Monthly Archives: August 2014

The Difference Between Cinchers and Steel Boned Corsets

Shaping, Slimming, or Smoothing?

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Hello Whisperers! We get asked all the time “What’s the difference between a waist cincher and a corset?” The quick answer is “LOTS!” I am going to try an offer a little more detail today as to the differences of these products, and also how you might want them both to work together towards your goals.

Waist cinchers, which is a term used to define those shaping garments that target the abdomen specifically. That is where the similarity to corsets ends. A waist cincher will usually shave an inch or two from your waistline while you are wearing it and is designed to provide a slimming affect underneath your clothes. Most cinchers are made from a combination of nylon and latex or spandex, some with plastic boning. If you carry your weight in your tummy, they can help give you more of a waistline for sure-but not the hourglass curves a steel boned corset will give you.

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Steel boned corsets are designed to not only give you AMAZING curves, but will instantly take three, four even six-seven (or more) inches off instantly (depending on how much “fluff” you have). Corsets also will help you to re-shape your body overtime (like braces for your teeth or tapers to stretch earlobe piercings - I personally find corsets to be less invasive than either of those options-but you get the idea). Proper dedication and patience to waist training will give you a smaller waist even without your corset on, and a little corset maintenance will keep it that way.

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Many women find they want to waist train almost around the clock, but sleeping in a steel boned corset is not for everyone-and you certainly shouldn’t work out in one! That is where you might benefit from both products. Cinchers are more comfortable to sleep in and work out in, but still provide some support and shaping. Corsets are bulkier as well, and if you are looking to for some slimming help underneath a fitted top or dress, the cincher is easier to hide (as it is meant for that). As I said at the start of this blog, you will not achieve the same results with a cincher, but it will shave a little (and bring in your waist if you carry excess weight in your tummy).

Vedette-bodybriefer-shapewear-cropAnother coupling of these two products come from trying to reduce or eliminate that dreaded “back bulge” that can arise from wearing some styles of corsets. Long Corsets sit high on the back (which usually prevents any bulge), but not everyone can wear a longline underbust. For women with average to short torsos, short corsets work better, but can sometimes leave an unwanted back bulge between the corset and the bra line. Wearing a high-backed cincher or other bodybriefer form of shapewear under your corset will help.

So many products with so many different uses..it can make your head spin! I hope this clears up at least this one FAQ for many of you. We would love to hear your experiences and advice on cinchers and corsets below in the comments.

Great curves belong to everyone at Whispers nigeria!

Waist Training: Cinch Your Waist Thin!

Beyoncé has one. Scarlett Johansson and Marilyn Monroe do, too. According to some, these women possess the quintessential (and covetable) female body shape—the hourglass figure with a large bust, small waist and curvy hips.

These days it appears as if women will go to great lengths to achieve that 36-24-36 measurement. The latest in these attempts is the waist cincher—a compressive undergarment that’s akin to a girdle and meant to “train your waist” to be smaller.

According to Google, searches for “waist cinchers” and related terms have more than doubled in the last year, thanks in part to endorsements from celebrities, including Jessica Alba, Khloe Kardashian and Brooke Burke, who claim that these products are the secret to their toned physiques. Women are documenting their efforts to coach their waist to be teenie tiny in photos posted to social media channels, including Instagram where more than 146,000 photographs have been tagged #waisttraining.

Not only are women donning these garments upwards of 10 hours during the day (and sometimes at night, too), they are also wearing them at the gym in an effort to boost their waist whittling efforts.

Cinch an Inch…Or Seven

But are waist cinchers the secret to a smaller waist? And are they safe?

While corsets have been on the market for centuries (the first true corset was invented back in the 1500s), they have come back into vogue not only as a way to change the shape of the body but to lose weight. In fact, companies are selling products specifically labeled as “fitness waist trainers” and “sports waist cinchers,” designed to increase the impact of your workouts by targeting your midsection.

“Waist cinchers are made of latex and comparable to Spanx on steroids,” says Skyler Sandman from Orchard Corset, a leading retailer of corsets and undergarments.

Companies that sell fitness waist cinchers claim that they compress your core, ramp up perspiration, release toxins, and metabolize fat. The tight fit also restricts your abdomen, reducing your food intake during the day. Advocates assert that these garments will help you lose fat and inches from your waist.

The Myth of Spot Reduction

The premise behind these garments is that they “spot reduce” fat around the center of your body. “That’s an exercise misconception,” says Dr. Stephen D. Ball, Ph.D. and Associate Professor of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at the University of Missouri. “If you want to lose body fat, you’re going to do that through aerobic exercise and a sensible diet. You’re not ever going to be able to target where you lose fat from,” he says.

According to Jan Schroeder, Ph.D. and Professor of Fitness in the Department of Kinesiology at California State University—Long Beach, “Corsets do not cause you to permanently lose fat in the midsection; they cause a re-distribution of the fat and organs in the trunk,” to give you an hourglass shape.

Since waist cinchers are made from latex, they also make you sweat…a lot. “When you sweat, you’re shedding water weight, and that’s not fat,” says Francine Delgado, New York City-based certified personal trainer. “People may lose weight initially, but you would have to wear the thing forever in order to keep the weight off and to keep the shape,” she says.

The Downside of Waist Training

“Wearing a corset for an evening to portray a slimmer waist does not seem to be a problem,” says Dr. Schroeder. Yet, there may be some potential physiological side effects from wearing a waist cincher for prolonged periods of time, according to Dr. Katie Nason, a cardiothoracic surgeon at the University of Pittsburgh.

While Dr. Nason has not treated corset or waist cincher-wearers, based on her medical opinion, she notes that constricting the abdomen and torso could impair lung function by restricting the amount of space available for the lungs to expand into the abdomen and fill with air. “When the lungs don’t expand…they don’t exchange oxygen or expel carbon dioxide, and the person is short of breath.”

If you are wearing a waist trainer while exercising, this could be problematic when your rate of breathing and demand for oxygen is higher. In addition, Dr. Schroeder observes that restricting your lungs may lead to lung disorders, and the lack of oxygenation may even contribute to metabolic syndrome, which can actually result in weight gain. However, more research is needed to determine the long-term impact on the body.

Sandman also notes that these garments are nottrue corsets and that using a waist cincher isn’t real waist training—the practice of reshaping the body by wearing progressively smaller corsets for two to 10 hours a day. “People get the idea that cinchers work for waist training because they look at themselves in the mirror and they have a smaller waist when all they’ve done is sweated out water weight,” says Sandman.

Even for those who are truly waist training, Sandman says that it’s unnecessary to wear the garment while working out. “The amount of time you spend at the gym is not enough time to backtrack in your waist training,” she says.

“Keep in mind that our body shape is often determined by genetics,” says Dr. Ball. “If you genetically don’t have an hourglass shape, you can exercise all you want, but you might not end up with an hourglass figure.” Regardless, the best way to initiate positive changes? Exercise and eating right, Dr. Ball says.

“If you’re not willing to put in the effort, then anything else is the equivalent of taking the magic pill,” says Delgado. “They’re doing that at a significant risk and it’s not sustainable.”

By Christine Yu for Life by DailyBurn 

10 Tips For Buying an Authentic Waist Training Steel Corset

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You’ve decided to take the plunge and buy a real waist training corset, but where do you begin? I’m sure you’ve already tried searching for a few and discovered the cheap sweat shop corset knock offs usually hailing from Asia with fake photos featuring what appears to be a well crafted garment for impossibly low bargain basement prices somewhere between $10-$50. Well, if it looks too good to be true then IT IS!

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Although most of these corset knock offs claim that they are steel boned, they are generally polyester bodices with plastic bones. The actual product often does not in any way shape or form resemble the quality of the photo in the advertisement once you receive it. Some of these knockoffs are even made with a steel busk and/or steel boning, but the spiral steel is so thin and flimsy it does not serve the purpose of waist reduction through reshaping and molding your body over time like a real waist training corset.
Ideally, one would want a custom made corset if you are serious about waist training. Custom corsets can take between 15 to 50 hours of labor and range in cost from around $400 up to $1,000. However, there are ready to wear corsets which can work just as well without the large price tag. Ready to wear corsets are a great way for a beginner to learn how their body behaves and reacts to being in a corset, before making the investment in a custom made garment.
The devil is in the details and we are going to separate the wheat from the chaff as it pertains to purchasing an off the rack or ready to wear waist training corset. Below is a list of tips to keep in mind while shopping. When researching anything always remember RIF, Reading is Fundamental!

10 THINGS TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING AN AUTHENTIC STEEL WAIST TRAINING CORSET
1. Multiple Photos of the Corset: You need to see as many views as possible including the front, side and back of the corset in order to determine the shape and curves of the garment and how it might fit you. Be wary of listings with only one or two photos, the corset construction is being hidden.
2. Photos Should be On a Model: Pictures of the corset on a mannequin or of only the garment against a background (see the picture of the black corset above) does not help you see the shape of the garment. Corsets are all about curves and their making. If we can’t see it actually shape a human body then what is the point? If we all had mannequin measurements we wouldn’t buy corsets.
3. Quality Fabric: The fabric should look sturdy and smooth, it should not appear flimsy with bumps or wrinkles in the panels and bulging or lumpy seams.
4. Detailed Descriptions of Garment Construction: If you read a listing which does not clearly provide you with important details like the number and type of steel bones, the content of the fabric lining, the presence of waist tape, etc. then you know you are dealing with a corset knock off.
5. Steel Busk – Look for a steel busk in the description of the corset, as they can stand up to the pressure created by drawing in your waist. Steel busks are stronger than zippers or hook and eye tape. They are metal hardware fasteners consisting of loops and knobs sewn inside the corset which open and close the center front of the garment (see the photo below).

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6. Steel Bones: Steel boning in a waist training corset is an absolute MUST, spiral and flat steel bones are the foundation and secret to a corset’s power to reshape and modify your body over a period of time. Spiral steel bones bend with the body. Plastic is simply unacceptable for anything except lingerie or a fashion corset top. Plastic bones will easily bend out of shape, break and render the garment useless in a relatively short period of time.

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7. Description Should List the Type and Number of Steel Bones: An authentic waist training corset will have 20 or more bones because it needs to be sturdy enough to withstand being worn consistently over a long period of time in order to achieve waist reducing body modification. Steel boning flattens the waist while holding up the torso.
8. Steel Boning Should be on Both Sides of the Grommets: A sign of a higher quality waist training corset are the grommets placed in the center between two parallel steel bones/stays at the back of the corset. Positioning the bones this way provides extra strength and stabilization when lacing the corset. (See in the photo below, one bone is to the left of the grommets and another is at the right).

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9. Waist Tape: Either twill or coutil waist tape helps the corset withstand the pressure of shaping and prevents seams from ripping easily. Waist tape can be hidden between two pieces of fabric or visible.

10. Cotton Inner Lining: 100% cotton is comfortable against your skin while allowing the corset to breathe. It also provides stabilization by adding an extra layer of strength which prevents the corset from stretching too much.

Published by signedcostumejewelrycom

THIS WEEK: It’s all about Corsets!

Corsets vs. Bustiers: What’s the Difference?

Q: First things first, what is corset week?

A: Corset Week is basically a week for me to rave and gush and babble about one of my most favorite garments in the world–corsets. I don’t have the same level of knowledge about corsets, as I do about, say, stockings, but what little I’ve acquired I’m eager to share.
In addition to covering a few basics about corsets, I also want to post reviews of a few corsets I’ve tried out, and offer recommendations for people looking for truly unique corsets. In short, it’s a week long celebration of the hourglass figure.
Q: All right then. What should I look for in a corset?
A: Oh boy, where to start? The most important thing I can say right away is that corsets are expensive. I’ll say it again…corsets are expensive. All together now…corsets are expensive. You cannot get a real corset for anything less than N15,000 unless you have a friend who’s hard up for cash and is practically giving them away.
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Fatansia Tapestry Corset by Shirley of Hollywood
What you see labeled as “corsets” in Frederick’s of Hollywood or Victoria’s Secret or even high end stores like Agent Provocateur are not corsets. Those are bustiers. A bustier is a bit like a girdle for your bust and waist. It’ll tighten up what’s there, but it won’t cinch you in and it won’t give you the kind of curves a corset will. Quite frankly, most bustiers made today don’t even function that well as undergarments; they’re primarily costume pieces. Made with plastic boning and cheap fabric, they usually tear up after a few wearings.
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Bridal Bustier by Coquette
Speaking of boning, that’s probably the next most important thing to talk about. You want the boning in your corset to be steel, either spring steel or flat steel. You also want the busk of your corset (that is, the front hook and eye closure) to be constructed of steel as well. Finally, you want the grommets (the holes in the back that your laces go through) to be made of steel.
Q: How long can I expect a real corset to last? A: Here’s the best part: a well-made, well-constructed, well-taken care of corset will last for years. Literally. There are still functioning corsets in existence dating back from the Victorian Era, and a few that go even further back Regency and Romantic Era. Think of a corset like an investment; provided your measurements don’t change too much, it’s something you can wear for years and possibly even pass onto your children. What other kind of lingerie can you say that about?

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Coquette Fuschia Corset by Coquette

Q: Okay. Enough talking (for now anyway), where can I buy a corset?
A: Now comes the fun part–shopping for what you like. You can buy your corsets from Whispers nigeria. Every corsets come with free stockings and free fitting.

Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater?

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Despite what your unfaithful ex may have told you, there’s a good chance it will happen again. According to new research presented at the recent American Psychological Association Convention in Washington, D.C., people who cheat on their partners in one relationship are 3.5 times more likely to cheat in their next relationship. People who were victims of infidelity in the past were also more likely to be cheated on again.

The study, led by University of Denver graduate student Kayla Knopp, examined 484 unmarried 18-to-34-year-olds and found that cheating was just one of a few distressing relationship patterns observed.

People with a history of aggressive relationships had increased odds of entering into similar couplings down the line. The study also revealed that physically aggressive partners who reported shouting, yelling, shoving, and pushing were three times as likely to engage in that behavior in future relationships—while their targeted counterparts were five times as likely to fall victim again.

Unfortunately, cheating is all too common: 33% of men and 19% of women admitted to being unfaithful in a survey of more than 100,000 people released in 2013. More shockingly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly 1 in 4 women have experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) in their lifetime. IPV includes physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, and psychological aggression like coercive tactics.

“We like to think that we can learn from our experiences and our mistakes, especially when it comes to love,” Knopp said in a press release. She notes that additional research and clinical interventions are needed to help people break away from harmful dating habits. Judging by these grim statistics, we hope there’s help coming soon.

What’s your opinion, do you think he/she would cheat again once they have done it once? Comments welcome.

4 Exercises to Lift Your Boobs

Get ready to bust a move—and boost your bust.

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Nothing short of surgery or gaining body fat can actually increase the size of your breasts. As for making them look bigger, well, that’s why the chunk of change we spend on bras each year is larger than the GDP of Iceland.

Push-ups and padding aren’t your only options, though. “Developing the muscles underneath your breasts will enhance the look of your breasts and make them appear larger,” says Jen Comas Keck, a certified personal trainer and former figure competitor.

Let’s be honest: This workout won’t turn A cups into Bs or beyond. But if—like most women—you rarely train your chest, then you’re missing out on a natural way to add a little extra oomph.

The following workout was created by Comas Keck specifically for women. “Working the chest from multiple angles with enough weight ensures plenty of stimulus to increase strength and develop the muscles,” she says. “This can add beautiful shape to the chest.”

The key to making this plan effective: Make sure to choose weights that are heavy enough. You should feel like you could do about two more reps at the end of each set, but no more. “It’s important to challenge yourself with heavier weights in order for muscle growth to take place,” says Comas Keck. Perform the following routine twice a week.

MOVE 1Dumbbell Bench Press
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BETH BISCHOFF

Lie faceup on a bench with your arms straight, a dumbbell in each hand(A). Lower the dumbbells until they’re close to the sides of your chest (B), then press them back up to the starting position. That’s one rep. Do 10 reps, then go to move 2 without rest.

MOVE 2Pushup
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BETH BISCHOFF

Start on all fours, your palms slightly wider than your shoulders, feet close together. Your body should form a straight line from head to toe (A). Lower down until your chest almost touches the floor. Keep your upper arms at a 45-degree angle to your torso (B). Pause, then push back to the starting position. Do 10 pushups and rest 90 seconds.

Repeat moves 1 and 2 one more time (so you’ll do each exercise twice). Rest 90 seconds before move 3.

MOVE 3Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
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BETH BISCHOFF

Sit on an adjustable bench set to a low incline (about 15 to 30 degrees) and place your feet flat on the floor. Grasp two dumbbells and hold them up above your shoulders, arms straight (A). Slowly lower the weights down to the sides of your chest (B). Pause, then press the dumbbells back up toward the ceiling. Do 10 reps, then go to move 4 without rest.

MOVE 4Dumbbell Fly
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BETH BISCHOFF

Lie faceup on a flat bench with your feet flat on the floor. Hold a pair of dumbbells above your shoulders with your elbows slightly bent (A). Keeping the slight bend in your elbows, lower the weights until your elbows are even with your chest (B). Keep the same bend in your elbows as you press the weights back up. Perform 10 reps. Rest 90 seconds.

Repeat moves 3 and 4 (you’ll do each exercise twice).

For more exercise tips, check out our recipe for toned abs here

Accessorise with your bra… and PRODUCT REVIEW: The Salsa Bra!

Accessorise with your bra or any lingerie for that matter! 

In the words of Beyoncé, if you’ve got it flaunt it. In today’s world, we (by which I mean both men and women) can no longer afford to think of utility above style. Whether you are an A or K cup, there are gorgeous & great fitting bras available in all styles and sizes for every woman. 

What’s the perk of wearing beautiful lingerie that no one will see? Well, besides the boost in confidence (according to scientific research), you can now tastefully show off your lingerie. 

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Today, I’m wearing the Salsa Bra in red, yes red, with a white chiffon blouse with a bow in front. I have opted not to wear a slip under my blouse but added a grey pencil skirt (to mute the red with minimal contrast), lovely red heels (to match my bra) and finished off with pearl stud earrings and a watch. I can’t seem to get a good picture for you but will try harder.

The Salsa Bra, I must say that I love it. The fit is great, it covers my entire boobs (I’m a 36H!) and as soon as I put it on and fastened it, I feel my boobs standing at attention, immediately lifting the weight off my back. Because of the nature of the cups, I must warn that this bra is not ideal for low necklines especially if you are not accessorising with your bra. Besides this, the bra is very comfortable and the wide band around the back smoothes out my folds (otherwise the job of a High Waist Control Brief). Although the straps are a little wide for my taste, I must say it sits very comfortably on my shoulders and it’s certainly not digging in at all.

I hope this review has been very helpful. Questions and comments are welcome and appreciated.

7 Types of Bras Every Woman Should Own

In recent times, more women (and men, must believe!) are paying close attention to the type and quality of lingerie they wear. Nowadays, I’ve go to the point whereby feeling good on the inside is just as important, if not more important than looking good on the outside.

From padded to push-up, from nursing to strapless, we will explore a wide range of bra options to let you know what you need in your bra drawer.

bra drawer

We can all agree that bras can be necessary evils of sort… especially when statistics show that over 90% of women wear the wrong bra size. From the A cup, all the way to K, our boobs can all use that extra support. The same way we have our collection of different shoes for different occasions, our bra drawer needs to include more than one type of bra. 

1) Everyday Bra
Like the name implies, this is a typical bra you wear everyday. It may come with or without seams. The most important thing is for it to provide the necessary support and still be super comfortable.  
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Faye Plunge Bra, by Fantasie – N6.850 only at whispers-ng.com

2) Convertible Bra
This is a bra with modifiable straps that can be altered into different styles (halter, racer-back, one-shoulder or even strapless). This bra is very versatile and especially necessary when wearing tank tops, blouses with thin straps or strapless outfits. 

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Smoothing Black Moulded Strapless Bra, by Freya – N8,220 at whispers-ng,com


3) T-shirt Bra. 
Also called Contour bra, this bra comes with moulded seamless cups. It is so designed to be almost invisible under clothing, even the most form fitting t-shirts. It maintains breast shape whether on or off thus giving your breasts a great pre-determined shape.  No bra lines, no nipple bulges. Amazing right?

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Rebecca Bra, by Freya – N8,880 at whispers-ng.com

4) Sports Bra
This is an absolute must-have for the active woman. A sports bra is typically sturdier than the everyday bra. It is so designed to minimise breast movement and reduce the risk of over-stretching the ligaments of the breast.  It is also very necessary to prevent sagging of the breasts. So when next you’re out for a workout, be sure to arm your chest with a good sports bra. Your girls would be more than thankful for it. 

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Energise Underwear Sports Bra, by Elomi – N7,300 at whispers-ng.com

5) Push-up Bra
A push-up bra is a girl’s best friend. With a good push-up bra, every woman can have the wonderful gift of an ample cleavage. This type of bra is designed with extra padding at the bottom of the cup to lift the breasts thereby giving the illusion of a fuller and perkier bust. The push-up bra is necessary when wearing outfits that call for a filled-out look, most especially evening wears. 

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Daydreamer Ivory Bra, by Fantasie – N7,820 at whispers-ng.com

6) Date-Night Bra
As the name suggests, this bra is ultra feminine and is the go-to bra when you want to feel super sexy for that special occasion, whether it’s for an important date night or you’re just giving your partner a bedroom treat. After all it’s no secret that men love lacy underwear.

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Fifi Bra, by Tutti Rouge – N8,060 at whispers-ng.com

7) Bustier or Longline Bra
As the name implies, this type of bra is specially designed to emphasise the cleavage whilst minimising the waist without obstructing the hips. It helps to provide a streamlined and hourglass body shape without the restrictions of a corset as well as the support of a bra. Although bustiers are traditionally associated with brides and bridal lingerie, more and more brands are offering bustiers in a wide variety of colours besides the traditional white.

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Lace Bridal Bustier in Ivory, by Goddess – N9,500 at whispers-ng.com

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Hopscotch Multipadded Longline Bra, by Fantasie – N8,540 at whispers-ng.com

Finally, an addition for all nursing mothers and mums-to-be, 

8) The Nursing Bra
This is a specialised bra that gives additional support to lactating women and allows for comfortable breastfeeding without having to remove the entire bra. Available in both soft cup and underwired, the nursing bra ensures that no matter where you are, you can always breastfeed your child without having to put your goods on full display. Our advice, don’t settle for the traditional black or white nursing bras, be adventurous!

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Rosie Soft Cup Nursing Bra, by Fantasie – N7,820 at whispers-ng.com

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Pure Black Moulded Underwired Nursing Bra, by Fantasie – N8,250 at whispers-ng.com

Unsure of your bra size? Call us today on 0818 384 3683 to book an appointment for your FREE bra fitting. Add us on BBM too at 7C40D47C.