The Agony of Bra Shopping

The Agony of Bra Shopping

The only thing worse than shopping for a bra is shopping for a swimsuit. I try my hardest to not shop for bras – I think the last time I did was back in the 90s. Okay, I’m exaggerating.

But not by much.

Bra shopping makes me want to head for the liquor cabinet.

Long gone are the days when I could order anything out of the Victoria’s Secret catalog and it would fit. Now, I wander around the bra department of Kohl’s, amazed at the diversity of color/style/shape/fabric of the bras on those irritating plastic hangers. I grabbed some in the size I wore back at the turn of the century(while knocking countless bras to the ground), went into the fitting room, and spent the next hour a) wrestling with the hangers to free the bras so I could try them on and b) struggling in and out of bras that didn’t fit.

(And lets not discuss the bra with no hooks. Getting that thing on, and then off, probably helped me burn a thousand calories alone. At one point my arms were trapped over my head, the bra wound around my mouth. Which is one way to start a diet, but rather difficult to go out in public like that.)

I helpfully re-hooked all the bras back onto their awful little mocking hangers, dressed again, and went out for Round Two. Still, I didn’t find anything that looked like it might fit AND flatter, especially since now I knew, roughly, what my size was. It wasn’t until a helpful sales person pointed out that I was in the Junior Lingerie Department that I realized – I had gotten old. At some point, and without my full consent, I could no longer wear frilly, pretty, wispy pieces of lingerie without looking like a complete, delusional idiot.

Hell. I couldn’t tell I was in the Junior section. I mean, it’s not like there was a HUGE sign

I thought of happy things, like daffodils. It didn’t help. I was still in the Juniors department. Sigh.

that said JUNIOR BRAS. CUTE AND SKINNY GIRLS ONLY. Okay, maybe the bras in that section were of the electric shades (that really bright green seems to be popular), and maybe the cups were more demi than full coverage; but when I picture myself, I still see me as I was at seventeen. Long hair, weighing a healthy 111 pounds, dance muscles, fantastic legs and my A cup boobs never needing to wear a bra.  (Sigh for the days gone by…)

So, dutifully, I trudged over to the “mature” woman section. Again had trouble finding my size (no, I’m not telling, lol). Finally found exactly two bras from the multitudes that might work, and that didn’t look like they belonged on the East German Ice Skating Judge from any of the Olympics games in the 1960s. (Just saying.) I headed to the fitting room.

Oh, the horror! They fit around okay, but my boobage being what it is (still not overly abundant, in other words), the cups almost touched across my chest. I wouldn’t be able to wear any tee shirt or top that opened below my collarbone. This time, disgusted with the whole process, I stuffed the bras in the corner of the dressing room, tossed curses at them, and stomped back out to the “Junior” section. They did have bigger sizes; one of those bras just might work.

After this trip, I was ready to go kayaking. Where I wouldn’t wear anything resembling a bra. Or a swimsuit. (Shorts and tee shirts, absolutely!)

Then I remembered the last time I’d gone bra shopping (oh, those long, long years ago), Maidenform had the bras that fitted my body the best. So I headed to those racks (ahem) and started searching.

Finally. I found some demi-cup bras in my size. Went to try them on, and voila! Not perfection (it’s really hard to look at ONLY my boobs when trying on a bra…), but looked good under a t-shirt, and really, that’s all I wanted.

So I got one in beige and one in white, picked up some soft panties while I was at it (because my husband has been complaining about the age of my underwear lately), grabbed a white t-shirt, and headed to the checkout.

Where I almost had another meltdown. Why does underwear cost so much? Holy guacamole! I bit the bullet and paid.

The lovely and talented Christine Rose Elle.

Why did I put myself through such torture on an otherwise lovely Sunday afternoon? Well, next weekend I am getting a professional photo shoot done from the lovely and talented Christine Rose Elle (which I am TOTALLY excited about, btw!), and one of her requirements is “nude undergarments”. So that was my impetus to finally get new bras, and put the old ones out of their misery.


In Other Bra News…

A fifteen year study in France suggests that bras might be bad for you. If, you know, you’re young and hot and in shape, you should just ditch the bra and let the girls free. If you’re “an overweight mom in her 40s with 3 kids”, keep that bra on! …according to this article at The Week.

And then over at Renee A. Shuls Jacobson, Misty shared her #SoWrong moment regarding going braless when she was young. I had to laugh at this – like I said above, when I was younger I never wore a bra. They felt wrong when taking ballet, and I was small enough to not need one. I don’t think I wore a bra until I got into the corporate world in 1983, and then only when I absolutely had to.

And for those of you who need more bra info, as in how to size, what the different styles are, etcetera, I found a terrific site called Her Room. Check it out!

Do you have any funny or horror stories about bra shopping? Or going braless? Or the price of bras? Let’s dish!


Thanks for stopping by – until the next time, cheers!