My Favorite Things: 5 essential items for any real woman’s wardrobe

Posted by on Feb 19, 2013 in Blog | 8 comments


Clockwise from Left: Olga-Positively Gorgeous Signature Support Satin Bra, Vanity Fair Bra Beautiful Benefits Elegance Full Figure Contour, Freya Deco Moulded Plunge Bra, Vanity Fair Bra Back Smoother Full Figure Contour Bra

A supportive, figure flattering bra

Look, I cannot stress enough how essential it is to invest in a great bra. Please notice that I never said good because good is not great and great will make all the difference between looking so-so and looking your absolute best. A great bra will always make your body look better no matter what shape you are.  If you are blessed with a less than stellar waistline you may want to consider this little idea, as soon as your bust is defined in the proper way your waist will automatically look smaller! Let me tell you a little story to truly illustrate my point here. Picture it- only days after I have given birth and my stomach is a sloppy mess, I mean it had just spent the last 10 months being continuously stretched out by a very large baby…so really, what did I expect? Anyways a couple of days after I had my daughter I walked into the bathroom and looked in the mirror and low and behold my waistline looked much smaller, was it a miracle? Not exactly, more like my milk had finally come in and my bust went from dumpy to diva overnight. Now it wasn’t my favorite look and by no means am I saying that you need to have an overly large rack in order for your waist to look better but it did prove that if your waistline isn’t your strongest feature, creating that hourglass effect will do wonders for your shape.

So with that in mind let’s talk about a   few common body types out there and what type of bra you should be looking for depending on your shape.

Just for the record, I don’t love these “fruit” terms but in this circumstance…I need something to give you a visual and these terms definitely do that. First body type is an apple shape which refers to a body type that is well…more round. The woman usually has a thicker less defined waist and she may or may not have a large bust.  If you are an apple shape with a larger chest or are plus size, the best bra would be one that is supportive with a full coverage cup to avoid any spillover. Look for a bra with wider straps so they don’t dig into your shoulders and therefore support your bust without causing you too much discomfort. I would also look for a bra with a good amount of coverage on the back so you can avoid the dreaded “back fat” effect. When you are first trying on the bra you should have a perfect fit on the loosest hook! Therefore as the bra stretches out you can go to the tighter hooks. If you are unsure of your size please see a bra fitter, these lovely ladies are available at most major department stores and really know their stuff so utilize them and it’s free! Lastly your bra should be comfortable but do not sacrifice support for comfort, if you have a larger chest you need to find the bra that offers both!!!

If you are an apple shape with a smaller chest or a pear shape which indicates that your shoulders and bust are smaller in proportion to your hips, I would suggest finding a bra that has a little more oomph. Look for a slightly more padded option that offers some lift. This will enhance what you have and do wonders for helping to define your waist a bit more and in the case of the pear shape help to balance out your lower half. A flimsy material is not your best option, please look for a bra that has a more molded cup to really give you a fuller, smoother appearance.

The last body type is a rectangle or boyish shape, again not crazy about the term but alas here we are. This body type can definitely benefit from a great bra but only if the wearer feels like they need a little more bust. If you are naturally thin and smaller chested I wouldn’t recommend an overly padded bra, I think that look can come across as a bit tacky. Instead I would say find yourself a great fitting, lightly lined, t-shirt bra. Look for a classic shape either with or without underwire.


A thicker blend stretch camisole

Bali Powershape Cami $46.00

Keeping on the foundation garment trend this piece is essential.  It is such a simple step that really can do wonders for your shape and confidence. I recently did a segment on Cityline talking about ways to avoid the “muffin top” and this is by far one of the best ways to do that. By simply finding that comfortable yet supportive cami you combat a multitude of fashion faux pas in one step. The cami can be worn tucked into your pants which helps prevent any obscene views if you need to crouch down to tie your kids shoes etc. If you are wearing it under a blouse It can be worn over your jeans or pants, helping to hide your belt loops/ buckle etc reducing the appearance of lumps and bumps. All the while it is also diminishing that spillover at the top of your pants by holding in any extra curves you may have. It really is a cure all and I cannot say enough about the importance of this piece in your wardrobe. Look for a nude coloured cami so that it can disappear beneath most of your clothing. Also make sure you find an option that won’t smoosh down your bust, we just worked so hard to find you the best bra why would you want to throw that all away by choosing something that completely negates that? There are lots of great options in breathable, lightweight materials and all at a variety of price points.


A classic white T in a lightweight fabric

The classic white T is a no brainer and doesn’t need a lot of explanation. I love this item because it really can be worn so many ways and when you find that perfect white T you look polished and amazing without looking like you are trying too hard. The perfect white T can take you from the office to a night out with a few simple styling tricks.


Office Look- Tuck your T into a black stretch pencil skirt and top with a  blazer in a fun print to add some personality. If you pick a print in neutral tones you can add a little colour with a statement necklace or if your print is more bold opt for a more delicate necklace.

Office StyleFloral Blazer-Stylestalker, Gold Necklace- Gorjana, Beaded Necklace-Stella & Dot

Night out- For an evening look why not add a cute pair of cropped silk pants in a playful pattern and pair it with a cropped leather jacket featuring some detail to toughen up the look.

Date Night: Necklace-H&M, Jacket-Zara, Pants- H&M









Easy Weekend Style: Jeans-The Gap, Bracelets-Hello Berry, Flats- Kate spade





Weekend relaxing- Tuck just the front of your white T into a pair of distressed straight leg jeans. Cuff them and wear them with a cute ballet flat and instead of jewelry why not pop on a luxe patterned scarf it makes for a perfectly chic, relaxed weekend look.


All necklaces are Forever 21 with the exception of the one at bottom right which is Stella and Dot


 Statement Necklace

I am obsessed with costume jewelry for two reasons, first off I am way too conservative to spend a lot of money on some dainty jewelry I may never take out of my closet and second because I love the idea of being able to add personality to a basic timeless look with a fun colourful piece necklace, super quick and easy. There are so many great options out there at price points it will be difficult to pick just a few. This is such a simple step that I really think makes all the difference in how your fnished look comes across. Try to find something just outside of your comfort zone which will help to elevate your look. A multi strand necklace in a bold hue or a bib  necklace featuring a colourful stone plated in gold or silver are a great place to start.


Sunless tanner + body moisturizer

I realize this last product is not a piece of clothing per se but it really does belong in every woman’s beauty routine and does more for your confidence and appearance than most beauty products on the market. This moisturizer has been a staple in my beauty routine ever since the trend hit the market a few years back. It combines a sunless tanner and moisturizer in one and makes for an incredible product that builds natural looking colour with every application. Translation- you get a  natural glow without the fear of turning orange a la Lindsey Lohan. It also means you do not need to exfoliate for hours on end prior to application to prevent a patchy application. The best part about this product is it never looks fake or over the top because the colour deposit is so minimal that you can stop applying it when you reach your colour goal. It just helps to give you a little healthy colour that at this time of year can really make you feel like a human being again. My favorite is Balea Glow Sunless tan body lotion, available at Shoppers Drug Mart for $7.50.

Balea Sunless tanning products available at Shoppers Drug Mart for under $10


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Michal

    LOVE your new blog! It looks like a lot of time and effort were put into writing it.
    Thanks for letting me share.

    Talk soon,

  2. Kerry

    I’m also a big pan of Balea products!
    I love everything you picked but my question is where on earth do you find the perfect white tee? It seems impossible to find without your expertise!

    • beautybyash

      Thanks Ker! The white T is actually James Perse and seems to be no longer available, although the main reason I chose it was because it worked best in my layout, I wanted a T that wasn’t displayed on a model. I found a bunch of cute ones from Forever 21 and also Target makes a few good options and they will be here very soon! Happy Shopping and glad you enjoyed the post! XOXO

  3. Shauna

    LOVE the outfit layouts, all of them. Where is the white tee from?

    • beautybyash

      Thanks Shauna, Sorry for not including the info on the T, it is James Perse but that exact one is no longer available. I chose it mainly because it worked best for the layout but Forever 21 makes a couple cute options as does The Gap. Thanks for your comment and hope you can find something similar!

  4. Donna Ferguson

    Hi Ashleigh: Just caught you on Cityline today. I would like to have a makeup lesson please e.mail me.

    Love your great website filled with excellent info. Thanks Donna

  5. Sandra Myles

    I just love Balea Sunless Tanning Lotion, and I know that Shoppers did sell it, but now they don’t seem to stock it anymore. Any ideas where I might be able to get this again.

    • beautybyash

      Hi Sandra! So sorry I never saw this comment. I noticed it’s no longer at shoppers too, how disappointing. I’ll keep you posted if I find it again!

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