Saturday, June 20, 2009

Calling an E and E

SPOILER ALERT: I'm going to complain about having big breasts. DO NOT post comments about how I shouldn't complain because you always wished for bigger ones. That's your problem.

Actually it's mostly bras I'm going to complain about.

But before we go any further, an auxiliary rant.


Now back to original (bra) tirade.

Before we even get to the problem of bra shopping, there is the issue of measuring. Measuring yourself for a bra is only easy if one's breasts are a)reasonably sized, b) newly hatched, or c) plastic. To measure a large, gravity afflicted bosom, one needs to be wearing a well-fitted bra.

Chicken and egg thing.

So what you really need is a good friend, a blackmailable friend, who can stop laughing long enough to measure you whilst you support your own breasts in a position approximating where you want them to fall while wearing the Theoretical Bra. Yes I said fall. Pay attention.

Alternatively, husbands and boyfriends are very obliging when asked to serve as what I affectionately call the Living Bra, but their minds wander.

Theoretical bra size in hand -- wait, let's talk about the whole sizing thing. Lingerie manufacturers appear to have the literacy skills of preschoolers. After the letter D the little dears get very confused. They start doubling letters randomly.

Or maybe they're size pleats. I don't know.

Anyway after D comes DD. Usually. Most brands reserve the full weight of ponderous E for the next size, which should logically or at least alphabetically be F. Then they throw in DDD, or EE, or F, or whatever. Bra sizes in this range are sort of like the more esoteric domains of particle physics, where the likelihood of practical consequences is so low that noone understands or even gives a damn how the grant money is spent.

Now the shopping part.

It goes like this.

I see a little lace confection, and then I look for my size...

Bras, for some reason, are displayed with the smallest sizes on the top hooks and the largest at the bottom. At least they are where I shop, which is admittedly low-rent.

If my size is represented, it is at floor level. To find it, I have to get down on my knees, occasionally on my stomach. I am 5'8" and 160 lbs, so this is not a comfortable or dignified position. Thanks to yoga it's still possible.

With my arm fully extended to the back of the rack , I find the tag I seek and bring it forth into the light -- and recoil.

No. Way.

The cups are the lingerie equivalent of big floppy clown shoes. I double check the tag. Yes, way. Now to put on the bra. (In the dressing room. Trust me.) A little guidance as to technique.

Slide the straps onto your arms. Lean forward until you are hanging upsidedown from the waist. Manuever stuff into the cups with the help of gravity. While upsidedown, bring the band around your back and secure the row of hooks -- 3 is the minimum, six is best -- before returning to an upright position. Again the usefulness of yoga is proven.

Stand in front of the mirror and shove a hand in each cup to adjust alignment. Check for containment around the periphery. Put on heels and practice keeping your balance.

Am I whining? Yes. Will this kill me? No. Do I secretly enjoy having cleavage? Yes, of course. There had better be some compensation for this kind of annoyance.


  1. I'm assuming the "spoiler" is directed at... well, me. Tell you what, little miss I'm so opressed, find yourself a good running bra (the support is much better than most Wal Mart brands and they hook in the front) and then go have some cheese.

  2. Breasts like the you's, must be covered by exotic lingerie, I think you'd see very well.

  3. Just for the record, it's not the screenwriters who are obsessed with boobs, it's the directors.

  4. Matt -- granted, but directors take the pictures. It's screenwriters who write the WORDS, and the words are what's wrong. A 42B is a really big woman with fairly small breasts. Someone like Pamela Anderson is about a 30DD -- tiny ribcage (30" circumference)and 38" or more circumference around the pinatas.
    It would be acceptable to say that she has a 38" bust measurement, but if the bra size is given, they rarely get it right. A bra size is a ratio, and the number is not the bust measurement.

    So, what's your latest project?

  5. I don't put my bra on like that. I put my bra on by hooking it in front (I only wear bras that hook in back, because I have a small bosom and the ones that hook in front seem dumb) and sliding it around and then putting my arms through the straps, pulling the cups into position.

    My youngest daughter, when two, watched me do this and with a very skeptical air told me "I don't put MY bra on that way!" Only for some reason she called it "braller" and of course, she didn't have one.

    I would not post about this on my blog, so I share this story with you here. I'm sorry about your troubles, though. Bra makers are mostly incompetent, as far as I can tell by their products...

  6. you could always hook it first and then stick your arms through. there's no bending required