Of Boobs and Bras: in which a well fitting, flattering undergarment that costs less than my first car, is as elusive as a kosher ham. 

Men friends? Look away. There are some things that should remain part of the feminine mystique. Or read on- maybe you’ll understand the insanity that is women’s underwear. If so, let it make you empathetic, not creepy. Carry on.

Can we talk bras and boobs, for just a moment?

It’s January. For some weird reason every January I look in my bra drawer and the scales fall away from my eyes and I recognize it’s truly pathetic condition. 

We’re talking dilapidated. Elastic with out “elas.” Fabric discolored due to my laziness in sorting. (Jeans and bra? They’re both mine- hence they are a load. I know I know. But life is too short for sorting: all the things.)  There are underwires poking out like pieces of rebar at a demolition site. The wires that aren’t showing their penchant for skewering me- are crimped into satiny paper airplane type shapes. These,  I repeatedly unfold and re shape on the counter top every time I put them on. Yes, by January, dressing requires a degree in metallurgy. And an anvil. FYI-A hair dryer can be used to heat the metal to re form like an unlucky horse shoe when necessary. You’re welcome for that tip. You won’t find that on Pinterest. (Just let them cool down before wear.  Don’t ask how I know. Just saying.) 

If my bra drawer were a building it would be condemned.

The problem is: it happens every year. It doesn’t matter who’s “secret” I uncover for replacements, or whether I have a “fitting.” (Which is slightly more painful than a mammogram and twice as expensive.) by April the scales reform and I pretend it’s not a disaster area until the following January. I’ve been tempted to put up caution tape. 

And then I start again.

Here’s the thing: I do not believe an adult woman should not have to enter a dressing room and be shown, once again, how to shimmy her way into a ” well fitted bra.” Just. No.  

For the in-experienced (and probably still perky, bless your heart.) This involves: bending at the waist, while unclothed, in a fluorescent cubicle lined with mirrors. All the while being coached how to properly place ones boobs into bra- right position. A combination of gravity and yoga. In my opinion, this should be considered an act of terrorism. After three children, weight fluctuations and life frustrations, I no longer care about bra- correct position. I’m just going for: “keep them from dragging behind me, and point in somewhat the same direction” position. 

In my dreams this would happen without fear of underwire skewering (shish ka boob is a thing. It’s not a good thing.)  and without looking like I have a uniboob to match my unibrow. I’d also like an option that’s padded for modesty and not pillows for airflight double duty type bras. Seriously? Can there not be something between padded to my eyeballs and nipples gone wild? Just a little oomph, hold the oompha- loompa on my chest look? Cute would also be nice but function over form is my bra- motto. Oh,  and I try to avoid the bullet boob look. Just in general. Jean Harlow and madonna can keep that. Kthnx. I’d also like to be able to continue feeding my family. “Mac and cheese until we pay off moms bra loan” is not a popular refrain around the table. Especially since I have all boys. They prefer to pretend I don’t have boobs. I’m barely a female in their eyes. It’s for their own mental health. I’m ok with that.

Apparently,  I’m asking too much. 

I’ve tried the: get fitted then order cheaper bras online trick. It doesn’t work. 1) bras are made for women and thus are sized to be a guessing game/ bait and switch by manufacturers. 36 ddd? Not in our bra. You’re a 48ffff here- surprise! And 2)  no returns if you remove tags. (Why would I add one more danger to this process? Puhleeze. A paper cut from a bra tag? Who wants to end up in the er having to explain that? I’ll take the return fail risk option, thank you very much.) I’ve tried personal boob trainers. I’ve tried just buying what’s on clearance at Target and going for the best. Honestly? Equal results. A drawer full of misshapen misfits that take frump to a whole new level.

Since the only small thing left on me is me feet- I’ve also tried minimizing bras. These are truly horribly mangling things that are the fabric equivalent of a walking mammogram. Only your breasts end up under your armpits. Which is warm for them in the winter, but kind of shocking to both woman and breast when they’re loosed at the end of a day. I’d posit they could also be dangerous to small to medium pets if they like to pester you while changing. (Pets are the parent of adult children’s toddlers. Just sayin. Under feet. And loved. But must be sheltered from bra removal time.) also: stand clear of breakable items. There’s a lot of kinetic energy locked up in there. 

Of course, there are “comfort” bras. They are kind of like panties for your hooters. They are comfy, but that whole uniboob thing is not just a risk, it’s a reality with these. They are the equivalent of spanx made of clouds. Pointless. Useless. Except for sleeping. Which, because I am of the age where I could easily be awakened by that “lump” I was sleeping on under my back, which ends up being a breast gone amuck, is something that I find useful. But not for daywear. Ugh.

So here I am. Once again, donning excavator’s gloves to clear out the dangerous condemned bra drawer and heading out to fulfill my mission impossible: comfortable, well fitting, well priced tactical gear for the girls.


Is it just me?

Is this just a big girl thing? (I doubt it. I’ve had this relationship with bras as long as I’ve had breasts. I seem to remember itchy stretchy boob panties way back when as well:() 

We shall not even discuss the underwear drawer. That’s just too complicated and I’m still a little ptsd from the last time I tried to tackle a spanx alternative. 

Peace and comfy bras to you in the new year!

At least in theory.

You know what? Forget it. I’m going shoe shopping instead. Shoes are my friends. They might pinch a little but at least they’re cute and fit.