I Discover I’m a 36H

May 29, 2013

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.

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Bras: Torture That’s Perfectly Legal

March 21, 2013

By Karen

I was a 46DDD back in June 2012 when I started Weight Watchers®. I’ve since had to replace my bras twice with smaller sizes, and recently started round three.

FYI to 30-something A-C cuppers: In the 40Ds, there’s no such thing as “cheap” bras if you want to look like you’re wearing one. Or pretty bras. Or comfortable bras.

Let’s just say, I’ve lately invested a small fortune in bras.

Catherine’s has wire-free Serenada® bras that were GREAT — but I hit the wall after 42DD.

I thought 40DD was next, but the store didn’t have them, and the clerk told me they don’t exist. She lied; they’re online.

By the tape measure, I’m a 36C, but reality doesn’t support that.

I’ve tried on a range of sizes in Playtex, Olga, Warner’s, Vanity Fair, Bali, Maidenform, you name it. And I discovered there’s ZERO consistency in bra sizing.

And what’s with padded, molded cups everywhere? Am I the only woman who isn’t perfectly round and perky? I can stuff my entire fist into the top of those molded cups with room to spare.

I ended up at Soma, mistakenly thinking they specialized in hard-to-find bra sizes, but they only went to DDD, and their bras are bamboo. You’re not supposed to machine-wash or mash the molded cups for risk of “damaging” them.

All other options exhausted, I got Soma 38DDD, and was advised not to pack them flat, which means buying them their own suitcase.

But the real kicker is that these relatively pricey bras ($30 on sale) have underwire that pokes, straps that won’t stay up (a sure sign of bad fit), enough room in the upper cup for my pedometer although boob bulges out my armpits, they take up my whole bra drawer, and I F**KING HATE THE DAMN THINGS.

I once saw an episode of Oprah where women in the audience learned they were all wearing the wrong size bra, and many ended up happily in G and H cups.

I feel screwed and helpless. I should probably be in a 36G, but there’s no way I’m buying an untried cup size online. Measurement tables are useless. Bra-makers are evidently acting out some sick male fantasy with cup shapes and sizes.

And a lot of women are probably paying through the nose for uncomfortable, ill-fitting bras.

So now I’m hoping that if I stick with WW a while longer, I’ll starve the girls back down to a D cup and have a fighting chance of ever finding a bra that fits.


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