A Very Sensitive Subject

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4 Nov

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By Blanche DuFrane
Cupid Intimates

Intimate apparel is just that – intimate.  The thoughts, feelings, and considerations revolving around it can be deeply personal matters for women.  They can relate to weight and body proportions, self-image, and personal anatomy.  One aspect of personal anatomy that’s often very difficult for women to discuss with others is the subject of nipples.  This is such a sensitive subject (both literally and figuratively) that it’s rarely directly referred to in the marketing of bras, bodybriefers, or camisoles.  Yet, ironically, every woman knows that the way in which certain pieces of lingerie either reveal or hide her breasts’ nipples can be the difference between an intimates piece becoming a wardrobe favorite, and one that never sees the light of day after its initial wearing.  So it’s time to have a brief, but frank and honest, discussion about the concern of nipple prominence.

Why do nipples become prominent and visible?  When I say “visible,” I’m not referring to the nipple actually becoming uncovered; rather, I’m talking about the noticeable appearance of its silhouette underneath whatever undergarment and piece of outerwear are being worn.  Nipples consist of erectile tissue, and their erections are muscular contractions that we cannot consciously control.  They’re initiated by our nervous system via the same reflex that causes goose bumps.  Unfortunately, some women are more prone to nipple erections than others, so occurrence frequency varies from woman to woman.  For most of us, cold temperatures, clothing irritation, and sexual arousal are the common causes of periodic “show through.”  Some women’s nipple anatomies result in continuous prominence and thin-apparel visibility.

Of course, the degree to which nipple “show through” is bothersome is a very personal issue.  If it does concern you, here are “a few tips to hide your nips:”

1.       Wear a seamed bra or bodybriefer and place your nipples behind the seams of its cups.  These can disguise any protrusions.  But, be careful.  For some women, such placement only causes irritation and exacerbates the problem.

2.       Choose a contour or lined bra.  Success here, however, depends on the fabrics used and the prominence of your anatomy.

3.       Select a foam-molded or “T-shirt” bra.  This is the most common solution to the nipple show-through problem. The cups of this type of bra are made with dense foam that helps mask the nipples.  Some foam-molded bras have special rigid inserts built into their cups to specifically prevent “show through.”  But foam-molded cups can be problematic for full-busted women.   They add volume to the bust (which might not be wanted), and can’t offer the support and shaping provided by the cups of a cut-and-sew bra.

4.       If none of these solutions are viable for you, consider purchasing some nipple covers.  These are adhesive accessories made to be directly applied to the breasts, and do prevent nipples from being noticed underneath clothing.  They can be worn with any bra or shapewear item, or used by themselves without undergarments.

Please remember that if nipple prominence continues to be a problem for you, a bra-fitting specialist at your favorite boutique or department store’s intimate apparel section is available to help you.  She can show you bras, or direct you to accessories, that will help conceal your concern.  Don’t be shy about voicing your issue; keep in mind that many women feel the same way you do.  If you have any other nipple tips (figuratively, not literally) that you’d like to pass on to others, please leave them in a comment below.

With whom would you be most likely to discuss the concern of nipple “show through?”

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CC Image courtesy Ivan Walsh on flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/ivanwalsh// CC BY 2.0
CC Image courtesy Guttorm Flatabø on flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/dittaeva// CC BY 2.0

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