been through COP26. Haven’t been brave enough to try them on yet though!!!

I have a daughter who is a real shopper, something I never really got to do much with my own mum. But little one knows what she wants and goes for it. We went charity shopping (again) the other day, and she got herself all dressed up in sequins and fluffy fake fur with sparkly trainers and a full face of makeup too! She outdressed and out accessorised me! It was so lovely having the proud mummy moments when shop assistants commented on how lovely she looked and ‘why shouldn’t we wear fluffy fur and sequins whenever we want?’

Not sure if you’ve experienced this but if you have you’ll know, but when you are out and you’re browsing through the rails and somehow listen in on people’s conversations? Well, it was so funny when we were out my little one was chatting away to me about bags and clothes, and she saw a bag she liked. Purple rosette flowered clutch to be precise. Anyway, she was talking about all my bags, I do love a good bag, and how “I can borrow them whenever I like, can’t I mummy?” and I could feel myself getting a bit anxious over this, I am quite precious over my bags, when I noticed another customer chuckling to herself whilst listening in to our conversation. She looked over and gave me a smile and then said to my little one “will mummy be able to borrow your new purple bag if she wants too?”, to which my daughter replied with a stern “No, only if she pays me”. I snorted, couldn’t help it. She is such a character, and very strong willed. The poor woman, had to bite her lip to stop herself from laughing.

Lesson learned here? Must make more of an effort in my choice of outfit when shopping with my daughter! Let me know in the comments if you’ve had any of these moments… I love to hear your stories. Or if you prefer pop a comment on my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/Mylifeandstyleover40/

Take care, stay safe

Becks xo

Let’s talk about Boobs…

Boobs, bosoms, breasts, the girls, puppies, tits, baps, call them what you will. To me they’re just boobs. Love them or hate them they are a part of you, whether you are male, female or anywhere in between. Small, medium or large. Pert and perky or saggy and baggy, baby ravaged or battle scarred they are a part of you. Man boobs included here.

Our boobs are just one of those fascinating things about our bodies, they provide food and those essential first nutrients for babies, they can make us feel attractive, they are unique to you and can empower you. You don’t have to burn your bra to be a feminist these days you know. They can also do the complete opposite and make you feel like an ‘object’. They can be ravaged by disease and cause you pain. But remember they are a part of you and you are amazing.

Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com

Here’s a few facts about breasts for you:

Boobs are just glands and most mammals only have them when they become pregnant, humans are the only ones whose start growing at puberty, hence why we have permanent mammaries.

Statistically the left breast is larger than the right breast. A scientist friend once told me that this was due to the way the heart pumps blood through the body and the left side being the dominant side but how true this is I couldn’t tell you. I don’t disbelieve her though.

Both breasts are sisters and not twins – there will be subtle differences in their shape, size, nipple, colour and so on.

Apparently men are also able to breastfeed. I’m hoping this isn’t an internet fib, but apparently they have all the equipment and hormones can be stimulated enough to bring on the process. I’ve never met a man who has admitted to being able to do this, and if I’m honest I’m not sure the world is ready to accept it yet if it were true. Let’s face it women still get frowned at when they breastfeed in public even in this supposedly open minded day and age!

5000 women under the age of 45 in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. The figure is higher if you are over 45. So remember to check them once a month at least. Breast screening here in the UK is offered to women at 50 or over. Earlier if there is a history of breast cancer. It’s not just women, approximately 390 men are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK every year too. Get and check them, don’t be shy. Get your other half, if you have one, to check them too. They know your boobs as good as you and may notice something you don’t. There are plenty of websites to visit if you need help. Coppafeel.org is a brilliant easy to view site, with all the info you need.

A pair of D cup breasts can weigh up to a stone! So we can all blame weigh gain on our boobs now!

So why am I focusing on boobs in this post?

Why not!?! It’s breast cancer awareness month so it’s high time we paid attention to our boobs for a change. Do I love my boobs? Not really, I’ve found them cumbersome and awkward for years. As I’ve got older and had kids I don’t see them as a way to look better, they are just in the way and I think your mindset changes when you breastfeed. They no longer become the sexual element of your body, they are there to serve a purpose and feed a baby. I don’t look after mine as much as I should and I have reached a point in my life where the baby making stage is well and truly gone and I can now be more focused on being me. This is important for me coming into my mid to late forties and realising that there is more to life than being just ‘Mum’, I’m a woman who, like many others, has been through a lot and I feel its time to take life back. Take some control.

Boobs are important, for our health and wellbeing. Especially, in terms of style when we look at what we wear and how the ‘right’ undies can make or break an outfit. A good bra can give you a defined waistline, make you taller and improve your posture, raise your boobs up with support and minimise them where needed. It can work wonders!

I am more of a budget bra girl. I can’t afford to spend a fortune on a Rigby & Peller bra. Whilst they are absolutely beautiful and I am sure are the best there is, I do not have the budget for one. I’m a good old M&S girl. More in my budget. I do know of two of my friends who own Rigby & Peller bras and they do say they are the most comfortable they’ve ever owned and maybe one day when I feel frivolous and there aren’t more important things to buy I may change my mind go get ‘eye measured’ (Yes, that’s how good they are!) for one. But for now, I’m sticking with what I know and can afford.

I’ve had little luck over the years buying bras. My body shape changes so much even in the space of a month so I kind of have to take pot luck most of the time when it comes to choosing which one to wear/buy. I’ve spent a small fortune in little boutiques getting fitted, thinking it’s the perfect bra and merrily handing over the money, and wearing because its soooo comfy, only to find half an hour later I want to rip the damn thing off! I’m a fresh bra everyday girl too, you change your knickers every day so why wouldn’t you change your bra every day, so I have to have a few in my arsenal to see me through. I hand wash not machine wash and never tumble dry so I know they will last – although it is recommended you ditch them after a year as they stretch and lose shape regardless.

I have a drawer full of t-shirt bras, vest bras, sports bras, balconettes, push-ups, full cups, underwired and non wired and anything in between! Most of which I can truthfully say I haven’t worn in ages 😲. I know, heathen! Anyway, I have been wearing sports bras for months as I wanted something comfortable during Covid lock down and beyond. But now I’m back to work I feel the need for something more structured under my outfits. This is causing me a few problems, not least due to the extra covid calories I’ve accumulated, but also to an ever changing body shape. Once you get to 40+ the middle area starts to spread and is harder to control. I seem to be losing my waistline, I’m not sure where my boobs end and tummy starts they’re merging into one 🤣🤣🤣.

Anyway, I digress a little… I decided on a shopping trip to M&S as I thought I really needed to get something more shapely so my clothes wouldn’t look quite so sack like on me and they’d hopefully hang in the right places. So in I go, straight to the undies section, wandering around looking at all the pretty fancy delicate bras and then feeling miserably depressed because I just ain’t gonna get these boobies into those cup sizes! So, I move a bit more to the dd+ bras. Wow, they ain’t no ‘Hello Boys’ Wonderbra style ones that’s for sure! More of a ‘Cross Your Heart’ style from the 70’s. I have come to a point where I really dislike the uncomfortable digging in of underwires, no matter how many I get measured for not one stays on for more than half a day before I start to feel very uncomfortable and want to take it off. So, for support I’m going to have to get into the habit of wearing non wired ones. Which as we all know the under band is the support factor in a bra and the underwire gives it the structure so non wired ones have to have the support factored in differently into the design. This doesn’t always make them the most attractive. I also have had many a wire poking out incident of which a friend of mine will happily tell about one such occasion in class! Only me 🤦‍♀️. I can remember the underwire poking out whilst I was merrily teaching a class full of boys, not noticing why they might have been looking at me a bit strange, they usually looked like it so nothing different, anyway… said friend pointed out the offending wire at the end of the class as one of the SEN students couldn’t stop chuckling to himself. I can’t believe I didn’t notice it. Doh!

Anyway, back to the buying… I chose a bra in the end. A twin pack. Bargain I thought. Merrily paid for them and toddled home. Brilliant, I thought I’d be onto a winner and finally get some decent shape and support. Well, I was wrong. I bought the wrong shape for my boobs. Something I hadn’t thought about much before. The shape of your boobs really does make a difference to the type of bra’s you should be buying and what will fit you best. It’s not just about measurements. I recommend you take a look at this website for advice about boob shape and the right bra to match. brafittingsbycourt.com

I now know that I need a full soft cup (with or without seams) to give me shape and support. I know that a bra that is designed to give cleavage is not a good choice otherwise I end up double cupping and whopping one in the eye! Guess I’m going to need to go shopping again. Oh the joy!

How you put a bra on that makes a difference to the shape and fit. I was told by my mum when I was young that I needed to put the straps on over the shoulders and then bend over so that my boobs fell into the cups and rested in place. ‘Hoicking’ them up I so to speak. The excess boob at the sides is also encased as it should be and then tighten up, you can ease the back fastener off a notch or two later on in the day apparently. Something about it being like our feet and swelling during the day. It works. I have been putting my bra on like this ever since and although I’m sure if people were to look at me doing it, apart from it not being a pretty sight, they would think its strange – I don’t care. It works for me.

There’s loads to talk about when it comes to boobs, but maybe I’ve covered enough for now.

Just to let you know, as this is a personal blog and I have no affiliate partners I post links to sites because I want to not because I’m paid to. I am not gaining any payment from the sites you may click on so feel free to know it’s genuine. Maybe one day I may develop a partnership with businesses but for now I don’t want that.

The moral of this story? Get a good bra, get fitted and check those boobs regularly.

Take care, stay safe

Becks

Xo