Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Bra-dyssey, D.I.Y. style

This post was inspired by Auntlyh's recent bra-buying spree at Nordstrom's. While it contains no graphic details, it is certainly going to be convoluted, and may be of no interest to anyone but Auntly. So, if bra shopping is not your cup of tea, come back soon when I rant and rave about the usual nonsense.

After reading how Auntly went from a 36B to a 32D in 15 seconds flat after visiting a real department store bra fitter, I thought what every woman who read her post thought: "Damn, I bet I am wearing the wrong size."

But unlike Auntly I just couldn't put myself at the mercy of the sales ladies. Because they were going to show me undergarments with price tags that were going to make me cringe, and after they had just measured me I could hardly decline to buy something.

So I set out to measure myself and purchase my bras on the web. The process was comical, but I did learn a few things:

1. I have never really had a set bra size, but lately I've been wearing a 34A. I was actually a 32 band size. Which I would have never believed if it hadn't happened to Auntly first. I thought you gave up being a 32 when you gave up reading Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret.

2. If you want an inflated cup size, go to Linda's Bra School. The Wonderbra calulator ended up being right on, but it was one full cup size bigger than I had measured myself.

3. It's advisable to buy a bra that fits on the tightest set of hooks because it will stretch.

I decided to head to Marshall's to see if they had some sizes I could try one on in anonymity.

Sadly, I had Lucy with me. I can tell you that the trip did not take very long because there were only two 32Bs and one 32C to try on. The 32B fit OK, but the 32C fit really well. It was made by Wacoal and cost $10 (plus one Groovy Girl Mermaid at $5.99 for Lucy). Sold!

I was still not convinced that I bought the right size, so over the next two days I visited two more T.J. Maxx stores, where I ended up clearing the racks of every size 32C. Hardly a shopping spree, but I now own five bras. I guess I don't have to buy everything online.

I probably never would have tried the larger bras on if Auntly hadn't written about her experience. I would have just kept wearing my two stretched out, ill-fitting ones for at least another year. I also realize that my body hasn't changed one bit. Put me in a t-shirt and jeans and I still look pretty much like a ten year old boy. And as much as I prefer to point, click, and wait for the UPS man, I think it really helped to try them on first.

Now playing: Rilo Kiley - Smoke Detector


Lumpyheadsmom said...

Heh. "15 seconds flat"

I don't think you're allowed to use the word flat when talking about a D-cup woman.

Auntly H said...

See? it's a crazy world, the lingerie department.

Anne said...

Oooh! I don't know Auntly H, but I also recently bought a bunch of bras from Nordstrom in the correct size, and let me tell you that it was a teensy bit life-changing.

Of course, my boobs are grotesquely large, so the pain (actual and metaphorical) of the wrong size is magnified. I spent way way way more money than I should have, but I was buying Oprah's favorite bra


so what the hell.

J Frank Parnell said...

I don't know anything about bras other than how to nicely ask for help removing them, but I do know this: Orchard Street Corsets. If you visit the LES in NYC and go there, an orthodox dude will guess your bra size correctly even if you think he's wrong. My wife, not easily impressed and thinking it had to be bullshit, tested him when she was seven months pregnant (in '05). She bought his recommendation. She still talks about it.