Because it’s about bra shopping.
A couple of weeks ago when I was working in the garden, I heard a loud crack from the vicinity of my rib cage. Puzzled, I did a brief pat down and discovered nothing. That evening, however, when I was stripping down to shower, I discovered that the right underwire in my brassiere was broken. Weird. I’ve been wearing bras for 25+ years and this has never happened to me before. It wasn’t my only bra, so I wasn’t bothered. I had 3 more that were decent to wear. I used to have oodles of bras that fit, but I got fat, got skinny, then got pregnant (x4), so my stash is down to 4. Or 3.5, I guess.
Yesterday, the darnedest thing happened. I was doing nothing at all – well, maybe folding laundry, I don’t remember for sure – and I heard another crack from the vicinity of my rib cage. This time I knew what it was. A quick check confirmed that my left underwire was broken. The really strange thing about this is that the two broken bras are different brands and different ages.
So I figured it was time to go…
…dun, dun, DUN!!!!
I hate bra shopping. The only thing worse than bra shopping is bra shopping with children in tow (which I’ve done before). I’m picky. They have to be nude or beige. They have to have sufficient padding as to afford me some modesty, but not have Wonderbra-strength padding and push my breasts up to my collarbone. They have to be smooth because I wear t-shirts a lot and the texture of a lace overlay on a t-shirted boob looks weird to me. The bras also have to have underwires.
I know, some of you will say, “But underwires are just so uncomfortable! How can you do it?” This is how: I’ve grown, birthed, and nursed four children. The girls aren’t as perky as they used to be. They’ve been well-used, served their purpose. Have you ever seen any of those photos in National Geographic of the naked natives with the boobs that hang down to their belly buttons? Yeah. Me, too. They wouldn’t have boobs at their waists if they had underwires.
I went to a local department store because I’ve had success at this chain of stores in the past. They carry lots of brands, sizes, and styles. Thankfully, since I’ve lost 30-ish pounds since K was born, I’m back in what’s considered the realm of “normal” bra sizes.
Since I’ve had my current bras for so long, the size information is totally gone, so I had to guess about this vital piece of information. I started by grabbing a couple bras that were the size I thought I should be. We’ll call this size #1. I tried them on. Bands fit, cups…not so much. Fine. I hung the bras back up (I hate bra hangers), got clothed, and went back out to find different sizes in the same style. Two new sizes: same band, different cup (size #2) and different band, different cup (#3).
Quick bra-fitting lesson: it’s perfectly acceptable to play around with band and cup sizes to find something that works for you. When you go down a band size, you go up a cup size, and vice-versa. Let’s say you’re a 34B. You could probably get away with wearing a 32C (down a band size, up a cup size) or a 36A (up a band size, down a cup size). Or, say you’re a 36DD. You could go up to a 38D. See how it works? This way you can avoid trying to find a 36DDD or 36E – not sure what comes after “DD” in the bra alphabet – by going up to a 38DD. It’s all based on the mathematics of how big your cup is compared to your band. You can google it if you really want to know how it works. I’m too lazy to type more about it.
I went back to the dressing room with sizes 2 & 3. Neither fit right. I got dressed again, hung up the bras again, and went back out into bra-land. This time I decided to get as many different styles in my sizes as I could. I found 4 bras that met all my criteria in sizes 2 & 3. Back in the dressing room after I texted hubs that I hate bra shopping, I started again. This time I decided to start with the smaller of the sizes, figuring that this would give me a good baseline.
All 4 of the size 2 hooter holders fit almost OK. Better than the size 3s would fit, that much I knew. So at least I got out of trying on 4 more. I figured I’d try size 1 in these styles to see how the cup fit (because all bras are different). So I hung up the bras (again), got dressed (again) and left the dressing room. Among the sea of bras, I found 3 of the 4 styles in size 1, and put back all of the size 3s. I kept the size 2s in case the 1s didn’t work at all. If you’re keeping track, sizes 1 & 2 are the same band but different cup sizes. At least I’d established my band size. I also found a couple more bras that met the criteria in size 1 that I’d missed earlier.
Back in the dressing room. Hubs had texted back saying he wished his grandmother was still alive to help. She used to be a bra fitter. By this point, I would have paid someone $50 to fetch bras for me and stuff the girls into the undergarments. I tried on 5 or 6 more bras and found one that fit. I found one that fit! Can you believe it? I only had to try on about 15 bras before I found ONE that fit.
Guess what I did then? I hung up 5 or 6 more bras (a.g.a.i.n.), got re-dressed, returned all the extras (because I’m just *so* nice) and found another of the elusive well-fitting bras.
I celebrated by buying two pairs of cropped pants, two t-shirts, and a running jacket, all on clearance for less that $6 each. And the two bras.