At first blush one might think Chantal Thomass is simply one of the world's greatest designers of sexy, fantasy inspiring lingerie. You'd be wrong.
More than a creator of flimsy frippery she's a brilliant engineer. Do you think it's easy to design a delicately sophisticated high-wire instrument that can balance, yet not spill, emphasize yet not not deform that most historically magnificent amplifier of the female bosom, the balconnte?
(I love the word balconnte its original meaning is "overhanging railing" and has evolved to also describe what we call the half-cup, push-up bra. Isn't the image of hanging over a balcony wonderful?)
Thomass has worked for years to perfect her technique and is, bless her little coeur, especially sensitive to the needs and desires of women over 40. In an interview for my book she explained the difference between a push-up bra for a very young woman and one for those of us who are less so. As she explained it we need to be pushed-up from the sides, not from the bottom up. Now, if you don't believe her, here's a little test you can do in the privacy of your own home or better yet a room in your home with a lock on the door and a mirror. (Believe me, you really don't want interruptions or witnesses.) I've done this and it works.
O.K. standing nude from the waist up take your hands and push up your breasts from beneath, i.e. bottom up and notice nasty wrinkling wrecking the decollete area; now remove hands and place them on the sides and gently push inward. Viva la difference. Problem solved. Lush, round and sexy without unsightly ripples of flesh.
The construction of the bra is more complicated, but you get the general idea. (What more could a girl ask except maybe a little laser "freshening up" treatment on the upper chest area, but that's another subject for another time.)
Madame Thomass also insists one must always, always make sure tops match bottoms. "Personally I cannot imagine not coordinating tops and bottoms," she says.
Remember how our mothers always insisted we wear clean underwear and didn't much care about putting together a lovely ensemble? Yet again, life's all about priorities.