Bra Fitting Essentials for Senior Women

Choosing a bra can be confounding. That heavy sigh of not knowing where to begin can be even deeper, when buying a bra for your mother, or your friend, or your grandmother. And deeper again, if you’re a man venturing into the lingerie department, list in hand. But with a few vital pieces of information, choosing a bra for a senior woman can be straightforward.

First, measuring. There is a growing trend in the big stores for over-tight fitting; having an idea of the correct size can save you back-and-forth trips and returns.

– using a measuring tape, wrap it around the ribs under the bust. It should be gently firm.

– read the measurement in inches

– add four inches (many people skip this step, resulting in over-tight fits)

– round up to the nearest even number. This is the band size: 36, 38, 40, etc.

Knowing the band size, or even coming close, is your best starting point. Cup size can be uncertain, especially for softer breasts. Cup fits vary by style, design, fabric, and even brand. However, once you have the band size, cup size has only four standard options. If the woman is smaller, try a B, small-medium, a C, fuller a D or DD.

Different bras tend to work well for us at different stages of life; for senior women, start with two principles:

Choose wire-free bras: as we age, our breasts become soft, and wired cups tend not to work; choose a wife-free bra for a more forgiving fit.

Choose comfort and familiarity over concern for fit: A great fit can be elusive, and if our breasts are soft, even more so. For senior women, a bra gives comfort both physically and through the utter familiarity of being contained. When helping a woman try on a bra, ask, “How do you feel?” This can keep the focus on comfort and familiarity, and put fit firmly in second place.

Many senior women don’t find perfectly-fitting bras. If the woman is comfortable, and is satisfied with the look of the bra, then it’s a great choice.

The lingerie department can be overwhelming. But with a few filters, a good bra choice can be easy, or easier. Questions? email me at

At Your Leisure Lingerie can provide in-home measuring, and product delivery.

Guest Blogger, Shannon Fowler.  At Your Leisure Lingerie


Mindful May Follow-Up Post

One book on mindfulness that I recommend is:

“Wherever You Go, There you are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life” by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Also, why not try the 3-minute Breathing Space:

1st minute: allow yourself to experience whatever you’re experiencing in the moment

2nd minute: observe the sensations in your body, focus on particular sensations

3rd minute: expand your attention to the body as a whole

Try downloading these and other meditations to your MP3 player

Mindfulness bells: find mindfulness in everyday life such as when walking the dog, brushing your teeth, doing the dishes et cetera

Mindfully yours,

Calm Pond

Don’t forget about yourself!

Don’t forget about yourself!

As a caregiver, I think it’s very important to remember to take care of ourselves as well.

I try my best to practice self-care on a daily basis. I would like to share my own methods of stress-relief below.

Yoga is amazing because it is beneficial to both your body and mind. You can practice yoga anytime and anywhere. Try taking a beginners’ class, read a book about it, or try learning yoga through a DVD.

Music is very therapeutic. Listen to music that is calming and peaceful. Music is a very powerful tool and it can increase relaxation and easily calm us down when we are stressed out.

Any form of physical exercise. Being active keeps our hearts healthy and it increases those feel good endorphins! My favorite forms of exercise are yoga, pilates, kickboxing, and weightlifting. Keep it fun and find a workout buddy if you can.

Get outside and breathe in some fresh air. Go for a walk along the sea wall. Water has been shown to have a calming effect on all of us.

Do what you love that makes you content, calm, and peaceful, whatever that is!

-Amara Hinde


In Our Nature, Part Two

Comparison steals our joy. We dwell in urban places where self-consciousness reigns and assessment runs high. The only place we’re completely removed from under (or behind) the microscope is when we immerse ourselves in nature and leave the mirror of society behind. I can’t recall when I’ve looked at a sycamore in autumn and wondered why the leaves weren’t more orange, or why the foliage wasn’t just a bit slimmer.” – Kinfolk, Natural Judgment

May is here. Days are longer and sleeves cover our arms less often. Our toes may even feel the warmth of the Sun for the first time in months. Nature is beckoning us to shed our layers and bask in its beauty.

As promised, here is a short list of my favourite local walks and hikes, for all fitness and ability levels. Please click on links for details on accessibility.

Rice Lake, Lynn Valley, North Vancouver

Although the trails get busy on weekends, this is a lovely, peaceful walk for all ability levels. Take in the tall trees and critters running through thick roots. If you’re lucky, you can watch calm fishermen casting their rods in to the glassy lake. On windless days, the trees reflect off the water, creating a mirrored image that calms the heart and mind.

Rice Lake, North Vancouver

Bridgman Park, North Vancouver

If you have a four-legged friend that likes to join you for walks, this is the stroll for you. Noted for being “dog friendly,” Bridgman Park offers flat trails next to a slow-flowing river. Bridgman is prettiest in the fall, when crisp, colourful leaves cover the forest floor. Although some trees have been cleared from the area to make room for a bridge expansion, the trails still offer plenty of tall trees that make visitors feel as though they’ve strayed far away from the busy nearby highway.

Bridgeman Park

Lighthouse Park, West Vancouver

The Lighthouse Park trails remind me that I live in a remarkable city. In minutes, walkers will travel from dense forests to massive rocks, with views of ocean life and the mountains to boot. This is a walk that could double as a mini vacation!

Lighthouse Park - West Vancouver

What are some of your favourite walks and hikes? Please share with us!

Words by Cassandra Van Dyck

Mindful May at Café Artigiano

Today I visited Café Artigiano in Edgemont Village.  I had coffee and a blueberry scone, delicious!  It was so energizing, like a mini-break or an island of calm amid a sea of stress. Very good for  self-care.  I could engage in people watching and listen to jazz, and pretend I was sipping espresso in a sidewalk café in Paris.

It was a mindful experience, appropriate for my “mindful May”.  As novelist Leo Tolstoy once said: “There is only one time that is important: NOW! It is the most important because it is the only time we have any power.”

mindful mountain

mindful mountain

wishing you a mindful May,


Calm Pond

Book Review: “The Five-Minute Journal”


“It’s been proven over and over again that shifting your focus to the positive can dramatically improve your happiness. The key is consistency.” The Five-Minute Journal invites people to spend five minutes a day chronicling very specific parts of their lives. In the morning, it asks the holder of the journal to write down three things they’re grateful for, three things that would make the day great, and a statement of affirmation. In the evening, it asks for three things that made the day “awesome,” and one thing you could have done differently. There is space in the book for six months of daily logs.


I read about The Five-Minute Journal a few times before impulsively buying it two weeks ago. The first part of the book describes how the act of logging gratitude and setting an intention for your day and reflecting on the day before sleeping can increase happiness. Reading the introduction inspired me to want to try it out. It seemed easy enough – if instead of reading emails and worrying first thing in the morning I wrote about the positive things that could happen that day, I might take on the day with a different attitude. If I reflected on the incredible moments of my day before bed and only made a short note about what could have made the day better, I might fall asleep feeling happy instead of worrying about the next day or dwelling on the not-so-great parts of the past one.


I noticed a difference in my outlook on life after the first day. Perhaps it was the practice of writing first thing in the morning, before any negative thoughts or concerns had the chance to creep in to my consciousness. The first thing the book asks you to write about in the morning is three things you’re grateful for. Some mornings it was hard to know what to write, so I wrote things like “coffee,” “hot showers,” and “a job I look forward to.” Acknowledging even the smallest things made me feel lighter as I got ready for the day.


The thing I loved most about filling in The Five-Minute Journal was that it felt like something I was doing just for myself. When you’re caring for a loved one, it can be hard to take the time to reflect on how you’re feeling and to have a chance to perhaps change your perspective. The short, simple, structured pages make that task feel easier.

For more information on The Five-Minute Journal, visit

Words and Photos by Cassandra Van Dyck