I Discover I’m a 36H

By Karen

The other day while wandering through Dillard’s lingerie department, pulling up the straps on my new Soma bamboo 38DDD bra every 10 seconds and trying not to flinch at the underwires’ incessant poking, I noticed cup sizes like F, G, and H.

Just then, a lovely saleswoman named Margaret asked if she could help me.

Could she EVER!!

Margaret measured me and quickly fetched several styles and sizes for me to try on. One size she immediately eliminated was 38DDD.

Turns out I’m a 36H. Now, you’d think an H cup would be HUGE, but it looks smaller than that Soma job. And for the first time in years, the top half of the cup isn’t empty, and there’s no boob bulging out the top, bottom, or sides.

Here are some ways to tell you’re wearing the wrong bra…

  • The straps fall.
  • The “bridge” on an underwire between your breasts doesn’t lie against your chest. I’m guessing 99.9% of you reading right now in underwires have floating bridges.
  • You can hook the bra in front, then spin it around.
  • Your nipples are down by your elbows, or heading there.
  • It rides up when you lift your arms, or your boobs spill out the bottom.

My new Wacoal underwire completely corrals “the girls.” But I’m not happy that it’s so tight overall, I’ve developed a mild case of muffin back. However, my nipples are sitting at mid-upper arm, all my shirts suddenly feel several inches looser, and the bra doesn’t move when I reach for things on top shelves in the kitchen.

Raising the boobage above waist level takes years off, and now I can run without knocking myself unconscious.

But wearing a “nonstandard” bra has downsides (besides being nearly impossible to find)…

  • It’s frightfully expensive – in the $50-75 range. Bra makers say you’re supposed to replace them every 6 months because the elastic goes. At those prices, it’s not bloody likely.
  • The weight is now all on my shoulders, so I’m expecting deep grooves.
  • The higher cut to contain the underarm boobage chafes.

On the other hand, getting out of the damn thing at the end of the day has never felt so wonderful!

I wish I had a time machine so I could go back and skewer on their own underwires the Soma saleslady and all the others I’ve met over the years who cheerily stuffed me into ill-fitting bras and pretended dumpy was my perfect “look.” Shame on them all.

13 Responses to I Discover I’m a 36H

  1. Imabear says:

    LOL – If I couldn’t hook it in the front and spin it around, I’d never get it hooked…

  2. Keri says:

    My bras all fit comfortably now… 40C (a little room at top actually… am I an G in reality??).. Or is my sister’s an H which sounds like bragging a little. Sometimes I think Catsworking makes stuff up her your readership so they can picture Anna Nicole Smith (pre-death)! : ) Well…God bless Margaret at Dillard’s. A well-fitting bra is a terrible thing…not to find while looking for bras.

  3. catsworking says:

    Imabear, your bras are too loose. You could probably go down a band size.

    Keri, I don’t think the cups get bigger in those F,G,H sizes. I think they get fuller. I actually look a lot smaller in the H than I do in a DDD, and it pulls me in so I can button blouses better without gapping.

    And I was stunned when I didn’t have wrinkles in the top of the H cup (it isn’t padded or molded), but filled it up like it’s supposed to be. And everything didn’t sink back to the bottom. They stayed put.

    They always say women wear a band size too big and a cup size too small. I didn’t think the bra was made that could hold the Cali boobs (inside family joke) because they go from neck to waist and 3/4 of the way around the torso, but this bra does. It’s amazing.

    I’m thinking a whole lot of women are stuffing themselves into A-D cups because that’s all that’s in the stores, but it’s the F-H cups that really fit.

    Kind of like the stores being full of size 2-8 clothes when the average woman is a 14.

    It’s men calling the shots from a fantasy land of what they WISH women look like.

  4. Zappa's Mom says:

    If we are all wearing the WRONG sizes,why won’t stores sell us the RIGHT ones? Why is the proper fit the elusive Holy Grail? The bra I’m wearing now (laundry day) is all of the ‘wrongs” you mentioned,yet DC doesn’t have a specialty lingerie store and Macy’s,etc., sell only the standard sizes. What’s a middle-aged girl without a car to do?

  5. catsworking says:

    ZM, I hear ya. The bra situation in this country is beyond ridiculous. Why don’t the Republicans do an investigation? Somehow they’ll manage to link it to Obama and have another reason to impeach him.

    Before I realized Dillard’s carries the odd sizes, I was going to try Blythe in the West End. That’s the only odd-size store I know of in Richmond.


    Do you have Nordstrom’s up there? I bet they have them, too, but they’d be pricey.

    Maybe you should plan a train trip down here. We could hit Dillard’s and maybe do the Williamsburg outlets, if you’re game.

  6. Christie and Obama’s “bromance” is bupkis compared to your “bramance.”

  7. catsworking says:

    Excellent, Suzanne! My “bramance” with Margaret. Love at first sight.

  8. Zappa's Mom says:

    I’d love to do the outlets-then our “bramance” can be a three-way!

  9. catsworking says:

    ZM, if you want to take a trip down here, email me and we can try to plan something.

  10. Trisha says:

    I’m as flat as Mila Jovovich (http://www.fashionmagazine.com/blogs/fashion/2013/05/21/best-dressed-cannes-2013-red-carpet/attachment/milla-jovovich-prada-cannes-2013-2/)

    so any discussion women ever have about their breasts and how to properly support them just leaves me wondering what it’s like to actually have something with weight to it on one’s chest. When I get a mammogram they have half my ribs and lung in the machine. 😦 One technician actually needed a spatula to do me – yes, a spatula. Luckily I found a technician who trained in Chinatown so she has special skills lol. Try finding a bikini top that doesn’t gape open with the slightest arm movements bc you have nothing to put in it. wah!

    Sooo, anyone see Peru episode? I figured he wouldn’t repeat M.Picchu, but a whole hour plugging his ridic expensive choco bars? C’mon. The best part was seeing him almost die getting up that hill lol.

    PS I hope Eric Rippert has more personality in the ‘good vs evil’ shows than he did in this epi. If you can’t come up with funny commentary while looking at porno pottery, I’m not sure you should be on TV. I still need to check out his restaurant, but it’s always booked when I want to go.

  11. catsworking says:

    Trisha, that IS flat! Count your blessings. You can always button your blouses.

    I’ve got a mammogram coming up soon, and I’m wondering how it will be now that I’ve lost a good foot in the boob area (can you picture that?). In the good old days, my nipples were practically hanging off the far end of the platform.

    Interesting about the bikinis because they all look so flat and tiny to me, I figuring gapping wouldn’t be a problem. I haven’t worn a 2-piece since I was about 20. My problem with bathing suits is that they ALL come with these pathetic little jokes for bra support (even the largest size suits have maybe B cups in them — WHAT are they thinking?) that barely cover your nipples. The boobage drifts down around your waist. Not a pretty sight.

    I did see the Peru episode and I was worried about Bourdain making it up that hill. He was looking kind of gray in the face. It was interesting to hear his take on the bars and how Ripert got him into the business. I always wondered whose idea that was. Unless they’re planning another batch with the next harvest, I think the bars are sold out.

    When Ripert’s with Bourdain, he does seem to fade into the woodwork. But he has had his own show on PBS called Avec Eric where he was very good. Does anybody know if those are still being made?

    Bourdain’s Mind of a Chef series on PBS has been renewed, and he’s featuring 2 chefs I’ve never heard of, so he’s branching out beyond the usual suspects.

  12. trisha says:

    “they all look so flat and tiny to me, I figuring gapping wouldn’t be a problem”

    Well gaping wouldn’t be a problem without padding, but without the padding it’s like a little boy wearing a bikini top. These days I stick with bandeau tops – no gaping problems and I can put the ‘chicken cutlet’ foam thingies in. I like 2 pieces so I can do the ‘quick change’ in public (basically remove the top (or for that matter, the bottom) from under my t-shirt or towel and either replace it with a dry one or just go commando). When you have nothing, no one notices.

    Interesting about Eric R., I’ll have to catch his show. He seems like a nice guy (for a fro-, er, Frenchman lol). After watching I am glad I’m skipping Lima on my upcoming trip. I was told it’s a ‘big ugly dirty city’ and yep seemed that way on CNN.

    I’ve heard of April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig. She was on one of AB’s shows and he was effusive in his praise for her. The menu there is basically a zoo so I won’t be visiting.

  13. catsworking says:

    The last time I bought a two piece a few years ago, the top billowed out when I got into the water, revealing the ugliness underneath. That never happens in a one-piece.

    And tankinis, which you see everywhere now, forget it. I’ve tried them on, and they never look like the women wearing them in the ads. They’re always too tight and short on top, so you have this nice pasty life-preserver roll sticking out between the pieces. (Of course, I haven’t tried any since I lost weight, but I have bad flashbacks.)

    I was glad Bourdain’s second chef for PBS wasn’t Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune. I figured for SURE she would be next because he thinks she’s interesting, and she’s certainly weird enough.

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