I hate buying bras. I hate buying them online because they never fit right and I dread buying them in stores because I don’t have (or want to make) the time to get naked at the mall and try on a bunch of uncomfortable pieces of underwear while wishing I could have a do-over at this whole woman thing.
I just want to buy a bra that fits, is comfortable, and looks visually appealing, and move on with my life! Why is that so hard for my boobs to understand?!
I suppose it’s the complexity and variety of bras that overwhelms me. I’ve never been very good at buffets; an over-abundance of choices just shuts me down. Who can choose between spaghetti or waffles? Same logic applies to lingerie.
But unfortunately, I’m in dire need of some new bras. I had a baby 8 months ago and now my boobs are total strangers to me. They’re bigger than I could imagine, completely unmanageable and what’s worse is that they’ve left me for someone else. Someone who poops their pants, has two jagged baby teeth, and has the magical powers to engorge me with a simple whimper. And now I’m knee-deep in completely inadequate saggy boob bras.
So I accept my fate and head to the mall.
I’m fortunate enough that I can usually find a bra that fits me in stores, but finding it is like embarking on the quest for the Holy Grail, and by the time I finally locate it, the only treasure left is beige. It’s also quite possible I’m in bra size denial and should be banished to the interwebs with all my big-boobed sister friends — but like I said, I’m in denial about it, so I guess I’ll never know.
It probably doesn’t help that I pretend to understand bra sizing, but fundamentally just don’t. It’s likely someone who’s a fitting specialist will try to teach me in the comments, but I’ll just nod like I understand with intermittent, “Oh, I see” and “Now that makes sense!” sprinkled in.
The truth is, the fact that a 36 DD feels the same as a 34 DDD will never speak truth into my heart. Speaking of DDD, is that actually an F? What happened to E? Oh, is an E a DD? Why do we keep doubling and tripling the Ds!? Do I not understand because I failed algebra or is this just some giant hoax men are playing on women?
When it comes to trying the damn thing on, I always get flushed and stressed like I’m menopausal with a hot flash coming on. Out of all the bras I pick to try on, maybe one or two will fit and they will definitely be the ugly ones.
It only gets worse as the bra specialists get aggressive and want to come in my dressing room and won’t drop it when I say, “No, it’s cool. I’m fine. No seriously, I’m good.” I can tell they want to help me find the perfect bra and they don’t think I know what I’m doing and they’d be right, because I don’t.
But I want to not know what I’m doing in private — is that too much to ask?
Yes, it is. They want to measure me, then they want me to try on a bunch of bras I don’t like. Then they want to look at me with the dressing room door wide open while I’m just standing there in a bra and an awkward half smile on my face. What am I supposed to do with my arms?
The possibility for bra failures are endless. Will there be side meat? A triple boob in the center? Are the straps too big? Too small? Are the hooks on the back holding on for dear life? If I bend over will they fall out like a couple cantaloupes from a grocery sack? Is the underwire already trying to poke through to ruin my life?
Whenever the specialist is finally convinced she’s found me the perfect bra, I never like the way it fits, ever. Probably because I’ve grown accustomed to wearing bras two sizes too small most of my life.
You can take the girl out of her ill fitting full coverage bra, but you can’t take the ill-fitting full coverage bra out of the girl.
But I feel pressured and her perm-smile is starting to creep me out so I buy her perfect bra and then put back on my trusty ill-fitting one and return the stupid thing later.
So now I guess I’m left right where I started — a few sad bras clinging to any sense of dignity they may have left and a pipe dream that somewhere in the universe my bra soulmate is waiting for me to find it.
Did I mention that bra shopping is the worst?