Monday, April 13, 2009


Can we talk boobs?

So, you know how you always hear that statistic that something like 80% of women are in the wrong sized bras? Yeah, I heard that, and scoffed. Not me! Not me, I thought, smugly. I don't have quadra-boob. I have the size correct.

And yet, I was reading a NY Times article on Sunday about bra sizes, and something finally clicked. What it said was that as you go down a strap size, the cup size width gets smaller. So as bands are so stretchy these days, a woman wearing a 36A might equally fit a 34B or a 32C.

Huh. Thought I. I have been wearing a 36A for years. I knew as I gained weight over the last few years that the band size was wrong, but honestly, you try looking for 38A's. They're pretty near impossible to find. I figured that was just my curse - to gain in back fat but not boobage. So I just let them stretch out a bit, and that was that. I figured I had the wide but flat boob thing going on. As I've been losing weight, I've moved from the outermost hook to either the innermost hook on the really stretched out older bras or the middle hook on the not-so-stretched ones. I thought, hey, maybe I could possibly go to a 34B and start feeling like I actually have some boobs. Maybe this will help my self-confidence in the dating area.

Now, I must say here that there were a few other things percolating in my head. For a start, the other size A's that I know are a lot smaller than me. A lot. I knew that, and yet it didn't register. Second, I have always found underwired bras to be excruciatingly uncomfortable. I mean, like torture. Especially at the sides. I couldn't understand how the rest of you could wear the darn things. And yet it still didn't click.

You know what's coming, right? I got home, looked up bra sizing on the internet, got out my measuring tape, and I took a good hard look at myself in my bra. Not only have I been in the wrong sized bra, I have been in the spectacularly wrong sized bra. In fact, I told this story to two friends at work who both burst out laughing at the suggestion that I could have ever thought I was an A cup. There was some ridicule going on for a while there at the disconnect between my supposedly-intelligent brain and how utterly utterly idiotic I was being. I don't know how I didn't see it, but I guess I was blind. I guess I thought you should jut out more to the front or something. Maybe I would if I was actually in the correct damn bra.

I shouldn't be a 36A. Or even a 36B. Or yet a 36C. According to my measurements* I should be in either (my band size was in the middle of two, so I need to try some on)....a 36D or 38C. Bwahahaha. No wonder the underwired bras were torture!

Oh my god. Why didn't I see it until I really looked? My poor boobs were squashed out into my underarms, I had the shoulder straps so loose so that the cups could basically just hang down underneath and not give me any actual support. When I pull the shoulder straps tighter and pull the boobs in from my armpits, you bet I have quadra-boob. My boobs are falling over the top of my bra so much it is ridiculous. It was actually hard to get dressed this morning once I realized the extent of the problem and I was fishing around for bras that weren't too bad.

I have been blind. And an idiot. I am going for a bra fitting as soon as I can!

*Update #1: Ever one to take the bull by the horns, I went at lunchtime to VS. Once I realized the extent of the problem, I was just uncomfortable sitting here in my old bra! So, the girl that measured me decided I was a 38B or a 36C. I'd got the size difference wrong between the two measurements so I was a cup size too high. I tried both sizes on in a variety of styles, and the 36C was the winner. I bought two. Hey, even the underwired ones were comfortable. Who'd a thunk it?

Update #2: I have ta-tas! I have been parading around the house, marveling.  OK, so the bra that I got was a bit more padded than I usually buy, but that combined with pushing the girls out to the front, AND the mental aspect of thinking "holy hell, I am wearing a C" has made me feel like I've had a boob job. Without the downtime and expense of surgery. I mean, they're the same boobs. Bigger in the last few years due to weight gain and infertility treatments (I guess I can thank the hormones for something) but they're the same damn size as they were on Friday - I just think they're bigger now. And yet it's this whole weird mental thing going on. I was clearly in denial and had poor boob self-esteem going on. I mean, I used to look at catalog pages with things like swimsuits for C and D sized women and be all "how can they be C and D sized - they're the same size as me?" and it still didn't click. I wonder why I was in boob denial for so long.


Anonymous said...

I bet loads of us are in the wrong size bra - one of my goals is to go and get a proper bra fitting - I'm just waiting for them to return to 'normal' following our last cycle!

Stephanie said...

Oh, honey! You thought you were an A?? Were you just spaced out when we went for my bra fitting at that big department store??

I mean, I've seen your boobage- under a top and without one (ok people, it was a fitting room situation) and you haven't been an A cup since you were in middle school, I'm willing to bet.

No wonder you hated underwire. I would never go without it again- I love it that much. Isn't it fabulous??

Lift and separate, baby! :-)

Care said...

I went through the same thing not long ago. I had been stuffing (and flattening) my boobs in a B cup since high school...turned out I needed a D. I about fell over in shock - but what a difference the right size makes!

Dora said...

Terribly common, says the 32DDD girl who was totally wearing the wrong size for years. I have plenty of arm fat, thigh fat, belly fat (thank you IVF drugs), but I don't have back fat. Just big tatas.

Oh, and please go somewhere with better quality than VS. I don't know where you are in FL, but this company has a location in Miami. Despite their stupid name, they really know how do a bra fitting.

Sam said...

You crack me up.