Me and The Girls

Monday, May 17, 2010

When did bra shopping become so ridiculously complicated?

Unlike some arenas in my life, I like a very straightforward bra. In fact, these are the basic three criterion:

1. Fits
2. Has Underwire
3. Cotton

In sum, I want a bra that holds up "the girls" AND doesn't make me sweat.

Since I was down to my last three serviceable bras, I knew I needed to make the trek out and secure more. I mean, rotating the same three bras was getting a little depressing. They weren't looking so good and while Terrance doesn't require me to be any kind of Sex Kitten, I still retain some basic female pride in my appearance.

And honestly, I LIKE my boobs. We've been good friends, me and them. They have held up well under the demands of nursing a baby and retained a bit of their youthful demeanor. They aren't "perky" per se, but I stopped being perky about 22 years ago so I really can't hold my boobs up to a standard to which I can't measure anything else.

Imagine my surprise when faced with a sea of padded, molded cup bras...When the hell did THIS happen?? Who needs this padding? What the hell is going on with this scary perma-shape boob thing? Is there not a Bra for an adult woman without bells and whistles? Can I get one that fits the diameter of my body without making me feel as if I am being forced into the throat of a boa constrictor?

Maybe I can blame it on growing up in Vermont and then living in New Hampshire. I need a Yankee Bra, one that I can tend the garden, shovel the snow, wrangle the children and perhaps braid a wool rug if the spirit so moves me. You know - a PRACTICAL bra for PRACTICAL New Englanders.

Maybe I can blame it partially on my genetics - This is not a Victoria's Secret kind of body. My boobs Laugh At those bras. About three years ago, in an effort to make myself a bit more fancy, I tried - honestly I did. I went into the store and started looking and even tried on a few of the "XL" sizes in those types of stores. Not only could I not shove all boobage INTO the alloted space, but usually, I couldn't get the damn thing all the way around my apparently Freakishly huge ribcage.

My foray into the lingerie stores have taught me that I am an Unnaturally well endowed female with the rib cage circumference of a WWF wrestler. There might as well be a flashing sign shouting "THESE BRAS ARE NOT FOR YOU, GORILLA CHEST!" in the window. This does not encourage my shopping for new bras....which is why I was down to the aforementioned three bras. A white one, a pink one and one that had been brown-ish before being washed with a dark blue towel several months ago, so it now has the color of a healing bruise.


This is how I found myself adrift in the sea of Padded, Molded, Bedazzled Bras on a Saturday Afternoon.

10 Baleful Regards:

Elly Lou said...

So what you're saying is your girls are decidedly bigger than a handful? Just don't strap any shellfish onto them or your friendship might end.

jess said...

I laughed at the idea of a "yankee bra." I am with you on that. I favor Gap Body, for all of the reasons you list.

Mary_Flashlight said...

Honey, I wish you lived near me. I have to buy ALL my bras at the "specialty bra shop" that's only about 10-15 minutes from my house. When I say "specialty bra shop" I do NOT mean VS, because those haven't fit me since college (and even then, the DD that I was hanging onto wasn't carried in most styles). Now that I'm an H cup... yeah, you get the picture. The place I go to carries bras in my size that are actually beautiful! However, if, by chance, you wear a 38 band or above, Lane Bryant carries decent quality, supportive, cotton, underwire bras. (They just don't carry the H cup in the stores - you have to order, or have them order for you.)
Right now I'm rotating 4 nursing bras that are almost 5 years old, because the company stopped making this style (best-selling nursing bra over all companies, so they stop making it!), and their replacement sucks.

roo said...

Maybe you could buy your bras online?

Wacoal seems to be a nice, basic brand that has lots of hard-to-find sizes.

Carrie said...

About the padding thing, even though I'm a D-cup, all my bras have light padding for the simple reason that it hides my nipples which stick out as if I had forks in my bra. It's not just for making things appear bigger, it's for ending embarrassing moments!

kiddiesandkitties said...

Amen, Sister! I'm down to 2, and can't find anyplace decent online that runs in my size, unless I can pay $80 for it, which I can't, and forget buying at a store. VS, ha ha, waked thru there once, very funny...

jwg said...

For not sexy but incredibly comfortable bras take a look at The great thing is they customize, so you can ask the to do things like make the straps narrower or wider, sew with real thread instead of that itchy plastic stuff, and make a size 41 if the 40 is tight and the 42, big. If you are well endowed choose the fabric with some latex in it.

Fraulein N said...

I recommend I can't seem to find non-padded bras in my size in the stores either.

Anonymous said...

Playtex 18 hours, ha ha.

Robin in NJ said...

Lily of France makes a very nice cotton, underwire (on the outside of the cup) non-padded sports bra. I am a hard fit too and these are great. Check them out in

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