Friday, July 10, 2009

For the Girls

I used to think that a bra was a bra.

Bras were embarrassing when I was a teen, being the oldest daughter and having to break in the budding breast territory for my younger sisters. A bra was a necessity, but one that should be kept on the down-low. Just buy it, wear it, and forget it.

My bras were standard and practical as a teen. Once my friend handed down to me her eyelet lace bra with a little pink flower in the middle, after she'd grown out of it, and I felt like a total princess. But it was a long time before I ever bought a pretty bra. One whose looks surpassed its functionality. And then it was around that time that I learned how drastically a good functional bra can change one's looks. And now, as they say in bra-lingo, I'm hooked.

I love that Everybody Loves Raymond episode where Deborah complains about Ray wanting her to have breast implants. She points to her chest and says something like, "These are not just for show, Ray, these were working breasts!" I laughed my head off. How I get the truism there!

My girls are not what they used to be. I have been pregnant or nursing for 99 months, and that can take a toll on perkiness. I used to shy away from anything padded, because of the stigma attached, and heaven knows I wasn't trying to enhance my size. I also used to be tempted by the 'natural cup' baloney. Then I got sick of everybody being able to tell that I'd been pregnant or nursing for over 8 years, or when I felt a little chill, or even got the goosebumps from a great piece of music! I didn't like what I was seeing in photographs of myself, and I had to start doing some serious bra research.

The heavens opened and angels sang the first time I bought a really good bra. What a difference! A good bra can make you look taller, younger, skinnier, and downright happier. I promise. And I usually think that a good bra should cost around $40. Do not skimp. (no pun intended) First, go get measured. You may be surprised. Oprah did a bra intervention show and more than half of the audience members were wearing the wrong size or kind of bra! Properly fitted, a bra should not only make your girls look better, but you should feel better, without back/shoulder pain, and without that bulging back fat that is so unattractive.

A good bra should have adequate outer side wall support to keep the girls in the front where they belong, instead of spilling around the corner like they tend to do as we get older (or heavier). A good bra should lift the girls up, as Oprah says, "to salute!" I love underwire bras for this reason. And a lightly padded bra keeps the temperature a secret, if you know what I mean. Straps should be wide enough not only across the back, but over the shoulders to properly do their job. And even when you bend over, nothing should be squishing or spilling out the top. The silhouette through your t-shirts and blouses should be smooth, not bulgy. That's just as gross as the muffin tops spilling over too-tight jeans. All hoisted up, the girls will make you look like the young vixen you used to be before your working days, and your torso will look longer and your torso flatter. Nice.

If you are not a good-bra believer, you must go immediately and become one. I just went to Victoria's Secret with Conor the other day and got myself re-measured (things change post-baby and after so many years.) Turns out I was a slightly different size and buying a good bra, the right bra has given me all kinds of youthful confidence and vanity. In a good way.

The girls salute you!


Luisa Perkins said...

You crack me up--and you are so right.

Bra Mecca? Orchard Corset on the Lower East Side. Professional fittings and inventory galore.

We'll visit the next time you're here.

Megan said...

My favorite shop nearish to Pasadena was The Wizard of Bras. No joke! I love going to Nordstrom for fittings. They give you good advice, set your straps, and have a large selection. Even if you don't buy there, it's a comfortable place to have it done--otherwise I wouldn't go! I've heard that Target bras are the best value for the quality of bra you get. But, alas, I'm "hooked" on 2 that I've found at Nordstrom and recently shelled out the $110 for them.

One tip... your bra should fit nicely (2 fingers between the bra and your skin) on the loosest hook so that as the elastic wears out you can tighten it comfortably.

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

I live in a town where the bras in local stores are cheap as anything. Next time I hit a big town I am so putting this advice to good use!

Leslie said...

You are so funny..... it is also amazing what a reduction and lift can do for you. My working girls thanked me last November when I had that done! I have sworn off underwires since.

Laurie said...

I love that you would write a post about this. You're timing on this is perfect for me since as I have recently lost a few pounds, I have taken notice of my figure and that was the first place that I have noticed looks all wrong. I know that my bra is the problem, but after reading this, I now realize how much of a problem. Tomorrow I'm headed to Victoria's Secret. I'm excited to prove your post correct. I'm also going to sit down and count up how many months I was nursing or pregnant. Your 99 blows my mind. Have a great Sabbath!

* said...

I love reading blog posts on this subject (bras & boobs & post-baby bod), because so far, I haven't come across many. It's one of my pet blog topics.

I love my Target bras. I have some padded pushups that are awesome. Until I get a boob lift & job some faraway day, I'm not investing in expensive bras.

It's sweet hearing it from someone else, too...a great bra is a wonderful thing!

Saint Holiday said...

I couldn't read this one because of its adult content. I love you.
A Bra cada Bra.