*Updated April 2018*
I get SO MANY QUESTIONS asked from my fellow LDS women on how to wear their garments with their bra. Sadly, there's not a lot of information out on the internet about this topic. It's crazy there's over 14 million members of the church and no one talking about this important topic.
This is one of the reasons I've felt compelled to talk about bras and garments. I Googled, "how to wear temple garments with bra" and found all anti-Mormon articles. This made me really sad. I want there to be a voice of truth in all of the false and inaccurate information out there.
I am an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, my intention for this post is to share my knowledge and expertise as a bra fit expert on what garment tops styles I feel are the best when wearing with your bra.
From my observation women get told different things depending on who is instructing them in the temple. Most women learn how to wear their garments by observing how their moms or other female family members do. This is passed from generation to generation. A lot of times the information and trends you hear about garments can be outdated and misleading.
Let's talk about misconceptions. I hear a lot of weird misconceptions among LDS women and wearing their garments. Some of these include you can only wear white bras and you can only wear your garments against your skin and bra over. Well, I'm here to tell you both of those are ABSOLUTELY FALSE.
In section 21.1.42 of the Church Handbook states: "Members who have made covenants in the temple should be guided by the Holy Spirit to answer for themselves personal questions about wearing the garment."
There is no statement in the handbook saying your bra needs to be white or garments must be worn next to your skin. I talked to a couple of women who work at the temple as matrons and spoke to my great grandpa, who used to be the Portland Temple President, they told me the handbook policy 30 years ago used to say garments should be only worn next to your skin, but that has been taken out and no longer says that.
This policy was changed because they found a lot of women struggled to wear garments against their skin due to mastectomy prosthetics, health problems, being big or small busted, and having a harder time to clothe shapes. There was no big church announcement about this change. I wish Bishops in each ward would have gotten up on the pulpit and said, "Guess what ladies, you can wear your bra under your garments!" Can you imagine?! That would be amazeballs.
Alas, this change wasn't communicated very well to it's members. The only way you would know about the change if you worked in the temple, had recently got endowed, or heard about it from others. But because things are sacred in the temple, I feel like there's a disconnect between members being helpful and informative and trying to keep things "sacred."
I've heard several women tell me recently they were told they still had to wear their garments against their skin. I'm finding that depending on who is your Temple Matron, and if they're more mature, and how they've been instructed, you can get outdated information. So you can see how there's still a lot of misleading information out there. This is why a lot of women don't know of the policy change.
Whether you wear your bra over or under your garments, one way isn't better than the other (I'm biased and find one way is better then other from a bra fitting perspective) it's a personal preference. Some get caught up in receiving exact instructions on how to govern themselves in the church. My Heavenly Father knows the intentions of my heart and your heart, and if you decided to wear your bra under or over your garments, this doesn't make you less of a covenant keeping woman. How you wear your garments is between you and the Lord and no one else's business. If you want to find your own answer, I suggest you search and pray about it.
So let's get to my professional opinion about bras and garments. Bras aren't meant to be worn over things. They were designed to be worn against your skin. When you put a piece of fabric between your skin and bra, there's going to be some complications. In my experience, a lot of bra problems are masked by women's garments, especially if you wear your bra over your garments. Why? Depends on the style and fabric you wear, it can make bras and straps to slip, slide, move around which is really annoying. Also, depending on the style and fabric of garments can constrict your breasts so when you put your bra over, you don't fill out the bras as well.
I know the purpose of garments isn't to be sexy, but I think as mothers and covenant making and keeping women, it's so important to have those feelings of feeling attractive and desired. I personally feel this way more when I wear my bra against my skin. Sometimes we as moms and women don't feel cute or attractive due to the day-to-day mundane. I strongly believe you can feel attractive wearing your garments and keep your covenants with our Heavenly Father.
This is why I personally carry beautiful and attractive bras in my bra shop to encourage women to spice things up and to have those God given feelings. It's essential to who we are as women!
Here are some other reasons I hear women say why bras should be worn over their garments:
-This is what they saw their mother, grandma, sisters, and aunts do so they don't know anything else.
-Some think it's mandatory to wear garments against your skin.
-Their bra lacks the coverage they desire, so they wear their garments under their bra to help keep "back fat" and bosoms in.
-Some say they help keep their garments in place and prevents them sliding and moving.
-They like it how they don't have to wash their bra as much. Come on ladies, wash your bra :)
So here's the nugget of this post, as a bra fitting expert and LDS woman, I highly recommend women to wear their bra against their skin always. Bras weren't designed to wear clothing under them, they were meant to be worn against your skin. Bras fit so much better against your skin.
You will get less movement with your bra, your bra will stay in place, and the other key is to get properly fitting garments. I find most women wear too big of garments, like they need to go down 1-2 sizes. So if you're wearing your bra over your garments to get your garments to stay up and fit, STOP THAT. Go get some new and better fitting garments. Ask the ladies in the Distribution Center to help, that's what they're for.
I recommend wearing garments over your bra, but some women are more comfortable wearing their bras over garments. Some women aren't used to having something on their skin like a bra. If you've worn your bra over your garments for 20+ years it's going to feel really weird at first to make that change to bra under and garments over. I tell all of my clients the 1-2 weeks of wearing your bra under your garments is going to feel weird and sometimes uncomfortable until your body gets used to the new feeling. But you'll get less bra moving around and straps falling off your shoulders which is worth it to feel uncomfortable for a short period of time.
There's some pros and cons to wearing bras over or under your garments:
Bra Over Garments
- Your bra doesn't get as dirty due to the oils and sweat your body produces are absorbed by the garment top instead of your bra. But your bra still gets dirty from dye, deodorant, and sweat, so still wash your bra 1-2 weeks. :)
- Some find it more comfortable having a barrier between their skin and bra.
- Depending on the type of garment top you wear, it can constrict the breasts and making it so the bra doesn't fit as well. :(
- If the garment top cups are too big, women are constantly having to tuck the extra fabric in their bra. :(
- Certain garment top materials don't grip the bra well, like the Dri Silk, Mesh, and Carinessa. This makes the bra slip, ride up, and move around. :(
Bra Under Garments
- Have to wash your bra more frequently due to the bra being against your skin.
- Bra fits so so so so much better because your breasts aren't being constricted by the garment top.
- You don't have to worry about having your bra ride up in the back due to the material of your garment top. #hallelujah
- You might be able to see your markings under your shirt easier, depending on the the thinness and color. I don't have problems with this much. BUT, if you wear the new Stretch Cotton garment tops, the symbols are printed in the inside of the tops, so no more markings showing! #
Now that we got that out of the way, I'm going to recommend certain garment tops depending on if you wear your bra over or under your garments. Remember, I recommend wearing garments over your bra, from a bra perspective, because it will fit SO. MUCH. BETTER.
If you wear your bra over your garments
If you're larger busted DDD+ cup size, you want to make sure there's a cup in the garment top. The cups are going to allow the breasts to be less constricted than if you wear a garment top without cups, like the chemise styles. The tops I recommend are the: Square Neck, Round Neck, NEW Nursing Garments Cotton-Poly Jersey II (I LOVE THESE).
There's one exception to this rule. The Carinessa II don't have cups in them, but they have ruching on the sides of the chest, and the material is really stretchy, this prevents the breasts from being constricted.
If you haven't heard the news, there's new cup sizes now in garment tops! When I got fitted at the Distribution Center a couple months ago, the woman measured me and put me at a 34B. I normally wear a 32DDD so that seemed way off. I purchased the 34B Nursing Garment Top in the Cotton-Poly Jersey II and they fit perfectly. The new cup sizing guide in garments run big so make sure to get fitted before you buy.
If you're smaller busted AA-DD cup size, I recommend ALL of the Chemise styles because they're going to be easier to fill out and you won't have to roll and tuck extra fabric into your bra. If you're nursing you can get the DriSilque II or the Cotton-Poly Jersey II fabrics because they come in smaller cup sizes.
Fabrics to avoid. If you don't want your bra to move, ride up, and drive you cray cray and these are: Nylon Mesh, Nylon Mesh II, DriSilque, and DriSilque II.
Fabrics that work when wearing your bra over your garments is Cotton-Poly, Carinessa II, 100% Cotton Jersey II, and Cotton-Poly Jersey II because these all have cups in them and they do a better job of gripping the bra so it doesn't move around. If you're smaller chested and don't need the cups, stick with the Cotton-Poly Rib Knit, Carinessa II, Dri-Lux Rib Knit, 100% Cotton Rib Knit, and the new Cotton Stretch.
If you wear your bra under garments
You can wear any top you like. The sky is the limit. Personally, I feel there's ones that look better over your bra then others. The Chemise styles are going to look better then the Square Neck and Round Neck tops because these ones have cups and sometimes can look weird wearing them under a t-shirt, especially if your shirt is thin or light colored.
The Chemise tops don't have cups, so it's going to give you a more smooth look underneath your shirt. My favorite chemise tops are the new Stretch Cotton tops because the symbols are printed in the inside of the tops, so you don't have to worry about the symbols poking through your clothes. My other favorite top is the New Nursing Garments because of their low neckline. These do have cups in them, but they come in bra sizes, so they fit a lot better then the old sizing. I wear this style over my bra and hardly see the cups or symbols. If I was to wear a snug shirt you might see the ruching underneath the cups and symbols, but I don't wear tops like that.
*New Stretch Cotton Garments
If you haven't heard, the LDS Church has made great strides to improve the style and fabrics of garments to meet the needs of their members. In February 2018, they came out with the Stretch Cotton fabric and new chemise top. The stretch cotton is made up 95% cotton and 5% spandex, it also features stretch mesh panels on the sides to allow the top to breathe and in the crotch area of the bottoms.
Another change made is the tops come in average or full busts. I'm assuming they did this so you don't get the baggy boob garment look and allows different larger cup sizes to not feel like their garments are constricting and flattening their breasts. This can make your bra not fit as well when you put your bra over garments.
I looked online and say they recommend if you're under a C cup go with average, if you're larger than a C, go with full. I'm a 32D cup and went with the average cup and it fit perfect. My professional opinion, if you're over a F UK/ G US go with the full bust, if you're under that, go with the average. :)
The average bust chemise comes in three different lengths: petite, regular, and tall. If you're petite and don't like having the top be so long where you can see the seams of the top underneath leggings or less forgiving dresses, get the petite. I'm 5"3" and the regular came down to my crotch. I can't imaging how long the talls are.
The full bust chemise only comes in two lengths: regular and tall. This is a tragedy because I know a lot of full bust ladies who are not tall, they're really peitite. So if you're petite and fuller busted, you might want to special order them so the tops don't come down to your knees.
There's two major epic changes to the Stretch Garments. Let's first discuss the symbols. The symbols are printed inside of the garments so you'll never see them poking through your shirts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I hope the Church makes this a permanent change to all garments because one of the most common worries of LDS women if they decide to wear their bra against their skin is they'll be able to see the markings underneath their shirts. This will eliminate women having to layer and have more freedom, less layering, more comfort, and more empowered and confident LDS women.
Let's talk about the second major change, the SLEEVES!!! They seriously carved out 1.5" out of the armpit area. How many of you have dresses, shirts, or tops that you have to wear an extra layer because your garments hang out of the back of your arm, or show when you lift up your arms. SO FREAKING ANNOYING. This change is so epic because it allows women to wear more stylish options and not have to wear a style killer aka Shade Shirt, or tank top.
I give the new Stretch Garments 4.5 stars out of 5. The reason why I didn't give it 5 is because I'm not a huge fan of the scoop neck. I wore a V Neck shirt and you could see the sides of the scoop garments peeking out. So for when you want to wear V Neck shirts or dresses, this is where I'll always have my go to the New Nursing Garments. Their plunge neckline gives such a beautiful silhouette under my clothes and it follows the line of my bra.
I'm really excited about these changes and hope the Church makes more changes to their existing styles, like more plunging necklines like the New Nursing Garments, less fabric underneath the armpit and sleeve, and the markings printed inside of the garment. Let's keep the momentum going!
To read the FAQ page about these new garments go HERE.
First, I want to acknowledge we're so lucky to have the wide variety of fabrics, designs, and sizes garments come in these days. If you talk to someone who was endowed 20-50 years ago it was very limited to what you can get. I can't imagine wearing the bell bottoms or one piece garments :( The Church has come A LONG way to making garments more comfortable and easy to wear with modern clothing. I just went to the Distribution Center a couple weeks ago to get some new nursing garments tops for myself and was surprised that most of the garments had new sizing, cuts, and designs. And love the new plunge cut of the nursing garment, ah-amazing!
If you want to learn more about garments you can read this awesome article or watch this great video put out by the church to learn why endowed LDS members wear them and why they're so sacred, and important to us. Read a well written article about getting endowed, how to properly wash your garments, and some other helpful information here.
I'd love to hear your thoughts. I hope this little guide is helpful to you in your quest for finding garment tops that work well with you and your bra. If you have questions, please leave a comment.
You can also watch my IG Live I did where I talked about the new Stretch Cotton garments, what styles and fabrics I recommend with wearing your bra.