swati gautam

Swati thrives on reading, writing and bra making, in no particular order.
The selected articles reproduced here are mostly linked to her world of bras.
Given half a chance, Swati would like to write on everything under the sun!

logo 08 August 2019

The usual cocktail of an unhealthy lifestyle – diet - posture can lead to trouble. Bad posture can make gravity work more on us which is particularly bad for us women. There’s one way to lessen its effect: Wear a bra to bed. And trust me; it’s not all that difficult even if you’ve ever done so in the past. So here’s the how-to:
  • Wear the oldest possible bra in your lingerie drawer, because that bra will be comfortably supportive without digging into you.
  • Don’t wear a bra that’s smaller; it will cause discomfort and de-shaping of your breasts.
  • If all you have is well fitting bras in your drawer, then choose a soft underwired bra, take off the wires by slitting open the stitches that hold the wires in, and you have a sleep bra, voila! But let this not be a balcony bra or a half cup bra please.
  • If you’ve recently changed sizes here’s how you buy a sleep bra. It’s on the larger size, but not really so loose that you’ll swim in it – when you try it on standing. Wash it well, soak in a fabric softener and it’s good to sleep in.
  • Lastly, and most important, I guarantee that if you can coax yourself into wearing a sleep bra at night for 30 days, you will never ever want to be in bed without it. Trust me again; I’ve been there and done that, and seen so many benefit from this simple practice.

Why you need to wear a bra to bed

While we sleep, gravity pushes our breasts to almost hanging on either side of us; gravity further hits them when we turn on our sides.
  • We wear bras standing, don’t we? Let’s keep wearing them lying down too.
  • Our breasts don’t have muscle that can be toned; all they have is tissue and fat; and if fat starts falling, then well, there’s nothing stopping it.
  • And just in case you still don’t want to sleep in bras there is a way out of that too: working out the pectoral muscles – those that support our breasts – at least two hours a week. These can include the Bhujangasana / Cobra Pose, Dhanurasana / Bow Pose and a few such postures.

P.S Marilyn Monroe always wore a bra to bed.

Swati Gautam is the founder of Necessity-SwatiGautam, a customised brand of brassieres. necessityswatigautam@gmail.com

logo 22 August 2019

Last time we spoke about the need for sleep bras. This time we’ll speak about the need to do away with it. That’s possible only through a regular yet sustainable routine of yogasanas that can be practiced from age 7 to 70.

Yes, here is a surgery-less way to reverse the sagging of breasts. Anything that exercises the pectoral muscle, which is like a band behind our chest, will help.

The regular practices of yogasanas can guarantee that sagging will slow down to a considerable extent. My favourite asanas are Dhanurasan (Bow Pose) and Bhujangasan (Cobra Pose).

I will not go into the details of the correct posture. Instead, I will suggest that you either engage a credible teacher or, like me, be a DIY exponent. YouTube abounds in lessons but you must see several sites, as all will show slightly different variation of the poses.

Next, follow your body’s signals. See how flexible you are. Start with a timing of 10 seconds and graduate up to a minute. Don’t give up. First, breathe calmly and correctly. Secondly, in both these asanas, the stretch must be felt on your upper chest, as you feel those muscles being aroused from the slumber of a lifetime.

I have my own tips for these two asanas, which by no means deviate from the core posture, but which also ensure that my pectoral is the center of my attention.
When in Dhanurasan, focus just a little more on letting your legs - the stronger part of your body – pull your arms back so that your chest muscles really feel the pull. To keep the posture right, ensure that your hips are also raised as much from the ground as possible.

When in Bhujangasana, do not let your chest be raised only by the strength of your arms. Use your upper body to raise itself a bit after which the arms shall take over. This too shall ensure an immediate effect on your chest muscles.

These two, and asanas such as Ushtrasana (Camel Pose) and Naukasana (Boat Pose) can be practiced for 3 repetitions, each with a rest of 20 seconds in between.

Start comfortably and be regular. Breathe out when you start and keep breathing comfortably in the pose. The best thing about these simple asanas is that there’s very little you can do wrong. As long as you understand the difference between being stretched versus being in pain, carry on. The litmus test is that after a practice your muscles should ache but never your joints.

Finally, please focus only on your breathing and the upper chest muscles. Trust me, a feeling of calm shall pervade your being, and in addition you will be perking up in all possible ways!

The columnist is the founder-CEO of Necesity-SwatiGautam, a customised brand of brassieres.

logo 05 september 2019

It’s wonderful that the number of women of all ages who’ve embraced a gym is shooting up by the hour. But in the running tracks of gyms, social clubs, parks and the lake-sides, one must be aware of the right chest health. The breasts must be secure.

Not only do bouncing breasts distract the runner herself – she may experience acute bodily discomfort - but it can also cause extensive damage to the ligaments of the runner’s chest.


Most trainers, however knowledgeable, are clueless when faced with an avid woman runner. The runner must wear anti bounce bras – available aplenty in a wide price band – and if her anti bounce bras are in need of replacements, then she can wear two bras instead of one and see for herself how better supported she feels.

For trainers too, here’s a small fact: telling the woman runner clearly that she needs to wear an anti-bounce bra will go a long way in reaffirming the trust that she has put in you while choosing you as her trainer!

What causes the breast sag and the corresponding bounce? Naturally, the larger the breast, the more area gravity has to play with. Second, drastic diets cause serious sagging because fat disappears from under the skin before the skin has had time to retract; thus causing sagging or wrinkles. The retraction of a skin is easier when it’s young and more elastic. So quick weight loss must not be attempted after the mid-forties.

For those who prefer the comfort of their own home to a gym, here’re two simple weight training exercises that help combat sagging breasts by strengthening the pectoral muscles. Water bottles work just as well as weights. Consult a trainer and don’t attempt a DIY – with weights you never do it yourself because chances of injury are higher - unless you are already in fitness.


When doing this chest press, remember that your focus should be on those upper chest muscles so that they are worked upon. There are many such exercises. If you’re a fitness buff then go on, try push-ups that are superb for strengthening the chest, upper back, core and the entire body. Whenever you take in the strenuous part of a posture, release your breath and when in the relaxed part, take a deep breath in. Regularity is the key here. Without expecting miracles, expect a miracle over time!

logo 19 september 2019

Not many of us bother to read the label of a garment before paying thousands for it. But reading it will provide all information on the composition of the fabric. This column will tell you the basics of decoding this information.


Natural fibers are the most expensive: Silk, Linen and Cotton are the only natural fibers. They are expensive because their demand outstrips supply. Within these fabrics the price increases with the count, which means the number of threads per square inch. The higher the count the finer the fabric, as it becomes more labour and raw material intensive. Natural fabrics are the best. For garments and undergarments, and this applies to both genders.

Muslin is a very high count natural cotton fabric. It ranges from 100 counts onwards. It is said that when Princess Zeb-un-nissa was once chided by her, the father Emperor Aurangzeb, for wearing a transparent garment in Court, she replied that she was dressed in seven layers of muslin! These days it is possible to weave a count up to 200 but that is possible only in the humid environs around the Bay of Bengal. Muslins are exceptionally soft and feel like a caress on our skin. They are highly absorbent, quicker to dry than any other fabric, and do not need ironing if stretched out to dry.

The rest of the fabrics are factory made. Their production cost is negligible as compared to the prices we pay for the garments made with them.


Rayon and Viscose are cousins: Both are factory made, though derived partly from plants. Rayon is the stuff art silk is made of. At the bottom are the notorious twins, Nylon and Polyester. Nylon is plastic, literally, just not as stiff as the usual plastic, and polyester is a byproduct of the petroleum industry. Both are non-biodegradable. Spandex, Lycra, Elastane are siblings. They are all totally factory made and are used in garments that need stretch.

The funny thing is that garments made with both natural fibers and the factory-made carry almost the same retail tag. The day a buyer knows that she shouldn’t pay the price of a silk neck tie while picking a polyester one will be the day.