Sunday, September 26, 2010

Going bra shopping

To the males who read this, I'm going to talk about shopping for underwear.  If you'd like to feel grateful that you never have to measure for, shop for or wear a bra continue on! 


Scott and I instant message thought the day, usually started by me because I like communicating with him during the day. 
Not long ago, he told me "You need to wear a bra.  You're going to be playing soccer with those things soon." 
I was aghast. But, he was right.  I'm almost forty, larger than a B cup and I've nursed two children.  Surgery isn't an option right now.  Beside the financial consideration, I think Will should be a little older so I can lie in bed moaning in a painkiller haze.
I whole heartedly agree with Trinny and Susannah from the U.K show "What Not To Wear" who say you must have the correct foundation garment in order to look your best.  But I've been lax about updating my lingerie.  Why I put off undergarment shopping will be apparent after I tell you the whole song and dance I go through on every bra shopping trip. 
First, there is measuring.  Measuring your self is easy. 
These are the steps as I prefer to perform them:
1.  Wearing you bra, measure around your ribcage, just under your bust.   Round this number up to make an even             number if you need to.  This is the number in the sizing.
2.  Measure around your breasts at the fullest point. 
3.  The difference between these two measurments will determine your cup size using this chart:
A DDD is generally the largest size you can find in most department stores and even plus size stores.  Larger sizes are available online, I've listed a few sites at the bottom.  

I completed all these steps and armed with the information that I was a size 38 or 40 DD I was ready to go.  

But where to go?  Victoria's Secret is out for a woman of my size.  I went to Sears of course.  They carry a generous collection of what I call "lunchroom lady" bras.  Super-structured, under wired, uber supportive with four hooks, which is the style to which my body has evolved.  

Trying on bras is a pain in the ass.  It's time consuming, frustrating and can be physically demanding.  (this point was hammered home when Scott went to pick out underwear after my marathon underwear shopping.  He looked at the back of a package and declared he'd found his size. Grrrrrr!)

It is just a big pain.  Here's what I do:

1. Find the racks with my size.

2. Pull out the styles I like in both a 38 and a 40 DD.  Every brand is sized differently.  It's the same with all women's clothing.  It's not standardized.  

3.  Take a metric ton of bras into the fitting room.

4.  Try on the first one.  Look in the mirror taking in front and side view.  Then check that the band fits underneath my shoulder blades.  

5.  Double check that I've used the first eyes for the hooks.  As the bra stretches I can use the second and third rows of eyes.  

6.  Put blouse on and repeat the front and side view in the mirror.  

7.  Move arms in all directions.  Squirm around, sit down and asses comfort level.  

8. Repeat with the rest of the metric assload of bras. 

This process needs to be repeated regularly as they stretch out and don't fit right anymore.  

Now for Amanda's advice for bras.

Bra shopping is generally done alone just because of how long it takes.  If you have a trusted friend you can bring with you who will tell you if you've got one on that gives you too much of a Jane Russell point, that's great. 

When you find a bra you like, buy multiples.  One in nude and one in black at a minimum.  

As for care, you can opt to machine or hand wash.  But!  Do. Not. Put. Them. In. The. Dryer.  Hang them up!  

The results of a well fitting bra are worth the trouble of all the measuring and shopping.  I was reminded of this when I put my blouse back on in the fitting room.   It puts everything into proportion.  

Now that I have given you all the information, go try on your dainties to see if you need a new one. I'll wait here.

Larger bras:,,, 

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  If you're large busted and sweat under there, put antiperspirant under the girls.  

1 comment:

Valve Spouses said...

When I went to the UK and got sized by the gal at Bravissimo, it was an interesting experience. They don't tape measure you they do it by eyeball and fit. That made a big difference. She said I was a 34 JJ and I asked what she was smoking as I was used to the tape measure method saying I was anywhere from a 38G to a 42H. Well, her method and recommendations made a huge difference! The girls felt and looked better in her size. Anyway, I still can't find a decent sports bra so I still have to wear 2-3 bras at a time, but I'm a convert to the Bravissimo way and their clothes/bras.