Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style

I am helpless to resist the powerful tractor beam of Tim Gunn’s charm and fashion sense. I don’t even really like his show, and at the end I feel guilty for having watched it, but there’s something about Gunn that manages to transcend my gripes.

Some of the fashion advice is useful, some of it’s not so. One of the moments in their makeovers that’s meant to shock is when sidekick Veronica Webb insists on going through the makeover-ee’s underwear drawer. This is played for awkwardness, but there’s sound reasoning behind it. In this week’s episode, Webb surprised contestant Elena when she announced that bras were only meant to last six months.

I got some flak when I wrote about this once, but a former bra-fitter assured me it’s true. If you machine wash them, hooked and in a lingerie bag, they will stay supportive and fitting for about 6 months. Hand washing will extend this to about a year. Wearing old, stretched-out bras isn’t comfortable, and isn’t flattering. They’re not called foundations for nothing.

Now, don’t let this imply that I take my own advice. Most of what’s in my drawer is way older than six months, and those that aren’t don’t fit really well–I fall between band sizes, and my size is tough to find. I’m not sure I can really condone going bra shopping (and spending) every six months. Or the mock seriousness of Tim and Veronica Webb when they insist on examining the unmentionables. But I can’t argue that it’s a good ideal.

One Response to “Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style”

  1. Sydney Says:

    SOOO ironic that you wrote about this today, because I just watched this episode this morning over breakfast! I agree totally on your insights above. Veronica annoys me (though I LOVED her yellow plunge halter dress in this episode, and her black and white sundress… SO flattering and I want to purchase both!) but Tim is so charming and cute, I cannot resist watching. I don’t like the ’surprises’ and tend to fast forward those, as well as the hair cut. I enjoy the make up tips, and the dressing room scenes. But other than that, Tim is the only reason I am still willing to spend 48 minutes a week watching.

    As for the bras, I agree. 6-8 months. I use the ‘hand wash’ cycle on my machine and air dry them. I wear them each two times between washings though never two days in a row. (that’s a no-no… same with shoes) But I find straps, cups and bands are really only good for 6-8 months, even with the pricey brands (Wacoal, Felina) I have to buy in order to get my size. Costly, but worth it. A supportive bra is the true basis for EVERY outfit.