The Bra Lady

Photo: Danny Kim

Lorin Kaplan, Director and Co-founder of Bra*Tenders

Are you one of those people who can guess a bra size from three blocks away?
Yup! My customers are always amazed. It’s an innate talent.

You must spend a lot of time spotting women in the wrong bras.
It’s an occupational hazard. My husband, who is my business partner, also notices—we spend all day looking at boobs. Our major clientele is women who are very small in the back but have very big breasts. For every B-cup that we sell, we sell 60 or 70 D or larger sizes.

Should wedding underwear be practical enough to use again?
Not necessarily. You only buy a wedding dress once in your life, and everything that goes with it should be special as well.

Which dress cuts are the hardest to find underwear for?
Well, there’s the strapless thing, of course. If you have a large bust, it’s really hard to hold it up. Corsets used to be popular for that purpose, but the slinkier the dress material, the more the boning shows through. With bias cuts, mermaid dresses, and plunging backs, we have to get creative too. We can use sew-in or iron-in cups, stick-on breast enhancers, a strapless bra … We have a lot of solutions.

Cleavage on the wedding day: yea or nay?
If you’re young and attractive and have a nice figure, why not? But not cleavage that your chin can rest on.

What about padding?
Sure. With a fitted strapless dress, you don’t want to look like a boy, so we carry a lot of enhancers and push-up things. They’re not extreme—we might take you from an A to a B.

How padded is too padded?
When you don’t look like you anymore. We don’t want you going from Twiggy to Dolly Parton overnight.

Let’s talk Spanx for a sec.
Shapewear plays a huge role in society these days, as I see it. I know women who do not leave the house in the morning without a pair of Spanx on. There are manufacturers who even make things to shape your arms under knits and clothing. You can tuck and suck any part now.

But on your wedding day?
In most cases, there’s some serious shaping going on underneath that gown. Unless you have no body fat, there’s always going to be something hanging or jiggling. We can not only give you curves but also use shapewear to modify them when there are a few too many.

Why not just get a dress that fits?
Many women want to wear what other people are wearing, even though their bodies can’t carry it off. A woman came in the other day with an HH-cup, and she wanted a strapless, backless wedding dress. The truth is, you can spend $10,000 on a beautiful dress, but if you’re not wearing the right underwear or if it’s not the right dress for your body type, it’s not going to look good. You gotta work with what you have.

Underwear Before Outerwear

“Wise brides come shopping for the undergarment first and reshape their body. Then they take it with them to buy the dress.”


The Bra Lady