Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Wonderbras are not for me

I hate buying bras. Bras are the bane of my clothes shopping trips. Seriously. You'd think that such a common thing as a comfortable brassiere would be easy to find.

Well, maybe if you're a stick-thin model who needs no more than a couple of bandaids to keep things in order, or someone for whom a training bra has been all they ever need.

Deifnitely not for anyone who is endowed with more than a gentle swell of bosom. I fall into the "generous" category, which makes things even more difficult, but even those who are perfectly proportioned often have problems buying a well-fitting bra. The most recent numbers that I've seen have said that up to 70% of women are wearing a bra that is the wrong size (Last year, Oprah has said 85%!) To small, too large, wrong shape, bad support, wrong type.

I can sympathize, having had all of these problems at least once (seriously, a sexy demi-bra is not something anyone over a B cup wants to try. I ended up looking like things were going to explode upwards and someone could have been lost in all that cleavage). The other end of the spectrum is handled by the serious industrial-strength "support bras" for larger sizes, which are anything but sexy and often make you feel as if you're wearing a straightjacket made of spandex (if you're lucky -- most of these serious "foundation garments" have little or no stretch at all). I suppose that voluptuous women could resort to sports bras, which keep everything in place but can result in the monoboob look, or simply resign themselves to sturdy white utilitarian numbers. But that seems very unfair.

It doesn't help that every manufacturer is different, that sizing is not consistent, that there are fourteen ways out there to determine the "perfect" bra size. Numbers and letters abound, and woe to anyone who isn't in the 32B range, unless you want to start spending mega-bucks on your underthings -- and even spending a hundred bucks or more doesn't guarantee that things will fit.

It's funny, really. Every single woman that I've met who is an A-cup or B-cups have waxed yearningly about having breast implants or being a D or DD cup. Every women who has natural D or DD cups (or larger) has sighed and said with feeling that they would rather be smaller. I haven't honestly had the chance to ask many women who have had implants if they are happy with them, or if they would rather have simply perked up what they had.

At any rate, why did this come up all of a sudden? Well, they stopped making the style of bra that I have been wearing for years. I really hate underwires, since I've never been able to find one that doesn' poke and jab, and this style is the only non-underwire bra that I've found that's comfortable and seems to fit well, and now that I need to replace the half-dozen that I have, I can't find them. (I seem to have bad luck with underthings. I find a style I like and they stop making it. Feh.)

Which all leads to the reason for this post -- to point women at HerRoom, which has an absolutely excellent site on bra-fitting. It's not enough to just take a few measurements, they say, there are more variables than that to get a good fit. I was pleasantly surprised to find it, and I've printed out the checklist for when I shop.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Robin. I also refuse to wear an underwire. :-) I printed out the checklist.