16 September 2007

Hold me now

I can only think of one thing worse than trying on a bathing suit: hunting for a new bra.

As I've mentioned before, I'm sort of a failure as a girl. I play the wrong games, listen to the wrong music, dig in the dirt with my bare hands, and while I buy makeup (I love to buy makeup!), in the last 3 months, I've worn makeup exactly 6 times (though in the six months prior to that, I'd worn it maybe once). So when it comes to foundation garments, I'm rather more interested in the foundation than the garment.

This doesn't make me a candidate for Victoria's Secret.

(I do own a push-up bra. I bought it for an event 3 years ago, but didn't end up wearing it. Actually, I've never worn it because it was, frankly, embarrassing to see all that pushed-up flesh).

I've long worn a particular style of bra from Vanity Fair. It keeps everything where it's supposed to be, it's cotton, it's utilitarian without being hideous, and it's comfortable. I have about a dozen, and I recently realized they were all starting to fall to bits.

So I wandered off to get more.

There weren't any.

A quick Google search revealed that Vanity Fair had discontinued my bra.

Heresy.

I still can't think why they'd do this. It was the perfect bra!

Anyway, this added an additional load to my already overloaded mind: find a new dishwasher, find a new style of bra. Suffice to say I was a lot more worried about the bra (and still haven't got a new dishwasher, which is making the spouse very restive).

I went to the mall on Monday. I don't voluntarily go to the mall.

(There is another story altogether that goes with the mall trip, but I'll save it for another day).

Prior to the mall, I checked out several online bra-fit guides, including HerRoom. According to my tape measure and their calculator, I should be wearing a 38DD. Um, no. My weight is proportional to my height and I have a very average, unenhanced figure. Oprah might waggle a finger at me and tell me I'm in "cup denial," but no, unless the bra business has gone into vanity cup-sizing. Based on the calculator at Chico's Soma Intimates, my bra size couldn't be calculated based on the measurements I provided. That was disturbing.

All the sites did say pretty much the same thing, though: Go try some on. Well, I already knew that, and it was clearly going to be my only option.

I marched into Macy's and finally located the Intimate Apparel department, and started poking through the myriad racks of brassieres. Now, one useful piece of advice that HerRoom had provided was that if you find a manufacturer whose bras fit, keep buying from that manufacturer. But Macy's had bras divided not by manufacturer but by style: push-up (horrors!), demi, no wire (no way), and full-figure. Sarah, the sweet young woman who wanted to help me, looked at me a bit doubtfully when I outlined my requirements: cotton, no padding, underwire, Vanity Fair, and full coverage.

"Well," she temporized. "Here's Vanity Fair's best-selling bra."

Great.

Armed with five different bras, I finally worked up the courage to go into the dressing room. I broke out in a cold sweat as I started trying the things on. One was tossed aside because I don't like skinny straps. One, my cups ranneth over...and there was no way I was heading into DD territory. Long live cup denial!

By the time I got into Vanity Fair's best seller, I was already done, and I was going to buy that bra whether it fit or not.

Fortunately, it fit reasonably well. I fled the dressing room, grabbed two more, paid up and ran.

What mystifies me is that I wear sports bras at least half the week while I'm engaging in sports-like activities. I have no difficulty finding a sports bra that fits well and does it's job (yay, Champion!). But an everyday bra?

Sheesh.

Go listen to some music: "Hold Me Now" by Thompson Twins from the album Hold Me Now.