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Intimacy bra gurus now at Roosevelt Field

Susan Nethero, Intimacy founder, at her new store

Susan Nethero, Intimacy founder, at her new store at Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City. (March 29, 2012) Credit: Nina Ruggiero

On the wall at Intimacy, a new bra fitting and lingerie store at Roosevelt Field mall, there is a quote from Oprah Winfrey.

"Change your bra, change your life."

It may sound dramatic, but almost every woman has a recurring bra issue -- whether it's straps that won't stay put, cups that don't support, or a band that rides up the back.

In fact, 85 percent of women are wearing the wrong bra size, says Susan Nethero, Intimacy founder and professional "bra whisperer."

"If a bra does not fit you properly it can be binding; it can pull down on your shoulders and cause neck and back pain, it can cause numbness in your arms," she says. "We try to make every woman feel like she's got the right comfort, uplift, support and then of course style."

Intimacy, located on the second level next to Macy's, sells more than 90 sizes of bras with cups from A to double-K, and it's not just the large-busted women who are seeking help.

Nethero says she was inspired to open Intimacy in Atlanta more than 20 years ago after struggling to find bras that fit her small bust.

Breasts can weigh from 10 ounces to 10 pounds each, Nethero says, and each of her 18 stores across the country, including two in Manhattan, often get a visit from at least one person on both ends of the spectrum every day. The store will also alter bras -- even old ones that are starting to wear out -- without charge.

Customers are invited to walk in at any time for a free fitting, which takes about 30 minutes and does not include the use of a tape measure. 

After filling out a form with questions about their bodies, women are asked to strip to the waist in private fitting rooms and try on different styles to see exactly which size, cut and even color look and feel best on them while their fit stylist listens to their needs and discusses what works. 

The store sells a variety of brands of bras and panties ranging from sexy to casual. Most are high-end, such as Chantelle, PrimaDonna, Simone Perele and Marie Jo L'Aventure. Shoppers also will find swimsuits, beach cover-ups, sleepwear and bra care supplies.

Five facts you didn't know

1. Ninety percent of a bra's support comes from the band around the body, not the cups, so make sure yours is snug and level around your back. Bras that ride up make soft back tissue look unflattering even on slim figures.

2. Always buy a bra that fits on the loosest setting. That way as it gets older and stretches, you'll be able to tighten the band.

3. Never wear the same bra two days in a row-- they're doing too much work all day and won't last long if overworn.

4. The average woman's bust line changes at least six times throughout her life, so don't think getting fitted once is enough.

5. Minimizing bras, often worn by full-busted women, bind and compress breast tissue leading to a loss in firmness and an increase in sagging. The best way to appear taller and slimmer is to wear bras that lift and center the bustline, no matter what your size.

Five must-have bra types

"About two-thirds of all women wear four bras or less," Nethero says, "but a woman should have five to seven good bras in her wardrobe."

1. Strapless (most difficult to find the right fit)

2. Plunge (think cleavage)

3. T-shirt (everyday basic)

4. Sexy (lace, push-up or a daring color)

5. Convertible (expand your options)

Four bra trends for spring/summer 2012

1. Dramatic brights

2. Geometric prints

3. Shades of blue

4. Pastels and confectionery colors

Four bra care tips

1. Wash bras on gentle cycle in cool water

2. Use delicate detergent-- Forever New is an industry favorite

3. Wash bras inside a netted bag

4. Let them air dry

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