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Behind the Seams, Meet the Merchants

What our Lingerie and Bra Experts Really Wear

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Here at Bare Necessities, we pride ourselves on the best selection and size range of intimate apparel anywhere, period, end of story. So when you’ve got a near-infinite inventory, a little expert guidance steering you toward what you want and need goes a long way. Read on to find out what our ace team of merchants, bra experts and buyers not only curates for the site but genuinely loves to wear, right down to their all-time favorite bras.

heatherHEATHER GARCIA, merchandise manager

Bra size: 34C
Workday uniform: A silk blouse and skinny jeans.
Weekend look: A kid-friendly tee, jeans and Birkenstocks.
Body type: Straight up-and-down, with some muffin top.
All-time favorite bra: Spanx Bra-lleluah. It was the first bra to eliminate back fat. There’s no hardware, so it’s super comfortable. It also gives you a great shape. I think it’s perfect for A-D cups.
Style signature: Shapewear every day—it completes me! I’m usually in Yummie by Heather Thomson briefs, Harlo InShapes Firm Control Mid-Waist Shorts, Commando Medium Control Thongs or Spanx Shape My Day Medium Control Girl Shorts.
Personal mantra: Be positive, patient and persistent.
Fashion icon: Kate Middleton. Her look is simple and sophisticated. One night she’s stunning at a gala and, the next day, she transitions to mommy-on-the-go.
Morning routine: Coffee first, no matter how late I’m running. Then I dance to the song “Everything is Awesome” from the Lego movie with my toddlers. Seriously. Next, I fight with the two of them to get dressed, get myself dressed and walk the dog.
Fun fact: I was going to be a lawyer until I fell in love with retail.
Heels or flats: Heels. Add shapewear, and you instantly improve your posture and look five pounds slimmer.

HeatherV_cropHEATHER VISKOVIC, buyer, premium brands

Bra size: 36DD
Work uniform: My style is Miami-meets-NY.  I’m not afraid of color or prints, and I always wear heels in the office. And every day has to start with the appropriate bra.
Weekend look: I tend to dress bolder outside the office—hello, crop tops and bralettes!
Body type: I think I’m pretty average. I have a 13-month-old, not to mention new hips, so I’m loving high-waisted briefs. I can’t believe I waited this long! And I went from an F cup down to a DD after nursing, so I’m getting away from contour bras and learning to love three-part cups. It’s a sexy silhouette that separates and lifts while being supportive.
All-time favorite bra: Chantelle C-Magnifique minimizer. I like having a nice, smooth curve—no buttons pulling, no flopping, no bouncing.
Fashion icon: Blake Lively. Her style is approachable yet beyond chic. In my head, we’re friends.
Always splurge on: An eccentric pair of heels. No one will ever remember your nude or black pumps. Splurge on standing out.
Current obsession: I’m really into bodysuits right now, particularly Panache Envy and Yummie by Heather Thomson Ruby.  There’s something very sexy about a bodysuit, especially one with a built-in bra.
Must-read mag: Vogue, of course.  The September issue is the bible to fashionistas.
Best beauty product: Chanel lip gloss is the only acceptable lip gloss in my book, and I love Benefit Lollitint lip stain.
Fun fact: I always plan my outfit the night before. If I don’t, I immediately regret what I’m wearing, which throws me off my game for the entire day. And when that happens, I will buy a new outfit as soon as possible.

ericaERICA LUSTER, associate buyer of hosiery, shoes and bra accessories

Bra size: 34C
Work uniform: Something casual yet fashionable, like a shift dress. I love pairing joggers with a cute pair of heels to bring a relaxed look into the office. I’m also a huge skirt fan—the fluffier, the better. I’d wear a tulle skirt every day if I could.
Weekend look: I like to keep it fuss-free, so usually jeans, a tank and a great pair of shoes to pull the outfit together. My summer staple is Birkenstocks; in winter, Ugg or Frye boots.
Body type: I feel different about my figure every day, so I make sure to have the right undergarments to match my mood. I prefer light-to-medium shaping. Camio Mio smoothing panties work with every outfit, and Commando hosiery with shaping in the waistband is my go-to with dresses.
All-time favorite bra: Icon Modern T-shirt bra from Calvin Klein. A solid nude bra is essential, and I love Calvin Klein bras because they’re meant for smaller busts.
Personal mantra: You need to love your look to go out there and do your best. Be comfortable in your skin and confident in your clothes. The wrong underwear can make a day unbearable.
Current obsession: Booties are becoming a year-round style. We have a great pair from Kork-Ease that are so comfortable you can wear them all day without an ounce of pain.
Best TV show: I love Scandal. Olivia Pope is a huge inspiration—elegant and fierce.
Must-read magazine: People StyleWatch. It’s attainable fashion for us regular gals.
Best beauty product: Clinique Chubby Sticks. You can put them on without a mirror. Pudgy Peony is a subtle pink that’s great on everybody.
Fun fact: I wear my underwear two sizes too big. I like a comfortable fit! It’s crazy, but everyone has her own preference.

Kelly_cropKELLY HIMES, assistant buyer, premium bras

Bra size: 30D
Work uniform: My personal style is pretty eclectic. Basic bottoms with a top in a pop of color, unique design or fun print.
Weekend look: I go boho-chic with layered jewelry and flowy fabrics. I leave more structured pieces for the workweek.
Body type: I’m petite, so I focus on length and proportion. Until I worked in the bra business, the smallest band size I had ever known was a 32. Once I was properly measured here, I realized I’m actually a 30 or, in some cases, a 28. After so many years of settling for what the mass market provided, I’m excited to see brands offering a wider range of sizes, from petite to full-figured.
All-time favorite bra: Safari Push-Up T-shirt bra by Le Mystère. It’s fun and flirty without compromising on sophistication. It has graduated push-up pads for natural-looking lift. The material is super soft, and I love the embroidered pattern on the band. Most importantly, it has adjustable straps so they don’t slip.
Fashion icon: I get inspiration from so many different Instagram and Pinterest accounts. Model Alexis Ren is one of my favorites lately. Both her wardrobe and lifestyle are beachy, carefree and fun.
Always splurge on: Bralettes. I can’t get enough of them! They’re so comfy and sexy—great for lounging around at home or under a sweater when I run out for groceries. The Audrey Seamless Bralette from Yummie is all about casual comfort, and the Wacoal Embrace Lace Convertible Bralette is unbelievably beautiful, with a J-hook to convert the straps in back.
Must-read mag: I love W Magazine. They do these amazing, inspirational photo shoots showcasing the most beautiful, avant-garde fashion.
Fun fact: I like building things. I recently made an industrial-style bookshelf out of wood and metal piping. I love finding new projects and the challenges involved in the process.
Best beauty product: “They’re Real!” mascara by Benefit. Lashes come out full and long but not overdone. I won’t buy any other mascara.
Heels or flats: Um, both! I’m only 5’, so a wedge or chunky boot gives me a little extra boost of confidence, but nothing beats the comfort of a good flat. The outfit determines the shoes.

michelleMICHELLE KENNEDY, associate buyer, national lingerie brands

Bra size: 34D
Work uniform: An easy dress.
Weekend look: I love thrifting, so I’ll rock a 60s or 70s printed dress that’s a little out there for the office. That’s why I love Dita Von Teese’s vintage-inspired styles. She always keeps in mind how her lingerie looks under clothes.
All-time favorite bra: I have to choose one? Simply impossible. My three essentials are Maidenform Comfort Devotion, my classic, easy, affordable pick. Heidi Klum Zoe Lace Bra is my favorite everyday style that’s practical but pretty. And I love the tailored fit of my Marie Jo Avero Convertible T-shirt bra.
Always splurge on: A vacation! Traveling is my passion in life. Most recently, I was in the Pacific Northwest, Australia and New Zealand.  I have so many places on my list. Hopefully Iceland is next.
Current obsession: My Calvin Klein sports bra, which I love not only for working out but as a layering piece on the weekend—totally the ready-to-wear-meets-athleticwear trend.
Best TV show: I’m a big fan of Sherlock on BBC, but I also must admit that Dance Moms is my guilty pleasure.

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Brooke Glassberg
Brooke is the editor of this here blog. In a previous life, she was an editor at Good Housekeeping and O, The Oprah Magazine. Brooke has written for Glamour, Travel+Leisure, New York Magazine and more. She’s into concerts, calligraphy, travel and her exceptionally adorable toddler and husband.
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