Q+A w/ SHAPE Contributing Writer Jené Luciani

You have been hailed as a “brilliant bra guru” and “bra fit guru” by the likes of Bravo and New York Daily News, tell us how this came about.
As a journalist for nearly a dozen years, I’ve always had a passion for tackling a subject, and then delivering it to the people who want to know about it. In 2006, while writing an article about bras and foundation garments for the magazine I worked for, I learned that there were so many women who were confused about the topic and begging for answers to their many questions. I decided to start researching and compiling all that research into one spot – finding out what REALLY works for women – and The Bra Book was born. It was a 3 year process from start to finish, getting my book deal and also working with retailers like Fashion Forms to get the book placed into lingerie stores directly (which made sense!).

Since then, I’ve worked with hundreds of women through events and personal appearances, and offered advice and information to millions of women through my TV appearances. I also became a resource for many major media outlets including fashion magazines and blogs. People (and the media) began referring to me as, the “Bra Guru,” the “Bra-preneur” and even – my favorite – the world’s first “Bra-lebrity!” Bravo-TV referred to me as a “brilliant bra guru” after an episode of one of their shows, Mad Fashion, revolved around my work and my book – and I wore the world’s FIRST dress made entirely out of bras!!!

What is a common mistake most women make (or should avoid) when trying on or purchasing a bra?
The most common mistake is not knowing what to look for and how it’s SUPPOSED to look and feel. It’s important to get educated BEFORE you hit the stores – that’s why The Bra Book is such a great resource and tool. You can feel empowered before you take that step of bra shopping.

What are you favorite bras from Kmart right now?
I love this one as that basic “t-shirt bra” that all women need, and you can’t beat the price!!!!

This one is great when you’re looking for something fun and flirty, and as an added bonus – most women don’t realize that a balconette bra can be a major bust booster too – without any padding at all!

For being wire-free, this bra offers tons of support – for those days when you just need a little extra comfort!!

Even larger busted women like Sofia Vergara want a pretty bra that offers a lot of support, and have a tough time finding it. I love that she is offering exactly this through her Kmart collection – plus the plunge is key for all those cleavage-baring necklines! After all if you’ve got it, flaunt it!

Aside from being a bra expert, you’re also an acclaimed fashion journalist with articles featured in magazines like Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Shape and more. What’s one solid piece of fashion advice you can give to women today?
Get to know your body type and shape – and accept it!! It will help you in spades. When you begin to learn what looks good on you and to only look for those items, you will start to look (and feel) your best.

Speaking of fashion, fall is underway. What are some items/trends you’re investing in to update your look?
Every fall, I am looking for fun colorful blazers that can serve as the focal point of an outfit. I just picked one up with a fun star print – that’s the great thing about a jacket/blazer – it looks tailored and you can literally pair it with an old t-shirt and jeans and great pumps and you’ll always look put together!!! I’m also investing in boots that I can wear every day with everything. Last year it was a fab flat pair; this year I want something with a platform and a heel!! I’m also looking for high-waisted slacks and jeans, and of course, dresses and tights!!

For accessories, a dark structured bag, chunky statement necklaces, scarves in all sorts of colors (for when the day is particularly drab) and some fun menswear inspired hats. That’s fall in NY!

Have you ever worn anything that you later regretted?
People ask me this question all the time. I try not to have regrets, especially when it comes to fashion (because you have to take risks and trust yourself to some extent!) but there have been outfits where I’ll try something different and then I’ll see myself on TV and wish I’d never worn it because it’s a different way to see yourself when you’re out there for all the world in HD and I think ouch – maybe that wasn’t so hot after all LOL.

I remember wishing I hadn’t worn heavy black tights on the Dr. Oz show because I felt like it made the outfit just too ‘drab’ overall. I also wore this really fab Constance McCardle feather hoop skirt made especially for me to my Bravo premiere – and then looked back and wished I’d gone a little shorter with it – and showed off some more leg. So there are always modifications that I think about afterwards but again, hindsight is 20/20 and I try to learn from it.

And people always ask if I regret wearing the ‘bra dress’ Chris March made for me that landed me on the worst dressed pages of STAR and COSMO. The answer is a resounding NO!!! I felt SO fab in it – and sexy – and I’d do it all over again!!!

Lastly, what do you think the difference is between style and fashion?

Fashion is a billion-dollar business. Like “Fashion Cents.” It can be bought. Style is personal and innate and if you have a sense of style, you are born with it. It can’t be bought!!


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