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Jene Luciani is Unhooking the Secret: The Collegiette’s Guide to Finding the Right Bra

You’ve finally decided on this summer’s chick lit beach read, your historical non-fiction pick to read on the train to work to make you look smarter, and your favorite female comedian’s autobiography. The most important book you aren’t reading that you should be though: The Bra Book. Written by Jene Luciani, one of America’s most called upon Bra & Style experts, everyone from The Today Show to Kathie Lee Gifford and Oprah has praised “The Bra Book” for being the first of its kind to guide women in finding the right bra for them. I was lucky enough to spend some time with our effervescent and energetic author and find out first hand just how important it is to have a bra that fits you properly.

What is your inspiration behind The Bra Book, Jene? Could you explain your journey?

As a journalist turned stylist, I always knew that my mission would be to help women and girls look and feel better about themselves. In 2006, I was writing an article on foundation garments with just a small section on bras, for the magazine in New York that I was fashion editor for. I started doing researchand realized there was so little information on bras that made sense, yet so many women all over the Internet on message boards and blogs complaining about their bras and begging for resources and information.
Around that time, OPRAH did her big bra-intervention show and got people talking about it again, making the subject a little lesstaboo. I remarked to my editor at the time that someone should write a book on bras and she said I should do it. So I did! 3 years later, my book was published by BenBella Books and put in bookstores nationwide as well as department and retail stores through a private label for bra company Fashion Forms. I had the chance to meet Oprah and show her my book and she told me that it was so important for women.
Since then, I receive dozens of emails a day from women who want my advice and after recent appearances on The Today Show and Weekend Today in NY, my website crashed! Women and their bras are a love-hate relationship and my goal is to help spread the love. On a personal note, I suffered from Tubular Breast Deformity (where one breast is much larger than the other and one or both breasts take on a tube-like shape) and before my two breast reconstructions, I used a Victoria’s Secret Miracle Bra and took out the padding on one side just to make myself look “normal.” So I know how hard it is when you don’t love your breasts – whether it’s because they’re too big, too small, too saggy – whatever your problem is, we can all relate and I wanted to help others by sharing my story and showing them their not alone.

I know a lot of us dread that awkward bra-fitting excursion, so just how important is it to have a proper fitting bra?
We’ve all heard it – the right bra makes you look ten pounds thinner and of course, perkier…who doesn’t want to be perkier? Plus I know so many girls have pain from the wrong bra. Not only will you look better but you will FEEL better. It’s such a small and easy change to make!!

I recently discovered that I’ve been wearing the wrong bra size for the past three years. What is the biggest mistake college women make with their bras and what can we do to remedy our bra faux pas?

Most of the teens and twenty-somethings I’ve encountered obviously aren’t experiencing issues that come with age like sagging, etc… they just want to look more pushed up or perkier or in some cases, just enhance what they’ve already got. The mistake they make is wearing thewrong size like 90% of other women. Also, most college girls aren’t investing in the right bras. Oftentimes, you don’t even have to wear thick heavy padding to look bigger or fuller busted, or even any padding at all –just by having the RIGHT style and size bra for you, it will do the trick!

My advice is to make it a fun outing…rent a limo, make it a girl’s day and go to a bra shop and all get properly fitted and shop for some styles – everyday, strapless, and sports bra. The process doesn’t have to be something to dread! I wrote The Bra Book so women and girls can get educated BEFORE they go to the store. You wouldn’t buy a new carwithout researching it first so why wouldn’t you do the same for your “girls?”

What are your personal top 3 favorite bras?
Here’s the thing – MY favorite bra isn’t going to be another woman’s favorite bra…no two busts are alike. There are bras made specifically for larger busted women, for smaller busted women, for fuller-figured girls, etc. So it’s hard for me to recommend specific bras because everyone is different. I will tell you that I recommend at least 3 TYPES of bras for your bra wardrobe: a good strapless (or convertible), a t-shirt bra (molded cup), a sports bra, a sexy bra and a “spa” bra (that everyday comfy bra with no frills). If you want a good push-up, Ialways recommend the Exxtreme Cleavage by Fredericks of Hollywood or a Wonderbra.

And if you had to pick one bra for our Her Campus team, what would it be?
I know you are a big Wonderbra fan, Jackie, but I’d have to say that the Barely There Bandini would be great for college girls – it’s cute, fashioney, comfy and can be worn lots of different ways. It’s great for running to class or lounging around.

Do you have any exciting up and coming projects?

Yes! I’m in the new BRAVO show Mad Fashion starring Chris March that will be airinginAugust (if you tuneinnow, you can see me in the commercials in a dress made out of 200 bras!) I’m also starring in a pilot for a show called Working Wives of Westchester, so stay tuned for more on that. I’m working on my next book and keeping busy appearing on national and local NYC TV giving style advice. If you want to stay tuned on my appearances or anything else I’m working on, visit my website at www.JeneLuciani.com and for fun tips and tidbits on my life, visit my blog at   www.JenesJems.com.

Her Campus will be giving away The Bra Book and Wonderbra’s Edgy Giraffe Print Statement Maker’s bra to two lucky readers! Be sure to fill out the form below for a chance to win! Check back to the Deals & Steals page in a week to see if you were our winner! For more information on The Bra Book and handy bra tips, like it on facebook or follow Jene Luciani on twitter

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