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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

You Can't Teach an Old Bra New Tricks

I hate shopping for bras. Really really hate it. A couple weeks ago I took notice that the undergarments intended to provide me with "support" were no longer very supportive. Four years. That's how long it's been since I purchased new bras. Yeah. Bra shopping is a major undertaking as far as I'm concerned, and a total science project whereby a person has to have some knowledge of various scientific topics such as gravity, aerodynamics, and textiles.

So I walked into the local big name department store and straight to the over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders (pebble-holders, perhaps?). I stood in awe of the rows and rows of options before me, and I was immediately exasperated. This task is always hard enough for me, and MORE choices do not necessarily make it any easier. I took a deep breath and dove into the forest of cups and elastic of every shape color and pattern. I made it through the first couple rows rather quickly as it was obvious none of those would do; they were clearly for those who are more endowed than I. If I had wandered into this section by accident, I would have thought this was the perfect place to buy my next bowling ball bag.

When I got out of the boobs-are-us section, I finally began seeing some potential options. I began feeling fabric, stretching straps, and squeezing cups (and I hadn't even made it to the dressing room yet!) I held up random specimens and examined the picture of the model on the tags. "If only!" I thought to myself and dreamed that the right bra could actually make my own pair look like that. I read the sales pitches on the tags that were intended to convince patrons why they should buy that particular bra instead of any of the other 3,500 there were to choose from. "Smooth fit" sounded pretty good. Who wants bumpy boobs? "Convertible" sounded too much like "topless" to me. "Barely there" sounded good at first, and then I realized I already have that going for me. "Push up" reminded me too much of a drill sergeant saying, "drop and give me twenty", and "air lift" sounded like the emergency medics were coming to save my life (which may have been the better of my options at this point!) My eyes then fell on something that I had never seen before. "No more back fat!" the tag read. Back fat, huh? I was just talking about this phenomenon with a friend the other day. It was in context of pushing 40 and discovering fat on our bodies in places we didn't think about having fat ever before. Thinking I might need some back magic, I added it to the tangled mess of bras that were accumulating in my arms.

Seriously. How many ways can a garment be "re-invented"? I ruled out the ones with the paper thin cups (no need to tell the entire world when you're feeling chilly), and I ruled out the heavily padded ones that make your pals feel like you've attempted to wrap a mattress around them. I ruled out the leopard prints and super lacy ones. After trying on the first 20, I chose NONE of them and left the dressing room tangled in a mess of cups and elastic and those silly little hangers on which you can never get the bra to hang right again after trying it on. Suddenly the stretched out, four-year- old bra that I walked in with didn't seem so bad, and I was tempted to put it back on, sigh a satisfied "just right!" and go on about my life as if the previous hour of bra masquerading had never happened. I suddenly felt like the Bernstein Bear in my son's "Old Hat New Hat" book who walked into the hat shop with his old beat up, worn out hat and tried to shop for a new one. After trying on everything in the store, including that which borders on the inane and ridiculous, he spied the old beat up hat he walked in with, snatched it up and placed it back on his head with the satisfied exclamation, "Just right!"

In the end, I came home with my first "Wonderbra." I'm not sure it does "wonders" for me, but when I wear the thing, I can almost see a faint hint of cleavage, so I got that going for me. That and the hope that this new "Wonder" baby is my ticket to four more years sans bra shopping.


smiles4u said...

I am so with you on this. It's crazy that there are so many options, styles and what not to pick from, that it makes a person's head spin! It really does make it tempting to walk out empty handed but that just means having to do it all over again another day. No thank you. Glad you found something and didn't have to walk out empty handed and some cleavage to boot!

Zip n Tizzy said...

I'm with you and smiles 4 u.
I hate bra shopping and often just wear my jog bra from costco. The only thing worse than bra shopping, is bra shopping with kids in tow.

Ed said...

Who knew?

Nyssa's Mommy said...

If only they all fit THE SAME. That sucks. I prefer nail polish shopping or recently, baby shopping. There aren't any issue's with those when I shop!

Good look with the wonder!

JBlank said...

I don't want you to think for a minute that us large busted women have all the options. I am not sure who can wear any of the bras in the stores, but I can't. I am a G cup and I order a bra, try it on at home and then pay to send it back. UGGG. I can't stand bra shopping

MGM said...

Smiles4U, I enjoyed my "cleavage" today!

Zip n Tizzy, I only entertained the thought for a split second--of taking the kids with me for this expedition. It's the only thing that could have made this effort even more exasperating!

Ed, you should try bra shopping sometime. Then you'd know!

Nyssa's Mommy, yeah...I couldn't wait to get done with the bra thing and move on to something ELSE! I actually like shopping for pretty much anything else--I even don't mind grocery shopping Every week as much as I mind bra shopping every fourth year! offense, but I had no IDEA those things come in a G cup. Heck, I didn't know that a G cup existed! I've been swimming in the shallow end my entire life! Alas, I've come to realize that we live in a culture targeted to women with "perfect" bodies. The rest of us "normal" women could probably just about reach the point of feeling okay about our bodies if only we could find clothes that fit our "normal" bodies. (yeah...the grapes are a little sour around here)

Anonymous said...

Had to log on for this one after reading the blog and all the comments. It's good to know that I'm not alone in hating the bra-shopping experience. I tend to wear mine as long as possible too, which means that when I do get back to the stores to look again they no longer are making the style I've been wearing. What's up with that??

Dear Husband's Mom :)