Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bra Shopping - Flashbacks to Middle School Me

Posted By: Leah

Bra shopping.  A big pile of suck, if you ask me.

Do you remember when you were young, maybe in the 3rd or 5th grade or when it was ‘almost’ time to buy your first bra, but not quite? You would walk past the lingerie section in the department store and it would seem so… scandalous? Bras of every color, long silky nightgowns with robes, little lace teddies and… thongs! It was all so exciting and mysterious. Up until the day it is time to go get (gasp) measured for your first bra.

Oh the humiliation! I’m not sure what makes a department store employee an official ‘bra measurer’ but it’s always the littlest old lady they have. And then somehow your mom always gets final ‘say’ in which bras you get to take home. Nothing too sheer, lacy, with underwire, or colorful. Your first real bra is almost always a plain white set of triangles with some hooks and straps. Not very sexy.

And it’s fine. That first bra hardly has anything to fill it and you are constantly having to pull it DOWN. Remember those days? When your bra would sneak up over your boobs? Your next bra is always the one you buy at the mall with your girlfriends. You somehow get enough cash for your birthday or at Christmas and can afford to go to the flagship of bra stores… Victoria’s Secret. It’s a beautiful rainbow of colors, lace and textures. Forget that cotton PINK business, you’re going for the push-up sexy stuff. In a 32A of course.
From there, everyone’s bra story is a little different. I was convinced at any time I would land myself in a situation where a cute boy would be seeing my bra. I had some very specific requirements for my bra, just so the imaginary boy would not see it and go running away. I knew the straps had to be thin. Not those weird wide ones like my mom had. And there couldn’t be too many hooks. One set was ideal, two was okay but there was NO WAY I would ever get a bra that had three clasps.

And the padding. I was blessed in high school by the boob fairy, so I went from an A to a C in a matter of months. The #1 most important thing was that no one EVER NEVER EVER would ‘know I was cold’ if you catch what I’m saying. My bras HAD to be padded. Not push-up, but padded so I could hang out in a walk-in freezer and no one would be the wiser of my internal body temperature.

Somehow these ‘bra rules’ have stuck with me through the years. The only thing to really have changed was my color requirements. I used to have all sorts of coordinating bras to match my outfits. Then I realized that if you wear beige you can wear anything else. White shirt, black shirt, sheer shirt, whatever! So unfortunately for whatever guy was in my life, my bras went from fun and colorful, to beige and boring. Remember the facebook status thing a few years back where all the girls updated their status to their bra color? Yeah… I of course had on beige that day. But I called it ‘taupe’ or something equally J.Crew-ishly sophisticated.

If you’ve had a child, or know anything about anatomy at all, you know that after kids your boobs get… well… weird. What they say about deflated balloons is real… and I didn’t even breastfeed. I can only imagine what they would be like if my child had taken to the boob. Regardless, bra shopping changes. I didn’t know if I needed to go up a cupsize, up a band size, down a cupsize, etc. When Gav was about two and I was having an ‘extra skinny’ year, I took him with me to good old Victoria’s Secret to be measured. Again. I had gone from my comfortable 36C to a 34D. Not a bad thing, I thought.

But as time passes, as it always seems to do, those bras wore out and it's time for new ones. When I first started dating my boyfriend last year (we are all adults here, yes I’m 32 and yes he’s seen me in a bra). He requested I get some new ‘fun color’ bras. Vicky’s was having their semi-annual sale so I scored quite a few in what I thought was my size in all sorts of wild metallic animal prints, etc. unfortunately none of them worked out. I wore one of the new ones when meeting his family for the first time (with a shirt over it of course!) And BF pulled me aside to say my boobs were muffin-topping over my bra and it was noticeable. I blamed him and his ‘forcing me’ to get Victoria’s secret bras, because clearly I was beyond that store size-wise.

My mom had invested a ton of money at Soma (it’s Chico’s lingerie store or something). None of them worked out for her, but they fit me great. She also had gotten some ‘uplifting’ bras at a Woman’s Show and passed them on to me too. These have lasted me… that is… until now.

Wearing the same 4 bras on repeat (and lets be serious, I only really wear the ONE beige one), it has gotten pretty gross. The elastic in the straps is shot, there is weird fuzz on the cups from going through the washer a million times. And I think my boyfriend just tries to ignore the whole gross bra situation. He knows he’ll be stuck with muffin-boob-top girl again that’s worse than a fuzzy old bra. 

So today, while Gavin was at his dad’s, I took myself bra shopping. I knew I would have to try on quite a few to get what I wanted… but I had no idea how many. Six. Not six bras, six trips to the fitting room with between 5 and 10 bras each trip. And none of them were working. I tried on every size, brand, and style. I did not want to deal with a sales woman. I am an adult, I can figure out what size I need… you’d think.
Oh, and don’t think my ‘rules’ you know, my middle and high school self rules didn’t apply. I would only try on bras with 2 or less hooks, thin straps and with padded cups. And yes, beige ones took priority.

I tried on bras, and tried and tried and tried. Finally, I discovered Vanity Fair (isn’t that a magazine?) size 38C is what is working for me. There’s no spillage, no boobs looking too big and hiding under my arms, no weird back rolls. Oh and only a certain style of Vanity Fair 38C. It’s called the ‘Softest Bra Ever.’ I mean it’s as soft as any other bra… but all I knew is it fit.

SO here’s the point in the post where you guys are thinking I’m going to post a photo of myself in a well-fitting bra. Sorry you guys, it’s not going to happen. But what I can show you is the bras that I did pick out. I got a kind-of fun black animal print and a basic ivory color.
And there was no beige in my size in site L

Wearing a bra that fits your body is an amazing thing. You look leaner, more put together, and it’s a good feeling! I will have to go back for a beige bra soon. I’m not sure I will survive without one. But I know what I need to do. Toss the old fuzzy one in the trash. BF will thank me and my boobs will thank me. 


  1. LOVE this. Bra shopping is the absolute worst. I've always had big boobs and one of the best days was going to Victoria's Secret recently and DOWNSIZING. My bra's fit way better now; it makes a world of difference to just spend the time with an associate going through tons of them. But I was the girl in 7th and 8th grade that everyone thought stuffed her bra. Stupid boobs.

  2. OMG I'm the exact same way. Beige, beige, beige. That's all. You can wear it under ANYTHING. I only buy my bras and underwear from Vickys though. Nothing else can stand up to my wear and tear. Haha

  3. This cracks me up! I'm so boring in the bra department. I find one that I love and that's it. I try to be fun, I do, but I always resort back to the same old one.

    Vicky's was great when I was pregnant with Mia and I didn't know what to do with my new boobies and I will still always buy my bras there.

    Good tip on Vanity Fair though!

  4. Hahaha Leah, I just love you. I seriously relate - well, to a degree, to everything you said. In High School I was blessed...and then blessed...and then blessed some more by the boob fairy. I never ever experienced the whole bra-having-to-be-pulled-down-because-it-had-gone-right-over-the-mosquito-bites thing because I think the only time I had small enough boobs for that was when I was 2 years old. For cereal. I had bad, horrible, embarrassing boob experiences in High School and there were many occasions where I cried myself to sleep because I HATED my ginormous chest. But now, in my mid 20s and at the point in my life where I just don't give a damn what other's think of me, I've learned to love(ish) my body, be thankful for what God has blessed me with and invest in some damn good push up bras to support these bad boys. Over the years it's always been hard to buy the 'cool' bras with 'fancy'colors and prints in a size 32DD - and even at Victoria's Secret I was always stuck with the massive strapped 3 hooker. But thankfully things have advanced ever so slightly in the bra department and I can now get the 'lacy sexy red' number (although they're about as comfortable as getting stabbed with pins). It never fails though, my favorite and the one I wear to death (...and am perhaps wearing today) is always the 'nude' one. Like you said it goes with EVERYTHING.

    Great post, lovely. You made me laugh on multiple occasions. I'm sorry I wrote a NOVEL, but boobs are something near and dear to my heart (quite literally) and I just had to share my experiences. Happy Thursday!! xoxo

  5. Dang, I'm going to have to try VS again after hearing all these good reviews. Maybe they make a good 'full coverage' bra that will work for me, not fit like a turtleneck, and also not cost over $60! Except I guess for a really good bra, it's worth it!

  6. You seriously just took me on a trip down the most awkwardly fabulous memory lane! Also, I need to bust out of my beige kick... you know, when I'm actually forced to wear a bra. lol. ;)

  7. LOVE this! Seriously...I'm in the beige bra slump of my life. I need some more color!!

  8. I feel your pain Leah. I travel to Atlanta to buy bras. Sounds extreme but it's necessary. It's a store called My Intimacy. It's amazing and they have pretty bras in all big girl sizes. I think the boob fairy sprinkled a little too much dust on me.

    1. Oh yeah! Amy, I need to check it out for sure next time I'm in the area. And you totally left me the link on IG. I'm checking it out as soon as I leave work (stupid firewalls blocking 'porn' LOL little do they know bra-shopping is the most un-sexy thing ever lol).

    2. Check the locations, they may have one close to where you are going in Cali. I know, bra shopping while on vacation doesn't sound so amazing but I promise you this place is the BEST!

  9. I actually never buy bras from Vicky's, I only have one, that my now husband bought me when we were dating. I actually get a lot of my bras from H&M since they carry small sizes :) Right now it's hard for me to wear bras b/c I'm still breastfeeding and depending on when I've last nursed/pump my boob size can change 1-2 cup sizes in a matter of hours! haha.

  10. Hilarious post, I think we can all relate. The dreaded trips to the fitting rooms with arms full of bras, to find NONE work! I finally had success this past fall at VS, and bought like 5 of the same bra - black & nude of course, but threw in some fun colors too.

  11. Haha, we've all been there. I still hate shopping for bras, it's a total pain in the ass.

  12. You are very inspiring dear.I just discovered your blog and really like it.! I just shared my Clozette Fashion Finds on my blog. If you have a minute, I would love to hear your comment.
    Also, let me know if you want us to follow each other. I will definitely follow you back...

    Blow a Rainbow
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    O.X.Y.G.E.N.on Facebook
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    Blow a Rainbow on Tumblr


  13. that cupcake bra is so katy perry and lovely!

    happy friday! come say hi at :)

  14. I am dying over the cupcake bra! OH MY GOSH! LOVE IT :) hahah

    Oh and I have been having problems with my google account, but it let me follow your blog via twitter through your GFC, who knew you could even do that?!

  15. Love the cupcake bra!! (:

    You totally went shopping at Kohl's, didn't you?!

    Glad you found some winners!!

  16. Great post! Victoria's Secret bra's tend to work best for me though (the cotton PINK ones) lol I have those four rotating ones that you mentioned earlier ("taupe", black, pink/black, yellow/black and a black or brown for days I don't need straps - very rarely). I made the upgrade to buying what was best for me (lets face it - i need push up lol) after my best friends sister commented saying that my bra didn't look very "supportive." #EmbarrassingMoment

  17. This made me laugh so much because it is all SO true! Love it!

  18. i hate bra shopping too!!! I almost consider a boob job every time i go!!


  19. Just found your blog and I love it already!

    I hate bra shopping! If I thought I could breastfeed this next kid through duct tape, I'd tape them down like pancakes!

  20. i HATE bra shopping!! I have no idea what to wear for the wedding dress so I just grabbed my tan strapless one for dress fitting.. I get mine from target.. so crazy how we MUST have a bra yet I think EVERY woman hates shopping for them!! & I agree a Tan bra is the BEST to go with EVERYTHING..

  21. I have been wearing these bras for the past 15 years, they are supportive enough for a 38 D and breathe when you're hot. They last really well too. I love to buy bali minimizer bras


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