Saturday, February 10, 2007

"'What kind of bra will you be wearing today, honey?' That was always the area of big decision, from the neck to the navel." - Donna Reed

In the past twenty-four hours, I have bought six bras.

Yes, six.

For the past six years, I have been wearing a variety of nursing bras. My nursing bras – grotty and grayish, stretched-out and stained – are good for nothing but the garbage now.
And can I just tell you how exciting it was to buy a cute little bra whose cups didn’t unsnap or unhook and flap open in front?

Pre-babies, I never even wore a bra. As a double-A (and that’s being generous), there was no need. I got away with stretchy little camisoles or tank tops, or even those ribbed sleeveless mens’ undershirts. So this was indeed a momentous occasion, and also somewhat fraught with anxiety due to all those articles screaming about how the perfect bra will change your life, and take off ten pounds, and lift and separate and maximize, and make you look sixteen again.

Apparently just about every woman on the planet is wearing the wrong bra size. (I fear this is somewhat akin to my husband refusing to allow me to buy him 36-inch-waist jeans; “I wore 34 all through college, and I can keep wearing them.” Um, yeah. You can wear them and not breathe, or wear 36s and breathe.)

But I grew brave and picked out a handful of bras and repaired to the dressing room at Target, while I was there buying the new teakettle, and two new booster seats for the car. I tried on about fifteen bras, and bought two.

One bra was a beige Playtex, which is turning out to be wildly uncomfortable, although in Playtex’s defense, 1) I have a patch of eczema on my back exactly where the bra strap hits – and there’s no way Playtex can be held responsible for my sensory issues, and 2) if I hadn’t worn the second bra first, this one would seem comfortable, but it suffers by comparison to the (tada!) Gilligan and O’Malley wireless plunge bra.

The Gilligan and O’Malley plunge bra is seamless and tagless, has no underwire, and has lightly – lightly! - padded cups so that I don’t have to worry about nipple exposure (hey, I’ve nursed three babies. My nipples have grown bold and sadly, they don’t care to be concealed.) The only problem with the Gilligan and O’Malley wireless plunge bras was that they were on clearance. Well, that AND I seem to wear the world’s most common bra size. (Altogether now: “36B!”) AND they came in funky colors like coral and charcoal and turquoise and eggplant, nary a beige or pale pink or black or white one to be found. But I figured for a seven-dollars clearance price, I could experiment and took home the only 36B I could find, which was eggplant (which I think looks sort of sporty after all with charcoal or black panties.)

It is the most comfortable bra I have ever worn. It was so comfortable that it did not even feel like I was wearing a bra. I FELL ASLEEP IN IT, that’s how comfy it was.
(And it makes the otherwise mildly uncomfortable Playtex bra feel like an instrument of torture.)

So, far be it from me to exercise any sort of restraint, when I couldn’t find them online, I drove to another Target on my lunch break today, where the bra selection was either much better or just more organized. Much like the Visigoths sacking Rome, I swooped in, bought five Gilligan and O’Malley wireless plunge bras – black, beige, white, coral, and another eggplant – and swooped out.

I seem intent upon updating my undergarment wardrobe. About a month ago, I went online and ordered twelve new pairs of underwear. (I was only going to get nine – enough for little more than a week, but if I spent ten more dollars, I got free shipping…how do you turn that down?) (And I KNOW they fit as for years now, the only underwear I will wear is Jockey string bikinis - in neutral colors.)

See, I could kick myself for not buying several pairs of the perfect khaki drawstring-waist cargo pants from Old Navy that I live in – when I am not wearing my long black stretch skirt, also from Old Navy, and of which I own only one, also a huge mistake. But never let it be said that I don’t learn from my mistakes. Which explains why I own five sports bras – all Moving Comfort Coolmax racerbacks. And half a dozen pairs of grey ragg-wool-and-cotton socks. And now a dozen pairs of underwear, and six bras.

If I ever find the perfect little zip-front cardie (maybe this LLBean model?), I will buy more than one.

Because I am smarter now.
In addition to being lifted, separated, maximized, and looking sixteen again.


Katy said...

How exciting! I will have to check out the Target bra section... its been a very long time. So does this mean that Terzo has weaned? (which is a funny word, btw)

Anonymous said...

Congrats on getting your breasts back. Or at least, buying new bras.
I went into Nordstroms and was fitted. It took 2 salesladies as I was laughing so hard, I was helpless. "Bend over, wiggle yourself into the cups, now straighten up, fix the straps, squeeze more of yourself into the cups, dear - AH! There we have it!" The bra was sitting nearly at my waist in the back (I am short waisted)and so high in the front that I had cleavage in which I could park my cell phone! Not the look I was after. So they sighed and trotted back in with good old Wacoals. And I went through the same gyrations and ended up with much less cell phone parking area. POIFECT!
I have some G & M's too! They were very comfy, but alas; no support in my cup size. I kept buying them as they were comfortable. Then I saw a video of myself running after the boys in the backyard and yelped "YIKES! It looks like 2 bobcats in a gunnysack!"

Kathy said...

That's a cute bra. Unfortunately, I can no longer wear cute bras as they only make matronly bras in my size. :(

nutmeg said...

Excellent. Nothing better than finding something that fits just right. My wardrobe is full of multiple numbers of things in different colours. This post reminds me that I really do need to update my underpants!

Reading yesterday's post I noticed you mention the Mary Doria Russell books. The Sparrow has been very hard to find here and I mentioned it to Lazy Cow and she stumbled upon one almost immediately for a couple of dollars! It's in the post as I write. Cannot wait. I wanted to read it before I started Thread of Grace which I recieved from Amazon a little while ago.

Your blog is dangerous! I now have to go and check put The Nazi Officer's Wife. This looks like it has a different twist on the subject. I recently finished Parallel Lines by Peter Lantos - a Hungarian, who survived the Holocaust as a boy. It describes his search for the people and places he encountered at that time. He's a bit pompous but I devoured the book anyway!

Major Bedhead said...

I cannot wait until the Bug is weaned. As much as I like nursing, I want my boobs back. I want cute bras again.

That LL Bean sweater is just about perfect. I may have to make a run to Freeport one of these days.

blackbird said...

I love that cardi!

Get it!

Bec said...

New underwear is so good for the soul there should be a legal requirement for all mothers to purchase at least six new bras every.single.year.

Had some proper fittings last year and it did amazing things for both boobs and soul.

Anonymous said...

A wise college roommate once said "when you buy new underwear, make sure you throw out all the old ones."

I got an LL Bean polar fleece zip-up cardigan for my birthday. I love it. It's warm and fuzzy.

Stomper Girl said...

Oooh! I'm just like you! Pre-children I had many years of happy bra-lessness and I find it deeply confusing and uncomfortable these days. The last lot of bras I bought for what I thought would be comfort and padding turned out to have escaping underwires which were always either rattling round the bottom of the washing machine or savagely digging in to my bony sternum. Which has really put me off bra-buying. Till I read your post. Now I'm crossing my fingers and planning a trip to Target. Even though I'm sure that brand won't exist in Australia ... I suspect mail-order bras is not a good idea...

SLewis said...

If you are nursing and want the most comfortable bra, though a bit pricy, you should try Bella Materna bra. I've even used them before after nursing.

I've been buying mine at which has some of the best prices and largest selection around.