If you aren't female you may as well toddle along to another blog right now. (This includes you, Peter). Because unless you're looking for cheap thrills, you're in the wrong place today. No, this isn't a post about labor pains or periods or the horrors of bikini waxes. It's worse. (Not bathing suit shopping bad, but bad enough).
I just bought a new bra. I'm pretty sure it took less mental effort when we financed our first new car. (At only a marginally higher cost). I'm positive it was less humiliating. And my question is...
If you believe Oprah (doesn't everyone? isn't she like the most trusted woman in the galaxy or something?) 85% of women wear the wrong size bra. That's a pretty impressive statistic. I'm the first to admit that I'm in that group. My straps never stay up, I get back cleavage and, most aggravating of all, my bra bunches up under shirts so that a smooth line is impossible. (If we still have men present, don't come whining to me. I told you to go away).
My last barely passable bra gave up the ghost over the weekend, leaving me with no choice but to suck it up and go bra shopping. What I really wanted was to go to one of those specialty shops that measure you and snap their fingers and voila! tell you your perfect size without hesitation. But we don't have a store like that in town and I didn't feel like driving. So I did what any other informed shopper would do in the year 2008. I went on the internet.
I tried this bra size calculator. Being a skeptic, I wanted a second opinion. So I tried this one, too. And of course I got two different sizes. (Neither of which I've ever worn, by the way). I tucked this questionable information away and headed to the biggest department store we've got. Can I tell you that I haven't had that much fun since my last mammogram?
The choices are overwhelming. Underwire, wire free, lightly shaped, gel foam, demi cup, smoothing, strapless, racerback, convertible...the list goes on. Every brand is sized slightly differently. And when the hell did a bra start costing $30?
I tried on twelve of them in two different runs. I tried to not flaunt the five item per dressing room too much. (I like even numbers. Shoot me). I picked the two I liked the best, which wasn't saying much. Then I hit the t-shirt sale and got a couple of them for work, since I like to wear scrub pants and a t-shirt instead of a scrub top. Went back to the dressing room and tried on the bra with the t-shirts. And could clearly see bra lines underneath with both bras. Hit the sales floor again and got six more of them in slightly different styles and tweaked the size a little. Seventeen bras later I finally found one that a) I liked that b) fit and c) didn't show under the shirt. Of course they didn't have it in the color I wanted, but at that point if lime green tiger stripes had been my only choice I probably would have gone for it. And it only set me back $32. Whee.
I had a lot of time to think while I was trying on the multitudes. I now have my very own set of lingerie buying imponderables. For example:
Why do you always look fat trying on underwear? I've lost a fair amount of weight recently and look pretty respectable in my clothes, but in that dressing room I looked like a cross between Fat Elvis and the Stay Puft marshmallow man. In a badly fitting bra. I didn't just have back cleavage. I had rib cleavage. There was only one place I didn't have cleavage. Guess where?
Who came up with the tip I read in some magazine about leaning forward while trying on bras so you would "fall into the cup naturally"? The security guard behind the two way glass? Because I'm here to tell you that that tip does no one a good turn except the voyeur behind the camera monitor. And only if they get extra wow value from women cussing like teamsters when they "fall" the wrong way.
And perhaps most importantly - now that I've finally found one I like...why in the world did I just buy one?
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Posted by the rotten correspondent at 12:02 AM