Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bra Shopping Aversion

For my new clothes (still only a thought right now) to fit properly, undergarments are a definite must. No more "burn the bra" fanatics running around much anymore. Their b00bies are floating somewhere around their belly buttons by now. Or as Stacey from What Not To Wear calls them, "The Girls". You got 'em, so make 'em look proud.

I think I have a bit of bra buying aversion. My current ones are looking like shabby little rejects. The underwire is still there but there are little puckers and folds which used to be stretched thin by my ample chest. Some of the weight I lost was from my girls. I need one that fits and lifts and well you know the rest. I actually went into the bra store last week but chickened out. No time, no desire, overwhelmed. I had no idea where to start.

Years ago, there were only a few companies that made bras and the selection was limited. You usually went to Sears, found one of those matronly ladies named Olga, to help you pick out your box lined up in little pull out drawers. Buying a bra was more of a chore, sort of like going to the dentist or having a pap test. Necessary but not really a fun time. My experiences of bra shopping went more or less like this:

  1. Go to store, grab a few boxes of Wonderbras. Hand boxes to the matronly Sears saleslady who kept the box while you tried them on.
  2. Enter hot stinky changerooms, undress, look at droopy b00bs, put on bra, bend over to properly place The Girls. Matronly lady would call you dear and ask if you needed anything.
  3. Buy 3 boxes of the same bra in white. Sometimes beige if you were feeling risqué.
  4. Buy same bra for the next 5 years until it goes out of production (or in my case, get pregnant, get fatter, get breast reduction...)
  5. Wear bra til it turns grey or underwires start to impale you.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5.
But now. OMG. It's a candy store of bras and all sorts of sexy underthings. With cute teenage girls waiting to pounce as you walk into the store, looking you up and down and hoping a cute guy comes in so they can avoid having to help the old fat lady who they know will need to try on half the bras in the store and will probably leave with nothing. Wow, is that what is called a run on sentence? But my heart is pounding just thinking about going there.

I want my matronly Sears lady back. To hand me one of those white Playtex 'Cross Your Heart' bras or Wonderbra 'Lift and Separate' and stack the boxes by the cash register. I will look like I have a unib00b but I will have avoided the bra buying spree for another few years.

What's a girl to do. Shopping for a bra is just not something you ask your daughter to come help you with. Do I go to one of those bra fitter ladies who feels me up, measures everything, then tells me I am really a EE or HHHH or something udderly (pun intended!) ridiculous. When I had my breast reduction in December of 1999, I asked my plastic surgeon if he could just make me a C cup. He said he'd try. I went out after the surgery and following the 5 steps above religiously bought my C cup bras. I can't fathom any other letters of the alphabet.

But now I have to suck up my fear and replace my poor old bras. But where to start. Yup my first tried and true place when I am in need of advice. I Googled it. And one link led to another til I found what I needed.

The Bra Size Calculator 

It will calculate the bra size you need without the having to admit to the bra lady that you have no idea what size you should buy. There is also a bunch of other information on the site about standards, cup sizes. It will even convert bra sizes between US, UK and Australian sizes. I just did it and it says I need a 44C (US); 44D (UK); 22C (AUS/NZ) (which is a bit funny!). We Canadians use the US system but I guess if a store carries bras from all over the world it isn't so easy to find my real size! BTW, they also have conversions for EU, Japan, Czech Republic and a few more.

I have two weeks before my trip to Mexico. I need new bras. I will do this.

Maybe I'll just start at Walmart. One step at a time. And maybe I'll find a lovely beige one to get out of my white obsession.

Panties next I guess. Although I just picked up a few new packs of Hanes Her Way in size Medium. Joey will probably still make comments about my baggy panties but I just can't get past the horrors of seeing "The Thong". Maybe that can be my next intervention.

And for any of you who would love to see the Playtex Cross You Heart Lady here is the video. At the end they will also show you the Playtex 5 Pounds Thinner Girdle.


 

19 comments:

~Lisa~ said...

Thank you so much for bringing up this topic! It seem that we give "the girls" such little love these days.. Years ago I loved going to Gimbel's department store where I could get properly fitted.. The store is long gone and so I'm wearing what I "think" I need.... Thank you for sharing the calculator! I'd be interested in whether what I "think" is what I am!

Linda said...

You can do it Sandy. It's amazing how much better you'll look with a really good bra. I know you're in CA, so it may not help but a nicer department store (like Nordstrom)is usually a good mix of nice bras and competent people to help you.

Darlin1 said...

I love Victoria Secret for bra's---and just like you I need some new ones right now! They are very helpful and yes you might need to try quite a few on----but then you can get several in different colors. They are a little more money but well worth it!

From my girls to yours--GOOD LUCK!!!!

Darlin1 said...

One More thing---I think you need to go to the store. Buying on line is a crap shoot!

amandakiska said...

I went to JC Penney's and had them measure me. There were several older ladies working in the bra department.

Libby said...

Oh Sandy, I swear they still have the matronly ladies at Macys and some of the other department stores. I feel your pain. I am sure that I am no longer wearing the right size but I've lost the will to find out what it is.

Jacquie said...

I too finally went to Dillards and had the woman measure me...with my bra on! anyway, I had been wearing a 38 C...once she measured me I am now in a 34 D! Whoa! Forget the white bra, she talked me into beige and black lace. I bought 4 bra's total and love them! Good luck!

Drazil said...

I never had a nice bra until Jenny forced me into Victoria Secret and then she just stood taking pics of me. Horrifying I tell you but man I laughed so hard.

Bonnie said...

I hope to have the courage to get measured after I lose some more weight. I am praying that I don't lose much more from my boobs or there won't be anything to measure. :)

Band-Babe said...

I just took my BOSS bra shopping. She's a 44C also... not easy to find in stores. Do you have Macy's by you? I know everyone hates Lane Bryant, but their bra selection and quality are actually good. My non-plus sized but big boobed daughter (she did not get that from me) actually bought some at Lane Bryant when I took my boss. A terrific bra will make you feel like a new woman. Do NOT buy one at Wal-Mart. Target's Gilligan & O'Malley brand is actually not too bad. Victoria's Secret is the favorite, but they don't care much over a 36 or 38 in their stores. I don't know what they carry online past that, but it's probably worth checking. If you're confident in you online sizing... just go grab a bunch to try on (sans snooty little sales girl)- they key is trying on. Even if one is the right "size"- there will be different cuts and styles that will look and feel good. Bras need both of those! Can you tell I'm passionate about this subject??? If I were closer, I'd go with you!

Annie said...

I have to say that getting professionally measured is the way to go. I did so a few months ago at LB- I am at the begining, so I am still in plus sizes, but the girl was helpful and picked out some bras for me, that have made a huge difference. I am wearing a LB padded jammy, and I get compliments on how nice the "girls" look! Get measured. Try Norstrom, as suggested! The customer service can't be beat!

Good luck!

Gen said...

This post is hilarious! I considered it a major NSV when I finally let the VS salesgirl measure me. It was totally not the number I thought I would be getting - I lost weight and yet my cup size went UP (but band size went down). If you think you can fit into 36 or 38 (and if you are a C I bet you can) try going to VS. Do not think of it as only for young girls! You deserve to be sexy and well supported! ;)

Gen said...

P.S. I just did that bra size converter thing and it was totally wrong for me. I think you really need to go in and try some on or get fitted! You are brave and strong, you can do it!!!! Support the girls!

Robin said...

I agree with many. Do not go to Walmart. Go to a good department store (The Bay?) and have them measure you. Tell the woman what appeals to you (or what you wear) and they will bring you choices! I've been measured 3 times on this journey and each time I'm surprised and pleased by the care and good ideas (and the smaller sizes) that I'm provided.

Donut Butt said...

Guilty!! - I'm wearing a Playtex 18-hour cross your heart bra right now. I'm also sporting the folds and puckers as a side-effect of the shrinking girls. I guess I need to take your advice and go shopping. Thanks Sandy for the awesome post!!!

Lee Ann said...

Do not--I repeat---DO NOT go to Walmart. I love Walmart, don't get me wrong. That is a great place for groceries, deodorant, etc. It is NOT a place for lingerie. Do. Not. Do. It.

Go to Nordstrom. I don't know if other places train people in how to measure for bras. Oprah swears by them. I swear by them. They know what they are doing. You would think that Victoria's Secret does---but they don't. At least not with me. Nordstrom can work miracles. When I heard Oprah tooting Nordstrom's horn a few years ago and telling us women that we were wearing the WRONG SIZE, I was smug and thought, "not me," but I went anyway. Wow, I walked in wearing a 38DD and walked out wearing a 36DDDD. I looked ten pounds lighter--at least. Even my husband noticed as soon as he came home---without me saying anything. He said, "You look slimmer." Just do it!!!!

Amber said...

Hey, I nominated you for an award. Come check it out on my blog.

Joey said...

Ha ha ha! You CAN do this. A good bra truly is a miracle.

Please oh please come to San Diego and I'll take you. If not, we are definitely going to Intimacy on the next boobs trip.

I highly doubt you are a 44.

Honestly, I just want your undies to fit. Let's start with that. Baby steps.

I dare you to wear one of those "long line" bras!

Jamie said...

I too, am not plus sized but need bigger bras and went to Lane Bryant On Monday. They were on sale and I found ones I like. I'd been putting off getting new ones for months now and had been considering Lane Bryant. My decision was a good one.

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